Prepare for a week of celebration
Dear students, colleagues and friends,
I hope you will forgive the length of today's update: We have many things to celebrate, and I imagine (and hope) that students may not be checking email during the two fall wellness days next week. Today, I am excited to share news with you about our progress on COVID-19, upcoming cultural awareness days and our CMU Homecoming events, which include some unique first-time events.
Our campus vaccination rate continued to climb this week, topping 75% for students, faculty and staff. I am grateful to every individual who has chosen to set the leadership standard by completing their vaccinations: Thank you for protecting yourself and others. If you have not yet been vaccinated and wish to receive your dose, vaccines are still available and free on campus.
We also saw a drop in the number of positive cases within our campus community this week. Thank you for continuing to wear masks and take precautions to reduce the spread of COVID-19 at CMU. Your efforts truly are making a positive difference.
Celebrating Indigenous People's Day
Monday, Oct. 11, is Indigenous People's Day, honoring the Native people who were the first inhabitants of this land. To honor this day, the Ziibiwing Center, a cultural center operated by the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe, is offering free admission for everyone.
I highly encourage our students, faculty, staff and community partners to explore the center and to learn more about the history, culture and heritage of local Indigenous people. You also can learn more by visiting CMU's Native American Programs webpage.
Honoring National Coming Out Day
Monday also is the 33rd National Coming Out Day. To our students, faculty and staff in the LGBTQ+ community: We see you and support you, and we are glad to call you part of our university community.
All month long, the Office of LGBTQ+ Services is offering programs and activities in honor of LGBTQ History Month. Whether you identify as a member of the LGBTQ+ community or wish to be a better ally, these events are wonderful opportunities to meet new people and to help create a more inclusive and welcoming community at CMU.
Fire Up for Homecoming
Next week, we will invite alumni, family and friends back to CMU for our first Homecoming celebrations since 2019. We are truly Fired Up to showcase our beautiful campus decked out in the maroon and gold colors of fall.
The Office of Student Activities and Involvement is hosting several events for students next week, beginning Wednesday, Oct. 13. These are a great way to meet new people while participating in some fantastic CMU traditions, such as the Medallion Hunt and Rock Rally.
Students, faculty, staff, community members, alumni and friends also are welcome to participate in CMU traditions, such as the CMU Homecoming 5K benefiting Special Olympics, the Homecoming parade and tailgate event. You can find a calendar of events on the Alumni Association Homecoming page.
This year, CMU's Black Alumni Association has partnered with the Office of Diversity Education to bring two exciting special guests to campus. Olympian Cullen Jones will visit campus Thursday, Oct. 14, to share his experiences in a panel discussion facilitated by two CMU graduates, and rapper Rakim will perform live at Plachta Auditorium Saturday, Oct. 16. Both events are free and open to the public.
World Mental Health Day
After more than 18 months of pandemic-related challenges, many of us are experiencing elevated stress and anxiety. We have all been asked to shift our routines and schedules in a variety of ways, and we have all been impacted by these changes.
Sunday, Oct. 10 is World Mental Health Day, a good day to pause and reflect on our own mental health status. CMU's Counseling Center is inviting members of our campus community to share the ways they care for their mental health with a special flag installation on campus. Learn more about the project and find ways to participate on the Mental Health Matters at CMU page.
We are a community that lifts each other up through our words and actions. As we approach the midpoint of the semester, we all are feeling the stress of exams and approaching deadlines. Let us make it a point to treat everyone with extra compassion and to practice patience in our interactions with others.
Thank you for all you continue to do for each other and for our university community.
Bob Davies, Ph.D.
Central Michigan University
Blog: COVID-19 communications posted | Author: by Bob Davies, CMU President