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New Paltz Forward

Frequently Asked Questions

Academics and Instruction

+  Will there be in-person classes in the fall 2020 semester?

Yes, but the number and size of our in-person classes this fall will be greatly reduced as part of our larger effort to reduce person-to-person density on campus.

In fall 2020, we will provide a mix of remote, online and face-to-face courses.  A majority of courses will be offered in online/remote format, with the remainder to be offered in-person.

Our goal is to provide high-quality learning experiences in ways that maximize the health and safety of faculty, students and staff. To achieve this goal, we are providing faculty with training and resources to prepare pedagogically appropriate, high-quality courses in remote and online formats. We are also scheduling courses in a way that optimizes seated instruction consistent with public health guidelines.

+  Will the academic calendar be different in fall 2020 from other fall semesters?

While classes will begin as scheduled on Monday, Aug. 24, the academic calendar and course schedule will change this fall to accommodate course adjustments and enable an early end to the semester.

The last day of in-person instruction will be Nov. 25, 2020, one week earlier than the originally scheduled last day of classes for fall 2020. This will allow the College to close campus during Thanksgiving break and reduce the possibility of reinfection from Thanksgiving travel. Students will not return to campus until the spring 2021 semester.

No in-person class meetings (including for hybrid courses) will take place after Nov. 25. Synchronous online class sessions will be held on Nov. 30 and Dec. 1. All final exams will be held remotely beginning Dec. 2.

While the revised academic calendar calls for in-person instruction to end ahead of schedule, the College will hold classes on Labor Day (Sept. 7) and during Fall Break (Oct. 12-13), to ensure that students receive the full, state-required 15 weeks of instruction.

Consult the complete fall 2020 academic calendar for more details.

+  What options are available to students who do not feel comfortable attending in-person classes that are required for their program?

Students who are uncomfortable attending in-person classes this fall are encouraged to consult with their faculty and/or academic advisors about altering their course schedule and their plan of study.

While some courses, including labs and studios, experiential learning and fieldwork requirements and others, ideally should be taught in an in-person format, in most cases it should be possible for students and advisors to construct a fully online schedule for fall 2020, with sufficient planning for how they may meet in-person requirements in later semesters.

+  What is the College doing to ensure remote-delivered classes still provide high-quality education and meet learning outcomes?

The Division of Academic Affairs and Information Technology Services have been working continuously with faculty through the spring and summer months to prepare for both online and seated modalities with content-specific webinars and other training opportunities, including through the Office of Instructional Technology. These sessions and other forms of support will continue into the fall semester.

We are also working to provide additional free training and resources for students to assist them with the transition to online learning.

+  Does the College have a plan for continuing instruction in the event a faculty member becomes unable to teach their classes?

Yes, our protocol for cases when an instructor is unable to complete a course is unchanged from the pre-COVID-19 era.

If a faculty member becomes unable to teach due to illness or for other reasons, their faculty colleagues will work with the department chair and other academic leaders to make arrangements for course instruction to continue in the original instructor’s absence.

+  What is a “hybrid” course?

A hybrid course mixes in-person and online class sessions during the semester. It is a highly flexible format that reduces face-to-face time, using online learning for elements of the course that deliver well in an online space, and using reduced seat time for learning objectives that benefit from real-time discussion, feedback or group activity.

An example of a hybrid course might be a mostly online section that meets in person six times per semester for activities such as group projects, hands-on activities, discussion sessions, presentations or other learning activities that benefit most from the seated environment.

SUNY New Paltz has not established an “official” requirement for how much of a hybrid course needs to be delivered in person. We believe that faculty and instructional designers are best able to determine what is pedagogically appropriate for any given course. Hybrid sections should be designed in a way that does not increase the overall number of hours of student time on task for the course. 

The College does require that when hybrid sections do meet in person, they use that time for more than just exams. While these sessions may include some exam periods, seated class sessions should also include high impact and best practices in teaching and learning. 

+  If I require accommodations for online classes, should I contact professors individually, or go through someone else?

The Disability Resource Center will continue to support students who require accommodations to support online learning in fall 2020. Read more in the Disability Resource Center FAQ about how the Center will adapt to new circumstances in fall 2020.

Students who require accommodations for online learning are encouraged to contact the Center at drc@newpaltz.edu to begin the conversation about receiving services.

The College also generally recommends that students provide advance notice to their instructors when they require accommodations or have other concerns about the course format, as a best practice to sustain open communication between students and faculty.

+  What equipment, supplies and other resources are available to facilitate remote teaching and learning?

A number of different kinds of technologies, materials, resources and trainings are available to New Paltz students, faculty and staff to support online learning this semester.

Students and employees are encouraged to consult with their department chairs or academic deans regarding opportunities and conditions for taking home equipment and supplies for remote use.

New Paltz has web cameras and additional USB wireless adapters for faculty and staff who need to work from home. Faculty may make equipment and software requests using the Remote Teaching Technology Request form.

SUNY has provided some laptop computers for students ​and some are still available by request and approved based on need; priority will be given to Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) students and those eligible for Pell grants. The College has also received a generous gift to support the purchase of 30 laptops for use by students in the Scholars Mentorship Program (SMP).

Temporary study space is available in select unoccupied classrooms through our study space reservation system. These rooms are intended for a single occupancy and can be reserved for a one-hour duration up to seven days in advance.

Students have access to remote learning technology through the Sojourner Truth Library, and can also request distance learning tools, training and assistance through the IT Service Desk.

​Students enrolled in a course requiring Adobe Creative Cloud can submit a request to borrow an Adobe Creative Cloud license for the semester. Please note, however, that quantities are limited. Requests for Adobe Creative Cloud licenses can be made through our ticketing system and are subject to approval.

Faculty can create Breakout Rooms during online synchronous sessions by using Blackboard Collaborate. Faculty can learn more online about creating Collaborate Breakout Rooms and students can learn more about participating in Collaborate Breakout Room sessions.

Effective Sept. 19, faculty should also be able to create breakout rooms within the WebEx platform. Visit this link to learn more about those pending WebEx upgrades.

We also have a limited number of 90-day auto-captioning licenses for WebEx; if you are interested in a pilot license, please fill out a request form.

Faculty, staff and students also have access to Knowmia, a recording and multimedia storage platform, which can be accessed at newpaltz.knowmia.com.

In addition to recording and storage, Knowmia also has engagement features, such as quizzing and conversations; automatic closed captioning; and a mobile app. Visit our support site for more information about getting started with Knowmia

+  Can students or community members audit classes in fall 2020?

No, auditing is suspended for fall 2020 as it is prohibited for online courses and most of our courses will be offered online in fall.

Additionally, as social distancing guidelines limit available class space, we must prioritize seating for matriculated and non-matriculated students over auditing students in seated classes.

Tuition, Fees and Student Accounts

+  If the fall semester is ending early, will tuition costs be discounted?

No. While the revised academic calendar calls for class instruction to end ahead of schedule, students will still receive the full, state-required 15-weeks of instruction to all credits for which they are registered.

This will be achieved by adding additional instructional days on Labor Day and Fall Break, when during a typical fall semester courses would not take place. Refer to the FAQ on the fall 2020 academic calendar for additional information.

As a reminder, tuition at all State University of New York campuses is set at the state level. The SUNY New Paltz campus administration has no authority to raise, lower or otherwise adjust student tuition costs.

+  Why is the College charging regular tuition and fees when most of my courses are online during the fall 2020 semester?

Despite the atypical nature of this upcoming fall semester, the College will continue to charge its standard tuition and fees. Our academic programs and broader campus operations require intensive human and capital resources, whether in-person or remote. 

Here is further information about some of these charges:

  • Tuition: Tuition charges are set at the state level and determined by the SUNY Board of Trustees, not the College. Additionally, many aspects of our academic teaching/learning experiences will continue to be sustained this fall, regardless of the remote environment. 
  • Technology Fee: While some students may be off campus and using their own laptop and WiFi connection, this fee supports the College's basic infrastructure that's essential for students and their daily functionality, including in a remote world (things like access to Blackboard, registration and billing, student technology support, etc.). 
  • Athletics Fee: This fee was reduced following the SUNY Athletic Conference's announcement that the fall season of competition would be suspended. The remaining fee supports the many Athletic & Wellness Center programs that are continuing this semester, including virtual offerings designed specifically for students who are taking classes remotely.
  • Student Health Fee: All of our students, including commuters, can use our Student Health Services through tele-medicine, as well as our counseling services. Students can also get prescriptions, as determined by our campus physicians.
  • Gift to New Paltz: This is a voluntary fee that supports students’ free access to major events and traditions at the College, including the Distinguished Speaker Series, Women's Leadership Summit and Hudson Valley Future Summit, as well as free mentoring services with alumni. For many students, the Gift to New Paltz is the first step in support of what will one day be their alma mater. Students may opt out of paying it each semester.

