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Potsdam Prepared: Fall 2021 Updates

Social Contract & Safety Plan

July 30, 2020

Potsdam, Prepared: Important safety plan survey for all students due August 1

Dear Students,

The Potsdam Pledge states that we are “more than a collection of individuals, SUNY Potsdam is a community dedicated to the pursuit of common goals.” This statement has never been more true, as we prepare to welcome many of you to a changed campus, and engage virtually with those who choose to study from home. No matter where you are, we all have to do our part to keep one another healthy and safe.

All returning students will be expected to comply with the SUNY Potsdam BEARS (Be Ethical And Responsible) COVID-19 Pledge. It is critical that we all adhere to these expectations, as they should reduce the spread of COVID-19 and lessen the possibility that SUNY Potsdam will need to shut down. We ask that you thoroughly review the full pledge. Among other important expectations, all returning students will be expected to:

  • Complete a 7-day quarantine period at home before coming to campus. If you are unable to do this, you will be required to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival to Potsdam.
  • Be tested for COVID-19 upon arrival to campus. This will be required of both on-campus residential students and off-campus students living locally.
  • Wear a face covering at all times in public spaces, unless you are alone or in your personal residence hall room.
  • Stay in your own space. People who you do not live with should never enter your room or apartment: not to hang out, not to study, not to party.
  • Complete daily screenings for COVID-19 symptoms and seek medical attention if you have any.
  • Remain in the North Country region until you return home for Thanksgiving break.
  • If you are sick or come in contact with someone who has COVID-19, complete a quarantine/isolation period for 10 to 14 days.

If you are concerned about your ability to adhere to any of these commitments, we welcome and encourage you to continue your studies virtually.

Steps Moving Forward

  • Carefully consider your final decision about whether you will return to Potsdam, or study virtually. You might find our frequently asked questions about Fall 2020 academics page helpful as you think about this.
  • Then, let us know, by completing your safety plan survey by Saturday, August 1. This is an important survey to help you plan for the semester, and to provide us information to either prepare for your return or to have you study virtually.
  • If you decide to study virtually (meaning that you have no intention of being on campus or the surrounding community this year):
    • Complete the safety plan survey by August 1.
    • If you still need to, fill out the COVID-19 housing exemption form and email it to
    • If you are a non-residential student living in the community and have no plans to return to campus either for classes or to utilize our facilities, please notify us.
    • Make sure that you have everything you need to begin virtual classes on August 31.
  • If you decide to return to Potsdam (regardless of whether you will be living on or off campus):
    • Complete the safety plan survey by August 1.
    • Starting next week, students who completed the safety plan will be emailed with instructions to schedule your appointment time to return to campus to be tested for COVID-19 and, if you are living on campus, to check in to your residence hall. You will be able to select a day/time that works best for you between August 24 and 30.
    • Make sure Student Health Services has your health insurance information on file. Just go to BearPAWS, then open the “New Student Services” link. Click on “Student Health Services Portal,” then select the “Insurance” tab. Add all new information there. If don’t have health insurance and need assistance, resources are available here.
    • Prepare to self-quarantine for 7 days prior to your arrival on campus. We will send reminders and instructions. You will be asked to track your quarantine and your health beginning at this time by filling out the Symptoms Tracker in BearPAWS every day. Should you fail to do this, you will be required to complete a 14-day quarantine on campus, during which time you will not be able to leave your room for any reason.

We know that this is difficult. We are all longing for things to return to normal, but until then, we must each do our part to protect our campus and community. While this semester will certainly be different than what we know, there are many great things ahead of us. I am confident that we will work together to fulfill our pledge to one another to keep our community healthy and safe.

For more information about SUNY Potsdam’s Restart Plan, visit the student guide on our Potsdam, Prepared page.


Eric Duchscherer
Interim Dean of Students