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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: the return of spring break, eSports gets new arena

NIU Today

As of right now, the current COVID-19 stats at NIU include 214 recovered employees, 7 positive students and a total of 963 recovered students with a positivity rate of 0.52 percent.

Spring Break resumes

Next week marks the return of spring break to NIU’s academic schedule after being canceled last year due to the pandemic.

NIU students, such as Journalism and Political science major Ashley Dwy, are looking forward to the return of the mid-semester break.

“I didn’t really get why they [NIU] canceled spring break last year. Although we did get out early, I think I would’ve preferred a little break in between," Dwy said. "So I am excited. My plans differ just because I plan on working and actually going somewhere."

Dwy plans on visiting the Mall of America.

Huskie Fresh

Northern Illinois University’s nutrition program has come out with a new program named Huskie Fresh, that will help busy college students and staff receive pre-made meals.

Meg Burnham is a registered dietitian at NIU. She says that the advantage of this program is to help the campus community find options for dinner.

“We know for some people if it is just a quick meal option that might have prevented them from dining out that night," Burnham said "It gets people trying something new.”

Meal kits are available for pickup in the Holmes Student Center building at The Depot (located next to the bookstore). Additional information about parking and what meals are being served can be found on the NIU Campus Dining website. 10% of profits donated to the Student Assistance Fund.

License Services

Monday, March 14 at 10:00 AM to 3:00 p.m. if you need to renew, replace or correct your driver’s license and/or state ID, the Secretary of State Mobile Services will be available at the Holmes Student Center.


The NIU recreation center will be hosting a glutes, core and more fitness class from 4 p.m. to 4:40 p.m. on Friday as part of the center’s Free Fitness Friday’s. The class will be held in Studio A, but those interested can join virtually as well.

The Rec center will also be hosting virtual events over spring break including a dance fitness class on Monday, and a yoga class on Tuesday. It is free to attend and the link can be found on the center’s website to join the sessions.

If you could use some help studying, the TRIO Student Support Program will be in room 302 of the Holmes Student Center from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Monday and Wednesday over spring break.

The Huskie Food Pantry will be open from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Wednesday in the Chick Evans Field House. The pantry is available for all students, all you have to do is bring your OneCard.


NIU recently held the grand opening of their Esports Arena on March 2nd that hosted around 150 people.

The facility resides in Altgeld Hall in room 100 and is open seven days a week from noon to 10 p.m.

The arena features 30 gaming PCs, 12 varsity gaming PCs along with a coach’s station, 8 console gaming stations for open play, 4 Xboxes, 4 PS4s and 4 Nintendo Switches.

There is also a Virtual Reality Room with an Oculus Rift and a broadcast room dedicated to producing and shoutcasting varsity games.

There are also couches and chairs where students can hang out and do homework.

The facility is open to all students with a OneCard. 


Meteorological winter ended in February, and the National Weather Service says the DeKalb area saw up to 15 inches less snow than normal. February 20-22 was the ninth wettest February in state history, but northern Illinois actually saw less precipitation than normal.

Winter is still hanging on though, up to two inches of snow is expected Thursday afternoon into the evening hours.

We will get into the lower 30s Friday with some gusty winds. Saturday will stay in the 20s even with plenty of sunshine.

A hint of Spring comes just in time for Spring Break, temperatures will rise into the 50s on Sunday and look to stick around for a while. 60s are even possible once we get into the middle of next week.

Contributions by: Joi Bradley, Brandon Montemayor, JaMaria’h Crider, Maddie Vikse, Amanda Woo, John Jurgens, and Kyra Johnson