The latest campus-wide updates.
Since the pandemic began, Finlandia University has worked closely with the Western Upper Peninsula Health Department and relied upon the guidance of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and the CDC to carry out its primary mission of educating students in a healthy and safe manner. Through effective planning, Finlandia succeeded in providing safely-distanced in-person instruction and serving students on campus for the 2020-2021 academic year. We will continue to offer a safe face-to-face learning experience in the coming academic year. We strongly encourage students to get vaccinated and will continue to do so. While these vaccines are safe and effective, it is an individual decision to receive one and will not be required to be a part of our campus community.
Although Finlandia University will not require a COVID-19 vaccination for students for the fall semester, Finlandia University strongly encourages everyone to get vaccinated as soon as possible. The extent to which Finlandia can provide a full, normal fall experience is dependent on the information we have regarding vaccination status of the campus community over the next few months.
Students residing in Finlandia Hall are required to submit their vaccine status to the Office of Residential Life before 4:00pm on August 27th. Failure to meet this requirement may result in classes being dropped. Non-vaccinated students who reside on campus will be required to submit to weekly COVID-19 surveillance tests. The percentage of residential students who are vaccinated will have a bearing on policies related to residence hall visitation and access to common lounges for the academic year.
We all yearn for a return to normal. Our campus community can accelerate our path to normal by getting vaccinated against COVID-19 as soon as possible. There are many compelling reasons to go ahead and get vaccinated now:
In 2020, Finlandia’s Open Safe Taskforce, in partnership with the Western Upper Peninsula Health Department and the Finlandia Emergency Management Committee, worked diligently to prepare campus for the return of students. Across campus, new policies were implemented to ensure the safety of students, faculty and staff. Throughout the past year, Finlandia has continued to refine safety provisions and accelerate learning capabilities.
Through hard work, sacrifice, and sisu, Finlandia has adapted through COVID-19 to stand by its mission. FinnU even found a way to hold an in-person graduation ceremony. Finlandia has proven to be not only safe, but abundantly caring and will continue to prioritize the health, safety and welfare of students, faculty, staff, and neighbors in the Hancock community. Finlandia progresses through an ever-changing and fast-paced world, peering through the lenses of academic excellence, spiritual growth and service, always daring to become a better version of herself.
We encourage you to do the same!
For emotional, spiritual, or social support during this time of physical isolation, look for these resources coming from Finlandia and the office of Campus Pastor:
It is not uncommon at this time to experience anxiety. As with any significant change or health
concern, there may be an increase in existing mental health condition symptoms or a triggering
of new ones. Finlandia students and employees are eligible for free counseling via Northstar
and can use this link to request an appointment. Northstar has counselors across the Upper
Additional Mental Health Resources:
Finlandia is committed to opening safe for all. The systemic racism that contributed to the violent killing of George Floyd and other black Americans in the past weeks calls us to reaffirm Finlandia’s essential commitment to foster enduring positive change in how we think, act, and feel in matters of the self, others, and the wider world.
Finlandia is small. We are multi-colored. We are from various faith traditions and no faith traditions. We are rural and urban. We are gay and straight. We are local. We are from coast to coast and beyond. The common calling of ELCA Lutheran higher education urges the practice of radical hospitality, of service to neighbor, of bold questioning, and to love one another as God has loved us. We welcome all to learn from all so that all may flourish. Finlandia’s spiritual and intellectual tradition calls us to embrace and value each story, in order to more fully understand and celebrate our differentness and work toward a more just and peaceful world. To this we aspire. This is our shared vision. You are welcome here.
Opening safe for all means thoughtfully and deliberately preparing for a year of honest talk, deeper reflection, and sustained action. This work may be unfamiliar and uncomfortable for many. We will not all hold similar convictions or draw the same conclusions. Perhaps the riskiest work of all is the journey inward; exploring and naming one’s own deeply seated motivations, assumptions, and fears. Finlandia is committed to accompanying you in your daring self-examination as well as in your unique self-expression. In all of this, our community’s speech and action will be life-giving, not life-diminishing.
Over the coming weeks I will work and learn with you, our campus pastor, our equity and diversity committee, and other faculty and staff. We will imagine meaningful ways to foster conversations, encourage reflection, and engage in constructive action that leads toward enduring positive change in how we think, act, and feel in such matters. We will be doing this together because Finlandia believes opening safe for all matters as much as a safe open.
The fear and anxiety caused by the COVID-19 outbreak has provoked cognitive bias and discriminatory behaviors against people of certain ethnic backgrounds as well as anyone perceived to have been in contact with the virus. That fear and anxiety can also create a stigma aimed toward specific people, groups of people or places, which can lead to discrimination, labeling or stereotyping. We know that people of all races, ethnicities, religions, genders, sexual orientations, ages, and physical abilities are susceptible to COVID-19.
Finlandia University is committed to creating and maintaining an environment in which all members of the community (students, faculty, and staff) are respected and treated with dignity, free from bias and harassment.
We encourage victims of hate crimes, harassment, or bias to report the incident to the appropriate authorities or use the Maxient reporting form.
It is more important than ever for the Finlandia community to treat one another with kindness and respect.