Campus Life, Major Events and Activities | St. Lawrence University Always Forward: Returning to St. Lawrence

Campus Life, Major Events and Activities

Our success upon returning to campus in the fall will be a community-wide effort. We all have a responsibility to keep one another safe, and to protect the wellbeing of not just ourselves but our classmates, faculty and staff, and North Country neighbors.

Social Contract: The Laurentian Pact and FAQs
Student Gatherings, Public Events, Large Venues and Events
Large Public Events on Campus
Third-Party Events: Speakers and Performers 
Commencements and Reunions
Places and Events of Worship
Student Employment


Social Contract: The Laurentian Pact and FAQs

All students studying on campus during the Spring 2021 semester are required to sign the Spring 2021 Laurentian Pact by Friday, Dec. 18. Please note that all students will need to “login” at the top right of the page before you can access the Pact.

The Laurentian Pact codifies behavioral directives to protect the community. It includes, but is not limited to, such aspects as compliance with mandatory mask-wearing, testing for COVID-19 upon arrival and at intervals, completing daily confidential reports of health status, abiding by rules for student gatherings and events, placement in quarantine if exposed and in isolation with a positive diagnosis, and abiding by travel restrictions and visitor prohibitions.  The Contract describes disciplinary penalties for violations, including being sent home. Students completed an online educational module before arriving on campus. Both students and parents/guardians signed the Social Contract.

When determining sanctions for COVID-19-related violations, student history will be taken into account. In cases of non-compliance, we will take severity of incident, its impact on the campus community, and a student’s past student conduct history into account when making a decision on what an appropriate sanction should be, including if they can stay or not. Theoretically, a student who has a clean record but has a major violation could be sent home.

Student Gatherings, Public Events, Large Venues and Events

St. Lawrence wouldn’t be St. Lawrence without our active, vibrant student body. Our clubs and organizations and the events that they sponsor enrich campus life. We are determined to maintain this spirit of collaboration and community, which is why we’ve thoughtfully considered safeguards that allow certain events and activities to continue while ensuring the health of students, employees, and our North Country neighbors.

Even though New York State and health experts have placed restrictions on gatherings, we are supplementing the abundant social programming typically offered to students. Partnering with clubs and organizations, we are providing creative new formal and informal opportunities for safe social interaction that are both in person and virtual. Indoor and outdoor spaces are available for small groups to gather while still adhering to the regulations. We welcome additional suggestions from students.

Limited gatherings are permitted with restrictions based on space, location, and in accordance with New York State guidelines.

Effective March 22, 2021: Gatherings of no more than 100 people are allowed in non-residential outdoor spaces when approved by Student Activities (see below). Gatherings of no more than 10 people are permitted in shared indoor spaces such as common rooms and kitchen areas when six feet of physical distancing is possible. During Phase 1 of the semester or until further notice, all people in the gathering must be from the same designated extended family unit unless permitted by the Student Activities office thanks to an approved safety plan. At the conclusion of the gathering, all surfaces must be wiped down with provided disinfectant products. Phase 2 of the semester will allow gatherings of students from specific residential areas to be announced by Residence Life. Dates of Phases 1 and Phases 2 are dependent on health conditions.

Gatherings in bedrooms of up to double the currently established occupancy are allowed (e.g., singles can have two people, doubles can have four people, including the residents of the room). During the first four weeks of the semester, all people attending a room gathering must be from the same designated extended family unit and all room occupants must agree to the gathering. If approved, any current students can be guests in a student room after four weeks; all residents must wear face coverings if any room occupants are from a different extended family unit. Students can withdraw consent to having others in privately assigned spaces at any time.

Gatherings outside of the residence halls of up to 10 people are only permitted if approved by the Student Activities Office. Students must complete advance coordination with the Student Activities Office before these events occur to ensure all agreed-upon safety guidelines are followed.

Campus meetings should be held virtually whenever possible. If a meeting must be held in person, the meeting should be scheduled for a space that complies with the 50% capacity-of-occupancy guideline as noted in the room reservation system. Social distancing and masks are always required.

Large Public Events on Campus

Public events on campus, including large event spaces and venues, are restricted or modified in accordance with public health guidance at the time of the event. Events usually scheduled during the academic year that historically bring large numbers of external guests to campus (e.g., Family Weekend) may be planned as virtual events. We will continue to propose alternatives to ongoing community engagement such as remote gatherings when possible. 

See below for information on Commencements and Reunion.


Third-Party Events: Speakers and Performers

Social distancing and public health guidelines also apply to any third parties (if approved) permitted to use campus space for approved gatherings. External guest speakers or performers only may come from one of the Associated Colleges of the St. Lawrence Valley. No other speakers or performers may visit campus in the academic year.

