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Potsdam Prepared: Fall 2021 Updates

March 17: Residence Life restrictions, urgent response needed

Dear Residents,

We know that this is a difficult time for everyone.  We are all struggling with all of the unknown of this situation, and information that is constantly changing.  We appreciate your patience and understanding as we work to best respond and support you.

We know that many of you were planning on returning to the residence halls and to participate on campus during the upcoming weeks.  However, yesterday, the governor announced that employees who are identified as non-essential should not physically report to work.  This direction deeply impacts the campus’ ability to support students and, as such, we’ve received a directive from SUNY that students should be discouraged from returning to campus after spring break, until further notice.  At this point the only students who will be allowed to remain in the residence halls will be students who (1) do not have a safe or appropriate alternative location, (2) are international students who are unable to return home and/or (3) students who have limited or no access to technology at home.

Important links – for details, please read below:


We understand that being on campus may be the only option that some of you have, and we want to be able to support you if this is the case.  In order to remain on campus, students must make the request by completing this brief survey by Thursday, March 19, at 8pm.  Residence Life will notify you to let you know if you have been approved to remain on campus.  Students who return to campus should expect several differences, which include, but are not limited to:

  • In order to ensure the physical safety of residential students, the majority of remaining students will be moved to Knowles South (allowances may be given to Townhouse residents under certain circumstances).  You will be notified of your new housing assignment, and given room change instructions when you receive your approval from Residence Life.  We will be housing people based on guidance from Student Health to ensure the health of students as well as their physical safety.
  • There will likely be restrictions to the guest policy for residential students.  More details will be shared with those who are approved to remain on campus.
  • Students will no longer have access to RHA items due to the concerns of sharing communal items.
  • At this point, Lehman and Becky’s are serving food in a take-out capacity only (per the governor’s directive).  Please know that this has the potential to change depending on the potential number of students on campus.
  • Maxcy Hall has been closed (per the governor’s directive).
  • There will be no face-to-face academic commitments on campus.


We know that many of you are wondering about collecting your belongings on campus, especially now that we have received guidance from SUNY that there will be a credit issued for the unused portion of on-campus room and board, as well as certain fees connected with on-campus living.  We are still working on the details related to this process, however, we encourage you to come and collect your belongings as you are able. 

Given that we are no longer able to accommodate students who are not in a hardship situation, we expect that we will have a higher volume of students and families coming to campus over the next few days to move out.  In order to ensure proper social distancing, we are asking all students and families to select a time frame to come to campus.  Please note that you will be asked to identify your top five choices and it is very possible that you will not receive your top choice.  We ask with your patience and flexibility as we do our best to keep people safe.  Residence Life will review survey results each day at 12noon and will notify you of your approved time by 4pm.  If you complete the survey after 12noon, you will not receive notification until 4pm on the next day.  As such, please plan appropriately. 

You can find instructions for checking out on our website and posted throughout the Residence Halls.  Please note, that under these circumstances, this is largely a self-guided process.  We have very limited staff available should you need assistance.

Unfortunately, given these extreme conditions, we wanted to make you aware of the following as you prepare for check-out:

  • We are not able to offer storage this year.  We do not have the staff available to oversee it, the spaces are not prepared at all for students, and--most importantly--we would not be able to meet the expectations of social distancing while people were moving in and out of one specific space.  Should you find yourself in a situation where it will be a hardship to retrieve all or some of your belongings (e.g. you typically travel by bus or carpool), we ask that you let us know more about your situation.  We will do our best to work with you, if possible.
  • The red bins that we typically provide will not be available for use as we cannot ensure that they will be properly sanitized as people are using them.
  • Please be aware that our cleaning staff is actively working to clean spaces and keep us all healthy.  We ask for your assistance in helping their workload by taking your trash to the dumpster.

Should you have specific questions, please email or call 315-267-2350.  We ask that you remember that we are receiving a very high traffic volume and ask for your patience as we work with all of you.