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Potsdam Prepared: Fall 2021 Updates

Spring 2021 Plans

December 8, 2020

Dear student:

We have been so grateful to all of the dedication and hard work that our entire campus community put in to ensure that our Fall 2020 semester was both safe and successful—and we are already looking forward to welcoming you back in the New Year!

We are asking all students to complete an important survey to let us know your plans for the Spring 2021 semester. The survey was sent out on December 8, with unique links for each student. To find the survey, search your email for messages from Eric D. Duchscherer, The deadline is this Sunday, December 13. It is critically important that you fill this out on time, so that we have the correct information on hand to plan for housing, dining, billing, student activities and support services.

As a reminder, here are some of the highlights of our Spring 2021 reopening plans, to help you as you make your own plans for the semester:

Return to campus
Students will be phased back to campus during the week of January 25. All students will be required to do a 7-day precautionary quarantine and then be tested for COVID-19 upon arrival to campus.  More information on returning to campus will be sent in the upcoming weeks.

Classes will begin on February 1, starting virtually for the first two weeks of the semester. You can find the format for every class in BearPAWS when you register for the semester.

We will continue to use the pooled saliva tests offered through Upstate Medical University for our regular surveillance testing next semester, both for students and employees. Student Health Services will also continue to offer testing for any residential or local students with symptoms of COVID-19.

Students will continue to be asked to uphold the BEAR (Be Ethical And Responsible) COVID-19 Pledge.

Mental health
We realize that getting some space to breathe and rest is so important for your health and well-being. While we are not allowed to have a spring break under SUNY guidelines, we have built midweek break days throughout the semester schedule to allow students to rest, while still reducing the temptation to leave the area or join unsafe gatherings. We also have many resources in place to help you, through both the Counseling Center and our student activities and programs.

We will continue to add more details about our spring semester plans on our website, at

We are also planning another round of virtual town halls for students and families in the New Year to help answer all your questions, so please keep an eye open for that invitation in the coming weeks.


Eric Duchscherer
Interim, Dean of Students