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Interim President Marcia J. White shared the following message with students and employees on August 20, 2020:

Dear Students, and Colleagues,

It is hard to believe that the start of the Fall 2020 classes is only a few days away. While this semester will be unlike any other, a face mask cannot hide our smiles as new students proudly post pictures of their freshly decorated residence hall rooms on social media and returning students reunite after months of being apart.

We are fortunate to live in a state that has slowed the spread of the COVID-19 virus, but we also understand that in order to keep it that way, we all have to do our part. So, this welcome message serves as a reminder to all of us – from students to employees – of how we are adapting in order to keep ourselves and the neighborhoods that surround our campus safe.

The details of our Saint Rose restart plan can be found at and you can watch a summary of the safety measures in this video, but the most important actions we must take are simple:

Wear a mask when on campus. Masks that cover the nose and mouth are to be worn by anyone on campus property – indoors or outdoors – at all times (with the exception of residence hall rooms, offices that are occupied by one person, and while dining). Science supports the wearing of masks as a means of stopping the spread of COVID-19. Let’s follow the science and care about each other through this simple gesture. We have purchased one Saint Rose re-usable cloth Saint Rose mask for each Saint Rose student and employee. Students can pick up their black and gold SR mask at the Welcome Tent set up on the campus lawn in front of the Events and Athletics Center between now and August 27, and Human Resources will be distributing them to employees.

Maintain your physical distance. Our College embraces community, so it’s hard to think about maintaining our physical distance from each other. But physical distancing is another important tool we have in stopping the spread of the coronavirus. All of us should avoid large gatherings during this time – whether on campus or off campus. Students, it is important that you understand that even off-campus behavior is covered under the College’s student conduct policies. So, attending off-campus gatherings isn’t just a poor choice during a pandemic, it can carry consequences ranging from removal from housing to suspension of your enrollment in the College (this applies to the other COVID-19 related policies, too).

Fill out the daily health questionnaire – and be honest. Employees receive a daily email with a link to a COVID-19-related health questionnaire that must be filled out every day an employee is coming to campus. Undergraduate and graduate students will receive their questionnaire via the Navigate app. (If you haven’t downloaded Navigate yet, you can get the app via this link.) The form helps us to monitor the campus and isolate those with symptoms or risk factors while we also advise testing. Until testing is available with instant results, this is the best way to monitor our campus community daily. It also helps us to remember to stay home when we’re showing any signs of illness.

I want you to know I’m aware that these changes are hard to make. They’re hard for me, too. I love being around people. I don’t find masks very comfortable. I’m the kind of person who normally powers through being at work when I have a cold. But it’s not about us as individuals. It’s about protecting all the people we care about on our campus and in the neighborhood that surrounds us. We have it in us – maybe more so than any other college or university. We’re at Saint Rose because we hold the College’s founding values in our hearts, so let’s be leaders in these tough times by showing the region just what that means.

Things may look unusual this semester, but we’ll find joy even as we adapt. That’s a skill that will serve us today and every day throughout our lives. It’s going to be a great semester, and I’m eager to welcome everyone back to Saint Rose.