Messages to the Community | St. Lawrence University Always Forward: Returning to St. Lawrence

Messages to the Community

Campus Communications

 

September 25 Message to Students from Hagi Bradley, Vice President and Dean of Student Life

Happy Friday my Laurentian Friends,

It is with great excitement I write to you today with the next phase of our residence visitation policy as we noted in the Laurentian Pact.

The Student Life Team has consulted with Director of Health Services Erin Casey and the Campus Safety Monitoring Team and believe it is prudent to take a phased approach to reopening cross-residence visitation on campus.  Final approval of each phase will be subject to the public health status of campus as well as student compliance with the Laurentian Pact leading up to and during each Phase.

Phase 1: [Current Status] Visitation within extended family unit only. No other residence hall access.

Phase 2: This phase is scheduled to start on Monday, September 28, and will permit student visitation within their own residential buildings. For Phase 2:

Phase 2 allows for visitation rights within a student’s assigned building, but does not change the guidelines related to face covering requirements. Students who are not in the same extended family unit still may not eat together or spend any time around individuals not in their extended family unit without face coverings.  Phase 2 simply allows students greater flexibility to visit other students with face coverings within their assigned residence hall or residential area.

Gatherings of more than 10 students are still not permitted in any residential space unless there is a pre-approved safety plan in place. (submit proposals here:  https://stlawu.presence.io/form/campus-event-request-form-for-safety-plans )

Notes on how special residence areas are impacted:

  • Sykes, Dean Eaton, Hulett, Jencks: may visit freely within your assigned building, including outside of your extended family unit but still adhering to face covering guidelines.
  • Townhouses – may visit other townhouses while wearing face coverings. Students must follow all guidelines outlined above.
  • Theme Cottages & Greek Houses – will remain without cross-residence visitation until when we begin Phase 3. We encourage residents of Theme Cottages and Greek houses to continue finding creative outdoor activities to allow socialization with students from other residence areas and submit safety plans here for those events: https://stlawu.presence.io/form/campus-event-request-form-for-safety-plans

First-Year Residence Halls: We are expanding visitation between select first-year halls to allow the Class of 2024 to socialize and get to know members of other FYPs beyond their own. Residents of the following buildings may now visit the other noted building in their first-year residence pairing:

  • Priest - Lee
  • Reiff - Rebert
  • Gaines – Whitman

We will evaluate the safety and compliance of the Laurentian Pact during Phase 2 and determine in the next few weeks if we are able to move into Phase 3 with increased cross-residence visitation beyond what is allowed in Phase 2.

The University reserves the right at any time for any reason to review Phase 2 and Phase 3 visitation and possibly revert back to Phase 1. Remaining in a Phase 2 status and continuing to a Phase 3 in the future relies on our campus staying in a Green Status based on the COVID-19 Alert Status (https://www.stlawu.edu/covid-19-alert-status-and-response) but also relies on student adherence to the Laurentian Pact and other local public health considerations. 

We appreciate everything you all are doing to keep the Laurentian Community safe! Please keep up the good work so we can continue to open opportunities like these for students to connect. 

Best,
Hagi

September 11 Message to Students, Employees, and Parents/Families from Hagi Bradley, Vice President and Dean of Student Life, and Karl Schonberg, Vice President of the University and Dean of Academic Affairs

Laurentian Community,

We wanted to write with an update at the end of the first full week of classes. As of September 10, we have completed 4,733 tests of students and employees. We have zero active cases and two students in campus quarantine out of 140 beds available. The COVID-19 dashboard is updated regularly. While these are very encouraging numbers, they do not mean that we can relax or that we are in the clear. In fact, there was a spike of cases in the northeastern part of St. Lawrence County this past week.

We must continue to be diligent in following public health standards and protocols. Adhere to the Laurentian Pact and wear a mask, continue social distancing, and do not gather in groups of 10 or more without an approved safety plan. 

The University continues to prioritize the health and safety of the community. We recognize that ongoing testing is imperative to isolating any outbreaks quickly and efficiently. With that in mind, we are ready to begin our surveillance testing program. A random sampling of students and employees will be tested weekly. More detailed information about surveillance testing procedures is available for employees and students on the Always Forward website.

We are also investing in an auxiliary surveillance testing process using sampling of residence hall wastewater and expect to share more details and begin testing by the end of this month.

Our Campus Safety Monitoring Committee has developed a COVID-19 Alert Status and Response system to provide our campus with indicators that will be used as a guide for decision making in case any changes in our plans are required by changing circumstances. We will share all information we can about the University’s plans as fully and regularly as possible.

As you may know, many other colleges have had to close their campuses because they could not maintain their community standards for safety. We are determined to uphold the standards of the Laurentian Pact. We have achieved a great deal so far as we strive to complete our Fall semester as planned; it will take all of us continuing to work together as Laurentians to achieve that vision. 

Sincerely,

Hagi Bradley, Vice President and Dean of Student Life
Karl Schonberg, Vice President and Dean of Academic Affairs

September 4 Message to Students and Employees from Hagi Bradley, Vice President and Dean of Student Life

Hello Laurentian friends,

We’ve successfully concluded the first full week of classes, engagement in new courses and schedules, and meeting new friends and reconnecting with others after long months apart.  We have continually asked you to do your utmost to keep each other safe and healthy so we can continue with our vital scholarly mission, here on campus and we are pleased to say that most of you have done extremely well.

The majority of students continue answering the call to adhere to the Laurentian Pact, the University’s safety protocols and guidelines. For those of you who have, please know that we greatly appreciate you for doing so. For our CAs, Safety and Security Officers, OLs and all others in our community who have participated in community enforcement, we sincerely thank you. We are confident that you will continue to be careful and attentive.

I wanted to share this video clip with you from CNN on Wednesday morning. St. Lawrence University is mentioned in a positive comment for our COVID response at the one minute mark. While our trends are positive, the hard facts of this pandemic are that small spikes and clusters of hot spots are expected and will continue to occur, particularly during this upcoming holiday weekend. We will continue to publish data about testing results to our COVID-19 dashboard to keep our community informed.

Please know that like many other colleges that started the semester with equally high hopes, a school very close to us, SUNY Oneonta, is now remote for the fall semester, and they will not be the last to be forced to take this step. Their community went from two positive cases on August 25 to 507 cases as of September 3, and it started with one just one party. We are not immune and the same result could happen at St. Lawrence. Please take the Laurentian Pact seriously! More than 10 students have already been sent home for violations. Remember NO gathering of more than 10 students is allowed, on or off campus, without an approved safety plan.

This week has given us all many reasons for hope. Learning and working in the midst of a pandemic such as this is new for everyone. Your actions are setting a positive tone and a responsible example. We should all be proud of the work we have done. As we proceed further into this semester, let’s stay vigilant and not fall into a trap of complacency. Thank you for your continued cooperation and all that you do to make St. Lawrence a remarkable institution. 

Sincerely,

Hagi Bradley
Vice President and Dean of Student Life

August 27 Message to Parents and Families from Hagi Bradley, Vice President and Dean of Student Life, and Karl Schonberg, Vice President of the University and Dean of Academic Affairs

Dear Parents,

The University has completed the first round of employee and student testing, and we have had only two persons test positive for COVID-19 out of 2,133 tests of employees and students. The second round of testing begins next week, and a regularly updated dashboard on positive COVID-19 cases on campus is available on the Always Forward website.

Negative test results are a snapshot of the test date; we continue to communicate with our entire community that if we don’t abide by the public health guidelines and the Laurentian Pact, we will miss the only chance that we get to be together this fall. We urge you to join us and talk with your student about the importance of adhering to the Laurentian Pact, including wearing a mask, maintaining proper social distancing, and not gathering in groups larger than 10 people. We have already sent several students home for violations of the Laurentian Pact.

As a reminder, to protect the health and safety of our campus community, we have implemented a “no visitor” policy this semester. This policy includes prohibiting individuals that most commonly travel to campus: parents (other than move-in and move-out), siblings, relatives, non-St. Lawrence students, and other St. Lawrence students not registered for the semester that is currently in session. 

While students are required to stay within St. Lawrence County, the policies are designed to allow students to experience all our unique location offers safely. With more than 1,000 acres on campus, from the Avenue of the Elms to the Kip Trail, we offer students plenty of space to explore. Both the Little River and Grasse River are perfect for students to embark on paddle-powered excursions with their campus family unit members.

