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Fall Restart Plans Detailed by President Enyedi

hawkins fall reopening

The following message was shared by President Enyedi on the college's fall restart plan:

Dear Campus Community,

SUNY has approved our Fall 2020 Restart Plan and ensured it meets all safety requirements detailed by Gov. Cuomo and the state Department of Health. The plan describes our approach to return students, faculty and staff to campus safely for the fall within the constraints presented by COVID-19 and with the flexibility to adjust as conditions warrant.

New information on cases, clusters and pathways for infections has routinely guided the response of this campus and the state. While approved, the plan is subject to change based on new information, guidance and/or direction from the state.

You can read the complete Fall 2020 Restart Plan here. It includes sections on our planning process, health and safety, tracing and monitoring, academic continuity, campus housing and more. It is aligned to the state higher education guidelines and more detailed guidance. Details are also included on the college's COVID-19 information page at plattsburgh.edu/coronavirus.

Please understand there is more to come as we finalize aspects of class schedules, the process of moving into residence halls, preparing modifications to facilities and the phased-in return of our staff. Stay tuned for additional updates. Highlights of our plan follow.

Campus Safety | Cardinals with a Conscience

The safe restart of on-campus operations is already underway with a phased-in return of staff. This includes modifications of physical spaces to ensure social distancing, increased cleaning and hygiene, daily staff health screening, state training and clear signage to support our social distancing and face covering policy.

Students will self screen daily and each of the 14 days prior to returning to on-campus. At a minimum, students will be required to complete and submit an electronic form weekly. Self-isolation for some arriving students may be necessary, depending on pandemic conditions. As necessary, we will test symptomatic students and at-risk cases, adopting a tracing system to facilitate rapid contact mapping of infected individuals and then test all contacts.

Student contact tracing will occur in collaboration with the Clinton County Health Department. In the event that a student tests positive for COVID-19, the student will immediately be isolated either on campus, in a designated space, or safely off campus per state isolation guidelines. Campus housing will reserve an appropriate number of rooms specifically to support quarantine and isolation, if needed.

Among the highest priorities to ensure student, faculty and staff safety and to minimize the spread of COVID-10 are community-wide participation in our social-distancing and face-covering policy and enforcement of the policy. All on-campus students will need to sign an addendum to our housing contract that clearly outlines required behavior. Student conduct policies will also be a vital component to ensuring the safety and health of our campus community. Our conduct processes can be leveraged to ensure compliance with the college's social-distancing and face-covering policy.

Without a doubt, individual responsibility, accountability and enforcement of social distancing and public health laws is essential to everyone's health, safety and educational opportunity.

Academics and Classes | Student Success

The college is working toward a blended academic delivery model, focused on on-campus instruction, research and scholarship activities as far as possible while keeping faculty, students and staff safe. It is anticipated that a significant component of remote learning will be included even as students return.

Social distancing will be integrated into academic life. Classes that are face to face, along with labs, will be offered in ways that allow the students and faculty to maintain safety. Masks will be required in face-to-face classes and labs. 

Deans are collaborating with department chairs and faculty now to determine course modalities based on student needs, faculty safety factors, type of instruction required, and room availability. With that, Academic Affairs is updating its class schedule. This will include many remote/distance classes along with in-person classes. These will be communicated to students as available. Classroom capacities based on social distancing requirements have been calculated. Face-to-face courses will be assigned to classrooms using these capacities.

Courses with multiple sections may be offered both online and face to face.

Academic Affairs is working on finalizing instructional plans now.

Campus Housing and Community Living | Personal Responsibility

We will stagger arrival times for on-campus students to manage social distancing during move-in to residence halls. All changes will be communicated to students in advance through the Campus Housing and Community Living staff.

Students living on-campus will only have access to their assigned residence hall. No off-campus students will have access to our residence halls. Our fall plan also includes training and awareness for social distancing, guidelines for common areas, and residence hall programming that incorporates a strong virtual/remote component.

We anticipate a return to full campus residential living while preserving vacant rooms for students exposed or who test positive for COVID-19.

The social distancing and face masking policy applies to all students. It will be enforced by staff, University Police and especially peer-to-peer. The approach is one of encouragement and positive messaging first with sanctions developed for repeat offenses.

Our Commitment | Cardinals Helping Cardinals

Our planning has encompassed many scenarios and options. Some aspects, such as intercollegiate athletics, are still awaiting guidance from other authorities.

Our preparations will continue. As it does, I will continue to collaborate with faculty, staff, and students, as well as local public health officials, elected leaders and SUNY administration. I have appreciated all of these contributors. Each has made our plan better.

As I noted in my last message, SUNY Plattsburgh is a residential college dedicated to student success. This was our core mission before this pandemic struck, and it will continue to drive our work and decision making as we go forward. Working together, we can ensure the health and safety of our community and support the ongoing academic progress of our students.

As we move forward toward the fall, we will succeed, whatever comes our way, because each member of this Cardinal Community is committed to supporting student success.

Dr. Alexander Enyedi


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