Frequently Asked Questions

Northern Michigan University is working diligently to keep students, faculty, staff, alumni, and Marquette area community members informed about the decisions and actions it is making regarding the COVID-19 pandemic

What follows are some of the frequently asked questions about Northern’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and provides guidance and resources. This page will be updated as new information becomes available. New or updated questions will be identified with green text to allow users to stay up-to-date with changing information.

If you have a question that is not on this list, use this form to ask a question.
 


Current campus operations

Northern remains open, although most of our non-residence hall facilities will be closed for the next three weeks. NMU faculty and staff will be mostly working from home. Students can email or call NMU offices or units for assistance and services during normal business hours and the NMU Police Department 24 hours per day. You can find departmental email and phone numbers on departmental websites or the NMU online phone directory.

Open:

  • All residence halls and apartment buildings
  • Northern Lights Dining (carry out)
  • Wildcat Den (carry out)
  • Temaki and Tea (drive-thru only)
  • NMU Health Center
  • NMU Police Department
  • Service Building-Central Services (mail, warehouse)
  • Hedgcock - Open by Appointment: Dean of Students, Housing and Residence Life.

All other buildings are closed. However, card swipe access to closed facilities will be granted to students whose jobs require them to gain entrance to a specific facility. Requests must come through supervisors. This includes students working in NMU’s animal, plant and other research laboratories.

Northern is committed to the health and safety of its students and its campus community. NMU is working in accordance with Governor Whitmer’s executive “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order which is effective from Tuesday March 24 through Sunday, April 14. The full executive order is available at Executive Order 2020-2.

A “stay at home” or “shelter in place” order is a temporary requirement to “suspend activities that are not necessary to sustain or protect life.” More simply put, citizens are to remain in their place of residence to the maximum extent possible unless they need to leave for essential activities and work.

This means many people will work at home, many businesses will close, and in-person gatherings and meetings are suspended. There are exceptions to business closures, such as grocery stores, banks, gas stations, health care offices, and such – places that sustain and protect life.

The “stay at home” order does not include going outside for outdoor activities as long as individuals are practicing social distancing and keeping six feet apart. But the intent of the order is for people to limit their travel from their place of residence for the next three weeks (through April 13). The full executive order: Executive Order 2020-21.

Classes, labs, clinicals and other academic issues

Northern will continue remote instruction from now through the end of the semester, including final exam week. Summer course registration is underway; already scheduled summer online classes will be held as scheduled. A decision about the format of summer courses and labs scheduled for campus will be made in April.

It was up to each individual faculty member to decide whether the distance learning version of their course is synchronous or asynchronous, or whether they will hold the class at the same time as their on-campus course or make it available anytime. Please check with your faculty member.

Yes, the All-Campus Tutoring Center has designated some student tutors as available to help their peers transition to the distance learning format. To request help, email act@nmu.edu. A tutor will get back to you and set up a ZOOM meeting, if needed. Also, there are a number of classes that already have tutors assigned to the specific EduCat course pages. Go to the ACT home page to see for which courses. Your faculty or ACAC adviser may also have resources and advice on how adjust to the distance learning format. The NMU Global Campus shares this handout and this video that our online-only students use to help them with the remote learning format.

The BEAR Center and Speech and Hearing Clinic services are suspended until further notice. Students needing to retrieve materials from the BEAR Center are instructed not to come into the center, without an appointment scheduled.

Yes, Northern is extending the deadline to withdraw from a course and receive a “W” grade until 5 p.m. April 3. Northern plans to re-evaluate a return to face-to-face instruction on March 30 for classes as of April 3 through to the end of the semester. A “W” grade does not affect your grade point average, but does count toward the financial aid factor of “courses attempted". Learn more about the withdrawal process here.

For information about grade options for winter semester, go to the S/U Grades FAQ on the Academic and Career Advisement Center website.

No, academic advising continues, although some faculty may have paused the last two weeks during the conversion process to distance learning. If you have not met with your faculty or ACAC adviser yet, please email them to set up time to connect via phone or Zoom. Registration for summer (no assigned times) and fall courses (assigned registration start times) is underway.

Keep in mind that the state is under a “stay in place” executive order that allows only essential travel, so please limit your trips to campus for printing only to what is absolutely necessary. Printers have been relocated to the Services Building room 132 and will be available from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. To find room 132, enter the Services Building at the entrance nearest to the NMU Police Department, go through the internal double doors and turn to the left. Room 132 is on the right.