We will continue conversations with our students about the impacts of their decisions and actions on others on campus and in the broader North Country community. We all have the opportunity to demonstrate our commitment to each other, as Laurentians, through our actions this semester. 

Sincerely,

Hagi Bradley, Vice President and Dean of Student Life
Karl Schonberg, Vice President and Dean of Academic Affairs

August 21 Message to Employees, Students, and Parents from Hagi Bradley, Vice President and Dean of Student Life, and Karl Schonberg, Vice President of the University and Dean of Academic Affairs

Dear Campus Community,

As you know, St. Lawrence University has implemented a testing protocol and health and safety measures for students and employees returning to campus. It is critical for our entire community to clearly understand that if we don’t abide by the public health guidelines and the Laurentian Pact we will miss the only chance that we get to be together this fall. It is up to all of us to protect the campus experience that we all cherish.

As a result of our first clinics, one member of the campus community tested positive for COVID-19. These results were expected due to the volume of people tested, and we expect more positive cases in the next few days as we complete student and employee testing. Our top priority remains the campus community's health and safety, and it is important to keep in mind that this approach to testing is intended to identify positive cases and isolate them quickly.

  • The individual/s will follow isolation directives issued by the St. Lawrence County Public Health Department until their officials have cleared them.
  • To respect the privacy of the individual/s, they will remain anonymous.
  • Students will be placed in a designated campus isolation space with private bathroom facilities and will have meals provided to them.
  • Employees may only return to work in accordance with the guidelines set forth by the New York State Department of Health and at the direction of the St. Lawrence County Public Health Department.
  • The St. Lawrence County Public Health Department will notify students, faculty, and staff who may have been exposed through a system of “contact tracing.”
  • Students notified should contact Student Health Services and employees should contact Human Resources along with their primary care physician for guidance.
  • All other community members should continue to abide by our community standards for public health best practices, including social distancing and always wearing a mask.  
  • Affected physical spaces will receive deep cleaning consistent with public health guidelines.

A regularly updated dashboard on positive COVID-19 cases on campus is available on the Always Forward websiteWhen the University receives a positive test result, our first contact must be to St. Lawrence County Public Health, and the county government office must take the lead on response.  Therefore, the information shared on this Dashboard must reflect only those cases that we have already communicated to and coordinated with Public Health. 

In the future, the University will assess the need to send a campus-wide email update for positive reported cases. Though every report of a positive COVID-19 case will not warrant an immediate individual notification, the community will be informed of any significant updates as they occur. 

Sincerely,

Hagi Bradley, Vice President and Dean of Student Life
Karl Schonberg, Vice President and Dean of Academic Affairs

August 19 Message to Fall Semester On-Campus Students from Hagi Bradley, Vice President and Dean of Student Life, and Karl Schonberg, Vice President of the University and Dean of Academic Affairs

Dear Students,

As a reminder, you may only check-in on the assigned date and time recently sent to you and if you meet the criteria below. As we shared on August 14, we do not have on campus space to quarantine students who do not meet these requirements.  If you do not meet them, you will not be permitted to move-in on your August arrival date. 

If you know now that you cannot meet these requirements, we invite you to contact us as reslife@stlawu.edu.  Please do not come to campus in hopes we will make exceptions.  We cannot do so.

Criteria for check-in:

  • ALL STUDENTS: You have signed and submitted the Laurentian Pact.
  • ALL STUDENTS: You have submitted the Attestation of Arrival from a state in the United States that is not on the travel advisory list.
  • New York or “safe” state resident: You have uploaded your negative pretest result by noon on the day prior to your check-in.  Your pretest must be a diagnostic molecular PCR test administered within 10 days before you check-in.
  • Travel Advisory “hot spot” state resident or International student: You have completed a 14-day quarantine in a “safe” state. You may also sign and submit a negative pretest result, administered within 10 days before you check-in, if you have the capability to do so.  This pretest result must be submitted by noon on the day prior to your check-in.   
  • States that were on the New York Travel Advisory “hot spot” list but have been removed in the past two weeks:  The NY Governor's website indicates that you should complete your 14 day quarantine. You do not have to submit pre-test result.  You may also sign and submit a pre-test result, administered within 10 days before you check-in, if you have the capability to do so.   

If you have any questions, please email reslife@stlawu.edu (for move-in questions) or healthcenter@stlawu.edu (for testing questions). 

Thank you again and we look forward to welcoming you to campus when you meet our criteria.

Karl Schonberg, Vice President of the University & Dean of Academic Affairs
Hagi Bradley, Vice President & Dean of Student Life

August 14 Message to Fall Semester On-Campus Students from Health and Counseling Services and the Move-In Team

Dear Students:

As move-in week approaches, we want to provide information about your upcoming arrival to campus.  Most importantly, please note you may only check-in on the assigned date and time recently sent to you and if you meet the criteria below. Unfortunately, we do not have on campus space to quarantine students who do not meet these requirements.  If you do not meet them, you will not be permitted to move-in on your August arrival date.  You will be rescheduled to check-in on a date between September 2 - 9.

Before You Arrive on Campus You Must:

  • All:  have submitted the Attestation of Arrival from a state in the United States that is not on the travel advisory list. In order to check-in, we need to know that you have either been in a state that is not on the New York State Travel Advisory List or that you have completed 14 days of quarantining in either NY or a “safe” state not on the list immediately before traveling to St. Lawrence.  Please follow this link to complete the form.  You my complete this immediately, but it must be submitted by noon on the day before you check in.
  • ALL: have signed and submitted the Laurentian Pact.
  • New York or “safe” state resident: have signed and submitted your negative pretest result by no later than 24 hours prior to your check-in. Your pretest must be administered within 10 days before you check-in.  Click here to access the Student Health Patient Portal to upload your test results.  
  • Travel Advisory “hot spot” state resident or International student: have completed a 14-day quarantine in a “safe” state. You may also sign and submit a negative pretest result, administered within 10 days before you check-in, if you have the capability to do so.  This pretest result must be submitted by noon on the day prior to your check-in. Click here to access the Student Health Patient Portal to upload your test results.  
  • States that were on the New York Travel Advisory “hot spot” list but have been removed in the past two weeks:  The NY Governor's website indicates that you should complete your 14 day quarantine. You do not have to submit pre-test result.  You may also sign and submit a pre-test result, administered within 10 days before you check-in, if you have the capability to do so.  This pretest result must be submitted by noon on the day prior to your check-in. Click here to access the Student Health Patient Portal to upload your test results.  

Arrival on Campus

All students must report directly to the Leithead Field House clinic upon arrival to campus.  You may not be anywhere else on campus until you have completed your COVID-19 test and receive clearance from the staff at Leithead Field House.

When you arrive in Canton, please follow the Registration signs.  You will be routed onto Park St., then Maple St., and then Miner St.  When you arrive at Appleton Arena, you will continue to follow Registration signs into D-lot and proceed one-way to the parking lot behind Newell Field House.  You may enter “Appleton Arena” or “130 Miner Street, Canton, NY” into your GPS to ensure you arrive at the correct location and enter the parking lot going the right direction.  

Students should report to the Welcome Tent located between Newell & Leithead Field Houses. Parents will be able to use restrooms in Newell Field House while students go to Leithead to complete your COVID-19 test and housing check-in. Students may use the rest rooms in Leithead.  In order to keep building density as safe as possible, parents or other guests accompanying students will not be allowed in Leithead. Parents and other guests are encouraged to wait in the parking lot during this time, as the testing and check-in process should last approximately 5-10 minutes.

Move-in Testing

The move-in time you received from the Office of Residence Life is the time you should report to Leithead Field House for your COVID-19 test.  Students are not permitted anywhere else on campus until after their test has been completed and they receive clearance from the staff at Leithead Field House. 

When you arrive for your appointment, you must bring a valid photo ID with you into Leithead Field House.  You will be greeted as you walk in and directed to a registration desk.  At this desk, staff will confirm you have signed the Laurentian Pact, submitted your pre-test results, signed Attestation of Arrival form, and that you are arriving on the correct date and time.  After registering, you will go to a testing station supervised by an employee volunteer and overseen by medical professionals.  You will be required to blow your nose. Then the COVID-19 test will be a self-administered swab collecting material from the front area of your nasal opening.  It is NOT the test that swabs high into the nasal cavity.  Please see the attached brochure or follow this link to learn more about this process.