We understand that the pandemic has caused many challenges for our students and their families and we will continue to offer support in whatever ways we can, while maintaining our community's health and safety. 

+  Why is the College still charging a Student Activity Fee if many on-campus programs are suspended for fall 2020?

While in-person gatherings, club events and other student activities will no doubt look different this semester than in years past, the College will continue to provide a range of services to support a robust student experience at New Paltz this fall.

The Student Activity Fee is set and approved by Student Governance, not the campus administration. In light of changes to campus operations this fall, Student Governance voted to reduce the Student Activity Fee from $105 per semester to $80 for fall 2020.

That fee supports many student life programs and infrastructure that will continue to be offered to students this fall, including:

  • Coordination and support for our 200+ clubs and organizations
  • Resources for Student Governance that will ensure students have a voice during a critical time for our campus community
  • Funding for Oasis/Haven, two student-staffed programs that provide peer-to-peer mental health support and crisis intervention services
  • Maintenance of the ENGAGE web platform that allows clubs to plan events, recruit new members and express their mission and goals
  • Support for the Children’s Center of New Paltz, Inc., a non-profit corporation that provides high-quality, on-campus care for children of SUNY New Paltz students.

We understand and acknowledge that the College may not be able to provide the full extent of student activities this fall, but our team is working tirelessly to ensure that students continue having opportunities to engage with one another and our campus community, while also remaining healthy and safe, until our return to more normal operations. Conducting activities in a modified or virtual way will require all of us to think differently and creatively, but it also gives us a chance to tap into new and potentially revolutionary ways of doing things that will stand the test of time.

+  If a new student decides not to attend New Paltz in fall 2020, can that student retain their accepted status and return in spring 2021?

New students, including new transfer students, who choose not to attend New Paltz in the fall can defer their application for admission by emailing the Office of Undergraduate Admission (admissions@newpaltz.edu) with notice of their intent to defer.

Students who choose to defer their New Paltz admission application, and then proceed to take college course work at another institution, will be required to reapply to New Paltz as a transfer student. If that student had been awarded a scholarship to attend New Paltz as a new student, that will become null and void.

PLEASE NOTE: This policy applies only to new students who choose to defer before the first day of classes; students who choose to defer or withdraw after the first day of classes should consult with Records & Registration (recreg@newpaltz.edu) about the Leave of Absence and College Withdrawal options.

See also our FAQ for returning students who decide not to attend New Paltz in fall 2020.

+  If a returning student decides not to attend New Paltz in fall 2020, can that student retain their matriculated status and return in spring 2021?

Matriculated students can take a Voluntary Leave of Absence and retain their matriculated status for up to two semesters without having to reapply to return to courses.

Students must file a Leave of Absence form with Records & Registration to qualify for this status.

Students who plan to take courses elsewhere during their leave must have their selections approved prior to leaving.

Students who do not return after two semesters of separation will be automatically withdrawn from the College and will need to apply for readmission if they wish to return.

Please refer to our Leave of Absence policy for more details.

See also our FAQ for new students who decide not to attend New Paltz in fall 2020.

Masks and Social Distancing

+  When will students be required to wear masks?

In accordance with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, students should wear masks in the following situations:

  • When in public indoor spaces, including in restrooms and all classrooms, lecture halls, studios, laboratories, and other instructional spaces.
    • Masks will not be mandatory in private indoor spaces such as individual residence hall rooms or suites.
  • When traveling between classrooms and offices in buildings.
  • When in public outdoor spaces at times when social distancing cannot be maintained.
+  Will employees need to wear masks while working on campus in fall 2020?

In many cases, employees will be required to wear masks while on campus, according to the following protocols:

  • Masks will be required when employees are in shared indoor spaces.
    • Masks will not be required when employees are alone in private spaces, such as individual offices.
  • Masks will be required when employees are outdoors in situations when social distancing cannot be maintained.
  • Masks will be required in all classrooms, lecture halls, common spaces, studios, laboratories or other instructional spaces.
  • Masks will be required while traveling between offices and riding in elevators.

Employees who have work functions that require medical grade respirators (University Police, Student Health Service, etc.) will be provided with N95 masks.

Gowns, goggles, and face shields are in stock and available to employees at Student Health Service and University Police for their operational needs.

Faculty who are teaching in-person classes will be provided with additional PPE as warranted.

+  Will people be required to wear masks during in-person classes?

Yes, in addition to the reduced density policies outlined above, SUNY New Paltz will require all students, faculty and staff to wear masks or other face coverings in classrooms, lecture halls, common spaces, studios and labs whenever they are occupied by more than one person.

Individuals who arrive to a classroom, lecture hall, common space, studio or lab without appropriate face coverings will be required to leave until they are able to return with a face covering.

+  Will the College provide masks to members of the campus community?

Yes, all students will be provided with two masks. Students are also strongly encouraged to bring their own masks. Masks should be washed after each use.

Commuter students will be able to pick up a mask at on-campus offices (specific locations will be announced at a later date).

The College is required to supply masks to all employees who interact with the public. New York State considers students members of the public.

Faculty who are teaching in-person classes will be provided with additional PPE as warranted.

+  What is PPE, and how will it be used on campus in fall 2020?

Personal protective equipment, or PPE, refers to materials used to prevent person-to-person transmission of coronavirus.

Two masks will be provided to faculty, staff and students. Additional PPE, such as face shields and gloves, will be allocated to staff and faculty as appropriate. Visitors are expected to bring and wear their own mask. Training on proper use and maintenance will be provided.

Masks or other face coverings will be required for all individuals on campus in most indoor spaces, including classrooms, lecture halls, common spaces, labs, studios and offices where multiple people congregate and/or ability to social distance is limited. Masks will also be required in outdoor spaces on campus where social distancing cannot be maintained.

+  How will social distancing work on campus during the fall 2020 semester?

It is of paramount importance that all members of the SUNY New Paltz community understand best practices for preventing transmission of coronavirus. We all have a responsibility to one another to keep our peers, colleagues, friends and mentors safe.

All campus community members will be expected to understand and maintain safe social distancing. The current guidance is that we should maintain at least six feet of distance when sharing a space with one or more individuals with whom we are not living.

The College will be installing floor markers in strategic locations to illustrate six-foot safety distances. Community members are expected to observe and adhere to these markers where they appear.

+  How will the College establish social distancing in in-person classes?

The College is taking a number of steps to ensure that students, faculty and staff can meet safely in in-person courses this semester.

We have conducted a review of campus instructional spaces to determine class capacities, using a social distancing parameter of 36-square-feet per occupant.

Among the steps we are taking to reduce density within classrooms and other academic spaces, we have:

  • Identified and closed classrooms that are too small to provide appropriate social distancing
  • Established new capacity guidelines and seating arrangements for classrooms that are large enough to provide appropriate social distancing
  • Relocated lecture and seminar-style courses to classrooms that allow adequate social distance
  • Moved course sections that are too large to be accommodated safely to online instruction
  • Established strict social distancing protocols for research and lab-based activities
  • Reconfigured traditionally non-instructional spaces that can be converted for instructional use while allowing safe social distancing for students and faculty
+  Will there be consequences for students who do not comply with masking and social distancing requirements?

Yes, students who do not adhere to the Protect New Paltz Pledge regarding mask use and social distancing may face disciplinary actions up to judicial charges and loss of housing and classroom privileges.

Any student who does not follow the Pledge will first be reminded of the College’s expectation that all members of our community comply with policies for wearing a mask or other face covering over their nose and mouth, and maintaining social distance of six feet at all times.

Students who do not remedy their behavior will receive a verbal warning that they may be referred to judicial for "Non-Compliance with an Official Request" regarding a public health policy.

Continued non-compliance will result in a report to the Director of Student Conduct, judicial charges, and possible loss of housing and classroom privileges.

Daily Health Screening

+  How will the online health screening app work?

All students and employees will be expected to complete an online health screening each day, as part of the College’s effort to conduct effective contact tracing and protect the health and safety of all members of our community.