The NMU Police Department and the Services Building are serving as a drop off for several areas on campus during this period when buildings are closed. Between the hours if 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, you can drop off a computer for Micro Repair, an NMU Olson Library item for return or donations to NMU Food Pantry. The Services Building is located on Sugarloaf Avenue (between Wright Street and Hawley Street).

The Barnes and Noble-NMU bookstore will be closed March 24 through April 12. It will be offering limited online order processing during that time. For students with book rentals who are not returning to campus at any point before the end of the semester, the store has created a Rental Return page on its website where students can print out a UPS label to ship the books back, free of charge. Books must be shipped by the due date (currently May 2) and the label must be printed on or before the due date.

For the remainder of the Winter 2020 term, Barnes and Noble is offering free access to eTextbooks through our partnership with VitalSource. Click here for access.

Canceled events and activities

A complete list of canceled NMU events are posted here

Converting classes to a distance format - Faculty

Yes. The Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) has extensive materials for all levels of technology user on its website, including how-to documents, videos, equipment lists and more. The CTL is also holding in-person and zoom workshops to assist faculty. Check out all of the online resources at nmu.edu/keepteaching.

Yes. The Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) is offering in-person and zoom workshops for faculty, and drop-in sessions are also available. The CTL is located at 106 Harden Hall. Staff can also be reached at ctl@nmu.edu or 906-227-2483. Learn more at nmu.edu/keepteaching.

Faculty should contact the Center for Teaching and Learning at at ctl@nmu.edu or 906-227-2483.

Students should the NMU Help Desk at 906-227-2468 or helpdesk@nmu.edu.

Dining services and residential life

Can you still travel to go home? Yes, the Governor’s executive order grants an exemption for individuals who need to travel to return to their home. If you decide to travel, please take every precaution possible. Practice social distancing when you make stops, watch what you touch, wash your hands repeatedly and use hand sanitizer when you can’t. Should you go home? You have to make the decision that is best for you and your family. You have housing and dining options if you want to stay or need to stay.

The residence halls and apartments are open and dining services are being provided. It is Northern’s intent to keep the halls, apartments and dining services operational until the end of the semester. We know that for many of you, your NMU residence is your only home. The dining and food facilities that remain open with carry-out and/or drive thru options including Northern Lights and CatTrax, Wildcat Den and Temaki and Tea. Closed are Starbucks, Fieras, Sundries and Melted.

Visit the NMU Dining website for the information about what restaurants remain open on campus and their hours.

If you choose to leave but can’t take your belongings with you at this time, that’s fine. Just turn in your key at the front desk. Your things will be cared for until you can return to pick them up at a later point.

External doors to NMU’s residence halls and apartment buildings are locked to prevent non-residents in order to help keep the facilities as safe as possible for the residents. Visitors and guests are restricted to those assisting with the move-out of heavy and bulky items only. Please be sure any family member entering the hall/apartment, be is someone who is not coughing or sneezing, has a fever, or feels ill in any way.

If you have already returned home, please stay there until restrictions have been lifted. Your belongings are fine. They will be waiting for you when the COVID-19 situation has improved and it is safe for you to travel. Hang onto your key – no need to mail it back – and bring it with you when you return to pick up your belongings.

The NMU Board of Trustees met Tuesday, March 24, and approved an $820 credit, plus a carryover of any remaining Dining Dollars to next semester, to students who check out of their residence hall rooms before 5 p.m. Friday, April 3. Students can also forego the credit and opt to remain on campus through the remainder of the semester, which ends May 2. Students who qualify for the credit will be able to choose whether to apply that credit toward Fall 2020 on-campus room and board costs or to their student account, less any outstanding balances. We will make every attempt to honor a student’s preferred choice, but in some cases, federal financial aid regulations may require us to offer an alternative plan. Also, students who have received institutional financial aid may have an offset to their credit based on the aid they have received. A communication will be sent Thursday, March 26, to all students with a residence hall contract, containing links to an online form and instructions for indicating their plans related to leaving campus or staying in place.

Yes. The shuttle will continue to operate. Bus trips will be limited 10 or fewer riders at a time so that proper social distancing can be done. But the buses will make as many trips as necessary to accommodate shoppers. The shuttle pickup location is in Lot 9, between Hunt and Meyland Halls, off Wright Street. The first bus will leave at 3 p.m. See the complete schedule with drop-off points at the shuttle website.

