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As the new school year begins, what you need to know

Michael Schill begins as president, new students move in and the Wildcats are back
March Through the Arch begins at 9 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 13, as new students pass through the Weber Arch while family and Northwestern community members cheer them all the way to Deering Meadow. Photo by Jill Norton

With Labor Day in the rearview mirror and Fall Quarter coming up fast, Northwestern schools, departments and units are making final plans for the repopulation of the Evanston campus.

Here’s what you need to know as the new year gets underway.

President Schill begins on move-in day

Michael Schill will take the helm as Northwestern president on Monday, Sept. 12.

“I am excited to arrive on campus, start meeting with people and become part of the Northwestern community,” he said at the time of his presidential transition announcement.

Sept. 12 also is when new first-year and transfer students and their families flock to campus for move-in day. Look for a heavy increase in traffic on and around campus this weekend and into next week.

During move-in activities, several Evanston campus parking lots will be closed on Sept. 12: Crown Sports East (lot number 108), Patten Gym (109), Sargent Hall (111), Elder Hall (133), Locy (208), 619 Clark (226), University Place, 600-700 blocks (230 and 231), 711 Elgin (232) and Foster-Walker North (235). Refer to the Evanston Campus Parking Map for alternative parking locations. 

March Through the Arch 

The annual weeklong rite of Wildcat Welcome runs Sept. 12-19, giving new students the chance to take part in campus traditions, build connections, learn to navigate Evanston and register for classes. March Through the Arch begins at 9 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 13, as they pass through the Weber Arch while family and Northwestern community members cheer them all the way to Deering Meadow, site of the Kiss ’n Bye and more than a few tears.

Streams of students in colorful T-shirts will be seen across campus all week for a mix of fun orientation activities, including the class photo, Norris at Night, picnics and Rock the Lake, a mega-variety show featuring performances by student organizations.

Fall classes begin Tuesday, Sept. 20.

COVID-19 updates

Northwestern continues to require COVID-19 vaccination for all students, faculty and staff. More than 98% of the Northwestern community are vaccinated, according to a message to the community on Aug. 15.

For now, Northwestern has ended its COVID-19 testing requirements. However, testing sites in Evanston and Chicago will remain operational into the fall and will offer extended hours the week of Sept. 12. Students, faculty and staff who access campus are required to report positive cases of COVID-19.  

In alignment with updated public health guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Northwestern no longer requires individuals to quarantine following exposure to COVID-19, regardless of vaccination status. Northwestern will continue to provide isolation housing at least through the rest of the calendar year for on-campus residential students who test positive for COVID-19.  

In alignment with public health guidance, Northwestern continues to recommend indoor masking in areas where distancing is not possible when transmission levels are elevated.

Things to do, on and off campus

When you need to change gears, there’s plenty going on throughout the month. Northwestern hosts three consecutive home football games in September against Duke, Southern Illinois and Miami of Ohio as the Wildcats return from a triumphant season opener over Nebraska in Dublin, Ireland. The defending national champion field hockey squad hosts home games at Lakeside Field this month against Liberty, Virginia and Iowa. 

Come out Saturday, Sept. 10, for TEDxChicago, an independently organized TED event that promotes “ideas worth spreading.” Held at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance near Millennium Park, this year’s event features Northwestern professors Mesmin Destin, Michael Jewett and Manijeh Razeghi.

Do some stargazing from Dearborn Observatory, where tours are available on Friday evenings this month. Walk-in tours begin at 10 p.m. and are open to the public except for Sept. 16 when walk-in tours are reserved for Wildcat Welcome participants (from 9-11 p.m.).

Northwestern Recreation offers a variety of classes, including yoga, aqua fitness and body pump. You also can enjoy welcome back discounts for massage therapy.