Once you have been tested, you will go to a Residence Life check-in desk.  If you have completed the pre-test and submitted a negative result you will be provided access to your fall room assignment; a second Residence Life check-in desk will be set-up at each residential building to verify that any student entering has completed the required testing procedures at Leithead Field House.  Though we will have negative test results from students, faculty, and staff from within the past 10 days, please note that the move-in time is one when the campus is more vulnerable than at other points because people will have been traveling.  Is important for all students approved to move into their fall room assignments to once again review the Laurentian Pact and ensure they are following all guidelines, particularly the guidance on not entering other residence halls or accessing other areas of their building that are not their extended family unit community. The pact is designed to give us our best chance of preventing the spread of COVD-19 through our community.  

Travel Advisory “hot spot” residents and international students who did not upload pre-test results will be assigned a temporary 36-hour quarantine room in Kirk Douglas Hall until we receive the results of your Leithead Field House clinic test.  

Test Results

Students should follow all guidelines outlined in the Laurentian Pact when waiting for their Leithead Field House clinic test results during their first 36-hours on campus. 

Your test will result in one of three outcomes:

  1. If your result is conclusive and negative, you will receive an email message when your results are available. If you are in quarantine, you should remain there until Health Services tells you that you may leave;
  2.  If your test is inconclusive (which can happen for a number of reasons), you will receive a call from Health Services and instructions for being re-tested; 
  3.  Should you receive positive results you will be moved to a quarantine room immediately.  At this point, you will not have access to your residence hall, the ability to use your ID to eat on campus, or access to any other University buildings.  You shouldalways have a bag prepared with essential items for quarantine so you can quickly move to your quarantine room.  Meals will be delivered to you. Your faculty will be informed that you are unable to attend any in-person class meetings. Should you test positive, Health Services is obligated to inform Public Health, and Public Health will have an official deliver an Isolation Order to you. 

Given the potential for a positive test, we ask that you work out plans with family or other loved ones for getting home if you live within 500 miles of Canton before you move to campus. 

Packing List

For a number of reasons, we strongly encourage students to pack lightly when traveling to campus.  Please try your best to pack all personal items into 2 suitcases.  Remember that parents and guests will not be able to enter any residential buildings during move-in.  You will also be required to take all personal items home with you at the conclusion of the fall semester.  Students who choose to go home at Thanksgiving Break will take all personal property home with them at that time and complete the remainder of their coursework and final exams remotely.  Students who remain on campus through December must take all personal property home with them when they leave campus after their final exams.  A 2 suitcase essential packing list might include:

  • Bedding (twin XL sheets, comforter/blanket/pillow)
  • 2 bath towels & washcloths
  • Toiletries (including shower shoes)
  • Limited clothes and shoes that are seasonally appropriate for summer, fall, and winter.  Please consider coordinating a mid-semester wardrobe swap if you can arrange this with your family.
  • Computer & other electronic devices  
  • School supplies (books, notebooks, pens, sticky notes, highlighter, etc.)
  • Collapsible, mesh laundry basket
  • Reusable Water Bottle
  • Personal Medications, if applicable
  • Basic First Aid Supplies (Band-Aid, Tylenol, antibacterial ointment, etc.) 
  • A thermometer
  • Hand sanitizer (& Lysol wipes)
  • Face coverings
  • Phone / Phone Charger 
  • Surge Protector with reset button
  • Backpack

Saying Goodbye

We know that this drop-off is very different from any within our memories, and that for all involved, it will be more challenging.  Though we will not have the ability to offer lunch on campus or the ceremonies that we generally have, we have worked with the Best Western to be able to offer a picnic lunch bag with wrap, house-made chips, cookie, apple and beverage at the Best Western, eaten in socially distanced and beautiful outdoor spaces.  We will be splitting the cost, so this will be available for $7.00 per person.  We hope that this gives you and those who have accompanied you to campus a space where you can spend some time with those who drop you off before you say goodbye. 

We are looking forward to having you all back on campus and ready for a safe and healthy semester!

Sincerely,

Health Services and the rest of the Move-In Team

August 12 Message to Employees from Lisa Cania, Vice President for Community and Employee Relations

Dear Colleagues:

This note follows my message from last week that shared information on returning to work and the requirement of testing.  The message from last week is excerpted below for reference. There’s a lot here, thank you for reading all the way through.

Employee Testing

St. Lawrence will offer tests to our active employees on August 17-18-19-20-21 in Leithead Feld House.  We have a sign-up web site enabled for your use for this clinic.  The sign-up link is below.  Please read through this email first.

Please note: 

•             Only active St. Lawrence employees may be tested. Active employees are those who are receiving a pay check from St. Lawrence at this time. Due to limitations on test supplies, we are not able to test retired Laurentians or family members of employees.

•             Bring a photo id that includes your date of birth as well as your patience and good will.

•             We expect to have results of the test within 36 hours from the time the results are received in Boston.

What to Expect

You will be greeted as you walk in the rear entrance of Leithead Fieldhouse and directed to a registration desk.  After registering, you will go to a testing station that is being supervised by a fellow employee volunteer, overseen by medical professionals.  You will be required to blow your nose and use hand sanitizer, and be sure your hands are dry. Then the test itself is a self-administered swab that collects material from the front area of the nasal opening.  It is NOT the test that swabs high into the nasal cavity. Please follow this link for a video to get a sense of the process.

All tests administered that day will be transported to a lab in Boston for delivery in the late evening.  Test results are promised within 24-36 hours after receipt of specimens. 

If your test result is negative:  for this first clinic, you will receive an email from “CareEvolve” notifying you that your test results are available and directing you to log in to a website to review.  This email could come anytime 24 hours or later from the time the tests are delivered to the lab in Boston.

For example, if you test on August 17, your specimen should arrive in Boston by 11 pm.  If your test is negative, you should receive an email from CareEvolve in the early hours of August 19 with notification to log in to see your results.

After August 21, we will have a new App available for communication of testing results and other functionality.  The new App is called “CoVerified” and I will send a campus message when it is ready to be used.  We’re configuring it now.

There are two cases in which you will not receive a notification of your results.

If your test could not be processed (because the specimen contained insufficient biological material, the specimen tube was damaged, the label could not be read, or several other reasons), you will not receive a notification.  Erin Casey or a staff member from Health Services will contact Debra Mousaw in Human Resources, who will contact you to schedule another test.

If your test is positive, you will not receive a notification.  Erin Casey or a staff member from Health Services will contact Debra Mousaw in Human Resources and St. Lawrence County Public Health. Debra Mousaw will contact you as soon as possible the same business day as when your results are known.  Public Health will take over case management for isolation and contact tracing.  If you receive a positive test result:  GO HOME and/or STAY HOME. 

Please visit:  https://v2.waitwhile.com/book/leaitheadstaff  to schedule your appointment.

FYI on Student Testing

Most student testing will occur August 22-25, with results back to us by August 24-27.   Some students will arrive August 17 and will be tested immediately.  Our clinics will keep students and employees scheduled separately as much as possible.  Faculty and staff may want to avoid in-person classes or meetings until after August 27 and a reminder that meetings any time should be virtual if at all possible.

From the August 6 Return to Work message:

  • All active employees coming to campus for more than 15 minutes at least once a week in a typical week must be tested during the employee clinic August 17-18-19 and Sept 2-3-4 and then once per month through November.  We are working on the scheduling logistics this week; more information will come your way soon. Tests administered at the SLU clinics will be paid for by the University.

    COVID-19 tests are required for all employees working on site with the definition of coming to campus for more than 15 minutes at least once a week in a typical week.  Employee results will be visible to Health Services and Human Resources only and shared with St. Lawrence County Public Health to coordinate contact tracing.  The name of any individual who tests positive is never known by contact tracers nor shared with those contacted.

If you do not come to campus for more than 15 minutes at least once a week and would like to be tested, we will accommodate you in the testing planning but you do not have to be tested. 

Tests on campus will be available only to current, active employees, due to the limitations on test supplies.  We cannot accommodate anyone who is not an employee

Employees may also get a PCR test on your own and at your expense during the same time period (Aug 17-19 and Sept 2-4).  While testing is required, how to get it done is the employee’s choice and we’re offering a way to do it at no cost to you. 

