For Students: From the Vice President for Student Affairs - Important Information for Spring Semester

January 11, 2021

Happy New Year, Southern Students! We hope that you have had time for rest and rejuvenation during your winter break. For those enrolled in winter term classes, we hope they are going well!   

Due to the post-holiday surge of coronavirus cases in the state, the on-campus start of the spring semester will be delayed until Monday, February 1.  Classes will begin as scheduled on January 26, but they will be fully virtual until the following week.   

All campus programs and services will be offered virtually during the week of January 26.  We will also have our traditional Week of Welcome (WOW), with virtual programs throughout the week.  Campus offices such as Residence Life, Student Accounts, Financial Aid and Scholarships, the Registrar and University Card Office, which students frequent at the beginning of the semester will be available through online services, including Live Chat.  Additionally, all the areas that support your learning, including Buley Library, the Disability Resource Center, the Academic Success Center and Counseling Services, will also be available virtually.   

Please be on the lookout for a separate communication from the University Bookstore that will let you know options for ordering books. We want to ensure you have your course materials before the semester begins.   

If you have concerns about access to a safe and productive learning environment, we will again open the Adanti Student Center computer lab and meeting rooms for learning and studying, following all COVID-19 health protocols. More details will be available in the coming days.  

Most campus jobs for students will not resume until February 1. If there is a need for you to work virtually or to come to campus as a part of an essential crew before February 1, your supervisor will contact you.  

Following this email, residential students will receive more in-depth information from Residence Life about your return to the residence halls.  

We do anticipate new testing protocols for commuter students. All students who will be coming to campus during the week of February 1 are encouraged to receive a negative test before arrival. In the coming days, we will be sharing additional testing requirements and options for commuter students who will regularly be visiting campus.   

Please note, we remain highly attentive to the transmission of the coronavirus in Connecticut.  We are optimistic about the rollout of vaccines but know that it will take several months before this leads to changes in our behaviors, such as mask wearing and social distancing.  We are also paying close attention to the new variations of the virus that are more contagious.  As such, we will remain vigilant in our attention to campus health and safety. We ask that all students who will be coming to campus for any reason significantly limit interactions with individuals outside of your household before you return to campus.  

Southern is a wonderful place and I am proud of how we pulled together for a successful fall semester. I have every confidence that we can do this again for the spring.  

Our Reopening 2021 website will be updated and available shortly, linked from the university homepage: If you have additional questions about the opening of the spring semester, please submit them here. For questions about the coronavirus or our health and safety protocols, please reach out to the COVID coordinator at and we will respond to you as quickly as possible.   

We look forward to welcoming you to campus for a safe, productive, and enjoyable spring semester!  

Most sincerely,

Tracy Tyree
Vice President for Student Affairs