Employees - Students

Unfortunately, the Governor’s executive order will affect some on-campus student employees, but not all. You need to speak directly with your supervisor about your employment. Continuation of on-campus employment right now really depends on where you work. If positions open up due to students leaving campus, we are asking NMU supervisors to post their student work needs on the Career Service Handshake ( nmu.edu/careerservices.

We know many of our students are in this tough position. For immediate food and hygiene items, Northern is allowing the NMU Food Pantry on the first floor of Gries Hall (behind the Beaumier Center) to remain open during its normal hours of 5-7 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays. All of the items are free of charge. The state has relaxed some of its eligibility requirements for unemployment and underemployment benefits, so we encourage students who lost off-campus jobs to consider filing to see if they are eligible. The Healthy Michigan Plan offers health insurance options for Michigan residents; check eligibility here.

If you do not actually work your job, you will not be paid.

No. If you have a student position on campus now and leave to go home, you will have your student job whenever you return to campus during the remainder of the winter 2020 semester.

Yes. Graduate assistants are expected to work and, thus, will receive their stipends. Graduate assistants who teach are expected to continue to teach. For non-teaching GA’s, if your position’s work is eliminated due to COVID-19 decisions, contact your department head or supervisor to learn about alternative work.

Employees and workforce

The employees and workforce section has been moved to the NMU Human Resources site.

Events and Activities

NMU has suspended all in-person, on-campus gatherings of 10 or more persons, including lab classes, meetings, and events. Check the cancellation link provided in this FAQ under "Canceled events" for a complete list of canceled and rescheduled events and activities.

Check the cancelation link above (under canceled events and activities). It will be updated regularly.

The Center for Student Enrichment (www.nmu.edu/cse) can assist in helping you develop a plan to cancel an event. This will include such steps as to contact the Northern Center and University Events to cancel room rentals, food orders, AV request and such. It is also suggested that you send a cancellation notice to all of the same groups you invited in the same manner that you originally invited them (email, Facebook, other electronic and social media channel methods) and edit your university calendar submission to indicate the cancellations.

The commencement ceremony scheduled for May 2 has been postponed and will be rescheduled for a future date that will be announced when details are finalized.

Financial matters for students

No refunds are being offered as Northern is still providing all of its winter 2020 courses, the distance learning being the way to do so in what is an emergency situation. Tele-learning was the recommendation to Michigan’s public universities and colleges by Governor Gretchen Whitmer as a statewide safety measure.

The NMU Board of Trustees met Tuesday, March 24, and approved an $820 credit, plus a carryover of any remaining Dining Dollars to next semester, to students who check out of their residence hall rooms before 5 p.m. Friday, April 3. Students can also forego the credit and opt to remain on campus through the remainder of the semester, which ends May 2. Students who qualify for the credit will be able to choose whether to apply that credit toward Fall 2020 on-campus room and board costs or to their student account, less any outstanding balances. We will make every attempt to honor a student’s preferred choice, but in some cases, federal financial aid regulations may require us to offer an alternative plan. Also, students who have received institutional financial aid may have an offset to their credit based on the aid they have received. A communication will be sent Thursday, March 26, to all students with a residence hall contract, containing links to an online form and instructions for indicating their plans related to leaving campus or staying in place.

The U.S. Department of Education and several private lenders are making relief options available to borrowers who have been financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The NMU Financial Aid Office has put together a list of online resources to federal agencies and private lenders who have announced special considerations for those who need borrower relief at this time.

Future Students

Information for future students regarding the application process, orientation, and other enrollment concerns can be found on the Admissions site.

Health matters

You should try to isolate yourself to avoid other people to the extent you can, especially if you have a fever of 100.4 degrees or higher. Get plenty of sleep and drink plenty of water. Contact the NMU Health Center (906-227-2355) to get advice on your best plan of action. Please call, don't go to the Health Center unless staff there feel an in-person appointment is necessary.

As of Wednesday, March 18 the NMU Health Center is operating on a call-ahead-only basis. Call 906-227-2355 and Health Center staff will collect information that will help the medical professionals determine your best course of action.

The best protection from getting COVID-19 is to practice proper hygiene etiquette and social distancing. For examples of either, see below.

Proper hygiene etiquette includes such things as:

  • Wash your hands often, using soap and water and scrubbing for at least 20 seconds
  • Avoid close contact with sick people
  • Sneeze into a tissue or your sleeve, not into your hands
  • Avoid touching your face, particularly your eyes, nose and mouth
  • If you are sick, stay home, especially if you have a fever of 100.4 degrees or more. Do not go to class, work or attend university or community events.