For on-campus testing of both students and employees we’ll be using the Broad Institute's CRSP SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR Diagnostic Assay

Thank you.  No coffee offering this time, but I’ll do that again so please keep reading my messages and thank you!!

Warmly,

Lisa

August 6 Message to Fall Semester On-Campus Students and Families from Health and Counseling Services and the Academic Affairs Office

Dear Students:

As you prepare to move to campus, we know that you are working hard to schedule your pre-arrival COVID-19 test.  We write to share some information that we hope will be of help.

We are able to offer two pre-arrival testing clinics, one in Nashua, NH on Wednesday, August 19th from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm and one in Leithead Field House (on the St. Lawrence campus) on Tuesday, August 18th from 1:00-2:00pm. The Nashua clinic will be held in a tent on the property of the Nashua Hampton Inn, 407 Amherst Street, Nashua, NH.  Though this is not convenient for all of our students, we have limited tests available and chose locations that are accessible to students from four states, that allowed delivery to the lab on the same testing day, and that could be staffed by University personnel who also have duties with the on-campus clinics for faculty and staff, as well as students.

We expect that we can test approximately 300 students in Nashua on August 19th.  If you would like to do your pre-arrival test at this clinic, you must sign up for a slot in advance (we will schedule in 15 minute intervals).  On the day of the test, bring a photo id that includes your date of birth. Your student account will be billed $125.00 for this test.  Please go to https://v2.waitwhile.com/book/nashua if you wish to schedule an appointment (Don’t worry if the page says Waitlist – just click the schedule an appointment button.  Also, you may have to scroll to the August 19th. Both are issues that the software company is fixing).

We will be able to test 100 students in the clinic on August 18th on the St. Lawrence Campus.  If you would like to do your pre-arrival test at this clinic, you must sign up for a slot in advance (we will schedule in 15 minute intervals). On the day of the test, bring a photo id that includes your date of birth. Your student account will be billed $125.00 for this test. Please go to https://v2.waitwhile.com/book/leitheadfieldhouse if you wish to schedule an appointment. (Don’t worry if the page says Waitlist – just click the schedule an appointment button. Also, you may have to scroll to the August 19th. Both are issues that the software company is fixing).

For both clinics, please note: 

  • Only St. Lawrence students may be tested.
  • If you are under 18 on the day of the test, you must have submitted the parent consent form and instead of a self-collected test, a staff member from our medical team will administer the test for you.
  • We expect to have results of the test within 36 hours. If you test positive, you will receive notification and you will not be allowed on campus until you have quarantined and have had a subsequent negative test and/or are cleared by a medical provider.
  • After the test, you should self-isolate until you come to campus.
  • You will still need to complete a test upon arrival on campus. 
  • We will accept appointments on a first-come, first-served basis.

We would also like to provide some additional resources:

  1. Tufts University is also offering a testing clinic for college students (there is also a link on this site to other places in Massachusetts offering testing to asymptomatic individuals) –     https://www.tuftsmedicalcenter.org/covidtesting.
  2. Pop up Testing Clinics
  3. There are a number of companies offering at-home tests.  While they seem to require that the person taking the test either be mildly symptomatic or have had possible exposure to COVID-19, this may be an option for some of you. You might explore https://www.letsgetchecked.com/us/en/home-coronavirus-test/  or https://www.everlywell.com/products/covid-19-test/  or https://www.pixel.labcorp.com/covid-19?fbclid=IwAR1sQ4F5EEZ1tYgmdY0KKab8krYQtkh89Hz98-K8dbzVpUYYnxXWxIznVJM
  4. You could also contact your local health department for testing options in your area.  We have heard from our sources that test-result time frames are improving, after a couple of slower weeks in July.

If you need to quarantine in either NY or a state not on the NY travel advisory list, we suggest that you consider ordering a home test kit so that you can be tested while in quarantine.  As long as you receive negative results within 10 days of coming to campus, this would enable you to move in without being in quarantine for 36 hours.  We also want you to be aware that NYS Department of Health (DOH) has issued an emergency health order mandating travelers from designated states with a significant degree of community-wide COVID-19 spread to complete a DOH traveler health form.  

We hope that these options will be helpful, but we also ask that any of you who have found good alternatives let us know what you have found so that we can share that information. 

Finally, more information about specific pre-arrival test results uploads and upon arrival testing instructions is forthcoming. 

Should you have questions, please contact the Academic Affairs Office at acadean@stlawu.edu.

Sincerely,

Health and Counseling Services

August 5 Message to Employees from Lisa Cania, Vice President for Community and Employee Relations

Dear Colleagues:

I write with some updates on returning to work on behalf of our Return to Work team. We appreciate how caring and careful everyone has been, showing us how this community offers the best to one another. 

A reminder that the website https://www.stlawu.edu/always-forward has many sections to provide complete information.

Over 60 offices or departments of approximately 90 now have received approval from the Return to Work team (RTW) for their specific re-opening plans and more employees are returning to campus every day. We still have the expectation that overall we’ll have about 50% of our employees working on site on any given day.  Return-to-work plans must be submitted and approved before any employee returns to campus.

However, the RTW team recognizes that we need to shift to new protocols to reflect increasing numbers of employees who must be on site to prepare for the fall semester.  So, effective August 6, here are updated guidelines: 

New:

  1. We will no longer issue individual return-to-work letters.
  2. Daily Health Screenings:  All employees coming to campus for any reason must complete the daily health screening prior to entering any building at www.stlawu.edu/healthcheck.  (We are exploring a new phone app/web form provided by our testing company and may replace the campus-created screening with this new app in mid-August.  Until then, if you are coming to campus, you must access the current screening tool we use at the url above.) Answers are reviewed by Human Resources, Health Services and Security only.  Needed follow-up will come from Human Resources.
  3. Safety Training:  All employees coming to campus for more than 15 minutes at least once a week in a typical week must complete safety training before they return to work.  Training options are available at www.stlawu.edu/covid19training.  
  4. Testing: All active employees coming to campus for more than 15 minutes at least once a week in a typical week must be tested during the employee clinic August 17-18-19 and Sept 2-3-4 and then once per month through November.  We are working on the scheduling logistics this week; more information will come your way soon. Tests administered at the SLU clinics will be paid for by the University.

    COVID-19 tests are required for all employees working on site with the definition of coming to campus for more than 15 minutes at least once a week in a typical week.  Employee results will be visible to Health Services and Human Resources only and shared with St. Lawrence County Public Health to coordinate contact tracing.  The name of any individual who tests positive is never known by contact tracers nor shared with those contacted.

If you are an active employee and do not come to campus for more than 15 minutes at least once a week and would like to be tested, we will accommodate you in the testing planning.  You will be able to have an appointment.

Tests on campus will be available only to current, active employees, due to the limitations on test supplies.  We cannot accommodate anyone who is not an employee.

Employees may also get a PCR test on your own and at your expense during the same time period (Aug 17-19 and Sept 2-4).  While testing is required, how to get it done is the employee’s choice and we’re offering a way to do it at no cost to you. 

For on-campus testing of both students and employees we’ll be using the Broad Institute's CRSP SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR Diagnostic Assay

Unchanged:

  1. If your supervisor agrees you can continue to work from home, you should continue to work from home.  If you need to request an accommodation because of personal health, contact Debra Mousaw in Human Resources.
  2. If you are sick, you should stay home and contact your supervisor. 

Finally, I had so much fun hearing from folks last time I offered coffee to the first five people who respond to this email, I will again make an offer.  Did you read this far?  Respond Go Saints! and I’ll randomly select five more colleagues for a deposit in your CWA accounts for coffee on me next time you are able to be on campus and enjoy your favorite hot beverage. 

With thanks and best wishes,

Lisa Cania for the Return-to-Work team

July 31 Message to Students, Families, and Employees from Hagi Bradley, Vice President and Dean of Student Life

Hello Laurentian Friends,

We look forward to welcoming many of you back to campus in a few short weeks. The health and safety of our Laurentian community is our highest priority and I wanted to share more details with you about our commitment to your well-being. There is no denying that the ways in which we live, learn, interact, study and discover will continue to evolve and change in the coming months. These experiences will be new for all of us.

