Interim President Marcia White sent the following message to the College community today:
Dear Students and Colleagues,
It’s been almost exactly a year since the COVID-19 pandemic changed the way we live and learn at Saint Rose and throughout the world. Some of us have grieved the losses of loved ones, and we have experienced “pandemic fatigue,” as our daily routines were disrupted in such a significant way.
Throughout the pandemic, we found new levels of resilience within ourselves, and we came together as a community to care for each other and the dear neighbor. Now, we are excited to see nationwide vaccination efforts are accelerating and offering a light at the end of this long tunnel.
As we move toward a “new normal” that more closely resembles life as we knew it before the pandemic, we are happy to announce we are planning a full on-campus delivery of courses this fall. We’ve learned through the pandemic that all plans are subject to change, but in the next several months, our planning will be focused on creating a safe on-campus learning and living environment for the 2021-2022 academic year. We know that you may have a lot of questions, so here’s what we know, and what we will be figuring out in the months ahead:
Commencement: We know that many of you and your families are wondering what commencement plans will be for the Classes of 2020 and 2021. Acknowledging that we are still in midst of the pandemic, we are gathering feedback from focus groups and reviewing the new guidance from New York State. We expect to announce our commencement plans soon.
Fall 2021 course delivery: While there may still be some courses offered online or hybrid, the plan for Fall 2021, as of now, is for in-person course delivery. Advisement Day is March 23, when students have the opportunity to develop their individual course schedule plans for the fall semester with their advisors. We expect course listings for Fall 2021 to be available after March 15.
Masks and COVID-19 protocol for fall: Health experts have advised that fall reopening will still come with the need to wear masks and observe other COVID-19 prevention measures throughout next year. As we receive more information regarding the vaccines, we will evaluate our COVID-19 policies, such as those governing events and the residence halls, to allow more opportunities for students to socialize, host, and attend residential, as well as campus programs, while maintaining safety.
Vaccination requirements: We have not yet been informed by New York State whether the vaccine will be a requirement for students and employees to return to campus this fall. We will be looking at both vaccine availability and what will be required by New York State to make that determination and will make an announcement as soon as possible.
COVID-19 testing: We will share plans for testing as the opening of the 2021-2022 academic year nears.
Athletics: The Northeast-10 and the NCAA will deliver guidance for the athletic season in 2021-2022. We expect that athletic competition will resume in a closer-to-pre-COVID format in the fall.
Group gatherings: New York State is currently providing guidelines for the size of group gatherings. We will be making decisions based on NYS guidelines and the capacity of our facilities. Again, our goal will be to allow more opportunities for students to socialize, host, and attend residential, as well as campus programs, while maintaining safety.
The health and safety of our students will always be our first priority, and we must continue our vigilance with mask-wearing and social distancing. With you, I am reassured by the news of the vaccines and the prospect of a fall semester at Saint Rose with less screen time and more face-to-face time.
The last year of a global pandemic has been an incredible test of our College and our nation. I am filled with appreciation for your grace, your strength, and your ability to work as a community at this unprecedented period in our history.
The College of Saint Rose