We are so happy to welcome you to a new academic year! As you make plans for learning and thriving at MSU, we write to remind you of our five key (re)orientation suggestions to help ensure a smooth start to your semester:
1) Take care of yourself and others
To keep our campus community as safe as possible, all individuals are required to wear masks indoors. This includes all campus buildings and other MSU facilities in East Lansing and throughout the state.
All students, faculty, and staff are required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 with an FDA-authorized or WHO-approved vaccine. If you completed a medical or religious exemption request you will hear from us over the next week about your status.
As valued members of the larger MSU community, on- and off-campus, students should familiarize themselves with key MSU policies and values. Please review The Spartan Way: Our Community Commitment to learn more.
As we band together to mitigate the impact of COVID-19, contact tracing is a valuable tool. Students are expected to fully cooperate with the contract tracing process. It is important that you pick up the phone when you see a number from a 517 area code because it might be the Ingham County Health Department or MSU COVID-19 Triage Team contacting you.
If you have not already signed up for Spartan Spit, MSU’s Early Detection Program, you should. It is free and very easy. Once a week you will drop off a sample of spit at any conveniently located collection site to be tested for COVID-19, and you will get the results of your test the next day. Sign up for Spartan Spit here.
MSU has made deliberate efforts and investments to improve and expand resources in support of students’ mental health and wellness, which plays a central role in enabling students’ intellectual health and academic success. Counseling and Psychiatric Services (CAPS) provides a broad range of resources and services, including triage, consultation, counseling (for individuals, couples, and a host of groups), psychiatric care, referral services, and outreach.
2) Fully participate in classrooms and labs
Check the Academic Calendar frequently for important dates. Important dates this month include:
- September 8 – Last day to add a course to your schedule
- September 27 – End of Tuition Refund Period
For students who expect to graduate in Fall 2021: The Graduation Application is now available at student.msu.edu. After clicking on the Academic Progress tile, you will see a link to Apply for Graduation in the left-hand navigation under the Graduation heading. The application is currently only open for students who are expected to graduate in Fall 2021. Students expected to graduate in Spring 2022 will be able to apply after Nov. 1, 2021. If you were expecting to graduate this fall but cannot access the graduation application, please contact your academic adviser.
If you have questions about what you need to graduate or your academic journey in general, contact your academic advisor today.
New this semester are Fall Break days — Monday and Tuesday, October 25 and 26. Classes will not be in session on these days to give everyone a much-needed break in the middle of the semester. We hope the long weekend gives you a chance to relax and recharge.
3) Find your way, engage, make connections
My Spartan Story is an interactive platform that lets you capture your educational experiences outside the classroom and integrate them into your official Spartan Experience Record. Find opportunities and log your experience in leadership programs, student employment, research positions, internships, and civic engagement opportunities, and they’ll be added to your MSU-validated record.
Seeking a campus job or internship this academic year? The Career Exploration Center at the Career Services Network (CSN) in the Student Services Building offers daily drop-in hours, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Monday-Friday, to support your interests and needs. You can also schedule an advising appointment through Handshake. If you are looking for a convenient job in your on-campus neighborhood, RHS has many student job postings.
Are you ready to connect with employers as you prepare for an internship or full-time career? Participate in one of our 30+ Fall Career Fairs, sign up for an interview or participate in one of the hundreds of employer info sessions available. For more information, visit the CSN website.
Seniors can book a yearbook portrait session. Photos will be included in the Red Cedar Log Yearbook. You may book your appointment here. Pricing for optional packages is available when booking your appointment. For questions about portraits, email email@example.com.
Explore Campus Dining! Eat at State offers a variety of options for dining, including grab-and-go locations, Combo-X-Change and mobile ordering. Visit eatatstate.msu.edu for the latest locations and hours. More locations and hours will be added as the semester progresses.
Whether your roommate is a friend or someone you have just met, create a Roommate Agreement! Outline room and common area expectations and allow each person to voice their opinions and express feelings openly. If something is bugging you, talk about it early before it builds up. Your RA can provide a template and assist with conversations too.