Prior to returning to Canton, we will require all students studying on campus to review and sign the Laurentian Pact, which outlines all of the ways that we as a community agree to act to keep each other safe. Students may view the Laurentian Pact and sign it electronically at https://stlawu.presence.io/form/laurentian-pact by Friday, August 14, 2020. Please note that all students will need to “login” at the top right of the page before you can access the pact.

We will host a town hall for students and families about the Laurentian Pact on Wednesday, August 5, at 7 p.m. (EDT) to answer more specific questions. Please register by 3 p.m. (EDT) on August 5 at https://www.stlawu.edu/student-activities-and-leadership/form/laurentian-pact-town-hall to receive log-in information.

I recognize the feeling that there is a long road of uncertainty ahead; however, I firmly believe that our collaborative, innovative and caring Laurentian culture positions us well to travel that road successfully and thoughtfully together. I thank you in advance for your patience and your cooperation as we all work through this as a community. 

Best regards,

Hagi Bradley
Vice President and Dean of Student Life

July 24 Message to Students Enrolled in the Fall Semester from Hagi Bradley, Vice President and Dean of Student Life, and Karl Schonberg, Vice President of the University and Dean of Academic Affairs

Students,

This message is being sent to all students enrolled for the Fall semester and is relevant to all students currently residing in the United States.

We want to provide an update on travel restrictions put in place by the State of New York, which will impact travel to St. Lawrence for some of you. They require anyone traveling to New York from a “travel advisory state” to quarantine for 14 days upon entry to New York. As of today, 31 states are on this list, and they are changing on a daily basis. The requirements of the travel advisory do not apply to any individual passing through designated states for a limited duration (i.e., less than 24 hours) through the course of travel.

St. Lawrence has joined the New York higher education community to advocate for modifications to the travel restrictions for college students, but we need to assume there will not be changes.

Traveling from NY State or a state not listed on “travel advisory” states list

If you are traveling from New York State or a state not listed on the New York “travel advisory” states list and you have met the campus arrival and testing requirements we look forward to welcoming you to campus on your assigned move-in date.

Traveling from outside NY State from a state listed on the “travel advisory” states list

If you are coming to St. Lawrence from outside of New York from a state on the “travel advisory” states list you need to follow the steps outlined by the state of New York. Upon arrival at St Lawrence, we will require that you attest that within the prior 14 days you have NOT been in any state which is on the list of New York “travel advisory” states.

We will waive the pre-test requirement for students from “travel advisory” states because they have been in quarantine and not had the opportunity to be tested. The University will test you upon arrival and place you in a campus quarantine space for up to 36 hours, or until test results are returned. We will waive the $100 campus quarantine fee in recognition that you cannot take a test in your 14-day quarantine period.

New York State’s requirements for quarantine are strict:

  • The individual must not be in public or otherwise leave the quarters that they have identified as suitable for their quarantine.
  • The individual must be situated in separate quarters with a separate bathroom facility for each individual or family group. Access to a sink with soap, water, and paper towels is necessary. Cleaning supplies (e.g. household cleaning wipes, bleach) must be provided in any shared bathroom.
  • The individual must have a way to self-quarantine from household members as soon as fever or other symptoms develop, in a separate room(s) with a separate door. Given that an exposed person might become ill while sleeping, the exposed person must sleep in a separate bedroom from household members.
  • Food must be delivered to the person’s quarters.
  • Quarters must have a supply of face masks for individuals to put on if they become symptomatic.
  • Garbage must be bagged and left outside for routine pick up. Special handling is not required.
  • A system for temperature and symptom monitoring must be implemented to provide assessment in-place for the quarantined persons in their separate quarters.
  • Nearby medical facilities must be notified, if the individual begins to experience more than mild symptoms and may require medical assistance.
  • The quarters must be secure against unauthorized access.

Because our bed space and dining arrangements are extremely limited and we must, under public health guidelines, maintain open rooms for students who may become ill, St. Lawrence does not have the ability to quarantine students arriving from states on the travel advisory list. If you are required by the state guidelines to quarantine upon arrival in New York, we ask that you make arrangements to meet the requirements before checking in at St. Lawrence

Options for students who are not able to make New York State quarantine requirements

At this time, New York State’s quarantine requirements do not allow a negative test result to substitute for quarantine for a full 14 days. Given these strict state requirements, if within the 14 days prior to your scheduled arrival at St. Lawrence you have been in a state which is on the list of New York “travel advisory” states, you will be able to enroll for the fall in online classes. When you are able to meet the quarantine requirements or your state is removed from the list you will be allowed on campus. Students may also consider enrolling in the spring and summer semesters instead.

Town Hall Information

We will host a town hall for students and families about fall semester travel to campus and move-in on Wednesday, July 29 at 7:00 p.m. to answer more specific questions. Please register by 3:00 p.m. on July 29 https://www.stlawu.edu/always-forward/form/return-campus-town-hall to receive log-in information. 

These circumstances are very difficult ones and we know they will pose many challenges.  We are committed to working with every student to meet their needs, and that we’ll do all we can to assist in your return to campus. As a community, we will share these efforts together to protect the health of every Laurentian, and ensure that every student can meet their educational goals this fall and beyond.

For academic related questions, please contact the First-Year Program office if you are a new student or the Academic Advising office if you are a returning student. For questions about testing and quarantine procedures please contact Health and Counseling Services

Sincerely,

Karl Schonberg, Vice President and Dean of Academic Affairs
Hagi Bradley, Vice President and Dean of Student Life

July 22 Message to International Students from Hagi Bradley, Vice President and Dean of Student Life, and Karl Schonberg, Vice President of the University and Dean of Academic Affairs

Dear International Students:

We begin with thanks for your patience as we work round the clock to understand ever-changing circumstances regarding fall semester planning.  Many of your questions are particular to your status and required unique research, and some questions have yet to have a clear answer.  We know that this has been an incredibly stressful time as we have all tried to keep up with the changing circumstances and requirements of travel, and we want you to know we’re committed to supporting you in every way as we work together to welcome you home safely to SLU.

This note outlines for you what we know at this time:

If you do not have a visa, and do not expect a visa appointment before August 4, you may enroll at St. Lawrence as a remote student taking courses online for the fall semester.  You may use your St. Lawrence merit scholarship towards tuition, which will be charged at full semester’s rate.

Alternately, you can plan to return to St. Lawrence for Spring and Summer semesters instead of taking Fall classes remotely.

If you have a visa or an appointment for a visa by July 31 and plan to attend in person this fall semester, please consider the following:

Arrival:  The United States and New York State currently have and are expected to continue to have quarantine requirements for travelers from outside the country and some states, called “travel advisory” states.  We will do all we can to help you comply with these requirements, but please know that St. Lawrence must adhere to them.  International students who travel from another nation to the United States and then to New York State must quarantine for 14 days either in New York or in a state that is considered by New York to be “safe.”  So if you travel directly to New York from your home nation, you have these options:

  1. Secure a quarantine location of your own choice, which means a private room with a private bathroom, for 14 days in New York State or in a state NOT on this list  https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/covid-19-travel-advisory. Please keep checking this list as it changes almost daily.

Click here for detailed guidance on the mandatory quarantine. Click here for additional details about the travel advisory 

OR:

Arrive in the United States and plan to be at St. Lawrence on August 6 or August 7.  You will be placed in quarantine on campus by New York State directive, in a room in Kirk Douglas Hall.  If you are traveling with another St. Lawrence student, you will be considered a “family unit” and you may share a room.  If you travel on your own, you will have a room to yourself.  You must  remain in this room for 14 days, and then will be allowed to relocate to your assigned fall semester room after being tested in the University’s clinic August 20-21-22.   You will not be charged for this quarantine room.  While in quarantine, you must remain within the room at all times.  Rooms in Kirk Douglas Hall will be equipped with a microwave and small refrigerator.  We will deliver groceries to your door twice a week, providing supplies that may be eaten fresh or heated in the microwave.  We will charge $250 for the groceries for the two weeks; you may apply for a waiver for this fee if you are experiencing financial hardship and we will coordinate your application with the Financial Aid office.

If you choose this early arrival and on-campus quarantine option, please complete this form https://rb.gy/yivm6l by August 1, 2020.