The daily health screening is required by the state as part of the Reopening New York Checklist for Higher Education Institution Reopening Plans.

The screening will take the form of a questionnaire that can be quickly completed by logging into my.newpaltz.edu on either a desktop or mobile device. The screening will pop up immediately the first time you log in each day, and can also be found in the COVID-19 Screening section under Announcements.

The screening will first ask if the student or employee is planning to be on campus that day. If that response is no, the screening is complete and the response is recorded for compliance record.

Those who are planning to come to campus will be required to take and report their temperature, indicate the presence of any COVID-19 symptoms and report any exposure to confirmed cases.

The College encourages students and employees to save the health screening app link to their phone home screen for easy access. Android phones should provide a prompt to add the app to their home screen. iPhone users can add the app to their home screens by using the share option while on the webpage and selecting the Add to Home Screen option.

+  What happens if a student fails to complete the health screening for a given day?

If a student does not complete the daily health screening on a given day, their name will NOT be noted as “cleared” to attend class on their professors’ rosters for that date.

A professor who does not see that date’s confirmed health screening clearance cannot permit the student to enter the classroom, regardless of whether or not they are wearing a mask or other face covering.

There can be no exceptions for anyone regarding completion of the daily health screening as a first step each day.

+  What happens if a student reports a positive symptom or exposure to COVID-19 in the Daily Health Screening?

Students who indicate symptoms or possible exposure to COVID-19 in the Daily Health Screening will receive instructions to contact the Student Health Service, to remain in their residence hall room (if living on campus) or to remain at home (if living off campus).

The Student Health Service, the student’s Residence Director (if applicable), and the instructors of the student’s in-person courses (if applicable) will be notified that the student did not pass the Screening for that day.

The Health Service will make a clinical judgment about the likelihood of COVID-19 based on the unique circumstances of each student’s case.

If the Student Health Service determines that the symptoms are unlikely to be COVID-19-related, they may clear the student to be present on campus and in subsequent seated classes, as long as future health screenings reveal resolution of symptoms and no exposure.

If the Student Health Services suspects that the symptoms are COVID-19-related, the student will be required to quarantine. If COVID-19 is confirmed by testing, the student will be required to isolate. Residential students may quarantine/isolate in Awosting Hall or at home. Commuter students will quarantine/isolate off campus. Both will be monitored by Student Health Services, the College’s contact tracers and, under some circumstances, county health officials.

+  What happens if an employee fails to complete the health screening for a given day?

SUNY Employee Relations has confirmed that employees are required to participate in screening practices as identified by the employer. Employees who fail to adhere to these parameters may be subject to disciplinary action.

+  What happens if an employee does not pass the health screening for a given day?

Employees who report an elevated temperature, the presence of COVID-19 symptoms and/or recent exposure to confirmed cases will be directed to quarantine via on-screen directions from the screening app and via email.

Employees who present with a raised temperature, symptoms or recent exposure will not be permitted to report to campus and will be referred to Benefits for support and guidance.

The Benefits Office and the employee’s supervisor will be notified automatically by email if indicated by answers on the screening.

Employees who report a temperature or symptoms, but who feel able to work remotely, will be accommodated and will not be required to use time.

Testing and Quarantine

+  Who will be notified when a student tests positive for COVID-19?

The communication protocol for suspected or confirmed student cases of COVID-19 is as follows:

  • Whether the student lives on or off campus:
    • Contact tracers will be deployed to interview them about where they have been and with whom they have been in contact.
    • Tracers will notify other individuals as appropriate, and will also notify Facilities if the student has been in common spaces on campus within seven days.
    • Student Health Service will also notify Ulster County health officials of the positive diagnosis, unless the student does not reside in Ulster County or has returned home to another county. In these cases the student will be instructed to inform their County health officials.
    • All of the faculty teaching courses in which the student is enrolled will be notified, whether those courses are in-person, remote or hybrid.
      • The notification to faculty will not include instructions to quarantine. Faculty and classmates should not need to quarantine unless contact tracers confirm that they have been in close contact (10 minutes or more within six feet, without wearing a mask). In such cases, contact tracers will instruct faculty and classmates will be instructed to quarantine.
  • If the student lives on campus:
    • The student’s instructors and the Quarantine Coordinator for the Department of Residence Life will be notified. The Quarantine Coordinator will in turn notify Dining Services, Facilities Management, the Office of Emergency Management and the student’s home Residence Director.
  • When Student Health Service clears a student to exit quarantine/isolation, they will notify the student’s in-person instructors and the Quarantine Coordinator (if the student lives on campus).

Campus-wide notifications will be sent when there is a clear danger to the campus community, such as if there were a suspected or confirmed case when a student, faculty or staff member was known to have been on campus during the potential infection period.

The College will continue sharing updates about positive cases in the Daily Digest email newsletter, only when those positive cases affect our in-person community.

+  Will students be able to get tested for COVID-19 on campus?

Yes, students can get testing on campus at the basement entrance of Awosting Hall (off Southside Loop).

There is no walk-in testing available on campus. Students who are interested in scheduling a test should use the registration portal on the Student Health Service's webpage.

Our testing partner, Enzo Labs, is on campus multiple days per week to serve our students.

The Student Health Service also has limited capacity to provide on-campus COVID-19 testing, and can also write prescriptions to allow students to get tested at community testing sites. Contact them at 845-257-3400 to learn more.

+  How does “pool testing” work?

Pool testing is an FDA-approved technique in which multiple samples (usually about 12 people) are combined into a single “pool” or batch and tested all at once.

The technique uses the same polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technology as individual diagnostic tests, but by pooling multiple samples it allows more people to be tested quickly using fewer testing resources.

Pool testing isn’t meant to verify whether any one person has COVID-19, the way an individual diagnostic test does. Rather, it’s part of a broader surveillance strategy that allows for efficient screening of people who are asymptomatic.

If a pooled sample tests negative, then all individuals within that pool can be presumed negative.

If a pool sample tests positive, a second round of individual tests (called “reflex” tests) is administered to determine which individual(s) within that pool has COVID-19.

This testing strategy is most efficient in areas with low prevalence of the disease, where most test results are expected to be negative. This makes pool testing a good fit for SUNY New Paltz’s campus community, where roughly 99% of on-campus COVID-19 test results have been negative since the beginning of the fall 2020 semester.

+  What will happen if a student tests positive for COVID-19?

The College will enact the following protocol if a student tests positive:

  • Residential students with a confirmed diagnosis will be relocated to an on-campus quarantine facility (students may opt to quarantine at home). Residential quarantined students will be provided with food, trash and laundry service. Student Health Service will monitor residential quarantined students’ health and provide over-the-counter medication as warranted. Students must quarantine until cleared by Student Health Service; generally 14 days post-exposure or 10 days from onset of symptoms, per CDC guidelines.
    • Awosting Hall will be set aside as unoccupied at the start of the fall 2020 semester, and will be available to quarantine residential students as needed.
  • Commuter students with a confirmed diagnosis will be directed to quarantine at home, and will not be allowed to return to campus until asymptomatic for 14 days from exposure or 10 days from symptom onset, per CDC guidelines.
  • In all cases of confirmed diagnosis, the College will deploy our contact tracing protocol to notify classmates, and faculty members of their potential exposure.
  • Positive cases in the campus population will be reported to the local health department, as required.
    • Student Health Service will report student cases.
    • The Office of Human Resources, Diversity & Inclusion will report employee cases.
  • The College has developed a “Pause and Pivot” procedure and is prepared with plans to return to remote operations in the event in-person, on-campus operations cannot be safely sustained, as determined by the state’s Regional Control Room, SUNY, the Department of Health or other body. The plan outlines steps to be taken to shut down in-person activities, reduce campus density and return to remote operations.
+  If someone in my class tests positive for COVID-19, will I need to quarantine?

No, and this point represents an important difference between our spring 2020 and fall 2020 responses to positive cases.

In spring 2020, when classes were still meeting as normal, the College was recommending that students quarantine if a classmate had tested positive, because we could not be sure that there was sufficient distance between students in the same class section and, at the time, no one was wearing masks in class.

For fall 2020, all in-person classes will take place with students and faculty masked and maintaining a minimum of six feet of social distance. For that reason, if a student tests positive during the fall 2020 semester, students who are enrolled in the same in-person course(s) will not be required to quarantine.

