Sunday, August 30, 2020

Purple Walrus Press Writers Alley: Virtual World: A poem by Kathleen Deview of Canton.

Virtual world

By: Kathleen DeView 
This is how I’m handling life...This is fine, I’m fine, everything’s fine, I haven’t quite yet lost my mind.
Just living one more day of my life in virtual time.
Can you see me, can you hear me,
Check your audio, check your video
Please mute your audio
Let them know you can’t hear
By pointing to your ear

Please turn off your video too
We all dont need to see everything you do.
Please back up a bit
We don’t need to see every zit

Please don’t use the chat
For personal rants
About Reasons you can’t

This is how I’m handling life...This is fine, I’m fine, everything’s fine.

Friday, August 21, 2020

EMU Students Living On Campus In the Fall Must Undergo COVID-19 Testing Before Arriving On Campus.

Photo Jeff Brown Purple Walrus Press.

By Editor in Chief  & Publisher Jeff Brown.

According to an August 20 press release from Eastern Michigan University, EMU students who are planning on living on campus this fall have been required to be tested for COVID-19 before arriving on campus. The requirement is part of a comprehensive plan implemented by the University to reduce the spread of COVID-19 on the EMU campus.

Prior to students returning to campus, EMU is working in conjunction with Vault Health and its partners to provide students with a COVID-19 saliva test that can be done at home. There will be no fee for the test.

Students who test positive, or students who do not take the test will not be allowed to check into the University and must follow #EMUSAFE protocols, which may include staying at the student's home residence or in their current residence. Affected students would then be contacted by the Dean of Students regarding next steps.

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

The Big Ten Conference Has Announced the Postponement of The 2020/21 Fall Sports Season.

By Editor in Chief & Publisher Jeff Brown.

Tuesday afternoon, after two days of drama regarding the 2020/21 fall sports season, the Big Ten Conference has announced the postponement of all regular season contests and Big Ten Championships and Tournaments, due to ongoing health and safety concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the Big Ten Conference, the decision was based on the medical advice and counsel of the Big Ten Task Force for Emerging Infectious Disease and the Big Ten Sports Medicine Committee.

 According to Chair of the Big Ten Council of Presidents/Chancellors and Northwestern University President Morton Schapiro, “Our primary responsibility is to make the best possible decisions in the interest of our students, faculty and staff."
According to Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren, “The mental and physical health and welfare of our student-athletes has been at the center of every decision we have made regarding the ability to proceed forward,”. As time progressed and after hours of discussion with our Big Ten Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases and the Big Ten Sports Medicine Committee, it became abundantly clear that there was too much uncertainty regarding potential medical risks to allow our student-athletes to compete this fall.
“We know how significant the student-athlete experience can be in shaping the future of the talented young women and men who compete in the Big Ten Conference. Although that knowledge made this a painstaking decision, it did not make it difficult. While I know our decision today will be disappointing in many ways for our thousands of student-athletes and their families, I am heartened and inspired by their resilience, their insightful and discerning thoughts, and their participation through our conversations to this point. Everyone associated with the Big Ten Conference and its member institutions is committed to getting everyone back to competition as soon as it is safe to do so.”

According to the statement from the Big Ten Conference, fall sports that are postponed include men's and women's cross country, field hockey, football, men's and women's soccer, and women's volleyball. The Big Ten stated that decisions regarding winter and spring sports will continue to be evaluated.

Monday, August 10, 2020

Breaking News: Sources Tell Detroit Free Press That Big Ten Has Canceled Football Season.

By Editor in Chief & Publisher Jeff Brown.

Monday morning the Detroit Free Press was informed by multiple sources that the Big Ten has cancelled the football season and that there will be no games for both Michigan and Michigan State. The cancellation is due to concerns over the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. According to the Free Press, a formal announcement of the decision is expected Tuesday.

Saturday, August 8, Eastern Michigan University and the Mid-American Conference decided to postpone all fall athletic competition. After the MAC announced it's historical decision, there has been much speculation that other Division 1 conferences will follow suit. As of Monday morning, it appears that the Big Ten has followed the MAC's lead and has cancelled the season.

Stay tuned for updates on this breaking story.

Saturday, August 8, 2020

Eastern Michigan University and Mid-American Conference Decide to Postpone Fall Athletic Competition.

Photo Jeff Brown Purple Walrus Press.

By Editor in Chief & Publisher Jeff Brown.

According to an August 8 press release from Eastern Michigan University, EMU, in coordination with the unanimous decision made by the Mid-American Council of  Presidents, has made the tremendously difficult decision to postpone all athletic contests for the fall of 2020. According to Saturday's press release, contests and championships will be postponed until spring 2021. The health and safety of student athletes, coaches and staff is number one reason for the postponement.

Fall competition in football, cross country soccer and volleyball, golf, tennis and, "Sports in their non-traditional segment, such as baseball." will be postponed.

