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Fall Semester Update from Dean of Students Carla Panzella

Class formats, housing and COVID-19 preparedness details

Dear Vikings,

First, let me say how proud I am for the way that you managed through the spring semester. I know it was not what any of us expected, but I feel that you rose to the challenge. I’m sure that many of you have questions about returning in September. Salem State is in the process of planning a fall semester that continues to put safety first while delivering an engaging, high-quality education. 

While many details are being finalized, I want to keep you informed by sharing the following updates that will shape your fall semester: 

  • Salem State will offer a combination of in-seat and online classes this fall. We are in the process of determining which classes will be held online based on their unique needs and goals. Classes that require special equipment, educate first-year students, and have other characteristics that make in-seat instruction crucial are more likely to be taught in person. A full list of fall classes and how they will be taught will be available on June 22 in Navigator. For in-seat classes, please pay close attention to the room location information as some classes may be held in an unusual location to improve social distancing efforts. 
  • Salem State will offer on-campus housing. To facilitate greater social distancing, we are in the process of reconfiguring our housing plans so that students have their own bedroom. This may require us to place students by priority categories. Information about placement process and cost is forthcoming. Please be patient as we work out all the details to make the housing process as smooth as possible.  We know that some much has changed since you deposited for housing, if no longer want to live on campus, please contact for assistance in cancelling your housing application and getting your deposit refunded.
  • We are developing a virtual training for students, faculty and staff returning to campus to inform everyone of new protocols that will facilitate social distancing and the use of masks. Our new protocols will include self-monitoring and possible contact with COVID-19. These protocols will be shared with students in the leading up to the start of classes.
  • Counseling and health services will continue to provide guidance and care to students who suspect that they have come into contact with the virus. Their office remains in close contact with the Salem Board of Health and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. 

I realize that you are ready for more detailed information. While I hoped to give you a sense of the university’s direction for the fall, many of these plans are being finalized and I will share the details as soon as they are available. 

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we monitor the facts on the ground related to COVID-19 and work to prepare a fall semester that is vibrant and safe. 

Please check your SSU email regularly. Please also be sure to download the Navigate student app, which allows you to make appointments, connect with faculty and more. You can Download the Navigate app on your phone via the Google Play store or the App Store or access it on your desktop.

I miss seeing student faces daily, so I cannot wait to seeing you in the fall—virtually or otherwise. 

Best Regards,

Carla Panzella, PhD
Associate Vice President and Dean of Students

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