Aerial view of the Dowagiac campus

SMC heading back to campus for fall semester

08/27/2020 - 4pm

Southwestern Michigan College moves to Phase 3 of its Campus Reopening Plan this weekend in preparation for 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.-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. 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.

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

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

The lobby and game room of the Student Activity Center (SAC) 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 (FYE), Residence Life, the Testing Center, Financial Aid, the Bookstore, Records, Academic Advising and Resource Center (AARC), SAC, 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 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. Videos can be seen at

The latest information and all documents pertaining to SMC’s plans and COVID-19 response are available at