When she got the call with orders to quarantine at her on-campus apartment at SVSU, Paige Dejohn initially felt frustrated by the prospect of spending so much time by herself. Looking back now — only days after her required quarantine period expired — the sophomore from Kimball, Michigan, said she never felt alone. In fact, she was delighted that she made a few new friends because of her circumstances.
“It was a good experience, even though the reasons I had the experience weren’t so good,” she said.
One of Dejohn’s roommates tested positive for COVID-19. As a result, all four women in the four-bedroom residential housing unit were required to quarantine for two weeks until Tuesday, Oct. 6.
Dejohn spent the duration of that quarantine period in the two-story apartment. The roommate who tested positive was moved to a different on-campus apartment, where she was separated from others. The other two women left campus to live with family during their quarantine period.
Dejohn spent her two weeks attending classes via her laptop, playing video games with her family remotely, cooking meals using ingredients delivered by Dining Services, streaming shows on Netflix, tending to a plant, and enjoying the company of SVSU staff members who checked on her regularly over the phone.
She said she likely enjoyed the quarantine more than her peers at other colleges, where some students have reported a lack of assistance from staff coupled with intense feelings of isolation.
“I had a great support system of people here at SVSU,” Dejohn said. “I missed being able to see people, but I also met people I wouldn’t have otherwise met.”
We have received several questions from students, faculty and staff on what happens after calling the NEST Info Line, how testing results will be communicated and how quarantine on and off campus would look.
To answer these questions, we have developed a number of flow charts and guides as resources for the campus community.
It is critical that all members of the campus community are knowledgeable of these university-wide processes. The NEST team has spent several weeks developing communication flows and guidelines in partnership with local healthcare experts that are meant to make this time easier for individuals who may need to pursue testing, quarantine or isolate.
Please review the resources linked here, share them with your peers and colleagues and be on the look out for additional resources as they are made available in the coming days.
SVSU is restricting visitors to campus in the interest of everyone’s health and safety, and we have updated our COVID-19 Visitor Policy, which is available online. The policy provides guidelines for visitors entering campus facilities, including which facilities visitors are not allowed to enter. If you are a visitor or know a visitor who plans to enter SVSU facilities, please read the policy prior to the visit.
Visitors — as well as students, staff and faculty — must complete the CampusClear app health screen form before entering a campus facility.
Students: The Nov. 3 election is less than a month away. Do you have a plan to vote?
Members of Cardinals Vote, a non-partisan campus organization dedicated to helping students participate in elections, will be providing voting resources and information across campus in the coming weeks. The group's goals involve helping students navigate the voter registration process, including residential students who would like to vote in person or absentee.
For information on Cardinals Vote and what it means to participate in the election while at SVSU during a pandemic, visit the Cardinals Vote website.
Students also can go online to check their voter registration status.
The state's Michigan Voter Information Center website also provides voting FAQs, absentee ballot applications and more.
When you participate in SVSU's voluntary testing program for COVID-19, members of the campus community can enjoy a $5 Starbucks gift certificate by agreeing to volunteer. Check your e-mail for details on next Tuesday’s testing on campus. The program will help SVSU continue to provide a safer, healthier campus environment.
In July, SVSU established the NEST Info Line, a phone number members of the campus community could call to ask questions related to health and safety measures enacted for the fall semester. On the other end of that line are members of the Conference Center at SVSU. The following is the third in a trilogy of profiles acquainting readers with the friendly operators answering calls there.
When Heather O’Hearn says she can relate to the parents who call the NEST Info Line concerned about their child, she means it. The senior event coordinator for The Conference Center at SVSU, after all, is the mother of a student here.
The Millington native’s “people person” personality allows her to easily calm the concerns of her peers in parenting as they ask questions relating to the guidelines and programs aimed at keeping the campus community healthier.
“I’m very thankful we get to do this and that I get to be able to put a lot of minds at ease,” O’Hearn said. “These students are not just a number, and I like to assure their parents about that. They’re a part of the family here at SVSU.”
O’Hearn’s biological family includes a 26-year-old daughter, Alexandria McGregor, an alumna now seeking a master’s degree in occupational therapy at SVSU.
O’Hearn said family is important to her. She also is the proud parent of a 24-year-old son who, as a teenager, attended his high school prom at SVSU. Helping to coordinate the prom as part of The Conference Center at SVSU staff was his mother.
“I do typically like to attend the proms we host here, to make sure everything goes as planned, but I let someone else cover for me that night,” she said. “I don’t think he would have wanted his mom there during his prom.”
Helping high schools organize proms at SVSU and coordinating with families planning weddings at the campus were among O’Hearn’s favorite responsibilities before they were temporarily ceased by the pandemic.
“I love talking with people, getting their ideas, and then helping them see those ideas comes to life,” she said. “Proms are probably my favorite. I love that energy.”
O’Hearn joined The Conference Center at SVSU staff in a part-time capacity in 2009 before moving to full-time status in 2010.
If you have questions related to SVSU’s return to campus this fall, operators are available to answer questions at the NEST Info Line at (989) 964-2110. Hours are weekdays from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.; and weekends from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m
Looking to enjoy the region, especially during the upcoming weekend, when temperatures may reach the 70s? Go Great Lakes Bay, a region-centric website, recently provided a list of outdoor activities and sites to visit during this particularly-scenic season. Read the list of suggestions here
While completing the CampusClear health screening survey is required to enter campus, medical experts are encouraging the campus community to fill out the survey daily, even when you will not be visiting campus.
The consistent usage will allow SVSU to monitor the health and wellness of students, staff and faculty regardless of whether or not they spend considerable time on campus.
Email your questions or concerns to firstname.lastname@example.org.
NEST Info Line