From the Desk of the Dean of Students

December 15, 2020


Dear students,


Congratulations on completing an unusual but rewarding semester. Our hope is that you will look back on this experience and recognize that you are capable of meeting challenges head-on and are surrounded by a Huskie family that supports your success.


I want to make you aware of some important updates to our COVID-19 testing plans that might impact you directly. Please note:


  • Beginning the first week of January, NIU will start to use the SHIELD Illinois COVID-19 Test developed by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The saliva-based COVID-19 test is a non-invasive test that simply requires an individual to deposit a saliva sample into a provided vial at the on-campus testing site in the Holmes Student Center. Samples are then transported to a network of lab partners that will process and return results typically within 24 hours. There is no charge to students who are required to participate.


  • Residence hall students will test prior to moving back on campus in January and every other week (bi-weekly) throughout the semester. For move-in, we are pleased to be able to offer you free, on-campus testing and results typically within 24 hours. Specific information will be sent to these students from Housing later this week, and timely responses are required.


  • Northern View apartment students will now be included in surveillance testing and will test every other week (bi-weekly) beginning in January.  


  • The following groups are also required to participate in surveillance testing:
  • In-person class participants: Students, faculty, instructors or graduate assistants participating in classes that are entirely held in person will be tested every four weeks.
  • Students who work in residence halls: Student-employees in these areas will be tested every two to four weeks.
  • Child Development and Family Center (CDFC) Employees: Students who work in the CDFC will be tested weekly.
  • Student-athletes and select Athletics staff: Schedules vary as required by the NCAA and MAC.

Additional information and instructions will be emailed to surveillance participants in the coming days and weeks.


  • NIU and our health department partners will offer free COVID-19 testing for off-campus students on the first and second days of classes (Jan. 11 and 12). A reminder and instructions will be emailed to students the weeks of Jan. 4 and 11.


It’s important for all Huskies that you keep checking your email during the holiday break and follow any instructions you receive.


On behalf of all of our faculty and staff, we wish you a safe, healthy and restful break and look forward to your return in January.


Forward Together,


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

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