This is in accordance with current SUNY, state and CDC guidance that quarantine is necessary only in cases when a person has been without a mask and has spent more than 10 minutes within six feet of an infected person.

As part of our contract tracing practices for fall 2020, faculty members will be notified if a student in one of their classes has tested positive, but again, there will be no expectation that students or faculty in that section quarantine if they have been compliant with in-class policies on masking and social distancing.

+  How will the Awosting Hall quarantine space work?

Awosting Hall will be kept unoccupied so it can accommodate residential students who must be quarantined on campus due to confirmed or suspected COVID-19, direct exposure to COVID-19, international or other travel where CDC recommends quarantine, or any other purpose as indicated by applicable CDC, State Department of Health, or Ulster County guidelines.

Residential students with a confirmed diagnosis or exposure who live in corridor-style housing will be relocated to Awosting (students may also elect to quarantine at home). Such students’ roommates will also be required to quarantine in Awosting.

Students with a confirmed diagnosis or exposure who live in suite-style housing may be able to quarantine in place if the quarantine building is full, because they are already self-contained and everyone within the suite will have been exposed.

While quarantined, residential students will be provided with a refrigerator/microwave, food, support, wellness checks, and laundry and trash services. Length of quarantine and conditions for return to campus activities will be determined by Student Health Service consistent with CDC and New York state guidelines.

Once students move out of quarantine, the space they occupied will be thoroughly cleaned.

+  How will quarantine work for students and employees who test positive for COVID-19?

The College will follow the latest Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and Ulster County Department of Health guidance about how long quarantine should last for people who test positive for COVID-19, and when people can come out of isolation.

As of Aug. 7, 2020, the CDC guidance on this point is as follows:

An infected person must isolate for at least 10 days after the onset of symptoms. They may be released from isolation if their symptoms have improved AND they have had no fever (without the use of medicines) for at least 24 hours.

+  Do students living on campus have local options for obtaining flu shots and other medical services?

Yes, flu shots will be given out at the on-campus Health Center and at local pharmacies.

In addition to the Health Center, the following medical facilities are located in the New Paltz area:

Preparing for Return to Campus

+  Do students need to quarantine prior to arriving on campus for the fall 2020 semester?

Yes, all students must quarantine for seven days AT HOME prior to coming to campus, and for 14 days at home if they have traveled to one of the states on the advisory list designated by New York

This precautionary measure is intended to protect our campus community and we appreciate students’ strict compliance with this directive.

Once the semester begins, students are strongly discouraged from travel to any area experiencing a COVID-19 outbreak, even within the state or nearby regions.

+  Are there special requirements for students coming to campus from out-of-state?

Yes, out-of-state students must take additional steps to ensure that we can safely welcome them to campus for the fall 2020 semester.

Students who are entering New York from one of the states on the advisory list designated by New York will be required to fill out two forms:

  • The first mandatory form is required by New York State for anyone entering the state from states or territories that are experiencing recent, significant, community-wide spread of COVID-19
  • The second mandatory form is required by the SUNY New Paltz Student Health Service for students who are coming to campus after traveling internationally or to states identified in the state travel advisory

This is in addition to the requirement that students who have traveled to areas identified in the advisory must quarantine for 14 days prior to coming to campus.

Use this link to read more about Governor Cuomo’s statewide travel advisory and quarantine requirements for students who have traveled internationally or to U.S. states listed on the advisory.

+  Do students need to be tested or screened prior to coming to campus during the fall 2020 semester?

Yes, all students (for residence or for in-person classes) will be required to self-report current CDC-recognized COVID-19 symptoms, or exposure to confirmed COVID-19 cases for two weeks prior to their arrival on campus and each day they will be on campus (outside of their residence) thereafter, using an online reporting system.

Starting Aug. 3, students will be required to submit a digital daily health screening form, which can be accessed at my.newpaltz.edu. Students will receive a daily email reminder to complete the health screening.

If a student’s responses indicate symptoms or exposure, they will receive an automated response notifying them that they are required to be tested prior to arrival on campus.  

If a student tests positive for COVID-19 prior to arriving, that student will be required to quarantine per CDC guidelines and must contact Student Health Service (845-257-3400) for additional guidance.

+  Will SUNY New Paltz employees be required to complete any special training before returning to campus for work?

Yes. All employees must complete a general training video (approximately 12 minutes) prior to returning to work on campus. The training video is available at my.newpaltz.edu through this link.

Individual departments may require the incorporation of additional safety protocols. Supervisors are encouraged to contact the Office of Environmental Health & Safety to discuss any additional safety protocols, training or personal protective equipment that may be needed as a result of COVID-19.

+  Are there special testing or screening rules for international students?

Yes, all international students who have been in another country on or after Jul. 31, 2020, will be tested as soon as possible upon their arrival on campus and will be quarantined for 14 days upon their arrival, regardless of test results.

New and returning international students who are coming from their home country will be asked to return to campus on Aug. 1, 2020.

International residential students will be tested as soon after their arrival as possible and will be required to be quarantined in the designated residence hall for 14 days. If they are symptom free after the 14 days, they will be moved to their permanent residence hall.

International students living off campus will also be tested as soon as possible after their arrival and will be required to quarantine for 14 days in their off-campus residence.

Both residential and non-residential international students will receive specific guidance on quarantine responsibilities prior to their arrival. 

Residential international students will be allowed to remain in the residence halls until the completion of the semester should remote learning be necessary.  

Residence Life

+  Will residence halls be open during the fall 2020 semester?

Yes, residence halls will be open with reduced density to allow on-campus housing for approximately 2,900 students.

Residences will be organized by double-occupancy (two students per room) with priority given to accommodating the following groups of students:

  • First-Year Students.
  • International Students.
  • Students who face housing situations that present barriers to access and support for academic success.
  • Students in programs with heavy lab, studio, equipment-intensive and clinical components.

There will be no tripled rooms this fall.

+  How will the residence hall move-in process work during summer/fall 2020?

The Department of Residence Life has developed a new schedule to allow students and families to safely move belongings and get situated in their on-campus homes, while maintaining responsible social distancing practices.

In summer 2020, the move-in schedule will include both drop-off days, when students and families will be permitted to bring belongings to campus and set up their rooms, and move-in days, when students can officially begin living in their residences.

Drop-off days will be optional, but they are the only days when non-residents will be allowed inside the residence halls.

On move-in days, no one but resident students will be allowed inside any of the residence halls.

More detailed information about the drop-off days and move-in days can be found in the FAQs below.

+  How will the residence hall move-in days work?

Move-in days are scheduled for mid-to-late-August and will be an opportunity for students to officially take up residence in their halls.

No one but students will be allowed inside residence halls on move-in days, in order to preserve a safe, socially distant environment for our student residents.

Move-in days for new first-year and transfer students will be held on Aug. 16-18.

Move-in days for returning resident students will be held on Aug. 20-23.

PLEASE NOTE: Students with last names beginning with A-L can move in between 9 a.m. and 12 p.m. on these days. Students with last names beginning with M-Z can move in between 1 and 4 p.m.

In order to minimize density and exposure, the Department of Residence Life staff will not be assisting students with their belongings on move-in days this year.

Students who require assistance moving their belongings into their halls are strongly encouraged to take advantage of the drop-off days earlier in the summer, when friends and family members will be permitted to help with moving in.

Students who are unable to move their belongings in on drop-off days, or who are otherwise unable to move their belongings into residence halls without assistance, are encouraged to contact the Department of Residence Life (reslife@newpaltz.edu) as soon as possible to arrange accommodations.

+  I’m currently assigned to live on campus in fall 2020. What if I no longer want to or am no longer able to live on campus this semester?

Given the extraordinary circumstances related to the COVID-19 pandemic, we realize that a greater-than-usual number of students many choose to cancel their on-campus housing assignment for fall 2020, either because they will be taking exclusively online courses that they can complete from home, or for other reasons as a matter of personal choice.

To accommodate students in these circumstances, the College has extended the Advance Room Deposit refund deadline to July 20.

Students who wish to cancel their fall on-campus housing assignment must notify the Department of Residence Life (reslife@newpaltz.edu) and the Office of Student Accounts (stuacct@newpaltz.edu) no later than July 20 in order to receive a refund on their deposit.

Students who cancel their fall housing assignment will still be welcome to return to on-campus housing in spring 2021. The deadline to request spring housing will be around mid-November. The Department of Residence Life will email those who cancelled for the fall to remind them about signing up for spring semester housing with the exact deadline.