As you have begun to settle in, we hope you were able to enjoy some of the Fall Welcome events, including Sparticipation and Greek Fall Welcome. There’s still a couple of events to check out this week - Spartan Remix, from 6-9 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 9, at People’s Park, and the Health, Wellness and Club Sports Fair, from 3-5 p.m., Sept. 10, on Munn Field. Also, be sure to explore the 1,000+ Registered Student Organizations (RSOs) on Involve@State. The RSOs are excited and ready for you to be involved and engaged at MSU! For more information on RSOs, visit the RSO Resource Page.
4) Get involved outside the classroom
Don’t forget to activate your membership with Recreational Sports and Fitness Services (RSFS) where there are numerous opportunities to stay active and engaged. To activate your membership, go to recsports.msu.edu and follow these instructions:
- Scroll down to Membership
- Acknowledge the mask mandate (masks are required inside all RSFS facilities)
- Set up profile (click the hyperlink)
- Fill out your user info. You will need your MSU ID for this – use the barcode 14-digit number on the front
- On the final page, scroll down to “Activate your free membership!” button and click it
At the IM Sports East and IM Sports West facilities, you can shoot a round of hoops or swim some laps; there is something for everyone! Fitness Centers at IM Sports East and IM Sports West will help you maintain your fitness goals. You may consider joining an Intramural Sports or Club Sport team if you’re looking for regular, organized play. There is also an indoor track at IM Sports East if the weather gets too harsh outside. Check the Recreational Sports and Fitness Services (RSFS) website for hours of operation and more information.
Nearly 8,000 Spartans provided valuable feedback in the RSFS survey about why recreational facilities are important for student success and the activity areas that are of the utmost importance to our current and future users. The survey results, along with the full feasibility study, will be provided to the Board of Trustees (BOT) in October.
Spartan Athletics events are officially underway on campus, including this Saturday’s football home opener. Students can still purchase admissions for football and hockey, and memberships for the Izzone, at msuspartans.com/STX.
All other home athletic events are free with your MSU student ID. Support our volleyball, men’s and women’s soccer, and field hockey teams this month on campus. For more information on Michigan State student sections, visit msuspartans.com/studentsections or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Did you know that MSU is home to the world-class Wharton Center, where multiple performance venues host national touring acts, concerts, and student performances? Wharton Center’s single ticket sales begin in early September and include student tickets for many upcoming events. Season event information can be found here on the Wharton Center website.
5) Connect with important resources
Billing: If you are paying your MSU bills with a payment plan, remember that the third installment due date is October 1. If you have questions about your bill, contact Student Accounts at 517-355-3343. If you have questions about your financial aid, call 517-353-5940 to speak with an advisor, or email at email@example.com.
Financial Aid: Remember that the first deferred fall semester 2021 payment is due October 1. It’s also a good time to start planning for next year’s FAFSA for fall 2022 through summer 2023 semesters, which will be available online to do on October 1.
Tech Tools & Services: Having a problem with technology? Tech.msu.edu has a variety of resources to help. If you can’t find what you are looking for, the MSU IT Service Desk is always here for support. Phone (517) 432-6200 or toll free at (844) 678-6200. Due to the new semester beginning and return of students, faculty, and staff to campus, the MSU IT Service Desk is receiving an extremely high volume of requests. Longer than normal response times should be expected, but your request is important to us and we will help you as soon as we can.
The entire campus community will work through the fall semester to make sure you are adjusting to being in the classroom, building connections, engaging on campus to support your learning and growth, and processing transitions and loss from last year. We hope these Fall (Re)orientation resources help make your year filled with support and opportunity. Please check your MSU email regularly for continued updates and reminders.
If you have any questions about anything related to MSU, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Senior Vice President for Residential and Hospitality Services and Auxiliary Enterprises, and
Interim Vice President for Student Affairs and Services
Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education and Dean of Undergraduate Studies