Spring 2021 Return to Campus Plan: Frequently Asked Questions for Students

Frequently Asked Questions for Students

When do my classes start?

We have delayed our start of classes until Monday, Feb. 8, 2021. This delay in the start to the semester will allow cases from the holidays to clear, more people to be vaccinated, and more of the semester’s work to be conducted in (hopefully) warmer weather that allows for more ventilation and outdoor activity.

When will classes end?

In-person class instruction will end Friday, May 14, 2021. Finals will be held during the week of May 17-21, 2021

This ensures that you receive the same standard number of instruction hours and weeks as a normal semester. This is emerging as a standard practice for colleges this fall, and is meant to minimize travel to and from the campus and its immediate community. 

Will Commencement be held?

SUNY Morrisville is tentatively planning for a virtual Commencement event, similar to May 2020. The date is tentatively planned for Saturday, May 22, 2021. Details will be provided as more information is available.

When and where should a mask or face covering be worn on campus?

Please refer to the Hygiene Procedures section.

What will happen if I fail to comply with the college's COVID-19 policies?

Allowable sanctions include a suspension from academic and/or housing access with continued access to their academic program via remote learning only (if available and as subject to campus policy and process), an academic and/or housing suspension, or permanent dismissal from the institution. SUNY Morrisville’s possible sanctions for each violation are listed in the student handbook.

What will classroom capacity look like?

All instructional spaces will be audited for revised capacity, not to exceed 50% of standard limits. Student work spaces will be placed at least six feet apart. Coordination of effort between Facilities Services and the Office of the Registrar will ensure that courses are assigned to appropriate instructional spaces capable of accommodating socially-distanced student numbers.

For each academic building, entrances and exits, signage and hand sanitizer stations will encourage good hygiene and proper social distancing practices.

Will my classes be face-to-face, fully online, hybrid, or web enhanced? 

A description of the variety of delivery modes can be found at Distance Education Definitions

Will all of my classes be live-streamed or recorded? 

For in-person classes, we have purchased additional technology to assist faculty who are teaching in a format that will allow students to take a course in-person, synchronously (live, at the same time) online, or asynchronously (recorded, at any time) online. 

What about my classes that teach through hands-on learning methods?

Classes with labs and those that are delivered with a hands-on approach will be offered in spaces that adhere to physical (social) distancing and enhanced cleaning protocols. 

What will the face-to-face instruction experience be like?

Class sections will be held in spaces large enough to adhere to physical-distancing requirements. All courses that include face-to-face instruction require students and faculty to wear approved face coverings. Hybrid options (classes that combine some online, some in-person) will reduce the amount of continuous time students and faculty will spend together in the classroom.

Where on campus can I participate in my online or hybrid courses?

The Donald G. Butcher Library at SUNY Morrisville welcomes students who need a place on campus to join their online classes. Campus policies regarding wearing a mask or face covering and physical distancing while in shared spaces will be followed. 

Students can use their own laptops or check out a laptop from the library circulation desk and will be required to wear headphones (also available for checkout). The study pods and carrels on the library’s second floor are the best seating options for this activity. To adhere to physical distancing, group study rooms will not available this spring. The available library seating options are specifically arranged to accommodate physical distancing between individuals. 

Please visit the library webpage for the most current information on when the building is open for student use.

Will we follow the usual spring break and holiday schedule?

Given the current risks associated with COVID-19 spread, there is no scheduled spring break and any other spring holiday period.

Will there be screening or testing before I am allowed to return to campus?

Yes, all students, faculty and staff will be screened daily for travel history, COVID-19 history and COVID-19 symptoms for two (2) weeks prior to return. This will be accomplished through the use of an online form. An automated reminder email will be sent to all college email accounts daily.

Students who:
• live on campus
• participate in at least one class on campus
• utilize services on campus (dining, library, recreation facilities. Etc.)
• work on campus

will submit an attestation of having completed a seven-day (7-day) precautionary quarantine prior to returning to campus. This will be completed through an online form, most likely in the form of a Blackboard course.

Additionally, each student as described above will:
• provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 test taken AS CLOSE TO ARRIVAL AS POSSIBLE, within seven (7) days and no more than 14 days prior to return to campus, AND
participate in testing (most likely pooled saliva testing) upon arrival, and no later than five (5) days after returning to campus
• provide documentation of a positive diagnostic COVID-19 test from the prior three-month (3- month) period.

Students also will inform the campus of any known contacts with COVID-19 positive individuals, or of any symptoms consistent with COVID-19 or of a positive test result for COVID-19.

All students will be enrolled in a Blackboard course to ensure they submit all necessary documentation, receive all relevant information and training, and are sorted by residential and commuter student status to understand which policies and practices apply.

Commuter students are expected to participate in testing requirements, just as residential students are required. They must participate in pooled saliva testing as soon as possible within their first week of being physically on campus. If more than 14 days go by since their last test and most recent visit to campus, they must participate in pooled saliva testing again.

Norwich Campus students, who are not residential and do not generally live in communal housing, will be expected to either provide proof of a negative test before coming to campus or participate in scheduled pooled saliva testing at the Norwich Campus.

What should I know about the New York State Travel Restrictions? 

In response to increased rates of COVID-19 transmission in the United States and other countries, and to protect New York State’s (NYS) successful containment of COVID-19, NYS has issued a travel advisory for anyone entering NYS from a non-bordering state or traveled internationally from a country designated under a CDC Level 2 and higher COVID-19 travel health notice. Bordering states include: New Jersey, Vermont, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut.  

