Thank you for your patience as we work through the many changes happening not just daily, but hourly, as we adapt to respond to the current pandemic of the coronavirus, or COVID-19. I understand how disruptive this is to all our lives, and the fear that many are experiencing.
It is most important at this time that each of us follows the direction of public health officials to keep ourselves healthy, and especially to protect the most vulnerable in our population who might be immunocompromised or otherwise more susceptible to infection and serious health consequences.
I greatly appreciate the work of the college’s Coronavirus Preparedness Task Force (a working team of more than 30 campus representatives) in their efforts to plan, respond and communicate. Please continue to follow their messages and directions as they arrive from Alerts@morrisville.edu and post online at https://www.morrisville.edu/coronavirus.
There are many questions, and many responses, though I recognize some of those responses are not as detailed or fully developed yet as each of us might like. Please be patient as we try to work swiftly yet thoughtfully through all of this.
Spring break officially begins Monday, March 16, and concludes Friday, March 20. We recognize many students are leaving even this week. We have prioritized our communications and arrangements for students as they depart and ask what will happen when classes are scheduled to resume Monday, March 23.
As Governor Andrew M. Cuomo directed on Wednesday, March 11, we are developing plans to deliver as many courses and labs as possible through remote methods (i.e., online) when classes resume. Those plans must be finalized by the deadline of Thursday, March 19. We fully intend to have all of our detailed plans, including what will be offered remotely and what will remain in-person, explained and shared with you by this deadline.
There have been some subsequent questions about what Gov. Cuomo's statements during the March 11 press conference mean for SUNY institutions. His directions are further explained on his website.
While our academic programs will be delivered remotely as much as possible, we are not requiring students to leave campus. Students can choose to stay on campus, or they can choose to go home. Either way, we will accommodate their learning needs so that they can complete the academic semester.
For students who are concerned about access to technology to facilitate remote learning, please see our Distance Education page for options on how we can assist you. You can also visit this page to learn how to use remote learning technology.
Much of our planning is about reducing density, or keeping groups that meet to a smaller size that allows for social distancing (remaining out of congregate settings, avoiding mass gatherings, and maintaining distance of approximately 6 feet from others when possible). Our current guidelines are to keep groups smaller than 50. In some cases, there are exceptions to allow groups up to 100 if they are on-campus participants only (no external attendees).
Information related to gatherings and events is the most recent topic highlighted during Governor Cuomo’s press conference today (March 12). Additional restrictions and guidelines were announced, and we are ascertaining what specific impact they will have on institutional plans.
I urge everyone to be civil. Treat each other with respect. You have a right to ask questions and to expect answers, and I ask you to be reasonable about how you ask and respond. Watch for emails and monitor the website we have set up. We do not withhold information; we share all that we can with you as soon as we can.
This is a global problem right now, and it will take all of us to address it. As is true all of the time, but especially now, we will not accept intolerance in the forms of words or action against people for their nationality, race, health status, gender identity, sexual orientation or any other trait. Do not engage in such behavior or tolerate it from others.
More information will be forthcoming as the situation develops. I know how challenging this is for all of us. Thank you for your extraordinary efforts to make plans when there is so much uncertainty ahead of us. I believe that we are a strong community of students, faculty, staff, alumni and supporters, capable of working together through whatever we face.