Social distancing means to keep at least 6 feet between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing. Other types of social distancing include eliminating/avoiding large group gatherings, moving classes from face-to-face instruction to a distance learning format, elbow and fist bumping as greetings rather than handshaking. It is important that all members of the NMU community practice social distancing whenever possible to minimize the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Social distancing is why Northern put classes online, and why Michigan's governor closed all K-12 schools in the state and made gatherings of 250 or more illegal until April 5. The smaller the group you are in the midst of, the better. But also remember that groups of any size that are confined to a small, restricted area have the potential to increase the risk of spreading infectious diseases.

As of Wednesday, March 18 the NMU Health Center is operating on a call-ahead-only basis.

PHARMACY - Call 906-227-1167 with medication refill requests. Walk-ins for the purpose of requesting a refill will not be permitted or processed. New prescriptions, needed in an urgent fashion, can be dropped off physically, but electronic methods or phone-in by your provider is strongly recommended.

Pharmacy hours for picking up routine refills will be 9am-1pm.

Starting Monday March 23, 2020, we will enact a temporary measure, allowing prescriptions to be mailed to your home address. Please ensure that accurate address and payment information is on file, if requesting this option.

LAB SERVICES - CALL 906-227-2355 to schedule an appointment.

ALLERGY SHOTS, IMMUNIZATIONS, AND OTHER NURSING SERVICES - Call 906-227-2355 to schedule an appointment.

PHYSICIAN / PROVIDER VISITS - Call 906-227-2355 for appointment information and guidance.

Yes, there are people to help. We know these constant changes are very stressful for students. While Counseling and Consultation Services cannot meet with students in-person during this time, phone consultation services are still be offered. Students can call CCS at 227-2980 during normal business hours (M-F, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.). CCS has also put an extensive list of coping techniques on its website to help students address the extra stress.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is recommending any individual who has been in direct contact with a person diagnosed with the new coronavirus self-isolate for a period of 14 days. Contacting the NMU Health Center (906-227-2355) by phone (don't go to the Center) can help you decide if you should be self-isolating or not. If you are told to self-isolate and live on campus, the NMU Health Center will put you in contact with NMU Housing staff for moving into rooms and apartments identified for isolation purposes. If you live off campus, work with your roommates to separate yourself from them as much as you can. All individuals who have returned to the U.S. from a country the U.S. Department has categorized as Level 3 or higher will be required to self-isolate or will be quarantined. This may happen at the airport as you are re-entering the country.

International students and experiences

Northern will not stop you from leaving campus, but travel back to your home country may be restricted or difficult at this time. Contact the NMU International Programs Office (906-227-2510, ipo@nmu.edu) for guidance on international travel out of the U.S. to high-risk COVID-19 nations

You are a part of Northern’s university community and we will make sure you have room and board options. Contact the NMU International Programs Office (906-227-2510, ipo@nmu.edu) for assistance.

Most international countries are asking non-residents to return to their native countries. If you are not being asked to leave by your host institution or host nation, you are free to stay unless NMU contacts you directly to say otherwise. However, please be aware that travel is becoming increasingly difficult as this situation progresses due to heightened protocol, border closures, and travel restrictions. If you need assistance with your return or have questions, contact the NMU International Programs Office (906-227-2510, ipo@nmu.edu).

If you are on an exchange or a study abroad program and want to return to the United States, you should start the process by contacting the organization you worked with to set up your study experience, whether that was the institution of higher education or a third-party vendor. If you need additional assistance, contact the NMU International Programs Office (906-227-2510, ipo@nmu.edu).

Northern has canceled all student exchanges and faculty-led study abroad trips for Winter and Summer (sessions I and II) 2020. Students who were scheduled to participate in a faculty-led study abroad experience this semester or summer, should contact the faculty member who was leading the course and trip. The NMU International Programs Office (906-227-2510, ipo@nmu.edu) can also assist with questions and issues.

Northern has canceled all student exchanges and faculty-led study abroad trips for Winter and Summer (sessions I and II) 2020.

Any deposits made directly to Northern Michigan University will be refunded to your credit card or student account, depending on how your payment was made. Airline ticket, hotel and other trip expenses refunds are dependent on how these charges were originally made. NMU International Programs and the academic department through which the faculty-led study abroad opportunity was sponsored will contact students with more information on steps necessary in the reimbursement process.

