The last two weeks have been hard, but we are in a better place and
returning to in-person classes and activities this week! It is more important than ever that we stay vigilant so that we do not have to return to these measures. Wear a mask, remain physically distanced and wash your hands. Check out the other COVID-19 related expectations for Huskies and consider getting a flu shot!

Engagement Opportunities…
We are dedicated to hosting in-person, controlled events to give you a taste of the “normal” college experience as well as options for evening and weekend engagement. This weekend will feature Trap Karaoke, a Bonfire at the West Lagoon, Meet the Greeks and more. Check the
Weekend Calendar frequently for information and updates on events.

Election Countdown…
With only 35 days until the Nov. 3 election, I will be using this space over the next month to give you information, tips and updates related to voting and the election.
 If you have already registered to vote, use to make sure you know where you are registered (at home, in Dekalb, etc.). Whether you vote early or vote on Nov. 3, you must return to the precinct you are assigned based on your registration.
 Early voting has begun, although dates and times vary by location. Use to look-up your registration and polling information.

 Check out a message from the student senate speaker about the importance of voting and remember, Huskies Vote!

Dean of Students Office Hours…
I want to hear from you! I have virtual office hours once a month and for the month of September, they are today (Sept. 28), 10 a.m. - noon. If you want me to hear something, want to share an experience or just want to talk with a resource, I want to meet with you! To set up a 30-minute appointment, email I am happy to meet with individuals or groups, whatever works best for you.

I look forward to hearing from students this week and to our return to being in-person!

Forward Together,

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

Week of Sept. 28, 2020

Protecting the Pack Updates



Huskie Spotlight

Wellness Tip

From NIU Today

Did You Know?


NIU’s 125th Anniversary


Tell Us What You Think. want to understand your experience to ensure we are best able to support your needs throughout the semester. Take a couple of minutes to complete this four-question survey.

Take the Huskie Pulse survey.

Your responses will be kept confidential and individual responses will not be reported. Thank you for participating in this Huskie Pulse survey.

Protecting the Pack Updates face-to-face classes and in-person activities
The two-week pause of face-to-face classes and activities was challenging and counter to what you had hoped your fall semester would look and feel like. COVID-19 has necessitated that we all adjust in ways that seem unproductive, but our recent actions to reduce exposures has greatly helped address the negative behaviors and trends we were seeing.

Beginning today, we will resume face-to-face classes and lift the restrictions related to essential activities as outlined in the message that President Freeman sent to campus on Friday, Sept. 25.




How do you wear your Red and Black?
We are celebrating our 125th anniversary in style with a virtual fashion show. You’re invited to send us a digital photo showcasing your favorite red and black NIU fashion. It can be casual, professional, athletic or formal. We just want to see how you celebrate NIU.


Please send us an original picture from your camera (horizontal if possible) no later than Oct. 1, 2020 to be included in the 125 Ways to Rock Your Red and Black fashion show. The show will be featured in October as a part of NIU’s Homecoming Week. You should submit their photo using Microsoft Forms.


If you have any questions or need assistance, please contact Director of Community Promotion Jennifer Groce at or Assistant Vice President for Academic Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Monique Bernoudy at

"Art and Soul" BLM street painting event, Thursday, Oct. 1
The Center for Black Studies and the College of Visual and Performing Arts are hosting an art for social justice event, "Art and Soul."  The event will be held on Thursday, October 1, from 1 - 4 p.m. at the main entrance of the university on Castle Drive. The Huskie Buses will be re-routed from noon, Thursday, October 1 until Friday morning. 

The entire community is invited to join together to help paint “Black Lives Matter” on Castle Drive.  Paint, rollers, and brushes will be supplied.

Participants will be limited to 50 at any one time, but you may join in throughout the afternoon to make your mark and show your commitment to social justice.  

All safety measures will be followed.  Masks must be worn, and some will be available at the event.  Wipes will be used to clean the brush handles and rollers after each use.  Safety protocols will be facilitated by members of the Center for Black Studies and students in the College of Visual and Performing Arts.

In addition to the group painting, there will be performances and speakers throughout the event, including singers, jazz ensembles, percussion ensembles, dance improvisation, and readings from a variety of texts.

"The paint used is water-based and non-toxic," said Paul Kassel, Dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts. "It is expected to last through the rest of the fall semester. Though the image may fade, our commitment to social justice and to a strong Huskie community will remain vivid and strong. We believe that one answer to a hateful act is an act of affirmation of our values. It is in that spirit that this event is being held—to testify and signify to all that NIU holds an unshakeable belief that Black Lives Matter."

For more information, email the College of Visual and Performing Arts' Donee Spizzirri at

Stay safe in the event of a fire
The Environmental Health and Safety Department (EH&S) wants students living in the residence halls to stay safe in the event of a fire. Learn more about the department by
visiting their website.

Monday, Sept. 28: Coping Through COVID-19: Self-Care Basics Webinar
Tuesday, Sept. 29: COVID-19 and Nutrition: avoiding illness and achieving wellness
Wednesday, Sept. 30:
All-Majors Internship and Job Fair - Virtual via Huskies Get Hired
Wednesday, Sept. 30: Outdoor Adventures: Weekly Wednesday Hourly Boat Rentals at the East Lagoon
Friday, Oct. 2: Campfire at the West Lagoon
Saturday, Oct. 3: Outdoor Adventures: Yoga Hike
Saturday, Oct. 3:
Spooky STEAM and Creepy Critters
Saturday, Oct. 3: Build-A-Blinkie Soldering Workshops - In Person
Sunday, Oct. 4: Outdoor Adventures: Disc Golf Clinic & Tournament
Monday, Oct. 5:
NIU Esports and STEMFest’s Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Tournament
Wednesday, Oct. 7: Not-So Creepy Critters: Exploring reptiles and amphibians
Saturday, Oct. 10:
Engineering Open House - virtual

View all upcoming events >


Huskie Spotlight


Jason Rivera
I like to visit the fountain at Barsema Hall. Listening to the water helps me feel relaxed and recharged as I reflect on how I spent my day and what I want to accomplish with the rest of it. I also spend time streaming movies and shows, playing video games with friends online, and riding my bike.

Learn more about Jason >


Wellness Tip


Coping through COVID-19
Prioritize your wellness, mental health, and physical health…prioritize YOU with self-care!

Join our FREE self-care webinar series, called Coping Through COVID-19, every Monday at 4 p.m. from Sept. 28 through Nov. 30

Learn more >


From NIU Today


Student academic support available through Supplemental Instruction (SI)
Supplemental Instruction (SI) is a series of weekly review sessions for students taking historically difficult courses.  SI is provided for all students in the course section who want to acquire effective learning strategies and develop an understanding of difficult course material.

Read more at NIU Today >


Did you know?



Learn More.



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.


The Presidential Commissions are established (1980)
While there is some debate over which of NIU’s five presidential commissions was officially first, there is little doubt that they have over the past four decades provided tremendous insight into the needs and concerns of specific constituencies. Learn more about the history of the Presidential Commissions.

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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.