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Potsdam Prepared: Fall 2021 Updates

Student Guide

Together, we can ensure that the Spring 2021 semester is safe and successful. 

What Students Should Know

BEAR = Be Ethical And Responsible
All returning students will be expected to comply with our SUNY Potsdam BEAR (Be Ethical And Responsible) COVID-19 Pledge. We have strong expectations in order to keep our campus and community safe. If you are concerned about your ability to comply with any of these, you are welcomed and encouraged to complete your studies virtually.


Pledge Highlights:

  • Comply with all testing and quarantine requirements.
  • All students will be required to do a 7-day precautionary quarantine and then 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. 
  • If you are sick or come in contact with someone who has COVID-19, complete the required quarantine/isolation period as directed by Public Health.

Spring 2021 Move-Out

SUNY Potsdam's semester will end on Saturday, May 22 and residential students are required to vacate the residence halls by 6 p.m. on Sunday, May 23. 

Move-out Guide


  • For comprehensive surveillance testing, all of the following are required to be tested on an ongoing basis: 1) residential students, 2) local students living in a 15-mile radius, 3) any student with a reason to be on campus or completing an applied learning experience (i.e., student teaching). Surveillance testing is mandatory.
  • For surveillance testing, we are utilizing pooled saliva testing offered by Upstate Medical University.
  • Students must register before testing at
  • All students meeting the above criteria will be tested weekly, on Mondays in the Barrington Student Union Multipurpose Room.
  • Students at our Watertown branch campus will have separate testing process due to their attendance at Jefferson Community College.
  • As always, any student with symptoms may receive a test through Student Health Services or their local healthcare provider.
  • SUNY Potsdam has protocols and residential spaces identified for quarantine/isolation, as needed for residential students, consistent with current NYS/public health guidelines.
  • All campus case numbers will continue to be tracked on the SUNY Potsdam website, in the interest of transparency.

Mental health

We realize that getting some space to breathe and rest is so important for students’ 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.

Precautionary pause preparations

All State University of New York campuses must comply with NYS Health Department guidelines mandating that any campus that hits a threshold of 100 active positive cases of COVID-19 must enter a precautionary two-week pause on in-person activities to slow the spread of the virus. SUNY Potsdam has never gotten close to this threshold, but constantly monitors its case details, in consultation with public health officials.

In the event that SUNY Potsdam must enter a precautionary pause, an announcement would be sent to all students and employees, via email, text alert and website updates. During a pause, all in-person activities are temporarily suspended for two weeks:

  • All in-person classes would shift to remote instruction.
  • Student activities would likewise shift to virtual formats for the most part.
  • Campus facilities (such as dining locations, the Lougheed Learning Commons and Maxcy Hall) may restrict access or implement stricter guidelines to encourage physical distancing.
  • Increased testing may be implemented, per public health recommendations.

Pauses may be extended as necessary, depending on the evolving public health circumstances. If cases stabilize, in-person learning may resume following the precautionary pause period.

Protect yourself and each other.

If you have any concerns about possible violations of the BEAR COVID-19 Pledge, you may email (and/or, if you are unsure which campus a student is affiliated with).