In addition, please note:

  1. St. Lawrence will provide transportation from the Syracuse, Watertown, Ogdensburg, Massena and Saranac Lake airports and you can fill out this form https://www.stlawu.edu/safety-security/transportation-service  reserve your place.  The vehicle will be fitted with a plastic separator between the driver and passenger(s) for everyone’s safety.
  2. If you arrive after August 7 and you are a returning student, you must secure your own quarantine space as the University will not have space for your 14-day quarantine after August 7.  You will need to contact your course instructors to consider beginning classes online if possible, if your quarantine ends after August 26.
  3. If you are now outside of the United States, you do not need to have a COVID-19 test before departing your international home as you will be in a 14-day quarantine upon arrival in New York State.  We will test you on campus after your 14-day quarantine ends.
  4. If you are an international student who is living in the US currently, you will need to follow the same policies as domestic students. 
  5. A. If you are living in NYS or a “safe” state, you should be tested 5-7 days before coming to campus and you will need to attest that you have either been in New York State or a safe state.

              B. If you are living in a state that is on the New York State “travel advisory” list, you must quarantine in New York State or a “safe” state for 14 days prior to campus arrival.  You will not be able to have a test because you will be in quarantine.   We will test you upon arrival on campus and you will be placed in a 36-hour quarantine.  Please note that this list may change so you should confirm the status of the state from which you’re traveling at the time of travel. 

              C.  If your campus-based test result is positive, you will remain in quarantine on campus or if needed, a hospital, until you have a negative test result.

We recognize you may have more questions and we are happy to have you send those to our International Students Services’ staff members Tsewang Lama and Megan Putney, who are collecting questions and consulting campus colleagues and others for answers as quickly as we can know the answers. You can continue to add questions to the FAQ https://rb.gy/lwy2mk . The document is attached here too. ISS staff will hold a town hall meeting on Friday, July 24 from 8.00 – 9.00 AM EST via Zoom https://rb.gy/sb9vhd

In these very trying times, please know that we will do all we can to support you and we can’t wait to be together on campus.

Karl Schonberg, Vice President and Dean of Academic Affairs
Hagi Bradley, Vice President and Dean of Student Life

July 22 Message to Student-Athletes from Bob Durocher, Director of Athletics

Student-Athletes,

Earlier today, the Liberty League announced that all league competition and championships through December 31, 2020, have been canceled due to the evolving COVID-19 pandemic. At St. Lawrence, we plan to have as many fall sports teams as possible participate in practices and intra-squad activities. We will also consider the potential for some intercollegiate scrimmages later in the fall with limited regional opponents if public health conditions permit.

I recognize that this is disappointing news for you as a student-athlete. Please be assured that our top priority at the University remains the health and safety of our entire campus community. 

I am inviting athletes and families from each affected team to join me for a virtual meeting on Thursday evening, July 23, at 7:30 p.m. to answer more specific questions.

Please register by 3:00 p.m. on July 23 at https://saintsathletics.com/sb_output.aspx?form=87 to receive log-in information. I promise to be as transparent as possible, knowing that I will not have the answer to every question. 

Winter Sports

We are hopeful that public health conditions will allow our participation in winter sports. Details are currently being discussed with the Liberty League, the College Squash Association, the Eastern Intercollegiate Ski Association, and the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association.

Division I Hockey

St. Lawrence intends to play Division I hockey this year. ECAC Hockey continues to discuss the best path forward. We anticipate being able to share more information in the near future.

I remain hopeful that our fall student-athletes will be able to enjoy the comradery of their teammates and the experience that our coaches will provide during the upcoming season in a way that will be safe and healthy for all involved. 

Go Saints!

Bob Durocher
Athletic Director 

July 15 Message to All Laurentians from President William L. Fox

Dear Laurentian friends,

During this pandemic our Laurentian community has recognized the importance of acting with an open mind and placing the needs of others ahead of the needs and preferences of ourselves. As we plan for students to return safely to campus, I write today to announce our more complete plan for reopening and the launch of our Always Forward: Returning to St. Lawrence website that provides additional details and answers to many of the questions that we have received.  

All plans are predicated upon compliance with New York State guidance at the time of reopening and are subject to change as circumstances change. This plan is as complete as possible as of today’s release; further decisions and adjustments may be made and the website will be updated.

As a reminder, when considering a multitude of options, every decision we made (and will face in the future) has been guided by these principles:

  • The University remains committed to its mission: to provide an inspiring liberal arts experience for students from all over the world who come here with purpose and promise.
  • The safety and well-being of our entire campus community remains our top priority.
  • Decision making will be as inclusive and equitable as possible and will be done in consultation with local public health officials, and guidance from federal and state agencies.
  • Flexibility and innovation will be required, which extends to our responsibility for the long-term strength of the institution.

Some of the critical areas that you will find more details include:

Later today, students will receive information about the two semesters they have been approved for in-person study on campus. There undoubtedly will be many more questions, details, and conversations ahead of as we take the next steps into August. Open forums will be held on a number of topics for employees and students and families in the coming weeks. More information about these opportunities will be shared soon. 

Our abundant capacity for flexibility leads to the common understanding of how each person contributes to the safety, well-being, and ultimate success of the St. Lawrence community.

Always forward and with abiding hope,

Bill Fox

President

July 7 Message to Student-Athletes and Employees from Bob Durocher, Director of Athletics

Student-Athletes,

I am writing to you today with some good news. Earlier today, in collaboration with the Liberty League, St. Lawrence University announced an agreement on a plan for a return to athletic competition this fall with a limited schedule and later than usual start. I firmly believe this plan allows us to work through the uncertainty of the situation and gives us a chance to complete the fall season as safely as possible.

Fall competition in most sports will begin no earlier than Saturday, September 26. Student-athletes approved for the fall semester should plan to participate in a phased move-in, by appointment and with mandated testing upon arrival, with the rest of the approved students starting August 19. More information will be available on returning to campus in the coming weeks.  

All teams will complete the first two phases of the guidelines outlined in the NCAA’s Core Principles of Resocialization of Collegiate Sport prior to engaging in competition. St. Lawrence athletic teams will adhere to all state and local directives regarding athletics competition.

The coaching staff and I are excited to see Saints teams back competing. The plan calls for contests predominantly against Liberty League member institutions while including a limited number of non-league opportunities following phased resocialization. Teams competing in individual sports will compete in smaller events with fewer competitors. Fall schedules remain in development and will be announced at a later date when available. There is currently a committee in the Liberty League working on possible schedules for winter sports. A league-wide decision on permitting spectators at athletic events will be made by September 1.

Let me be clear that our top priority at St. Lawrence is the health and safety of our entire campus community. I have spent the past months, along with my team in the athletics department, in intensive dialogue developing protocols and plans for the safe return to athletics. The plan is a work in progress and will be finalized throughout the summer. There will be new guidelines and protocols for the Littlejohn Athletic Training Center, the Michael “Buddy” Cornacchia ’74 Strength and Conditioning Center, and the Stafford Fitness Center, as well as team locker rooms. There will also be policies for testing, retesting, and a protocol if a student-athlete, coach, or other athletic staff member tests positive for COVID-19.

There will be COVID-19 training and educational sessions for all of our student-athletes so everyone understands the importance of these guidelines. The lack of understanding or execution could lead to infection and a termination of our playing seasons.

As you know, during the 2020-21 academic year St. Lawrence will offer three semesters of courses with each student taking courses in two of these three semesters. We know you have indicated your status as a varsity student-athlete in completing the semester preference survey that was due at the end of last week. We will communicate full details of which semesters students will be studying in no later than Wednesday, July 15.

I know you will have many questions in the days and weeks ahead. I have asked each of our coaches to plan a team meeting via Zoom very soon to answer questions and concerns. I believe our plan for athletics provides a quality and competitive season for our student-athletes in a way that will be safe and healthy for all involved. 

Go Saints!

Bob Durocher
Athletic Director 

June 23 Message to Students, Parents, and Employees from Hagi Bradley, Vice President and Dean of Student Life, and Karl Schonberg, Vice President of the University and Dean of Academic Affairs

Dear Laurentian community,

Last week we announced our intention to have an in-person semester with as many students on campus in the fall as we can safely have in our classrooms, dining facilities, and residence halls, and we promised more details in the weeks ahead. With New York State guidelines for reopening colleges and universities posted Saturday evening, June 20, we are now able to provide further information on our plans for the 2020-21 academic year. 

