Homecoming week! While this Homecoming definitely looks different than other years, it is not an event we want to overlook. This is our 114th consecutive Homecoming during NIU’s 125th anniversary year, which is why this year’s theme is “History of Huskie Pride.” Consider participating in the window decorating competition (for both on- and off-campus students) or heading to the Huskie Den for a Bears Watch Party on Thursday…and make sure to wear your Red and Black all week!

This week also brings new
COVID-19 related requirements for Region 1, which includes DeKalb County. While in-person classes are still able to continue, we do need to limit in-person events and activities to 25 people, keep gatherings of friends to 10 or less, and continue our physical distancing and masking efforts.

Election Countdown…
28 days to go until the Nov. 3 election.

You cannot vote if you aren’t registered. Registering to vote can feel intimidating. If you want assistance, or want to host a voter registration effort, contact Sandy Lopez at
Not sure if you are registered or in what country you are registered? It’s easy to find out at

There is still time to make sure your voice is heard in this upcoming election. Remember, Huskies Vote!

Forward Together,

Kelly Wesener Michael, Ed.D.
Associate Vice President for Student Affairs
Chief Student Affairs Officer and Dean of Students

Week of Oct. 5, 2020

Protecting the Pack Updates



Huskie Spotlight

Wellness Tip

From NIU Today

Did You Know?


NIU’s 125th Anniversary

Protecting the Pack Updates Response to new Region 1 Requirements
As of Saturday, Oct. 3, the Illinois Department of Public Health instituted new COVID-19 mitigation efforts for Region 1, which includes DeKalb County, to address the region’s increasing positivity rate. In consultation with the DeKalb County Health Department, the university has implemented revisions to our current guidelines. Please take the time to become familiar with these important updates.

COVID-19 Screening Checklist replaces Helpline
The COVID-19 Helpline has been converted into a customized, web-based checklist that is accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

If you test positive for COVID-19 or are exposed to or experience symptoms of COVID-19, you must complete the checklist at Login to the checklist using your NIU credentials. After completing the checklist, you will receive immediate guidance via email with important next steps. The Protecting the Pack website and the #CampusClear app have been updated to reflect this change.




First-Year Focus
Are you a first-year student looking for resources to help you succeed?

Check out the First-year Success Series. This collaboration of workshops has been created to help new students transition to NIU, connect with peers, faculty and staff, and begin to develop strategies for success for your first year and beyond.

Ellington’s meals available at The Depot
The HOSP 320 teams are working incredibly hard to bring Ellington’s to The Depot.  As part of their course requirements, students are responsible for planning, preparing and serving prepackaged meals, each centered on a unique theme. Students are dedicated to providing high-quality, nutritious food, as well as compliance with the highest safety and sanitation standards. Meals will be made available for purchase Tuesdays and Thursdays around noon for the price of $7.99.  Your support is very much appreciated!

National Tutor Appreciation Week
October 5 - 11 is National Tutor Appreciation Week. Let your PAL tutor know you appreciate their work by sending a message of thanks to

Provide IBHE with your feedback
A new strategic plan is being developed for higher education in Illinois. The Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE) would like to hear what issues are most important to students. Please consider completing this brief survey by Friday, Oct. 9.

Monday, Oct. 5 through Sunday, Oct. 11: NIU Homecoming 2020
Monday, Oct. 5:
STEMFest Maker Mondays: Studying Stink Bugs and Exploring Insects
Tuesday, Oct. 6: Behind the Post: Relationships Don't Just Live on Social Media Virtual Workshop
Tuesday, Oct. 6: Madam C.J. Walker and Heritage of African American Philanthropy
Tuesday, Oct. 6: Outdoor Adventures: Yoga at the Lagoon
Tuesday, Oct. 6: Diversity Dialogues: Breaking New Ground
Wednesday, Oct. 7: Latino Center Virtual Open House
Wednesday, Oct. 7: STEMFest — Not So Creepy Critters: Exploring Reptiles and Amphibians
Wednesday, Oct. 7: Outdoor Adventures: Weekly Wednesday Hourly Boat Rentals at the East Lagoon
Thursday, Oct. 8: Social Justice Town Hall: Whiteness and the Construction of Race
Saturday, Oct. 10:
Engineering Open House - Virtual
Saturday, Oct. 10: STEM Fest — Paper Circuits
Saturday, Oct. 10: STEMFest — Build-a-Blinky Soldering Workshops — In Person
Sunday, Oct. 11: Outdoor Adventures: Bike the Local Trails

View all upcoming events >


Huskie Spotlight


Joanna Rataj
It has been hard connecting with students this year because of COVID-19 but I think that what really helped me was the Facebook Group. I got the chance to connect with students who had the same majors and interests as me, and then I traded social media accounts with them, which gave me a chance to make friends I already had connections with.

Learn more about Joanna >


Wellness Tip


Coping through COVID-19
Feeling stressed? You are not alone! Learn more about how to manage stress with our FREE self-care webinar series.

Coping Through COVID-19 occurs every Monday at 4 p.m. and covers a new wellness topic each week. Learn more about this webinar series and see upcoming topics by visiting Mission Wellness.

Learn more >


From NIU Today


October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month
Domestic violence affects both women and men, of every race, religion, socio-economic status, culture and sexual identity. And it happens right here, right now, in communities and college campuses throughout the world.


Let’s do something about it.

Read more at NIU Today >


Did you know?



Visit to get started.



Friday, Oct. 9: Deadline for nominations for outstanding international educators, staff and students
Thursday, Oct. 15: 
Deadline for New Student Sexual Misconduct Awareness and Prevention Training Key Moment
America’s most enduring institutions are those created to meet specific needs and allowed to evolve as those needs change. Such is the story of Northern Illinois University, which this year celebrates its 125th anniversary.


Term “home-coming” first appears in campus newspaper (1906)
Dating back to a series of 11 football games against alumni teams that began in 1903, Northern Illinois University’s Homecoming tradition evolved into the oldest major-college tradition in the state and one of the longest in the country. In 2019, NIU hosted its 113th Homecoming. Learn more about NIU's tradition of Homecoming >

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Northern Illinois University's vision is to be an engine for innovation to advance social mobility; promote personal, professional and intellectual growth; and transform the world through research, artistry, teaching and outreach.
Learn more about NIU’s vision, mission and values.