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DSU campus to reopen Tuesday

By January 22, 2024Academics, Students

CLEVELAND, Miss. — Delta State University will resume normal campus activities Tuesday, January 23, after the spring semester began with over a week of virtual instruction and activities due to the severe weather. DSU President Dr. Dan Ennis said, “Our most important concern has been the safety of our students, faculty, and staff. We continued operations and instruction virtually where possible to keep our students and employees from having to travel on dangerous roads, and we are looking forward to returning to normal schedules and activities on Tuesday.”

Delta State’s spring semester started on Tuesday, January 16, and classes met virtually through Monday, January 22. Faculty have been communicating with their students via Canvas, including any pertinent information for the beginning of the semester. Students who were without remote Canvas access and/or lost power will not be penalized for missing class, and they have been asked to contact their instructors as soon as possible regarding the absence.

Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Leslie Griffin said that the faculty was not caught off guard by the shift to online instruction last week. “Faculty are prepared at any point in the year to provide virtual instruction for all students for a variety of circumstances. They are also sensitive to the fact that some students may experience access issues from a distance and make provisions for them to ensure that they have opportunity to fulfill assignments. Faculty became adept at facilitating virtual learning in part, as a result of the COVID pandemic, and they continue to enhance learning opportunities and communications through virtual instruction/communication.”

Students were allowed to move in to residence halls a day early on January 13 due to a number of students needing to return to campus before the storm hit. Residence Life staff has been working with residential students to facilitate their arrival back to campus and their move-in, with the desired expectation that all students are back on campus prior to the return of in-person classes.

Dr. Eddie Lovin, Vice President for Student Affairs said, “Once the decision was made that the university would move to a virtual start, Residence Life staff moved quickly to ascertain who was already on campus, those students already in-route to campus, and those we could encourage to remain at home until travel conditions permitted safer travel. The safety of our students has been at the forefront of all our decisions. Keeping the residence halls open provided students who may not have had adequate shelter the ability to be on campus, out of the elements, with essentials like food and shelter easily accessible.”

Lovin said that the facilities staff have worked extra hard to ensure that residence halls have had heat and water, and that food services staff ensured that meals were available for students on campus.  Counseling staff has made themselves available to students through virtual counseling, to assist any student who may have needed assistance during the week. Additionally, the Statesman’s Shelf Food Pantry opened for emergency hours so that any student, staff or faculty who needed could gather essential food supplies.