+  Do students who are planning to live on campus in fall 2020 need to submit a new Residence Hall License?

Yes, given the need to adhere to social distancing and other safety practices to protect the health of our campus community, the Department of Residence Life is requiring all resident students to read, agree to and submit the updated Residence Hall License no later than July 20, 2020.

The new License outlines special guidelines and practices that all students living on campus will be expected to follow to reduce the spread of COVID-19 during the fall 2020 semester.

Any student who submitted a Residence Hall License prior to July 6, 2020, will be required to submit a new License.

To submit the license:

  1. Log into my.newpaltz.edu
  2. Click on Residence Life
  3. Click on Residence Hall License
  4. Read the license in its entirety and follow the instructions therein to submit it
+  Will resident students be allowed to have visitors in their residence halls during the fall 2020 semester?

No, as part of our effort to keep all members of our campus community safe, visitors will not be allowed into residence halls this fall except with administrative approval. Residence halls serve as our students’ home away from home and this rule will help mitigate spread.

This stipulation applies to all residence hall visitors, including New Paltz students who live in other on-campus residence halls – so, students who live on campus will not be allowed to enter residence halls other than their own hall, unless with administrative approval.

+  Will resident students be allowed to leave campus after they move in during the fall 2020 semester?

Yes, students will be able to travel freely on and off campus, in accordance with the special rules outlined in our plan and elsewhere in the FAQs (including wearing masks in indoor spaces as well as in outdoor spaces where they cannot safely social distance, no visitors to residence halls, limiting unnecessary personal travel, quarantining after travel to high-infection areas as designated by New York State, etc.)

The College strongly encourages students to take a “WE, not ME” approach to their activities during the fall semester, as we work together to keep our campus community – and the broader New Paltz community – safe.  

+  Will there be other special rules and protocols in residence halls in fall 2020?

Yes. Please note the following expectations and requirements.

  • Resident students are required to wear masks in residence halls outside of their room/bathroom or suite, as well as do enhanced cleaning within their own living space. Residents should bring cleaning supplies as needed (Facilities will conduct enhanced cleaning of shared spaces). Note that common areas, including kitchens, will be open but social distancing guidelines will be strictly enforced.
  • Residents will be required to self-report current CDC-recognized COVID-19 symptoms, or exposure to confirmed COVID-19 cases, using an app or online reporting system for two weeks prior to their arrival on campus and each day they will be on campus (outside of their residence) thereafter. More information about the reporting process will be provided at a later date.
    • If a student’s responses indicate symptoms or exposure, they will receive an automated response notifying them that they are required to be tested prior to arrival on campus or during their time here.
  • Residents who have COVID-19 symptoms or exposure to an individual with a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis will be relocated, along with their roommate, to Awosting Hall, our on-campus quarantine facility. Food, trash and laundry services will be provided to quarantining residents. Student Health Service will monitor quarantining students’ health and provide over-the-counter medication as warranted.
  • All guidelines will be strictly enforced. If a student does not comply, all violations will result in campus judicial charges, as well as progressive sanctions as high as suspension or expulsion and the immediate revocation of your housing license (and permanent denial of campus residency). Failure to meet these directives will endanger the College’s ability to maintain its integrity and operations.
  • The more risk you expose yourself and others to, the more likely we will be required by the state to return to remote learning.
  • We ask you to hold yourself and your peers accountable to these expectations. Think "WE not ME" this year.

Designated times where move-in assistance from one friend or relative is pre-approved will be communicated by the Office of Residence Life. Students will be given the opportunity to drop off their belongings per a designated schedule over the summer to allow families to partake in the move-in process while following social distancing guidelines. Please consult the Residence Life packing list for updated suggestions about what to bring and not bring this year.

Residence Life staff will refrain from entering residents’ rooms or living quarters unless absolutely necessary. They will instead use online and telecommunications and check-ins as appropriate.

+  Would on-campus resident students be required to move out in the event in-person campus operations cannot safely be sustained?

Yes, some students will be required to depart campus in such a case, except in qualifying circumstances.

If directed to shut down and return to remote operations, we will follow this protocol for resident students:

  • Asymptomatic students will be notified that they must depart campus in coordination with families, public transportation, and state and local health officials.
  • Quarantining students will be allowed to remain on campus.
  • International students and students who do not have other safe living conditions or have limited or no access to technology will be allowed to remain on campus.
  • Students will be allowed to leave behind belongings until a later date, when it is safe to return to campus to retrieve them.

Campus Life

+  Will campus events be held during fall 2020?

Yes, some in-person events and gatherings will be offered on a very limited basis. Any proposed live event or gathering must comply with current public health policy. Gatherings within a residence hall floor will be allowed, so long as they follow public health guidelines about social distancing and mask wearing.

Campus groups considering holding a face-to-face event or gathering will be required to submit a brief narrative to the appropriate office (e.g., Records and Registration, Center for Student Engagement, Athletic and Wellness Center, etc.) responsible for space assignments. That narrative must address five questions:

  • Could this event be held virtually, rather than in-person?
  • What is the COVID-19 health risk associated with this event?
  • What is this event’s relevance to the College’s core academic mission?
  • What is this event’s value to the institution and the campus community?
  • How does this event connect to the College’s third-party relationships, First Amendment responsibilities as a public agency, and civic engagement?

The narrative must be submitted to the appropriate office at least 30 days prior to the event.

If additional review is required, the appropriate office will forward the request to the COVID-19 Planning Team to make a final determination on the priority and safety of the event. Organizers will be notified of the decision at least 10 days prior to the event. Evolving circumstances may necessitate that previously approved events be deemed too high-risk and will need to be held virtually. 

+  Are there any changes to official student rights and responsibilities for the fall 2020 semester?

Yes, the Student Handbook has been amended to call attention to the expectation that residential and commuter students adhere to COVID-related safety protocols.  

Residential students will sign a housing license addendum advising them of public health policy, expectations of the College concerning those policies, and potential consequences for not complying with policies.

Under the Division of Student Affairs reorganization, the Director of Student Conduct will take primary responsibility for enforcing student rights and responsibilities.

Student conduct matters, including Title IX education and enforcement, will be handled remotely where possible.

+  How will the College help promote community and civic engagement?

We will host a virtual service fair in September and continue to develop virtual service opportunities with our community partners and modeled by other virtual service programs (Community Service Made Easy).  All mentor groups and UlsterCorps Board meetings will be held virtually.  Workshops on how to remotely volunteer will be conducted online and the use of social media will increase promotion.

+  What is the status of the county’s polling place on campus?

We will continue to host the District 9 polling location on campus, and we will work with the Ulster County Board of Elections to ensure this effort follows appropriate social distancing and other safety measures for voters.

+  Will students be able to study abroad in fall 2020?

At this time, all study abroad is suspended for fall 2020, per SUNY administration. New Paltz will follow SUNY guidance on international mobility and study abroad experiences.

Other, online-based international opportunities will be available to students this fall, including the SUNY Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) Global Commons, other COIL opportunities, Global Engagement Program and Living & Learning Communities.

The Center for International Programs, in cooperation with the Division of Academic Affairs, will continue to monitor and assess all future study abroad programs.

+  Will intercollegiate athletics still take place in fall 2020?

No, as announced by the State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) on July 20, 2020, all sports competition has been suspended for the fall 2020 semester in response to ongoing health and safety concerns.

The decision was made by the SUNYAC Presidents, in consultation with the SUNYAC Board of Directors.

In addition to the suspension of fall conference competition, all winter conference and non-conference schedules will be delayed until Jan. 1, 2021.

Use this link to read more about the SUNY Athletic Conference’s decision to suspend sports competition for fall 2020.

+  How will the College support students, faculty and staff, who come from vulnerable populations?

We are aware that specific populations (students, faculty, and staff) are more vulnerable to the health risk of COVID-19. Moreover, some vulnerable student populations are also more likely to experience marginalization, alienation, academic challenges and attrition, and students of color will be coming to our campuses with heightened anger, fear, and anxiety in the wake of recent events across the country. These concerns about equity and inclusion add an additional dynamic in our goal of supporting vulnerable populations. 