For any traveler to New York State from a non-bordering state, US territory or CDC level 2 and higher country, the new guidelines for travelers to test-out of the mandatory 10-day quarantine are below: 

For travelers who were out-of-state for more than 24 hours: 

  • Travelers must obtain a test within three days of departure, prior to arrival in New York. 
  • The traveler must complete the Traveler Health Form
  • The traveler must, upon arrival in New York, quarantine for three days. 
  • On day four (4) of their quarantine, the traveler must obtain another COVID test. If both tests come back negative, the traveler may exit quarantine early upon receipt of the second negative diagnostic test. 

Information on quarantine for any person arriving from another state in the United States for which travel restrictions apply includes: 

  1. The individual must not be in public or otherwise leave the quarters that they have identified as suitable for their quarantine.  
  2. The individual must be situated in separate quarters with a separate bathroom facility for each individual or family group. Access to a sink with soap, water and paper towels is necessary. Cleaning supplies (e.g. household cleaning wipes, bleach) must be provided in any shared bathroom. 
  3. The individual must have a way to self-quarantine from household members as soon as fever or other symptoms develop, in a separate room(s) with a separate door. Given that an exposed person might become ill while sleeping, the exposed person must sleep in a separate bedroom from household members. 
  4. Food must be delivered to the person; the individual cannot leave to get food. 
  5. Quarters must have a supply of face masks for individuals to put on if they become symptomatic.  
  6. Garbage must be bagged and left outside for routine pick up. Special handling is not required.  
  7. Use this temperature log to monitor your temperature. 
  8. Nearby medical facilities must be notified prior to arrival of the quarantine, if the individual begins to experience more than mild symptoms and requires medical assistance. 
  9. The quarters must be secure against unauthorized access.

Additional information on the quarantine requirements for international students includes: 
1.    Staying home for 14 days from the time you arrived in the United States or returned home from international travel. 
2.    During this 14-day period, take these steps to monitor your health and practice physical (social) distancing:  
a.    Take your temperature with a thermometer two times a day and monitor for fever. Also watch for cough or trouble breathing. Use this temperature log to monitor your temperature.  
b.    Stay home and avoid contact with others. Do not go to work or school.  
c.    Do not take public transportation, taxis or ride-shares.  
d.    Keep your distance from others (about 6 feet or 2 meters). 

I’m an incoming student this semester. How do I participate in Orientation?

A Virtual New Student Orientation is available for all incoming students. Be sure to complete orientation by Sunday, Feb. 7, at 11:59 p.m. The New Student Orientation provides you with all the resources you’ll need to be successful at SUNY Morrisville. Through a sequence of slides and YouTube videos, you will learn about student services, special programs and the many ways the Morrisville community is here to support you as a student and person. The orientation is mandatory for all new students and each slide and section quiz must be completed.

A personal link to the Bystander Intervention Training also has been emailed to all new incoming students. 

Can I leave campus?

Yes, you may leave campus to go to local establishments (stores, eateries, etc.). Please continue to follow state guidelines by wearing a mask and maintaining proper social distancing when visiting these establishments. 

Can I return home during the semester?

Advisories or restrictions may be put in place returning home or traveling to high-density areas on weekends. More details will be provided as they are finalized. 

How will move-out from the residential halls be handled?

The college will encourage all residential students to limit items brought to campus for the months of February-May, with minimal “extras” to reduce any subsequent return to campus to move out belongings. Additional boxes and bags will be provided. 

After students depart, Residence Life staff will close the buildings, going room-to-room to ensure all electronics and appliances have been removed or are not plugged in, ensure that trash has been removed, etc. Room damages will be assessed as appropriate. Card access will be switched to “vacation access” and only students having authorization will be allowed to stay. 

The college will offer emergency housing for international students and those with housing insecurity, as well as those who meet other hardship criteria. Students approved to remain on campus will be moved immediately to single rooms with single baths. Meals and health care needs will be provided.

What campus offices will be open? What procedures must be followed (walk-in availability, by appointment only, etc.)?

Important campus office updates can be found on the Campus Office Hours and Availability webpage

What do I do if I am experiencing symptoms of COVID-19?

If you develop symptoms of possible COVID-19, PLEASE REMAIN IN YOUR ROOM or YOUR HOME and adhere to the following steps:

  1. Immediately notify each of their professors that you will not be attending class. If you are student-athlete, also notify your head coach that you will not be attending any team activities. 
  2. If living on campus, immediately contact the Student Health Center if during operating hours (M-F, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.), or their primary care physician or a local urgent care to determine if testing is warranted.
  3. Follow guidance provided through Step 2 and closely monitor your symptoms. If you develop any of the following symptoms: trouble breathing; persistent pain or pressure in your chest; inability to stay awake; new confusion; or bluish lips or face; seek emergency care by CALLING 911 or CALL AHEAD TO YOUR LOCAL EMERGENCY ROOM. 

What do I do if I test positive for COVID-19?

COVID testing on symptomatic students will be collected by Health Services and processed by off-campus reference laboratory. Student will be placed in quarantine/isolation housing (currently designated as South Hall, left vacant for this purpose). 

If the test is negative, you may return to normal activities. If a test is positive, you must remain in isolation in the designated quarantine and isolation building that has been set up on campus until you are cleared by a health provider or public health authority.

Health Services will utilize telehealth for daily checks on quarantine/isolation students in coordination with local health department.

What will happen if the campus meets the threshold for a mandatory pause?

If the campus meets the threshold for a mandatory pause on in-person instruction as outlined in the Supplemental Higher Education guidance from the New York State Department of Health, faculty and staff are prepared to continue educational and support services for students as they remain in place until the pause is over. This means students remain in their residences (or away from campus), except to pick up takeout-only food or to exercise outdoors in an appropriately distanced manner. Remote operations are now designed into all possible functions of the college, and faculty have planned for courses to adjust to online or remote delivery as necessary.