SMC heading back to campus

DOWAGIAC — Southwestern Michigan College will move to Phase 3 of its Campus Reopening Plan this weekend in preparation for the fall semester.

Offices on both campuses in Dowagiac and Niles will be open to students, employees and the public during regular business hours of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. starting Monday, Aug. 31. Business will also continue remotely for those who prefer that option to complete fall registration. Classes begin Tuesday, Sept. 8.

Masks are required on campus, and COVID-19 protocols such as distancing and sanitizing remain in effect. All students, faculty and staff will check in daily with a symptom-screening app.

Residential students begin moving into Jerdon, White and McKenzie halls in phases between Sunday, Aug. 30, and Friday, Sept. 4, during welcome week.

The Fred L. Mathews Library reopens from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Aug. 31 after being closed since mid-March. Normal hours, effective Sept. 8, are 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Fridays.

Bookstore hours will be 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Fridays.

The lobby and game room of the student activity center will be available to those with a valid college ID. Zollar Café will be open for limited service starting the first day of classes.

The fitness center, pools, gymnasium, fitness studio and locker rooms remain closed until further notice, per current restrictions for this region in Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s MI Safe Start Plan.

Most Welcome Week events take place virtually to help Roadrunners meet other students and staff, engage in campus life and locate available resources while keeping everyone safe and healthy.

Student services departments — first year experience, residence life, the testing center, financial aid, the bookstore, records, academic advising and resource center, student activity center, help desk, Library/Carole A. Tate Teaching and Learning Center and Business and English/communications faculty —participate in Passport, a three-day virtual campus adventure. Checking in with each department could win the attendee one of two $500 scholarships for spring 2021.

There will be a mental health virtual townhall to meet campus counselor Candyce Buysse, an online eSports tournament, an online new student convocation, an online workout and a virtual townhall with President Dr. Joe Odenwald.

Sept. 2 and 3 feature the first-ever Roadrunner Run, a digital one-mile fun run. Take a selfie while completing a mile on or off-campus. All participants receive medals.

Capping welcome Week activities Sept. 4 will be a burger/hot dog take away from the SAC patio before an outdoor movie projected on a large screen in the intramural field, with lawn games and other activities available. “Pitch Perfect” won a summer bracket tournament as the students’ choice, edging out “Good Will Hunting” in the championship round.

Campus Life staff developed a series of videos to view any time, including a guided tour of the trails for running or mountain biking, low-cost tips to spice up such college staples as ramen and frozen pizza with Zollar Café’s Jocelyne Tuszynski, Branden Pompey’s stroll around downtown Dowagiac and Professor Dr. Mary Young-Marcks’ voter registration primer.

The latest information and all documents pertaining to SMC’s plans and COVID-19 response are available on the school’s website.

Education

Niles Community Schools’ remote platform allows students to go at own pace

Business

Dowagiac business donates backpacks, school supplies to students in need

Cassopolis

Miss Cassopolis Scholarship Program hosting school supply drive

Berrien County

Berrien County Health department gets blunt on marijuana education, safety

Cass County

Two Dowagiac men sentenced Friday in Cass County Court

Cass County

Cass County works to expand broadband access

Edwardsburg

Ontwa Township passes 2.25 percent millage increase

Berrien County

Local talent development leader honored by Michigan Works! Association

Cassopolis

Cassopolis awards preliminary marijuana licenses

News

Niles police chief looks forward to continuing work with city, two departments

Cass County

North Pointe Center class partners with church for cemetery cleanup project

Berrien County

COVID-19 UPDATE: Michigan sees 113,863 cases, 6,623 deaths

Cassopolis

Cass County to partake in annual Crop Hunger Walk

Brandywine Education

Performing Arts Workshops launches memorial fundraising campaign

News

Court of Appeals rules secretary Benson acted lawfully in mailing absentee voter ballot applications to registered voters

Dowagiac

SMC welcomes new dean of business, advanced technology

Dowagiac

Dowagiac Elks to host annual Guys & Dolls Golf Outing

Cass County

Michigan Works! closes central office, opens three new locations

Berrien County

MSP traffic stop data reveals need for deeper study

Berrien County

Ballard staff member tests positive for COVID-19

Cass County

Two arrested on meth charges in Pokagon Township

Berrien County

Lakeland Heart and Vascular earns testing reaccreditation by IAC

News

Court of Appeals: Absentee ballot mailers were lawfully distributed

Cassopolis

Our Father’s Family Keeper Ministries helps families in need during pandemic