September 1, 2020
I want to wish you all well, no matter where you are, as we kick off the Fall 2020 semester here at SUNY Potsdam. While this first week of classes is unlike any other we have experienced, our care and concern for one another is still at the heart of what makes our campus community so special.
To all of you who self-quarantined and were tested over the past ten days, thank you. To all of you who are studying from home this semester, we miss having you here. We are looking forward to seeing you all soon, whether it’s virtually or in person.
It’s going to take all of us, working together, to make this semester safe and successful. Our returning students have already gone to great lengths to be here, so we know you are determined. Let’s keep it up. We each need to do our part to keep our campus and our communities safe.
Unsafe social gatherings
Let’s make this really clear. If you or someone you know is violating social distancing guidelines, you are putting us all at risk. We have seen other campuses in SUNY and across the country shut down within a week, all because of positive cases stemming from irresponsible parties. Your actions affect everyone else. So, don’t go to parties. If you hear of a gathering that you think could violate the guidelines, please let us know so that it doesn’t get out of control. You can send tips anonymously through the Rave Guardian app or you can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
There are many ways for you to safely engage with the campus community whether you are here in Potsdam or at home. Our Get Involved website has events as well as student clubs/organizations that you can explore and join. Upcoming activities include a virtual game show, hypnotist, DIY activities, and group fitness classes starting next week. This is just a small sampling of the many ways you can connect with others while enjoying a safe and fun student life experience.
There’s a lot to remember this semester, and we know it will take some getting used to.
So here are some additional reminders:
- Don’t forget to bring your face covering with you, wherever you go. You’ll need to wear it in all public spaces where you can’t social distance. If you forget or misplace your face covering, we have extras available in classrooms. Just ask.
- Wait for your test results. If you haven’t gotten your COVID-19 test results yet, continue to self-quarantine and ask your professors about the virtual/remote learning study options for your classes. We appreciate your patience as Enzo Labs processes the tests as quickly as possible.
- Remember to fill out your symptoms tracker every day. Be prepared to show your tracker results to your instructors when you get to class. You may be asked to show this at other areas on campus too.
- Wash and sanitize your hands frequently. Take advantage of our new hand sanitizing stations all across campus.
- Disinfect shared surfaces when needed. We will have disinfectant in classrooms and labs to wipe down high-traffic areas. We have hired more cleaning staff, but we need everyone’s help with more frequent disinfection.
- Follow directions. You’ll notice new signs across campus, indicating one-way directions and instructions for social distancing in various areas. Keep an eye out for these, as they may be different from how you are used to getting to class!
- Remember that only water is allowed in classrooms. To keep everyone safe, we request you only have water while in class.
As you begin the semester, remember to treat each other with the respect and decency we all expect. Please be patient with one another as we get used to these measures, and kindly remind others of the expectations if needed. We can’t do it without you.
Thank you for all your efforts. I wish you a great start to your semester.
Kristin G. Esterberg, Ph.D.