This week’s update includes information about COVID-19 and the upcoming election, the Election Day holiday, getting involved on campus, fall break, and testing locations. 

Visit the University’s Coronavirus website for the most up-to-date information and guidance. Questions can be emailed to 

COVID-19 and the Upcoming Election
Civic engagement, one of Illinois State University’s core values, includes voting. The Redbird Voter Guide is the best election resource for our campus community and includes information on voter registration and voting, candidates running for office, and post-election guides.  

Illinois State also offers TurboVote (available via the Voter Guide) to help students register to vote. In Illinois, the deadline for online voter registration is October 18. Illinois also offers same-day, in-person voter registration during early voting or on Election Day 

Early voting is available for anyone in McLean County (except Bloomington voters) at the Bone Student Center and Watterson Towers, October 26–30. Early voting for Bloomington residents is available at Grossinger Motors Arena or Eastland Mall through November 2. During this timeframe, individuals can register and vote at the same time. Proper identification is required for same-day registration.  

When voting on Election Day, please also note that your polling place might have changed due to the pandemic. To save yourself time, determine your polling place before heading to the polls.  

As Election Day approaches, please keep in mind ways to protect yourself and others as you cast your ballot in the upcoming election. The CDC offers recommendations for voters; these recommendations include taking advantage of early voting or voting alternatives where available in order to minimize crowds on Election Day and limit the number of people you come in contact with at the polls.  

Election Day Holiday
Election Day, November 3, 2020, has been designated by the State as a one-time holiday and will be observed as such on campus. No classes will be held; however, essential on-campus services such as, but not limited to, residence halls, both dining centers, and retail dining in the Bone Student Center, will remain available for students. COVID-19 testing for asymptomatic students will be available at the two on-campus testing sites on November 3. Unless otherwise indicated, all University departments will be closed and staff assigned to those departments, whether working on-campus or remotely, will be off work in observance of the holiday. Employees who are required to work to maintain essential services on this day will be compensated in accordance with University policies. 

Students–Get Involved in Activities and Events
The Redbird Life portal is where student involvement at Illinois State starts. Search organizations and their meeting times, find events, and join those organizations you’re interested in. Take a look at the following events and activities and find something that interests you! 

Events with an in-person component: 

  • Tea at Three is a weekly open space conversation on leadership as it relates to current events, personal development, community storytelling, and more. This program is held in the Student Involvement Center on the second floor of the Bone Student Center every Tuesday at 3 p.m. 
  • University Program Board’s drive-in movie featuring Black Panther will be held in a campus parking lot on November 5 at 6 p.m. Reservations are required through Redbird Life. 
  • University Program Board’s Late Night Event, Chillax, featuring virtual drag bingo with Kennedy Davenport, will be held October 23 at 8 p.m. Stress relief take and make kits can be picked up from the Brown Ballroom during the event time. Find more information in Redbird Life. 
  • University Program Board’s Pumpkin Painting will feature virtual streaming of the movie Beetlejuice. Pumpkin painting kits can be picked up from the UPB office in the Student Involvement Center on the second floor of the Bone Student Center on October 27 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Find more information in Redbird Life. 

 Events that are virtual: 

  • Support your fellow Redbirds, Manina Dismuke and Naudia Williams, in America’s Best College Poet Competition. Manina will perform in the semi-final round on October 18 at 7 p.m. and if she moves on, she will join Naudia in the final round on October 23 at 7 p.m. Find more information in Redbird Life. 
  • University Program Board’s (UPB) virtual concert “Mischief Night” featuring Jason Derulo, Avenue Beat, and Rico Nasty will be held October 30 at 7 p.m.  
  • University Program Board’s Virtual Meditation featuring Umi will be a guided meditation by the singer on November 6 at 7 p.m. Find more information in Redbird Life. 
  • University Program Board’s virtual Yoga event will feature a YouTube celebrity guest host TBD on November 13 at 7 p.m. Find more information in Redbird Life. 
  • A duo of popular and influential speakers, Bert and Det, will present Healing Justice Circles: Election Edition at 4 p.m. on October 16 via Zoom. Those interested in attending can register here. 
  • Enter Milner Library’s Two Sentence Horror Story Contest; tell the scariest story you can, in 400 characters or less. Submit your best two sentence horror story by Friday, October 23 at 11:59 p.m. to be entered. 

Fall Break
As fall break and the Thanksgiving Day holiday near, this is a reminder that Illinois State will follow the published fall academic calendar with Election Day added as a holiday.  

The fall 2020 semester will end Friday, December 11. The University will move to online instruction after fall break beginning Monday, November 30. While face-to-face and hybrid instruction will end at noon on Saturday, November 21, instruction will continue online through the end of the semester. This impacts one week of regular classroom instruction and finals week. Final examinations will be delivered online. Clinical and experiential activities will be addressed on a program-by-program basis. 

Illinois State services will operate normally through the end of the semester. Residence halls and dining centers will remain open, as will the Student Fitness Center, the Bone Student Center, Student Health Services, academic support units, and other offices that provide university services to students, faculty, and staff, and facilitate university operations.   

This decision was originally communicated on July 9 in an email from President Dietz to students, faculty, and staff and was made to provide students who can stay home with the opportunity to do so and to potentially de-densify campus immediately following fall break and the Thanksgiving holiday—when many students, faculty, and staff visit with friends and family as well as travel. Such activities increase exposure to risks associated with the spread of COVID-19 and coincide with the beginning of flu season. 

Symptomatic COVID-19 testing will remain available at Student Health Services Monday-Wednesday, November 23-25 On-campus testing sites for asymptomatic students will be closed the week of fall break.  On-campus COVID-19 testing for students will remain available after the break. Students are strongly encouraged to be tested upon their return to campus.

Testing Locations
Asymptomatic COVID-19 testing for students will continue at the temporary building in the parking lot between Watterson Towers and Stevenson Hall and the fire station at 602 N. Adelaide St., Normal. Both locations are open from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Students experiencing symptoms should call Student Health Services at (309) 438-7676 for an initial screening and to make an appointment to be tested. 

Required testing for students living in on-campus housing is on-going. Student employees and students enrolled in a face-to-face or hybrid course are strongly encouraged to test at one of the two on-campus COVID-19 testing sites. Students from these populations are randomly selected for this screening and more information is provided via email to selected students. 

Testing is available for students, faculty, and staff at the Interstate Center testing site. Students testing at this site should share positive test results with Student Health Services by uploading them to the Secure Patient Health Portal. Sharing test results will ensure students have proper documentation for classes, housing, and/or employment.