Libraries, centers, museums, and theaters

Olson Library and the Archives spaces are closed until further notice. The Library and Archives will continue to provide virtual and online services. See https://lib.nmu.edu for more information.

The Beaumier U.P. Heritage Center is closed until further notice.

The DeVos Art Museum will close as of Monday, March 16 and remain closed at least until April 3. Click here to learn more about current and upcoming DeVos exhibits and collections, or to get contact information.

No. The Bear Center services are suspended until April 15th.

No. Speech and Hearing Clinic services are suspended until further notice.

Research labs and tutoring centers

The vast majority of NMU’s lab classes have now been converted to a distance learning format. Students have been contacted by faculty on a class by class basis.

Northern has an emergency plan that includes details on where research labs are located, what type of research is done in specific labs, what type of animals/chemicals/particles/plants are part of the research, and what specific needs are to keep the research protected during emergency situations, including a possible COVID-19 outbreak where lab oversight might be challenged due to high levels of illness.

Recreation Services and Athletics

The Campus Sports Complex, the PEIF Recreation areas, and Fit Zone are closed until future notice. The NMU Sports Complex includes the Superior Dome, Physical Education and Instructional Facility (PEIF) and Berry Events Center.

  • Bike, ski and snowshoe checkout continues from the Fit Zone area.
  • Walking program at the Superior Dome for community members is suspended.

The Campus Sports Complex, the PEIF Recreation areas, and Fit Zone are closed until future notice. The NMU Sports Complex includes the Superior Dome, Physical Education and Instructional Facility (PEIF) and Berry Events Center.

  • Bike, ski and snowshoe checkout continues from the Fit Zone area.
  • Walking program at the Superior Dome for community members is suspended.

Not at this time. The University will re-evaluate rentals on March 30.

Northern’s spring sports seasons for men’s and women’s golf, lacrosse and outdoor track and field, along with spring football, have been canceled by the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) and its members. There are no home athletic events scheduled. Olympic Training Site camps for March and April have been canceled. Club sports spring seasons have been canceled.

Technology and support

If you experience technical difficulties with the distance learning format of your class, contact the NMU Help Desk at helpdesk@nmu.edu or 906-227-2468.

Part-time students who do not already have an NMU notebook computer should contact the Technology Asset and Business Management Office at thinkpad@nmu.edu. Northern is waiving the rental fee for the remainder of the Winter 2020 semester for part-time students who do not have an NMU notebook computer.

Northern is waiving the technology equipment fees it has available for improving internet connectivity for NMU students and faculty members who need high-speed and consistent broadband to complete their course for the Winter 2020 semester. Contact the NMU Help Desk at helpdesk@nmu.edu or 906-227-2468.

Testing for COVID-19

On Tuesday afternoon (March 24), the Marquette County Public Health Department announced the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in Marquette County, an individual who had traveled domestically and has since been self-isolated. There is also a presumptive case of an individual tested in Chippewa County on the eastern end of the U.P. As we’ve been saying for the past week, we had to assume it had reached our area and we have been advising that we all act as if we have the virus, doing everything we can to protect those around from getting it.

Yes. While testing information is private, a small number of NMU students, faculty and staff have self-reported being tested for the COVID-19 virus. Among those individuals, some had seasonal influenza and the other tested negative. As of right now, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 among NMU students, faculty and staff.

Northern cannot share specific details on individual cases, but the University has been given self-reported information of a small number of students, faculty and staff who have been asked to self-quarantine as a precautionary measure due to possible exposure to COVID-19. As of right now, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 among NMU students, faculty and staff.

If a medical professional orders the test, it is covered by NMU’s insurance.

Tests are only being given are to those who are considered at high risk for having been exposed to the virus. A medical professional must identify you as a candidate for testing. You cannot receive the test by personal request.

Travel matters

The travel matters section has been moved to the NMU Human Resources site.

Visitors to campus

Northern is under normal business operations. However, NMU is asking that all visits and events that bring people from outside campus should be canceled or handled via technology. Please contact the desired office for options.

Not at this time. Non-residents will not be permitted to stay in any of the NMU residence halls until further notice.

In-person visits through the Campus Visit Program have been suspended, however, customized virtual campus visits can be arranged. View options and register at nmu.edu/visit or contact cvp@nmu.edu.

Additional information for future students can be found on the Admissions site.

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