Campus meetings should be held virtually whenever possible. If a meeting must be held in person, the meeting should be scheduled for a space that complies with the 50% capacity-of-occupancy guideline as noted in the room reservation system. Social distancing and masks are always required.

Commencements and Reunions

At St. Lawrence, we cherish opportunities to celebrate our achievements and our community. We have delayed Commencement for the Class of 2020, as well as our 2020 Reunion weekend, as we plan to properly honor these very special events when it safe to do so.

After reviewing many options and considering factors such as on-campus capacity, the academic calendar, and opportunities for events, a subcommittee representing Academic Affairs, Student Life, Facilities Operations, Advancement, University Communications and the Commencement Committee proposes the following, with dates predicated on New York State guidance for gatherings that would be in effect at least two months in advance. Commencement is a major University activity that normally requires six months’ planning by departments across campus.

  • Commencement for the Class of 2021: Sunday, April 18, 2021 - Read President Fox’s message to the Class of 2021
    • Late last week, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo, unexpectedly and helpfully, announced upcoming adjustments to large-gathering guidelines that will allow St. Lawrence to alter its Commencement setting and date.
    • To assure adequate time for both the completion of finals and to celebrate the accomplishments of the senior class, the graduation ceremony has been moved to Sunday, April 18, 2021.
    • There will now be four sequential ceremonies on April 18 spaced throughout the day in Newell Field House.
    • Graduates will be assigned a graduation time of 9 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m., or 3 p.m. based upon their family units. Each ceremony will be limited by state regulations to 150 people, all wearing masks seated at least 6-feet apart.
    • Graduates will all walk across the stage and have their names announced. The entire event will be broadcast via livestream for remote viewing by our St. Lawrence families.
    • Most of the Commencement program will be conducted virtually to assure quality consistency among the four separate events.
    • The State of NY guidelines on large gatherings and the capacity of our facilities make it impossible for us to accommodate guests at the ceremony.
    • All seniors must be tested for COVID-19 on April 13 or April 14 to participate.
    • Current remote seniors or December graduates must also follow our arrival protocols to protect our campus community. Read more about those protocols.
    • Since exams end on Friday, April 16, faculty need time to grade and therefore honors will be calculated after Commencement. Diplomas will be mailed to students’ homes after grades are entered for the Spring 2021 semester.
    • Saturday, April 17 will be Class Day, an old American college tradition for seniors to mark and celebrate their time together. It will include activities and programming arranged in a collaboration between the Class of 2021 and Student Life professionals; this day must also adhere to all COVID-19 safety and gathering restrictions. Failure to do so would put in jeopardy the following day’s Commencement.
    • More details will be shared as plans are refined in the coming weeks.
  • Commencement for the Class of 2020: August 1, 2021
    • Members of the Class of 2020 will be invited to campus as University guests for some dates in advance for campus activities for a senior experience together.  
  • Reunion 2021 (Updated 3/1/21): After careful consideration of the status of COVID-19, resources in the North Country, and in line with public health protocols and in consultation with Reunion leadership, we have come to the conclusion that we cannot host an on-campus gathering in July. 
    • The uncertainty regarding New York State and local guidelines including travel restrictions, quarantine procedures, and gathering size limits were certainly factors in our decision, but the health and safety of both our potential guests as well as our fellow residents of the North Country is our top priority.  This disappointing news likely doesn’t come as a surprise, and due to size limitations, the only classes we are able to roll into Reunion Weekend 2022 are the 50th Reunion classes of 1970 and 1971. However, we as a St. Lawrence community remain committed to our pillar that Laurentians Celebrate, and we intend to do just that. 
    • Our team, along with fellow University staff and Reunion volunteers, will collaborate on a Virtual Celebration for Every Laurentian to be held in the month of June. This date change is strategic, in that it will allow us to celebrate Reunion milestones, the success and impact of The Campaign for Every Laurentian, as well as the retirement of President Bill Fox ’75.  More information will follow in the days and weeks ahead. 

Places and Events of Worship

Chaplain Shaun Whitehead will offer virtual services in Gunnison Memorial Chapel.

Student Employment

All student employment goes through the Financial Aid office.

  • Students enrolled on campus can work on campus
  • Students enrolled remotely but living in NYS can work remotely.
  • Students enrolled remotely but not living in NYS cannot work unless they reside in a state for which the University already has registered as an employer:  Connecticut, Massachusetts, Virginia, or Indiana.
  • Students not enrolled in the semester cannot work, if the funding is federal work study. Any requests for exceptions to hire a student as a temporary worker (paid NYS minimum wage) must go to the Senior Staff leader of the division.