Dear Salem State Students, Faculty and Staff,
I am delighted to announce that Salem State is planning to return to primarily on-campus instruction in fall 2021! Based on public health trends, the anticipated acceleration of the vaccine rollout, and current state guidance, we are glad to offer a more “traditional” campus experience. At the same time, we will continue following state guidance, and prioritize the health and safety of the community. This means, we are going to be on-campus, but still wearing masks! We will also take advantage of what we have learned this year, like how to connect virtually with each other, which many students have found beneficial. While we are still finalizing plans, I wanted to share some essential things with you now as we look ahead to fall.
- We are planning to offer a mix of in-person and online instruction, with a majority of courses taking place in person.
- Campus health and safety protocols including physical distancing and mask wearing will likely still be in place during the fall semester.
- The fall course schedule is being finalized now and will be available in time for advising, which begins on March 22.
- We plan to have approximately 1,400 student living in on-campus housing.
- There will be options for single rooms as well as doubles.
- Marsh, Atlantic, Viking, Bowditch, and Peabody residence halls will be available.
- Guest policy will be updated and lounge spaces will be open based on public health guidelines.
- Bates residence hall will be closed as part of the planned sale of South Campus and will not be a housing option for students; however, it will be maintained for quarantine and isolation spaces, as needed.
- We will continue to offer 24/7 dining options at Marsh Dining Common, as well as grab and go options.
- With more students, faculty and staff on campus we will be able to host additional food options.
- We are currently exploring additional dining options on North Campus.
- We are looking forward to being able to offer a more in-person as well as some remote social and educational activities and engagement opportunities.
- In-person activities and events will follow state guidance at the time, but we are planning on having in-person performances, activities, and celebrations.
- We expect the Gassett Fitness Center to be open with increased hours, and opportunities to participate in a range of virtual and in person indoor and outdoor recreational activities.
- Some restrictions on informal and social gatherings will likely remain, but size limitations may increase depending on state guidelines.
- We are hoping that our athletic teams will be able to have a more traditional fall season with competitions.
- We will continue to follow state, MASCAC and NCAA guidelines. We are so looking forward to being able to cheer on our Vikings!
Our anticipation in returning to a “nearly normal” on-campus experience this fall is largely due to our success in keeping our campus COVID-19 positivity rates very low, and consistently below that of the city, county, and state. Thank you to all for following safety guidelines and doing your part to keep our community safe.
I am looking forward to seeing many of you on campus in September and building our new normal together.
With Viking Pride,
John D. Keenan