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815 < 5 is a pair of podcasts bringing you the latest news and events in and around the 8-1-5 area code in less than five minutes! It was produced by students at Northern Illinois University's Journalism 302 News Reporting course during the Spring semester. In May 2022, 815<5 received 1st Place in the Outstanding Radio Newscast category from the Illinois News Broadcasters Association's statewide student awards.

NIU This Week: Weather stalls NIU surveillance testing, semester stays in-person

Brandon Montemayor

NIU had to pause testing Thursday for COVID-19. The university alerted the campus community that all SHIELD testing locations across the state closed due to weather and concerns about a backlog of tests due to lab closures.

Meanwhile, NIU continued with in-person classes this week. The positivity rate stands at just over 3%. That’s down from the start of the semester when classes started remotely. Students and faculty are required to take surveillance testing.

Students are having mixed reactions to the return to in-person classes. Some preferred the safety and flexibility of online classes. Others welcome the return but fear the positivity rate will jump above 8% and send them back online.

Northern Illinois University has pledged to enroll at least 160 new students – or more – through participation in the state’s Early Childhood Access Consortium for Equity Program. The program will allow the students to study towards a bachelor's degree in early childhood education.

The first members of the NIU presidential advisory councilhave been selected. 18 business leaders, all with ties to NIU, were selected to have an input on helping the growth of the university.

Community Calendar

NIU Dance Works will be held at the Student Recreation Center, in Studio B on Tuesday, Feb. 15th.

The Avalon String Quartetwill be performing at 7pm in the Recital Hall on Feb. 17th.

And a reminder that the NIU food pantry is open to all students at the Chick Evans Field House midday Wednesdays and Thursday nights during the semester.


The NIU men’s basketballteam lost to Central Michigan on Saturday, but snapped their losing streak on Tuesday against Western Michigan. It was the Huskies first win in Kalamazoo since 2006. They’ll face Bowling Green on Saturday.

Meanwhile, the women's basketball team lost Wednesday against Bowling Green but toppled Western Michigan earlier in the week.

Other spring sports are beginning to get underway with the NIU wrestling team splitting dual matches at Little Rock after a loss to Cal Poly.

Contributions from Waleed Alamleh, Kurt Bitting, Amanda Woo, Joi Bradley, Jay Ceja, and Khavon Thomas