Dear Faculty and Staff: The resurgence of the COVID-19 virus around our country is intensifying on the heels of holiday travel and gatherings. Here in Onondaga County, we are experiencing rising infection rates and an uptick in hospitalizations. In response,…
Residential Instruction to Conclude Effective Thursday, Nov. 12; University Will Go Into Pause Mode
Dear Students, Faculty, Staff and Families:
COVID-19 cases continue to grow very rapidly around the country and in Onondaga County. At Syracuse University, we are also experiencing an increase in COVID-19 cases among our student population. Given the resurgence of the virus, we have made the decision to conclude in-person instruction, effective Thursday, Nov. 12, and transition fully to online instruction for the remainder of the semester. Today, Wednesday, Nov. 11, will be the last day of in-person classes.
For some, this decision may accelerate plans to depart campus and return home for the winter break. We will take necessary action to help our students who choose to leave early to do so as safely as possible. This includes pre-departure testing. At the same time, we will also continue to support any and all students who, for a variety of reasons, will remain with us for the foreseeable future.
Our community has done an extraordinary job navigating this semester in the face of so many challenges. We were so close to finishing the semester together with in-person instruction and activities on campus. I regret we have to pause now, but it is the right decision. As we have done since the beginning of this pandemic, we must continue to prioritize the health and wellness of the campus and broader Syracuse communities. Our active cases remain small in comparison to our population and other universities of similar size. Even now, we have no documented cases of COVID-19 infection that have been traced to an exposure in the classroom. Nevertheless, concluding residential instruction now best protects the health and safety of our community as the Thanksgiving holiday approaches.
Immediate Actions Underway:
As we move into a pause, the specific actions we are taking include:
- Beginning Thursday, Nov. 12, there will be no in-person classes for the remainder of the semester.
- All in-person and on-campus student activities are paused. This includes all student organization and University-sponsored events, all libraries, the Barnes Center at The Arch (and all satellite indoor and outdoor recreation facilities and activities), Tennity Ice Pavilion, Greek life and other school/college/student organization-sponsored events.
- Students may continue to:
- Schedule and attend health or counseling appointments;
- Access dining services via grab and go at the dining halls; and
- Visit the Stadium Testing Center for COVID-19 testing.
- Students who have indicated they plan to depart campus early should do so at their convenience. All other students are encouraged to begin planning their testing and departures as well. Before leaving, all students are instructed to:
- Undergo departure testing. The Stadium Testing Center is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. You should test three days prior to departure and wait for your test result before heading home. If you are unable to wait, you should quarantine at home until you receive a negative result. Learn more about testing by reviewing these best practices.
- Take any devices, textbooks and other critical materials to be able to continue your coursework remotely.
- Bring all items of sentimental or significant value when you depart campus.
- Students who live in on-campus housing are required to complete all steps on the departure checklist, which can be found on the Office of Student Living’s website.
- For students remaining on campus, student and auxiliary services will remain open and in operation (with limited or reduced services).
Please note: While residential instruction will conclude tomorrow, the University will otherwise remain open for normal business operations until further notice.
Who to Contact for Help:
As we continue navigating the coming days, we want to provide important contact information:
- Students and Families:
- For students who, for whatever reason, must remain in on-campus residence halls or apartments, please contact the Office of Student Living at email@example.com or 315.443.3637.
- International students with questions or concerns should contact the Center for International Services at 315.443.2457.
- For students with financial need related to planned travel or accommodations, please visit our emergency funding page to learn more about how the University can support you. You can also contact the Office of Financial Aid directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or 315.443.1513.
- For students who require academic accommodations, please contact academic advising in your school or college.
- For students who need technical or technological support to continue their academic coursework remotely, contact the ITS Service Center at email@example.com or 315.443.2677.
- For students with questions about disability-related accommodations, visit disabilityresources.syr.edu or contact the Center for Disability Resources at firstname.lastname@example.org or 315.443.4498.
- Graduate students should contact Associate Dean Gabby Chapman at email@example.com with graduate-specific questions.
- Students with questions specific to your school, college or academic department, contact your dean’s office directly.
- For Faculty and Staff:
- Faculty and staff with questions or concerns about their work arrangements should reach out to their dean, department chair or immediate supervisor.
- Faculty who have questions about transitioning to online teaching, contact your school/college IT department to coordinate support and training with Information Technology Services and other units.
I ask all to travel safely, and to know that we look forward to welcoming students back next semester. The University will remain in close contact with our campus community. And we will share frequent updates on our spring 2021 planning.
Chancellor Kent Syverud