Ransomware attacks have been in the news lately, including an attack over the Fourth of July weekend that impacted up to 1,500 organizations. In this edition of “ITS In-Depth,” we speak with Syracuse University Chief Information Security Officer Chris Croad…
Ongoing COVID-19 Guidance: Syracuse Abroad, Travel, Spring Break
Dear Students, Faculty and Staff:
Syracuse University’s ongoing efforts to plan and prepare our campus community in response to the global coronavirus crisis continue to evolve as new information and updated public health guidance are made available. This is a dynamic and uncertain decision-making environment, and therefore we ask that all members of our community pay close attention to Syracuse University’s ongoing COVID-19 communications.
This specific message will address several important developments, policy decisions and practical considerations as we enter spring break:
Suspending Academic Programs in London and Strasbourg: Yesterday the White House announced new restrictions impacting travel between Europe and the United States. In response, Syracuse Abroad will immediately suspend operations at our remaining academic centers in Europe: London, UK, and Strasbourg, France. Impacted students—as well as their parents and families—received notification of this decision overnight. We are working now to help our students make arrangements to return to the United States with the least disruption possible. This includes working closely with airlines and the U.S. government to bring everyone home safely and quickly. These students, like those departing campus for spring break, will be directed not to return to campus until at least March 30. If you have questions or concerns, please contact the Syracuse Abroad office at 315.443.3471 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Additional Spring Break Guidance for Students: As previously announced, the University will transition to online course delivery effective at the close of the academic day on Friday, March 13. Accordingly:
- All students who plan to and have the option to depart University housing should do so at the earliest opportunity. Students vacating University housing—for any period of time during spring break—will not be permitted to return to campus until at least March 30. We implore you: plan accordingly.
- As we have previously acknowledged, some students cannot return home during spring break. We have taken steps to ensure that any student who needs to remain on campus can stay in their residence hall. Some dining centers, libraries and residence hall fitness centers will remain open. However, be advised that on-campus activities will be purposefully limited as a public health precaution. If you are a student who must remain on campus and in University housing over spring break, you must register your intentions with the Office of Student Living
- Barnes Center Operating Hours: Effective 5 p.m. on Friday, March 13, the recreation portion of the Barnes Center at The Arch will close. Health care and counseling will be open Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. during spring break and until at least March 30. After-hours services remain in place. Visit the Barnes Center at The Arch hours page for a complete listing of hours and services.
Additional Spring Break Guidance for Resident Advisors: Any resident advisor who leaves campus cannot return until at least March 30. Those resident advisors who cannot or were not planning to leave during spring break can remain in their residence hall. Resident advisors with additional questions or concerns should contact Senior Director of Student Living Terra Peckskamp as soon as possible.
Residence Hall Access/Guest Passes: Family members and friends who come to campus Thursday, March 12, through Sunday, March 15 (9 a.m. to 9 p.m.) to help a student move possessions out of their room can be signed in at the security desk, as opposed to the normal practice of requesting a guest pass online. Please note, families and friends will not be allowed to access the residence halls after Sunday, March 15, at 9 p.m. Also note, the online guest pass system will not be active while residential instruction is suspended. For students who need to remain in the residence halls during break, you may still sign in a current student guest, so long as they:
- currently reside in a Syracuse University residence hall (not South Campus apartment); and
- have not traveled for spring break (i.e. have remained on campus throughout spring break).
Internet and Technology Support for Students: As many of our students depart campus for spring break and in preparation for transitioning to an online learning model, we are acutely aware that some individuals may require financial support to purchase computers/laptops for remote access and to cover internet costs. Students on financial aid who need to purchase computers for remote access because they do not have one may submit a Financial Aid Appeal to cover this cost. Contact KC Woods, associate director of financial aid, at email@example.com or 315.443.1513 if you have questions.
Student Employment: With more than 6,000 student employees, we recognize student employment provides important skill development, hands-on learning opportunities and income for our students. As such, Student Employment Services encourages on-campus employers to find remote work, where possible, for student employees who leave campus while residential instruction is suspended. Supervisors can exercise discretion in scheduling, but we ask that every effort be made to provide students who want to work with their regular weekly hours between March 23 and at least March 30. If you have questions, please contact Student Employment Services at firstname.lastname@example.org or 315.443.2268.
Reimbursement for Canceled Travel: Over the last several days, the University received several requests for reimbursement for coronavirus-related cancellations of travel performed in connection with University business. The Office of the Comptroller is currently finalizing guidance on how reimbursements can be requested, processed and distributed. The University will provide counsel shortly on the process that will support students, faculty and staff who incur travel expenses.
Access to Public Information and Reporting: Syracuse University continues to work vigorously to provide clear, timely and pertinent information to members of our campus community. Along with our daily email communications, we are updating Syracuse.edu/coronavirus regularly with answers to frequently asked questions, travel guidance, policy decisions, and resources and services. In addition, Syracuse University’s Office of Government and Community Relations contacted Tim Kennedy, president of Advance Media NY and syracuse.com, to strongly recommended that their news coverage of COVID-19 is fully available to all readers and does not require a paid subscription. They have agreed. We very much appreciate this effort that will benefit the University community and all citizens of Central New York.
Social Distancing: Social distancing means remaining out of group settings, avoiding mass gatherings, and maintaining distance (approximately six feet or two meters) from others whenever possible. To reiterate our guidance from earlier in the week:
- Schools, colleges and units will cancel, postpone or conduct virtually any planned event where attendance will exceed 50 individuals. Residential classes of 50 or more are an exception through the end of the academic day on Friday, March 13.
- Schools, colleges and units with plans to host an external speaker or external groups on campus between March 10 and March 30 should cancel, postpone or virtually conduct those events.
- The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued guidance on minimizing risk, particularly through the use of social distancing. Please review these recommendations and follow accordingly.
We recognize this is a difficult and challenging time and ask that everyone continue to offer their support, grace and compassion to their fellow community members. We appreciate everyone that continues to work tirelessly on these efforts and encourage you to continue to bring questions and concerns to our attention. We are working quickly to provide as much information as possible to our campus community, and you can expect additional communications at regular intervals. Please continue to visit Syracuse.edu/coronavirus for the latest news, announcements, resources and services.
J. Michael Haynie
Vice Chancellor for Strategic Initiatives and Innovation