Our approach will evolve as we assess changing health recommendations, campus needs, and higher education trends as the summer progresses, but will, in general, focus on the following:

  • Our plan outlines the array of services we will continue to provide students to support their academic success, physical and mental health, safety, and belongingness.
  • Students who are at high risk or are otherwise concerned about their safety in seated classrooms will be advised to visit their advisor to choose online courses. 
  • To the degree that remote learning is necessary during a portion of the year, students in research-intensive, performance, studio and other applied learning courses or programs will need additional and creative support to accomplish learning objectives. 
  • Students with disabilities will work with our Disability Resource Center to access the services they need to be successful either in a seated class or remotely.
  • We will continue to administer our student crisis fund program and campus food pantry.
  • We have an ADA accommodation procedure in place to support faculty and staff who, for medical reasons, cannot safely return to campus.
  • Faculty who do not feel comfortable returning to campus but for whom ADA accommodations are not applicable should visit with their Academic Dean about possible flexibility in scope of obligation and/or schedule within the operational needs of the college.  
  • Faculty, staff, and students should consult with their Department Chair and Academic Dean regarding opportunities/conditions for procuring or taking home equipment, supplies, or other resources for remote use.

Dining Services

+  Will dining plans be available to students during the fall 2020 semester?

Yes. New Paltz Dining Services has adopted new protocols to ensure that students can safely enjoy meals on campus, and will offer a single, comprehensive dining plan to students this year.

All food venues will operate as grab & go at the beginning of the fall 2020 semester. Indoor dining areas will be closed.

Students will be provided with reusable container kits to obtain and safely pick up and carry out their meals. Read more about the reusable container kits in the FAQ below.

The Seven” dining plan is designed to provide convenience, variety and safety at a tremendous value. For a charge of $2,400, the dining plan includes the following:

  • Seven grab & go meal swipes per week for meals at Peregrine Dining Hall
  • $1,100 of Dining Dollars, usable at all campus dining venues including Peregrine Dining Hall
  • Three guest meals per semester

The seven dining swipes replenish each Monday morning. Swipes do not roll over from week to week.

Additional Dining Dollars can be added to student accounts at any time in any installment of $25. Students can add Dining Dollars by visiting Card Services in Student Union room 64, or by visiting my.newpaltz.edu and finding my.CASaccount.

+  How will the reusable container kits for campus dining work?

All students who are enrolled in a dining plan (including resident and commuter students) will be provided with a reusable container kit including a drink cup, flatware and a take-out container at the beginning of the semester.

Residence Life staff will deliver the reusable container kits to students’ on-campus residences upon their arrival at the College.

Commuter students who are enrolled in a dining plan can pick up their kits by visiting the Peregrine Dining Hall cashier station.

Students will be required to bring their reusable container kits to pick up grab & go meals at Peregrine Dining Hall.

After eating, students will be expected to empty their containers into designated receptacles stationed in residence halls and other spaces on campus.

Diners will be able to trade their empty kit for a clean one each time they return to one of the grab & go stations at Peregrine Dining Hall. Dining Services staff will thoroughly clean and sanitize each container kit after use.

The fall 2020 dining plan includes one replacement kit per student per semester. Additional replacement containers can be purchased for $5 at the Peregrine Dining Hall cashier station.

+  What kinds of food will be available at the grab & go dining stations?

Students will have access to a wide variety of options through grab & go dining, including:

  • Simple Servings: This hot brunch and dinner menu will be updated daily and will include varied protein options and vegan side dishes, to allow students to create full meals that meet their specific dietary requirements
  • Chef’s Table: This menu offers American regional and international cuisine featuring culinary expertise through familiar recipes and unique flavors
  • Salads and Soups: A robust selection of leafy greens, freshly prepared vegetables, toppings and dressings, sourced from local farms whenever possible, alongside made-from-scratch soups that rotate daily
  • Sprout: Our popular all-vegan menu offers meals with plant-based and plant-forward items incorporated into every offering
  • Homestyle and Brunch Grill: These evening and morning offerings both serve up classic comfort dishes made from scratch, featuring all-time favorites and rotating specials
  • Pastries and Desserts: Fresh and homemade cookies, cakes, bars and other treats, made on-site at our campus bakery, to satisfy your sweet tooth
+  Will Dining Services implement special rules or protocols to promote health and safety during the fall 2020 semester?

Yes, New Paltz Dining Services has articulated a number of new policies and practices that will be in place this fall.

In addition to the grab & go meal service and reusable container policies outlined in other FAQs, on-campus restaurants, cafeterias and food courts will adopt the following policies:

  • Touchless entry options including hand sanitizing stations
  • One-way traffic in grab & go pick-up areas, and use separate doors for entry and exit where possible.
  • Six feet of distance between workers and customers except at the moment of payment or exchange of goods.
  • Contactless pay options and pickup wherever possible.
  • Provide hand sanitizer and wipes to staff and customers.
  • Frequently sanitize high-touch areas such as credit card machines, keypads, and counters.
  • Require infection control practices such as regular hand washing, coughing and sneezing etiquette, and proper tissue usage.
  • A welcome center displaying important safety and service expectations, including reminding staff and customers about social distance requirements.
  • Floor decals and consistent signage to reinforce traffic patterns and social distancing
  • Menu toppings and condiments to be portioned by the attendant
  • Require workers and customers to wear cloth face coverings and require workers to wear gloves.
    • If a customer refuses to wear cloth face coverings, they will be denied entry; however, another method of food pickup will be provided.
  • Reusable container kits will be stored behind the service area and distributed by an attendant in a sanitary fashion
  • No personal refillable containers to be utilized in the dining room, to ensure safety for our staff and guests
  • Visibly marked exit with designated instructions for returning containers
+  Can students order food from New Paltz Dining Services using an app?

Yes. The College partners with Grubhub, the nation's leading online and mobile food-ordering and delivery marketplace, to make it easy for students to order from their favorite on-campus cafes and eateries and pay using Dining Dollars, Hawk Dollars, or credit or debit cards.

As part of our effort to promote contactless payment and keep our students and employees safe, New Paltz Dining Services has made Grubhub the primary form of ordering and payment for campus dining services.

All students enrolled on a dining plan will be expected to download and use the Grubhub app to make purchases at campus dining locations.

Note: Grubhub is not available for grab & go pickup meals at the Terrace; students will need to swipe their campus ID cards.

Grubhub can be used for dining purchases at the Roost, Sweets & Treats, all Student Union Building cafes & eateries and the Starbucks at Parker Theatre.

Those who do not have their Grubhub account linked to their New Paltz Dining Services account can follow these easy instructions to set it up:

  • Download the Grubhub app
  • Create an account
  • Go to My Grubhub > Settings > Campus Dining
  • Affiliate your account with SUNY New Paltz
  • Set up your payment methods (including your campus ID card)
+  When will dining spaces on campus reopen for dine-in service?

New Paltz Dining Services will begin the fall 2020 semester with exclusively grab & go service, in accordance with health and safety policies and social distancing best practices.

As conditions allow, Dining Services has plans in place to progress through a phased reopening, with dining rooms staged for social distancing and pre-packaged menu items offered as self-serve. This phased reopening would ultimately lead to a final phase where the dining rooms can be open for full service with social distancing.

Our ability to begin phased reopening of Dining Services spaces depends on our campus community’s success in preventing coronavirus transmission, and on state and local guidance related to indoor dining service. 

Student Clubs & Organizations

+  Will student clubs and organizations be able to meet in person during the fall 2020 semester?

While some in-person gatherings will be permitted, the College has established strict guidelines and review processes for in-person campus events, as part of our effort to keep all campus community members healthy and safe during the fall semester.

Only pre-approved in-person events will be allowed to take place.

Those who wish to hold a face-to-face event or gathering will be required to submit a narrative proposal to the office that is responsible for scheduling in the requested on-campus space. The Center for Student Engagement will review these in-person event requests in keeping with campus protocols and reduced room capacities.

We recommend that most clubs and organizations plan to conduct their recurring meetings virtually, to promote social distancing efforts on campus and to make it easier for students living off-campus to connect with the group. Student clubs will be able to host virtual programs with no significant review process.

Students are encouraged to use the ENGAGE online software to explore options in campus life, and organize and plan virtual events.

+  How can clubs and organizations get approval to host an in-person event on campus?

Those who wish to hold a face-to-face event or gathering will be required to submit a request form and narrative for evaluation by the appropriate campus office or committee.

For student groups, the initial review will be conducted by the Center for Student Engagement with further approval by a campus-wide review board. 

