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Southeastern begins fall classes on August 17; releases Back to Campus plan

August 4, 2020

Southeastern begins fall classes on August 17.

DURANT, Okla. – Southeastern Oklahoma State University will begin fall classes on Monday, August 17, with face-to-face and online/remote instruction offered.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, all students, faculty, staff, and visitors must wear face coverings when they are inside buildings on campus, unless wearing face coverings is contrary to meeting educational and participation objectives as determined by faculty/staff. Face coverings are not required outdoors, but highly recommended if social distancing is not possible.

The University has released a comprehensive 19-page “Return To Campus Plan’’ outlining general practices, Fall 2020 instruction, campus events, student organizations, student housing/dining, and other resources. It may be utilized by students, faculty, staff, parents, and the public. To access this document, visit https://www.se.edu/student-wellness/coronavirus-update/.

One alteration to the fall schedule as recommended earlier by the Southeastern COVID Task Force and the subcommittee on instruction (composed of faculty and department chairs) and approved by president Thomas Newsom is to move from face-to-face instruction to remote/online delivery of courses for five days (Nov. 30-Dec. 4 ) at the end of the semester. This will be followed by a finals week to be  conducted virtually, with either online exams or alternative projects/presentations.

Visitors to campus are requested to provide and wear their own face coverings while on campus.

“The safety and health of the campus community is our top priority,’’ Newsom said. “Like many other schools, we made this decision as a preventive measure. The anticipated surge of COVID in November, combined with the arrival of the flu, which can display similar symptoms, has the potential to create challenges to the health of the communities on college campuses.  This risk is enhanced by the likelihood of student and faculty travel during the Thanksgiving holidays (Nov. 23-27), which could  increase the chances for COVID 19 exposure.’’

Students needing  to stay or return to campus would be allowed to remain in the residence halls for the normal length of the semester for any remaining housing needs, including for those more voluntary activities like athletics, aviation training, and commencement ceremonies. Residents will be required to abide by any additional safety measures imposed upon their return from the break.

Another safety measure recommended by the task force and approved by Newsom involves the assignment of a single resident per room in the residence halls. This is intended to minimize the risk of exposure within the living environment.