When considering options, every decision we make is being guided by these principles:

  • The University remains committed to its mission: to provide an inspiring liberal arts experience for students from all over the world who come here with purpose and promise.
  • The safety and well-being of our entire campus community remains our top priority.
  • Decision making will be as inclusive and equitable as possible and will be done in consultation with local public health officials, and guidance from federal and state agencies.
  • Flexibility and innovation will be required, which extends to our responsibility for the long-term financial strength of the institution.

Campus Occupancy

Although we would like to have every student back on campus, our planning teams have determined that we can have no more than 1,800 students on campus at any one time in order to provide the safest living and learning environment according to current public health standards. We will need to have distance between people as they attend classes, wait for food, use restrooms, and pass one another in hallways. In addition, we must reserve appropriate on-campus quarantine space. This level of occupancy will require us to adapt to new habits. And in the spirit of community safety, patience and flexibility will continue to be expected of everyone.

Revised 2020-2021 Academic Calendar

Given our decision to reduce capacity, we will offer three semesters of courses with each student taking courses in two of these three semesters.

The Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 semesters will be 15 weeks in length. The Summer 2021 semester will be condensed into 10 weeks, with courses offered both for the duration of the 10-week session and in two five-week mini-sessions. The offerings for Summer 2021 will include new off-campus study options and expand the number of on-campus and online courses, allowing for more variety than is traditionally offered. 

  • Fall 2020 Semester:
    • Classes begin August 26 – Last day of finals December 11
    • Mid-semester break is cancelled and students who choose to leave for Thanksgiving break, which will be from Wednesday, November 25 through Sunday, November 29, will be required to complete the remainder of the semester, including finals, at home. 
      • Students who are on campus may stay through Thanksgiving break and the end of the fall semester if they wish. On-campus housing and support services will continue, but all coursework after Thanksgiving, including final exams, will be conducted remotely to accommodate those who wish to depart at Thanksgiving.
  • Spring 2021 Semester:
    • Classes begin January 4; Last day of finals April 16
    • Mid-semester and spring breaks are cancelled.
       
  • Summer 2021 Semester:
    • Classes begin May 3; Last day of finals July 9
      • For 10-week courses:
        • Classes begin May 3; Last day of finals July 9
      • For 5-week classes:
        • Classes begin May 3 – Last day of finals June 4 
        • Classes begin June 7 – Last day of finals July 9
    •  Room and board charges will be prorated due to a shorter time spent on campus.

Students’ Return to Campus

All first-year students, new transfer students, newly readmitted students, and seniors will be given priority to be on campus during the Fall 2020 semester. We anticipate that most sophomores and juniors will be able to return as well, but since we know that many of those who will not be on campus in the fall will be sophomores or juniors, we are designing the Summer 2021 semester to provide the educational experiences, including off-campus study, that are often part of these class years’ St. Lawrence experiences. 

Later today, we will send a student survey to seek individual preferences. It is critical that students complete this survey by Friday, July 3, and provide as much detail as possible, as it will guide our decision-making processes for the fall. We hope to arrive at the target number of 1,800 students for fall voluntarily, through students choosing the options that will work best for them. However, should we need to do so in the interest of campus safety, we will assign students particular semesters. In fall and spring, we will also offer some courses fully online so that any single student who wishes to complete a full semester from home may do so by enrolling in those courses, paying regular tuition but without being charged room and board. We will communicate full details of which semesters students will be studying in no later than Wednesday, July 15.

Class Format: What to Expect

Classes on campus will be different from in the past, to reduce occupancy in classrooms for safety reasons, and also recognizing that some students may not be able to be on campus for all or part of the semester. Most classes will be offered through a combination of in-person and virtual instruction. Faculty will have discretion to teach in-person, remotely, or in combined modes. Some courses will be fully virtual, whether the class members are living on campus or elsewhere, and students on campus should anticipate that they will have courses that combine online and in-person teaching and some that are entirely online. Most courses previously scheduled for the fall and anticipated for the spring will be taught in those two semesters.

Professors are working throughout this summer to prepare courses that will be engaging and exciting, whether they are meeting in person, partially, or fully online. We are all committed to offering great St. Lawrence classes in which faculty and students work closely with one another to explore the course material in ways that reflect the best St. Lawrence traditions, no matter what the mode of class delivery. We are working intensively with our faculty and academic departments on all logistics of the St. Lawrence curriculum for next year that will best serve our mission.

2020-21 Housing

Due to students’ academic plans and the need to reserve on-campus quarantine space throughout the year, our Residence Life team will likely need to reassess and rework many housing assignments. Additional information about that process will be sent after decisions are made regarding which semesters students will be studying in (after Wednesday, July 15).

Campus Life Town Halls

We will host town halls for each class year the week of June 29 to provide students and families with more information before our July 3 survey deadline. More details on these town halls are forthcoming.

Athletics

If intercollegiate varsity athletic programs are permitted this fall, the expectation for competition is a late start in September or early October in a compressed schedule. We are working closely with leadership from the Department of Athletics on how to ensure a safe return to competition and will release more information when available.

Health and Safety Practices

All members of our campus community will be required to change their personal safety practices when they return to campus. Information on employees, including faculty requirements, can be found on the COVID-19 website. Each University department is also required to submit a safety plan that will be approved by the Return to Work planning team.

Students will be asked to sign a Social Contract before returning. It will include consent to be tested for COVID-19 upon arrival on campus and about two weeks later, as well as other times throughout the semester. It will also include instructions on how to practice social distancing, wear a mask, and gather in ways that public health experts deem safe. If students are not willing to follow the necessary rules, they should not plan to be on campus this fall.

New York State Guidance

New York State’s guidelines for higher education are specific in some places to higher ed, but also recognize the composite nature of higher education and direct colleges and universities to follow the guidance for relevant industries or functions. For example, higher education offices must follow the guidance for safe re-opening of offices, while dining facilities must follow the guidance for indoor dining at restaurants. Our plan follows the mandatory state and local health and safety guidelines. We believe it is the best approach to mitigate the risk of infection so we may look forward to a complete and positive in-person semester and year. 

Our planning teams continue to meet daily to develop the comprehensive safety plans necessary at every level, to recommend changes, and to implement them where needed. We know that there are many more questions left to answer, and we appreciate your patience as we work on additional details. We will communicate regularly throughout the coming weeks and will continue to send information to the community as it is available.

Sincerely,

Hagi Bradley, Vice President and Dean of Student Life
Karl Schonberg, Vice President of the University and Dean of Academic Affairs

June 16 Message to Students, Parents, and Employees from Hagi Bradley, Vice President and Dean of Student Life, and Karl Schonberg, Vice President of the University and Dean of Academic Affairs

Dear Laurentian community,

We write to you today to share an update about planning for the fall semester and the 2020-2021 academic year at St. Lawrence University. 

Planning Process
We intend to have an in-person semester with as many students as we can safely have in our dining facilities, residence halls, and classrooms on campus in the fall. We will have extensive measures in place to ensure the safety of all students, faculty, and staff. The health and safety of the St. Lawrence University community remains our top priority. We have upgraded our infrastructure and capacity for course instruction and campus safety, and will continue to do so over the summer, to ensure we are ready for any scenario that might present itself in the coming year. Finally, we await guidance from New York State to refine our plans, in order to ensure that they are fully aligned with all state requirements for safe reopening.

Fall Semester
Our current planning anticipates an in-person semester with phased return of students in the last week of August and online or hybrid instruction of courses to the extent needed for community safety throughout the semester.  The methods of instruction in individual courses will vary based on changing circumstances, course content, and faculty discretion. Details regarding the semester calendar and student return to campus will be forthcoming in the weeks ahead, as soon as they are available. The fall 2020 semester will begin as scheduled with the first day of classes on Wednesday, August 26.

Our planning teams are meeting regularly to review the academic calendar, student life, athletics, and safety plans at every level, and to recommend and then implement all the changes that will be needed. In doing this, we must take all the time necessary to be certain our plans are as thorough and effective as possible. 

Fall 2020 Off-Campus Study
The University Senior Staff has accepted the recommendation of the Student Safe Travel Committee to cancel all remaining study abroad programs for the Fall 2020 semester. Students and families have been notified and there is a process in place for them to continue their academic progress next year.

Employees
The Campus Safe Occupancy planning team is working with divisional and departmental leadership to develop plans for employees to return to work in every area. For every employee:

·       If an employee can continue to work from home, remote work should be expected and continued.

