Students in field

Erin Barnett Discusses Safe Open, Giving Day on Finlandia Fridays Season 5 Opener

August 28, 2020

A student checks-in at Finlandia Hall during new student move-in.

Finlandia Fridays is back for Season 5! To kick the season off, host Olivia Myers talked with Dean of Students Erin Barnett about Finlandia’s Safe Open Plan for the Fall 2020 semester.

Barnett discussed Finlandia’s baseline testing and the planning that went into opening the campus safely for face-to-face instruction. Results are still pending for a handful of students, but as of Friday morning, only one student tested positive for Covid-19. That student was asymptomatic and contact tracing was done through the Western Upper Peninsula Health Department.

“Baseline testing has been just fantastic,” said Barnett. “We did have a positive case that showed up and, thankfully, that student had obeyed the quarantine orders until those results came in. We were able to isolate that student, and quarantine the roommate, both of whom were asymptomatic. But the health department was right on top of it and we were able to contain that situation quite quickly.”

Barnett and Myers also discussed the upcoming Finlandia Alumni Board Giving Day on September 1, which aims to raise $30,000 to cover the cost of baseline testing, personal protective equipment (PPE) and other necessary upgrades to the campus to prevent the spread of Covid-19. Donations will be accepted online, by phone or via mail.

“It’s that community effort,” said Barnett. “We all realize we have to do our part to keep our community safe, and I do think the positive case demonstrated that when we all do our part the systems work well and we are able to keep each other safe.”




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Thanks for checking out Finlandia Fridays, one of four podcasts in the Finlandia University Podcast Network. Finlandia Fridays is a weekly interview series talking about a wide range of Finlandia University topics. You can check out an archive at finlandia.edu/fridays. We also invite you to subscribe to the Finlandia Podcast Network wherever you get podcasts.

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