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The Eastern Echo Podcast Logo Fall 2019

Podcast: EMU Delays Move-In, Students Take the Pledge

Liz Hornyak: On this week’s episode, EMU delays move-in for on-campus residents, classes will still resume on Aug. 31, and student body president Ethan Smith creates a pledge to encourage students to do their part to keep campus safe.

This morning, on Aug. 24, the Office of the President at EMU announced that move-in would be delayed until September 17. This is a three-week delay from the original move-in period, set to start this Thursday, Aug. 27.

The notice that was emailed to students states, “The decision follows an assessment of the reopening of campuses across the country that has shown increased outbreaks of COVID-19 among students and challenges in limiting social gatherings and parties.”

The email goes on to say that students that have already moved in, including some international students and student athletes, may stay in their on-campus residence. Students who have not yet moved in but wish to do so before September 17 may be permitted to do so on a case-by-case basis. 

Housing and dining deposits or payments will receive a proportional credit for the time between the original and new move-in start dates.

Fall classes will still resume on Aug. 31 on schedule, but most classes will transition to an online format at least through September 20. 

On Aug. 31, Eastern Michigan University's fall semester will begin. On Aug. 7, EMU released their “Safe Return to Campus Plan.” The twenty-page document details what EMU has implemented in order to keep students and faculty safe. EMU plans to adhere to all local, state, and federal mandates. The university is implementing daily screenings, social distancing, mandating that all students and faculty wear masks, encouraging good hygiene, gloves, frequent cleaning and disinfecting, and increasing ventilation within classrooms.

Eastern has also designated specific entry and exit points for buildings, restricted elevator capacities, expanded classrooms by knocking down walls and redesigning furniture and spacing to comply with social distancing, and is installing plexiglass in classrooms and dining halls. For more information about EMU’s reopening, you can tune in to last Monday’s podcast episode wherever you get your podcasts. You can also find a comprehensive article on our website at easternecho.com.

As part of the changing circumstances of college life due to COVID-19, EMU’s student body president Ethan Smith has created a pledge to remind students of their power to really make a difference and keep EMU safe. The pledge commits individuals to the following: 

  • Follow Current public health guidelines

  • Leave six feet between myself and others

  • Wear masks that cover both the nose and the mouth

  • Practice frequent hand washing with soap and water for at least twenty seconds

  • Use hand sanitizer

  • Avoid large gatherings and parties

  • And help others do the same

The Echo was able to interview Jack Swartzinski who serves as Eastern Michigan University’s student government parliamentarian. 

Swartzinski told the Echo, “I think it’s a good first step to at least get students thinking about how life is going to be like this fall(...) The student body has a great opportunity to create a community where learning and certain social activities can continue so long as we are wise about it.” 

Maiya Felan, an EMU junior, told the Echo, “I don’t necessarily think people will break the rules on campus (....) I think people will still have parties and gatherings.” 

According to EMU Media Relations Specialist Morgan Mark, As of Aug. 18, 779 people have signed the pledge. Out of those 779 people 726 of those signatures are students. This pledge isn’t mandatory or binding, but everyone is encouraged to sign.

Script: Jasmine Boyd, Ronia Cabansag

Reporting: Dan D’Introno, Austin Elliott

Host: Liz Hornyak

Produced: Lauren Smith, Ronia Cabansag