Ask Your Dean of Students

June 25, 2020

Gabe Willis

Good morning, Lions!

By reading many of your tweets and personally hearing from several you, it is apparent that you all are excited to return for the fall. Trust me, I share those same feelings! The fact is that COVID-19 has caused us and many institutions across the state to operate in a consistent state of unknown and uncertainty. Although frustrating, we must take this virus seriously. This means that our planning must be thoughtful and meticulous. I know you’ve been patiently (or impatiently) waiting for information regarding the Fall semester. This email is to give you an update and remind you of the latest information. It is important to note that the University receives information daily that could greatly impact any plans listed below. Understand that we are always monitoring reports from multiple resources.


Classes and Events

Our plans are still to hold face-to-face classes and other campus activities in the Fall semester, with appropriate changes to help ensure the health and safety of students, faculty, and staff.  Know that your administration, faculty, and staff have been working daily to determine the exact accommodations needed. Your expectations should be set on things looking different. This means (not exhaustive):

  • Strategic social distancing measures will be taken
  • Masks will be required in classrooms and most indoor locations
  • Class formats may be altered to accommodate safety guidelines, for example - hybrid classes may be implemented which would be part face-to-face and part online
  • Meetings, events, and activities will have participant limitations


Academic Calendar

As many have noticed, the academic calendar has been altered to start the semester slightly earlier (Monday,  Aug. 17) and end instruction the week of Thanksgiving. To accomplish this, some holidays have been removed. This, in part, is another example of the thoughtful and meticulous planning that had to take place out of the abundance of safety and caution in response to COVID-19.  Please review the calendar to make sure you plan appropriately.  The calendar is here.



The Housing office is continuously working to understand what modifications can be made to minimize the risk of a COVID-19 spread. To be clear, our residence halls will be open and students will be able to live on campus. However, much like class accommodations, we cannot be 100% sure what every change will be at this time. More information will be coming very soon. Your patience and understanding is greatly appreciated. Please watch your email for more information.


Safe Campus Guide

Our Office of Environmental Health and Safety has created a “Safe Campus Guide” that provides information about the work that has been done and will continue to be advanced in the weeks ahead.  The Guide also provides important information about how our campus will operate going forward, keeping the health and safety of our people foremost in mind.  I encourage you to become familiar with this helpful Guide and to refer to it as needed.  Please note that the Guide will be updated as public health guidance continues to evolve.

Please be ready for the fall and to hit the ground running!  If you need to make sure you have the technology needed to possibly do more online work, take care of that now.  No better time than the present!

Even with all the measures that must be taken this fall, I truly believe that we will have a GREAT semester! August 17th will be here before you know it. Your campus has missed you. As I have said and will continue to say, you are THE BEST part of Southeastern. We appreciate you in advance for your willingness to follow guidelines set by the Governor of Louisiana, Louisiana Department of Health, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and our amazing University President, Dr. John Crain.

Please take a moment to follow me on Twitter - @drgabewillis and Instagram - @dr_gabewillis for up-to-date information. You can also submit any questions or concerns to


Your Dean of Students,
Dr. Gabe Willis