COVID-19 Resources

COVID-19 Information

Finlandia's Safe Open Plan 2021-2022

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.

On-Campus Students

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:

  • •The American College Health Association urges college students to schedule their COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible and not to delay.
  • •Protection from COVID for you, your family and friends.
  • •No quarantine if exposed.
  • •Optional masks.
  • •Help allow a normal fall with more in-person events and traditions.
  • •Protection from severe illness and hospitalization.

CDC Recommendations

American College Health Association

MIOSHA Emergency Rules


The Finlandia difference

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 Students


COVID-19 Dashboard & FAQs


COVID-19 Campus News


First Year Experience


Campus Ministry Support


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:

  1. Sunday Stories – to inspire, offer healthy practices, and connect with your Finlandia community – you can look for these each Sunday evening via email.
  2. Instagram – For a daily meditation, prayer, or uplift – follow #FinnU_Faithlife on Instagram.
  3. Zoom-Check-ins: Need a listening ear?  Pr. Sarah is available for individual Zoom sessions, to support you, ask questions, and offer prayer as needed. Email her directly to sign up (sarah.semmlersmith@finlandia.edu) or through the link provided in Sunday Stories.

Mental Health Services

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:

American Psychological Association

Self Care and New Ways of Working

Opening Safe for All

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.

Community Standards

Safety and Wellness Policy Enforcement
  • Campus Safety and Security personnel will address policy violations.
  • Supervisors will ensure departmental staff compliance.
  • Housing staff, including resident advisors, will be empowered to issue warnings, and repeat offenders would be sent through the University’s student disciplinary procedures for violating University policy.
  • Maxient, a campus safety/security reporting software, is available to all community members so they themselves can report violations for follow up from Campus Safety and Security.
Bias Based Discrimination and Stigmatization
What is cognitive bias?
  • Cognitive bias is when humans filter information in a way that helps to simplify it so that it results in inaccurate assumptions.
What is stigmatization?
  • Stigmatization is when humans make negative assumptions about people or groups of people based on perceived or real differences, which can lead to discrimination.

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

Finlandia’s Equity Policy is available here.

It is more important than ever for the Finlandia community to treat one another with kindness and respect.