·       Any employee who is sick should stay home.

·       If an employee qualifies to return to work, if the employee’s supervisor agrees that on-site work is necessary, if the department has developed and received approval for a work-safety plan, and the employee receives written guidance from Human Resources before returning, then the employee may return and must abide by safety protocols.

Feedback
As we pursue this work, we have heard feedback from students and faculty in surveys and other venues, and will continue to seek all ideas and questions. We ask that you take advantage of every opportunity to contribute your perspectives. They are vitally needed in our planning, to ensure that we meet the hopes and needs of the entire Laurentian community as best we can.

Though many questions remain to be answered, we know we must plan for a fall semester that will require each of us of to adapt in many ways, and in the spirit of community safety, patience and flexibility will be asked of everyone. We will work together as part of the Laurentian community we all value, even as our day-to-day lives will change, as they must, for the welfare of that community and all its members.

Sincerely,

Hagi Bradley, Vice President and Dean of Student Life
Karl Schonberg, Vice President of the University and Dean of Academic Affairs

June 1 Message to Employees from President William L. Fox

Dear Laurentian friends,

The world hurts and the times dismay. The St. Lawrence community’s sudden adjustment this spring to remote learning and stay-at-home work was astonishing. I am deeply grateful for all the extra touches and hours that concluded the semester successfully. I wish, of course, that mobilization of creative impulses would be enough to close the heavy door of the worldwide crisis of human health and welfare. This is so much bigger than any college has had to face since the 1930s. Thank you, thank you most simply and profoundly.

I write to you today to outline the financial impacts that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on St. Lawrence, including the specific first steps the University must take to mitigate loss and harm.

Since the all-staff budget and finance town hall in late April, the financial results from the past fiscal year have crystalized. We expect to see more than $7 million in deficit operating results as we close this fiscal year (FY2020). Room and board refunds and credits, a dip in fundraising correlated to global market and job losses, and the already uncertain national landscape of enrollment levels are all contributing factors to having less revenue than was budgeted or that can be projected going forward.

Our circumstances require us to make hard decisions. They are in the context of forces touching every college in America. When considering options, every decision we make is being guided by three principles:

  • The University remains committed to its mission: to provide an inspiring liberal arts experience for students from all over the world who come here with purpose and promise.
  • The safety and well-being of our entire campus community, also our leadership role in the local community and economy, are top priorities.
  • There are many unknown factors related to the pandemic and its subsequent crisis economy. St. Lawrence will need to respond incrementally to circumstances as the economy’s performance continues to evolve. Many of these financial elements may carry unfavorable costs and will be assessed again in the fall after we know more about student enrollment.

In consultation with the Board of Trustees, Senior Staff, the Salary and Benefits Committee, the Budget and Finance Committee, and the Faculty Council, I have made the difficult decision to implement the following response mechanisms. Our estimates indicate that we should save $6 million or more with these measures in FY21.

Senior Leadership

In the spirit of shared sacrifice within our community, members of the Senior Staff and I have voluntarily and immediately reduced our compensation. In my case, I have cut my compensation by 15 percent. The rest of Senior Staff each will reduce their salaries by 8 percent for the 2020-21 fiscal year. Each of us also will experience a 4% reduction in the University’s contribution to our 403(b) retirement plans. It is important to note that there are also other members of our community that have joined senior staff in taking voluntary cuts to their compensation.

Faculty, Exempt, and Non-Union Staff with TIAA Contribution Retirement (403(b)) Plans

Effective beginning July 1, the University will temporarily reduce its contribution to all faculty, exempt, and non-union staff 403(b) plans from 10 percent to 6 percent of eligible compensation. The University will continue to evaluate the overall economic environment for St. Lawrence, with a goal of restoring some or all of the reduced contribution as soon as it is prudent to do so. 

Fiscal Year 2021 Salary Increases for Faculty, Exempt, and Non-Union Staff

The University is freezing compensation increases for faculty, exempt, and non-union staff for the 2020-21 fiscal year. These were scheduled to go into effect on January 1, 2021.

Open Positions and Hiring 

Searches for open positions have been frozen indefinitely.  To be clear, the University does not anticipate new faculty tenure track searches in the coming academic year, and visiting assistant professor positions will be very limited.

Capital Projects

The University has set the capital budget for the 2020-21 fiscal year at $4 million, which is less than our traditional $6 million allocation.

Union Employees

The University is in good faith discussions with each of our three unions regarding contract terms and will communicate with employees covered by our collective bargaining process when agreements are reached.

As the University’s Fall 2020 planning committees develop options and as the pandemic progresses through the year, we may need to take additional measures to ensure St. Lawrence’s future financial security. I know the real-life impact our decisions have and will continue to have on each of you and your families. We want to keep you regularly and fully informed; you may count on our commitment to listen and answer your questions. 

Vice President for Finance and Administration Steve Hietsch will host a 60-minute virtual town hall for employees to provide an update on the financial implications of the COVID-19 pandemic for St. Lawrence on Wednesday, June 3, at 2:30 p.m. Faculty and staff will need to use their St. Lawrence University username and password to join. https://stlawu.zoom.us/j/96721402194

Implicit in our openness to providing updates, let me emphasize that we remain utterly conscientious about levels of salary, wages, and benefits, but will stay the course until it is reasonable and feasible to reconsider it. As one who has taught, read, and written history, it may take a long time. And the only way for us to endure, for St. Lawrence to persist, is in a spirit of togetherness, selflessness, and patience. 

I deeply appreciate your continued, even heroic, dedication and hard work at St. Lawrence.

With abiding hope,

Bill Fox
President

May 29 Message to Employees from Lisa Cania, Vice President for Community and Employee Relations

Dear Colleagues:

This provides up-to-date information about employees returning to work in any Phase. I probably wrote this memo four times in the last 24 hours.

On May 28, the Governor’s office announced that Phase 2, expected by many to begin May 29, would be placed on hold.   At his 1 pm briefing May 29, Governor Cuomo announced that the north country region can reopen under Phase 2 effective immediately.   Newly released guidance for the Phase Two industries which include Offices, Real Estate, In-Store Retail, Vehicle Sales, Commercial Building Management and Hair Salons/Barber Shops. The guidance has in fact changed throughout the course of the day, it is clearly an evolving thing. The guidance for offices now speaks to the opening of all office-based operations with a specific mention of higher education administration as an allowable function, but not reopening of all educational functions.  We are seeking clarification to the many questions you might have.

With the news of Phase 2 opening, I remind us all of the overarching guidelines that do and will apply:

For any employee and every employee in any phase: 

  • If an employee can continue to work from home, remote work should be expected and continued.
  • Any employee who is sick should stay home.
  • If an employee qualifies to return to work, if the employee’s supervisor agrees that on-site work is necessary, and if the following protocols are followed, then employees may return.

Returning to Work

Before anyone can be returned to work, there is a review and approval process of a departmental or divisional “Work Safety Plan” among the newly assigned Return to Work team and the department’s senior staff member.  Written Work Safety Plans are mandated by the state.  Each department will be advised of a safety plan that will be required and returning employees will be informed about new protocols for confidential and mandatory daily health screenings before they can start work, as well as training for required PPE including masks, cleaning, and social distancing requirements as well as expectations for reporting illness.

As we plan for more employees to return, all will receive letters from Human Resources about the new requirements for the daily health screening, PPE, and social distancing expectations…information they will need prior to their return date.   Employees may not return to work before the letters are sent with this information, and the letters will be sent only after the departmental Work Safety Plan is approved by the Return to Work team and the senior staff leader.

Most importantly, employees will need to take their temperature each day before arriving at work and complete the web-based health screen questionnaire  before every shift.  If they do not have access online to do so before work, they can call their manager, HR (between 8am – 4pm) or Security to complete the form for them.  Information will remain Confidential in HR or Security and only those offices will have access to responses.

HR and Security will have a mechanism to review the health check responses and anyone who answers “yes” to any question is asked to stay home and call their manager to report their absence.  These are compliance requirements for everyone who works on-site. 

The “Return to Work” working group is a resource for questions:  Pat Gagnon, Colleen Manley, Debra Mousaw, Evelyn Jennings, Dan Seaman, Nick Ormasen, Randy LaBrake, and Erin Casey.

Lisa Cania

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