Requests should be submitted through the ENGAGE Event Form at least 30 days in advance. A decision will be made no less than 10 days prior to your event.

Event proposals from student clubs and organizations will be evaluated based on a rubric of five questions that can be viewed at this link. This rubric will be used for all campus programs proposed to be hosted by departments, academic programs and student groups.

Click here to read the full FAQ about campus events during fall 2020.

+  Are there other special rules for student groups that want to hold in-person events in fall 2020?

Yes, in addition to the five criteria for determining whether to allow an in-person gathering, the Center for Student Engagement will consider the following considerations for student clubs and organizations:

  • Personal face masks must be required for entry into all events.
  • Social distancing requirements must always be maintained.
  • Club members and attendees must have completed the daily health screening.
  • Student groups will not be permitted to host events off campus.
  • Groups structured around physical exercise, performance and musical rehearsal/practices will be restricted to online events, due to the increased risk of coronavirus transmission associated with these kinds of activities.
  • Event marketing should remind participants to follow public health guidelines such as wearing a mask, social distancing, and frequent hand washing, etc.  Announcements should also be made at the event.
  • Student events will be restricted to New Paltz students only with campus ID checked at the door. Advance sign-up is required.
  • Outdoor events may not be advertised to non-students/off-campus.
  • Groups should implement live streaming (Facebook Live or Instagram Live) for any in-person program that does not conflict with copyright law or contractual agreements.
  • Participants shall not be asked to share any items (such as utensils or writing instruments).
  • No communal food (buffets, etc.) shall be permitted.  All food must be individually prepared by an approved facility or pre-packaged store bought.  Homemade foods are restricted.
  • When possible, different doorways should be marked as separate entrances and exits.
  • Events should be no longer than 90 minutes in length (from arrival to departure).
  • Student groups may not host outside guests, including, but not limited to, other college teams or clubs, high school or college prep programs, parents and family, alumni, and friends.
  • Student groups looking to contract outside services must ensure and provide documentation that those vendor(s) will comply with campus standards for mask-wearing, social distancing, cleanliness, etc.  Please note there will be a limit to the number of hired personnel permitted at any one program.
  • Event capacity may not exceed the adjusted room capacities for social distancing. Outdoor venues will also have established capacities on the current guidelines established by the state. 
  • Groups must assist in cleaning high-touch spaces and equipment.  Supplies will be provided by the Center for Student Engagement.
  • Additional considerations for Events and Gatherings outlined by the CDC can be found here.
+  Can student groups get access to web conferencing tools for virtual meetings and events?

Yes, the College has procured a number of Zoom accounts to provide the full functionality of the platform to student groups and organizations.

Accounts will be managed centrally by the Center for Student Engagement, the Student Association Business Office and the Office of Residence Life. These offices can help students schedule and organize group meetings.

To use these Zoom accounts, student groups must submit a request through the ENGAGE platform by navigating to the main Forms tab. The Zoom request form will be available beginning Aug. 1, 2020.

Applied Learning and Fieldwork

+  Will fine & performing arts students be able to continue their work on campus in fall 2020?

Yes, student and performance spaces will be open with new arrangements, occupancy limits and protocols in place to allow for safe social distancing.

When a studio or performance space cannot be rearranged due to fixed work areas or equipment, they will have a reduced or staggered occupancy, or remote instruction.

All studios and performance spaces will have scheduled, outside-of-class work times, to allow students to use the spaces while also controlling how many people occupy them at any one time.

Campus cleaning protocols will be instituted in studio and performance spaces. Masks, face shields and protective barriers will be required where appropriate.

All courses which require singing will be offered remotely.

+  Will teacher candidates still be able to complete student teaching and fieldwork experiences in fall 2020?

Our planning acknowledges that placements in student teaching depend upon what is allowed by the school districts.

We will continue to ask all teacher training programs on campus to offer alternative options to students to meet program learning outcomes. We also ask program coordinators and student teaching supervisors to contextualize and individualize assignments, in consideration of each student’s unique tasks, placement and situation.

Student teaching and fieldwork options for fall 2020 may include the following:

  • Working with cooperating teachers in the district, if allowed by the district.
  • Participate in remote home education assistance (RHEA) where approved.
  • Participate in remote instructional activities/tutoring/clinical/administrative experience where approved.
  • Complete approved assignments and professional development related to ATLAS Video Lessons.
+  How will the in-person lab and studio classes adapt if the College needs to pivot to a fully remote learning environment this fall?

It is clearly ideal to hold these courses in person to accommodate hands-on learning and face-to-face interaction between students and faculty.

However, the College recognizes that external forces may make it impossible for us to continue to deliver any in-person instruction this fall.

Our students and faculty had experience adapting to such circumstances during the spring semester. While the sudden pivot to remote teaching and learning posed many challenges, our community worked together to continue instruction even in courses where hands-on activity is strongly preferred. This included modifying assignments so that students could complete them from home, and in some cases, providing materials and other special resources to students to allow them to continue their work.

Our community learned from our experiences in spring 2020. While we continue to hope that in-person instruction can continue as planned through the fall, we are also prepared to sustain high-quality instruction if circumstances again require a shift to fully remote teaching and learning.

Read more in these FAQs about our “Pause and Pivot” plan to learn about how the College is preparing for the possibility of a sudden shift to remote instruction this fall.

+  Will the College work with students to provide safe internship experiences in fall 2020?

SUNY New Paltz is following guidance provided by the SUNY Administration regarding internships, including by taking the following steps:

  • Working with participating students to ensure that appropriate protocols are in place.
  • Staying in touch with internship placement sites to ensure that appropriate protocols are being followed.
  • Ensuring that students are aware of alternative options for non-licensure programs.

Student Services

+  How do I get help from Student Health Service?

Student Health Service (SHS) will work with the campus community to raise awareness of and encourage activities that should decrease the effect of COVID-19 on this campus, including social distancing, use of face coverings, frequent hand washing and staying home if sick.

Student Health Service will be open Monday – Friday, but in order to reduce exposure walk-ins will not be allowed. Students must make an appointment before visiting.  

Triage nurses will be available for phone assessment and will advise students on self-care measures, schedule in-person consultations as needed, and direct students to emergency services, if warranted.

SHS will also make greater use of telemedicine to continue providing health services to students in the safest manner possible.

Masks will be required for in-person appointments. No one will be allowed to accompany a student to their appointment. Students will be taken directly to an examination room where hand cleaning protocols will be required of the student at the beginning and end of their office visit. 

Student Health Service will help ensure that students have access to COVID-19 testing when needed and will work with local health departments to coordinate quarantine, monitoring and treatment efforts.

+  I know the Student Health Center is open Monday-Friday. What should students do if they require medical attention on weekends?

If a student has an urgent medical problem and they are not sure how to proceed, they may reach the Student Health Center’s on-call physician outside of regular office hours by calling (845) 257-3400.

The on-call physician is available to discuss urgent medical questions with students by telephone and to help the student caller identify their options for care.

Students who require in-person medical attention can go to FirstCare Medical Center, which functions as an Urgent Care Facility and is located at 222 Route 299, Highland, NY, (845) 691-3627.

For students experiencing severe medical problems, there are Emergency Departments at the following area hospitals:

+  How can I get mental health services?

We recognize that student mental health needs have increased during the pandemic, and that more students than ever before are attempting to succeed academically while living through traumatic circumstances. 

The Division of Student Affairs has reorganized services and staffing to supplement the Psychological Counseling Center’s (PCC) intervention services to allow for more outreach, prevention implementation and coordination.

The PCC, the Institute for Disaster Mental Health (IDMH) and SUNY have made training available to faculty, staff and students on both Psychological First Aid and suicide prevention. SUNY’s Mental Health Matters website, https://www.suny.edu/mental-health/, offers additional online suicide prevention training.

An enhanced, online Crisis Response Protocol/Reporting Form will be provided for faculty, staff and students to report students of concern and incidents of bias. 

SUNY and the PCC continue to offer 24/7 crisis triage.  

The PCC will continue to offer clinical services both remotely and in-person, though the majority of clinical services (including individual, group therapy and crisis-related assessment and intervention) will be offered remotely.

To deliver in-person services, the PCC staff will be staggered on a rotational basis to keep the office physically staffed five days a week during normal business. The waiting room, one of the largest spaces in the Center, will be temporarily converted to a triage room for students in acute emotional distress, to best facilitate recommended social distancing. The conference room will be modified as a second triage room.

