Southeast Missouri State University student publication

University suspends in-person classes through March 27

Thursday, March 12, 2020
Graphic by Ally Bruemmer

In reaction to the coronavirus pandemic, Southeast President Carlos Vargas and his executive staff made the decision to suspend in-person classes for the week of March 23 through 27.

This announcement came via an SE Alert sent from Vargas to the university community on March 12. Earlier in the day, Gov. Mike Parson announced the second reported case of COVID-19 in Missouri was found in Springfield at a news conference in Springfield.

Missouri Governor Mike Parson announced in a news conference from Springfield Thursday evening.

The decision was made “in an effort to limit the possibility of exposure to the coronavirus to the campus and Cape Girardeau communities,” Vargas said in the alert.

According to Vargas, online courses will continue with no interruption or change.

“While in-person classes will not be conducted during the week of March 23, this should not be interpreted as an extension of spring break,” Vargas said. “Students are encouraged to continue their coursework if possible, and faculty members will be expected to contact their students via email, Moodle or other communication methods to provide details on their academic expectations.”

The university itself will operate as normal during this time, including regional campuses. Residence halls will remain open only to those students who have no other living accomodations.

While the residence halls remain open, students are encouraged not to return to campus.

“The week of March 23 will give students, faculty and staff who traveled time to self-evaluate and assess their probability of exposure to the coronavirus,” Vargas said in the alert. “It will also afford University leadership and academic departments the opportunity to develop a plan to complete the semester through alternative instructional methods should the need arise.”

Vargas encouraged everyone traveling for spring break to practice healthy habits and good hygiene. Anyone traveling internationally is encouraged to fill out a personal travel reporting form.

Vargas said another update will be sent on or before Thursday, March 19.

To fill out the travel reporting form, go to

For university updates on the coronavirus, visit