February 15, 2021

A Message from Dean Lang Re: Return to Campus, Available Resources

Dear Liberal Arts Undergraduates:

I hope this message finds you well, and I trust that you are making the most of your spring semester so far. Allow me to extend a special “welcome back” to those of you who recently returned to campus or the greater State College community—I imagine you are settling in, and I urge you to continue doing your part to keep yourself and others out of harm’s way.

I want to remind you that between today and February 26, Penn State will conduct universal COVID-19 testing of all students who are taking in-person classes or who are taking a fully remote or online course load while living in Centre County (or within a 20-mile radius of a Penn State campus). Please refer to this Penn State News article for additional information on testing procedures and locations.

Those of you who have returned probably have noticed that State College, Pennsylvania, like most of the eastern United States, has received quite a bit of snow this winter—and this week’s forecast projects more. This type of weather could disrupt class schedules and campus activities even in a hybrid environment, so I encourage you to monitor Penn State’s official information sources—WPSU-FM, Penn State News, the PSUAlert text notification system, the Penn State Go app—for updates. Additional information can also be found in this Penn State News article.

While this week’s resumption of in-person classes does not mean things have returned to “normal” by any stretch of the imagination, it does mark a step in the right direction. The University’s recently announced plans to gradually phase in student engagement activities this spring, along with the growing availability and distribution of several COVID-19 vaccines, give me optimism that we have at least turned a corner. To keep that momentum going, however, it is incumbent that each of us continue to do our part—wear a mask in public, maintain physical distancing, limit the size of gatherings, and stay home if you are not feeling well.

Despite our current progress, I cannot overlook just how challenging this past year has been—and continues to be—physically, emotionally, and financially for so many of us. For those of you in need of their services right now, please take advantage of the University’s Center for Counseling and Psychological Services and Multicultural Resource Center. For those of you who may be having difficulty making ends meet this semester, there may be financial assistance available to you through the Liberal Arts Emergency Assistance Fund or the University’s Student Emergency Fund.

I look forward to talking with you again soon, and I especially look forward to seeing some of you in the halls of Sparks Building as circumstances permit. Please continue to be safe, be smart, and be well.


Dean Lang

Clarence Lang
Susan Welch Dean of the College of the Liberal Arts
Professor of African American Studies
The Pennsylvania State University
111 Sparks Building
University Park, PA 16802