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March 13, 2020: Limits on Events & Activities

Updated 3/16/20

As part of the ongoing response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, SUNY Potsdam is taking immediate steps to limit group gatherings, as part of recommended public health steps to reduce population density and encourage social distancing. These difficult but important steps must be taken to reduce the spread of the virus and help to protect the health of our campus and community.

In keeping with Governor Cuomo’s executive order limiting all mass gatherings with 500 people or more, and following consultation with the St. Lawrence County Public Health Department, SUNY Potsdam will cancel all College-sponsored and third-party events for 50 people or more, until further notice. In addition, many events and activities for fewer attendees (50 people or less) may also be canceled or postponed, depending on attendee interest and an assessment of risk factors. The College will also take steps regarding facility use to further encourage social distancing.

The College is still reviewing all scheduled events and activities, but here is an overview of major changes as of today:

Potsdam Bears Athletics
Following a decision from the NCAA Board of Governors canceling all winter and spring athletic championships, the SUNY Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) has officially canceled the winter and spring sports seasons. All remaining Potsdam Bears athletics games and practices will no longer be held for this semester.

Commencement & Awards Ceremonies
A decision on the 2020 Commencement ceremony will be forthcoming. Please know that SUNY Potsdam has every intention of finding a way to celebrate the Class of 2020. We will follow up when we have more information. SUNY Potsdam is making plans to host all campus award ceremonies and honors convocations via livestream this year.

Student Activities
The Student Government Association is assessing the needs of clubs and organizations and will be sending out a survey to club leaders about this soon. Springfest is being rescheduled for the fall semester. Campus Life is comprehensively reviewing all events and activities, and will continue to follow up with more specifics.

Concerts, performances & exhibitions
As a creative campus, SUNY Potsdam normally hosts more than 400 performances, concerts, exhibitions and arts events each year. This will very obviously be greatly curtailed this semester. The Crane School of Music will not host live performances or rehearsals of any kind involving students. Guest artist performances will also be canceled or postponed. Faculty recitals may be performed at their discretion, but will be closed to audiences and livestreamed online.

Athletic facilities
The Maxcy Hall Athletic Complex facilities will now be closed until further notice, following an executive order from the Governor closing all gyms in the state. The Merritt Hall pool remains closed as well. All Maxcy Club members and Swim Club members will have their contracts extended, so that once the facilities reopen, community members will be able to utilize those facilities for the same amount of time in the future that they will miss due to this closure.

Visiting groups & Admissions
Field trip visits from area school districts will be canceled through April 30 at the earliest. Large-scale Admissions events, such as the upcoming Open House and Multicultural Weekend, will be rescheduled or reworked for an online format. Prospective students are encouraged to take advantage of Virtual Information Sessions, the virtual tour, follow our social media, postpone their visits or organize individual campus tours.

To check on the status of particular events not mentioned here, please contact the organizers or the department.

We recognize and understand that the postponement and cancellation of so many events and activities will be deeply disappointing to many people. There will also be an impact for our community partners and local business owners.

No matter how disappointing, these steps must be taken in order to protect the health of our students, faculty, staff, visitors and community members. We look forward to resuming our normal operations and opening our doors for events once again, once this public health crisis has passed. In the meantime, thank you for your cooperation and understanding.