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Message to Students

August 25, 2022

Hello Bulldogs,

We are so excited to have you here at Ferris! There are many fun activities over the next two weeks to help you adjust and to help you get acclimated to campus! Below is some information that I hope you will find helpful.

Bulldog Beginnings

We have planned two weeks of special welcome events just for you! These activities will help you engage and connect with friends, meet new people, try new things and learn more about what you can do on campus. But most importantly, help make Ferris feel like home! Be sure to check out the Bulldog Beginnings event schedule. If you are a student at Kendall College of Art and Design, visit the KCAD Events Calendar.   

Campus Health and Safety

The University continues to monitor the CDC website for updates regarding the coronavirus. As we all learn to live with COVID-19, we encourage you to get vaccinated, monitor your health, and frequently wash or sanitize your hands.


Masks are no longer required indoors in classrooms or instructional spaces. However, masks were and continue to be required in patient care areas such as the Pharmacy Care Clinic, the University Eye Center (masks are strongly encouraged for patients but not required unless exhibiting respiratory symptoms) and Birkam Health Center. In Big Rapids, masks can be obtained from the David L. Eisler Center (formerly the University Center) Information Desk, the Pharmacy Clinic or residence hall front desks. Kendall College of Art & Design students can pick up a mask at the building security desks or the Student Services Office on the 7th floor. The University will continue to support all campus community members and visitors who choose to wear a mask while indoors on campus.

COVID-19 Testing

The University has procured at-home COVID-19 rapid tests for distribution on the Big Rapids campus and at KCAD. It is a good idea to have at least one on hand at your place of residence in case you are exposed or have symptoms. Free at-home tests will be available in the residence halls, the Pharmacy Clinic, Birkam Health Center and the David L. Eisler Information Desk. At KCAD, at-home tests are available via shopUICA.

In addition, at-home rapid tests are now readily available at many public libraries and pharmacies such as WalgreensRite Aid and Meijer. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services also has a Test Finder on their website to help you locate places throughout Michigan where you can get a free COVID-19 test.  

COVID-19 Vaccines

The University strongly recommends that all members of our campus community become immunized against COVID-19, but it is not required for students, faculty or staff. You can get a COVID-19 vaccine or booster at pharmacies such as Meijer or Walgreens, or through your healthcare provider. More information is available via the CDC website or for area vaccination sites across the state.

Vaccines are also available at the Birkam Health Center. If you have not been vaccinated and would like to be, please contact Birkam Health Center at (231) 591-2614, Option 2, to set up an appointment.

Quarantine and Isolation

On Aug. 11, 2022, the CDC released new guidance relative to quarantine and isolation. If you are exposed to COVID-19, or if you test positive, please review the CDC’s quarantine and isolation protocol here. You can also contact Birkam Health Center at (231) 591-2614 for information and guidance.


In 2020, University Facilities Management evaluated the HVAC system capabilities for buildings across the Big Rapids campus and implemented strategies to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Through these efforts, the air quality of all of our buildings meets or exceeds industry standards. MicrobeCare was also applied to all touchpoints within buildings to combat possible exposure to COVID-19. You can find more information on MicrobeCare here. Hand sanitizer stations will remain available across campus.

Stay Healthy

Even though COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are declining, it still remains. Please take good care of yourself and continue to practice daily health habits, such as washing your hands often, keeping hand sanitizer nearby and staying home if you are not feeling well.


You may have recently read or heard about Monkeypox and have questions. More information about Monkeypox can be obtained through the Birkam Health Center

Bulldogs in Action Volunteers Needed

Sign up to welcome your peers to the Big Rapids campus before classes start! For more information and to pick a time slot, visit the Bulldogs in Action registration page.    

Also, remember to visit our Welcome Back webpage regularly for updates and exciting news about all the things we have planned for you for Fall 2022. Take good care of yourself and others. We cannot wait to see you and welcome you to campus in just a few days!

Wishing you a fantastic semester,

Jeanine Ward-Roof
Vice President for Student Affairs