According to EMU President Dr. James Smith, "The health and well-being of our students, faculty, and staff has been our top priority in all actions related to the return to campus this fall. Unlike classroom, residence hall, and campus settings, the field of competition rarely allows for safe physical distancing and may complicate the use of masks or face coverings. These factors create a deep concern for student-athlete health and safety in the current pandemic. Over the past few weeks, we have heard clearly from our state's health and medical experts indicating that this postponement was the only safe path forward. I know this news affects many of you deeply, and please know that I share in your disappointment."

According to EMU, sports such as swimming & diving, gymnastics, indoor track & field and men's and women's basketball are not affected by the decision made by the Mid-American Conference.

According EMU Vice President/Director of Athletics Scot Wetherbee, "This is not the outcome anyone would have hoped for, but it is the right one. The health and welfare of our student-athletes, their families, our staff and our fans has to guide all decisions made in regards to competing in intercollegiate athletics. Moving the fall season to the spring hopefully affords our league institutions more time to prepare and fine tune our health and safety precautions. Our department will remain focused on ensuring the safest experience possible, as we pivot to provide training and development opportunities. As is always the case, Eastern Michigan Athletics will fully support our student-athletes through this challenging time in their athletic and academic pursuits."

Below see statement from Mid-American Conference Commissioner, Dr. Jon Steinbrecher regarding postponement of Mid-American Conference fall athletic contests.

"I am certain that in the future when people look back at the year 2020, for intercollegiate athletics, it will be remembered as annus horribilis, which is Latin for "horrible year." I am a former student-athlete, and I make today's announcement in that respect alongside proudly serving as the commissioner of a Conference of 12 great institutions that represent thousands of student-athletes, and a fanbase that is passionate about MACtion.

I am announcing that by a unanimous vote of the Mid-American Conference's Council of Presidents, meeting earlier today, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic across the United States and around the World and its effect on student-athletes, the Conference will postpone the fall seasons in the sports of men's and women's cross country, field hockey, football, men's and women's soccer, and women's volleyball. It is the intention of the membership to provide competitive opportunities for the student-athletes in these sports during the spring semester of 2021.

This decision was not made lightly nor without significant contemplation and conversation over the past weeks involving numerous meetings with groups including the Council of Directors of Athletics, Conference Medical Advisory Panel and Sports Medicine Group, and the Council of Presidents among others. It included reviewing information from the NCAA and its COVID-19 Task Force, the WHO, CDC, state and local boards of health, as well as state governmental mandates. The decision is grounded in the core values of the Conference that prioritize student-athlete wellbeing. Clearly we are charting a conservative path – and it is one that has been recommended by our medical advisory group. There are simply too many unknowns for us to put our student-athletes in situations that are not clearly understood. We have traditionally been a leader on student-athlete wellbeing issues. This has not been an easy decision, but for the Mid-American Conference it is the right decision.

When I had to shut down our basketball tournament in March, I was asked how I felt and I gave a very stiff answer saying I didn't feel – I just worked the issue. I said that because I was unsure if I let my emotional wall down – I would not stay composed. Today I am in the same place. This is simply a miserable decision. It is a decision that affects roughly 2,500 student-athletes who live for the moment to compete. Those opportunities and moments are fleeting, and our student-athletes have a limited window in which to showcase their talent, passion, and drive for excellence. I am heartbroken we are in this place. However, I take comfort and want to give assurance to our student-athletes, coaches, and fans that we will make every effort to provide competitive opportunities in the spring.

Today's decision effects fall sports. No decisions have been made regarding winter sports. I can only hope that events transpire that permit us to move forward as scheduled. And, that starts with the successful opening of the fall semester on our campuses."

Saturday, August 1, 2020

EMU Police Department Bike Rodeo Brings Joy, Fun and Safety To Ypsilanti Kids Saturday

Photo Jeff Brown Purple Walrus Press.

By Editor & Publisher Jeff Brown.

If you are a kid and you love your bicycle,  the Eastern Michigan University Police Bike Rodeo is right up your alley! This annual free event, organized by EMU Police Patrol Operations Sergeant Joseph Torres, draws large numbers of Ypsilanti kids each year and Saturday was no exception.

The event was held at Gene Butman Ford located at 2105 Washtenaw Avenue in Ypsilanti from 9 AM until 12 PM. Kids could ride their bikes around a orange cone-lined obstacle course, receive a free bike safety check, mechanical check and helmet fitting. Kids also received a free bicycle helmet. Not too shabby!

Not only did participants receive cool free stuff, but they also learned the rules of the road, practiced skills and bike safety. Lest I forget, food and drinks were also provided!

Based on the expressions on the faces of kids and parents alike, all involved had a wonderful time.

Photos Jeff Brown Purple Walrus Press.