Students who come directly to the PCC experiencing significant emotional distress but not of life-threatening nature, may be directed to wait in place or return to their room and wait. While waiting to be contacted for triage, they will be directed to self-help phone apps to aid in self-deescalating or regulating their anxiety.

+  How will academic advising work in fall 2020?

The College will continue using Starfish, our academic advising platform, to facilitate remote communication among instructors, advisors and students. Faculty office hours will be held remotely.

Incoming students are being trained on remote advising and registration in our remote summer Orientation program.

+  Will students still have access to tutoring in fall 2020?

The Center for Student Success will continue to provide tutoring services remotely in the fall, and is also working on developing options for face-to-face instruction where possible. Any face-to-face tutoring will follow social distancing and mask-wearing guidelines. Certain academic departments with tutoring programs, like the School of Business, will continue to provide remote tutoring services.

+  How will the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) support students this semester?

The Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) program will offer advising, tutoring and support to our students remotely.

SUNY has provided incoming EOP students with laptops. Continuing students were provided either with a campus or SUNY loaner laptop in the spring, as requested.

EOP students will be given priority for student housing in the fall and will therefore have access to on-campus technology resources.

EOP counseling and advising will continue using WebEx and Starfish as the key platforms to advise our students. In-person counseling will be limited to specific student cases and only when a student and advisor are following all the safety protocols instituted by the College. Tutoring will be provided remotely through Blackboard Collaborate Ultra.

EOP instituted a WebEx drop-in time in spring 2020 to allow students to get personal attention without an appointment. This practice was very successful and will continue in fall 2020. 

+  How will the Scholar’s Mentorship Program adapt to a new campus environment in fall 2020?

The Scholar’s Mentorship Program (SMP) will transition its teaching-learning, advising and active student engagement components to interactive modules in an online/virtual environment.  

SMP courses will use Blackboard Ultra, WebEx and Zoom to deliver remote instruction to students. 

Student support activities will continue using Starfish to aid student progress and provide online/virtual advisement when academic concerns arise. 

SMP events will move to online/virtual platforms as well. The program will train student leaders, such as liaisons, managers and student assistants, to aid with fostering a sense of community in the online environment until we return to an on-campus setting.

+  How will the Disability Resource Center support students this semester?

The Disability Resource Center (DRC) is developing support services to help our students create structure and stay organized while working independently in a combination of on-campus and online classes.

Please note that the DRC is not offering face to face proctoring of tests and exams this fall. The DRC strongly encourages faculty to use Blackboard to administer tests this semester.

The DRC will continue providing the following student services uninterrupted:

  • Advocacy
  • Outreach to faculty to help both students and faculty with accommodations
  • Finding alternate format textbooks or converting textbooks when the needed formats are not readily available
  • Note taking support
  • Student meetings (WebEx)
  • Serving as a campus resource for all issues involving disabilities and accommodations including offering training related to disabilities and accommodations

The following DRC programs and services will move to online, video and Webex formats:

  • New Student Intake meetings
  • Documentation review (in which we discuss barriers and determine accommodations on a case by case basis)
  • Navigating New Paltz video (focused on questions about online learning)
  • Face-to-face weekly meetings
  • ASD academic support meetings
  • Office Hours
  • Test prep sessions
  • Stress reduction sessions
  • Group study sessions
  • Academic support sessions
+  How will the AC² (AMP & CSTEP Community) Program adapt to a new campus environment in fall 2020?

As a program of academic support and enrichment for students intending to major in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) fields, AC2 will be well-positioned to provide all tutoring, study group and enrichment activities in either seated or virtual formats depending on guidelines and activity type.

+  How will the Student Association adapt to a new campus environment in fall 2020?

The Student Association is looking into options for governance meetings (Senate, Council of Organizations) and committee meetings (Budget and Finance, Programming, etc.) to happen in person where possible as well as making meetings open and accessible virtually. As of right now our Executive Board will be available to meet virtually for “office hours” with students.

The Student Association provides the service of ENGAGE along with other factions of the University, they will continue to use this platform as a way to allow clubs to organize and plan events virtually, and to allow students to explore campus life options.

Information will be provided to students when the academic semester starts about opportunities to run and participate in the Fall 2020 Election.

Students can find more updates as we get closer to the start of the Fall Semester on our social media platform (@sunynewpaltzsa) and ENGAGE.

+  How will University Police adapt to a new campus environment in fall 2020?

Since University Police staff are still physically needed to be on campus and our jurisdiction is limited to the actual physical location of the campus, UPD will only lightly modify its daily operating procedures.

UPD is exploring options for moving online their community outreach events, such as the virtual Coffee with a Cop or community town halls.

The Student Escort Service will be on-foot only with appropriate social distancing, and is subject to staffing shortages.




+  How will Mail Services work during the fall 2020 semester?

The Mail Services window in Haggerty Administration Building will be open Monday – Friday, 8​:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., this fall.

All students, faculty and staff must follow mask-wearing and social distancing guidelines when picking up mail.

Mail Services will continue to deploy a contactless delivery procedure for packages. This is more time-consuming and may result in longer lines than usual, but it is a necessary precaution to ensure a safer, socially distant transfer of parcels.

All equipment will be sanitized frequently. Mail Services employees will wear masks and gloves. Barriers have been installed at the HAB window.

Mail Services will also make on-campus deliveries a few days per week to residence halls and offices that are regularly staffed.

We ask that departments and units please let Mail Services know as soon as possible via e-mail (mailservices@newpaltz.edu) or phone (845 257-3122) if your department has in-person staff on campus at least two or three days per week.

As always, faculty and staff can pick up and drop off department mail in person at the Mail Services window during core business hours.

+  Will the Lifetime Learning Institute (LLI) be impacted in fall 2020?

The campus provides classroom space to the LLI on a space-available basis and at no cost to the program. Due to class scheduling changes needed to maintain appropriate social distancing, classroom space is limited for the semester and as a result, LLI will not be able to use classroom space.

We encourage LLI to make use of readily available web-conferencing tools to facilitate their class sessions. We will continue to otherwise support LLI’s programming through the website and e-mail announcements. We will also continue to provide administrative support for the LLI through Campus Auxiliary Services (CAS).

+  How will fraternities and sororities be affected by the new campus environment in fall 2020?

Student engagement staff are shifting efforts to support a virtual model for our campus chapters, which will include a virtual recruitment fair, virtual collection of paperwork and moving online the mandatory trainings related to hazing and Title IX.

Fraternity and sorority recruitment activities, new member education and initiation programs must be conducted virtually for fall 2020.

Chapters will be required to sumit a new member education plan to the Center for Student Engagement for review and approval. More details about this process will be shared with fraternities and sororities as the semester approaches.

Employee Information and Resources

+  Will employees have the option of telecommuting/working from home?

The Telecommuting Pilot Program first announced in March 2020 has been extended through Oct. 2, 2020 for all represented and MC employees.

Supervisors and employees will work together to continue telecommuting plans and staggered campus schedules to the extent that these plans meet operational needs. These plans can be updated as employee needs and operational needs change. Updated plans should be sent to HRDI.

Some units on campus will be deemed essential and will return to campus presence (while maintaining social distancing and using provided PPE) to prepare for operations and instructional needs as students and other employees return to campus this fall. Supervisors can deem employees essential by providing proper notice that campus presence (whether staggered or full-time) will be required in order to meet operational needs.

The Office of Human Resources, Diversity & Inclusion (HRDI) is available to help with general questions, with communication regarding essential employee status, or with altering of telecommuting plans.

+  What is the College doing to accommodate faculty who have concerns about teaching in person?

College leadership recognizes that members of the faculty may be vulnerable to COVID-19 or may have immunodeficient or immunocompromised family members, and who may be uncomfortable teaching in person for health reasons.

We will accommodate such faculty in all possible cases by offering them opportunities to teach remotely and online, and will also provide the ability to participate in service and research activities virtually.

In cases where courses have been prioritized for in-person delivery, it may not be possible to provide faculty with the opportunity to teach these courses remotely and online – not all faculty requests to move to remote instruction can be accommodated through flexibility in scope of obligation and/or scheduling, as some courses cannot be adjusted or staffed differently.

Faculty who are responsible for instruction will be consulted to understand individual concerns about teaching in person, and the College will undertake these conversations with care and reasonable consideration. There will be a process established to solicit these concerns and to attempt to address them within the operational needs of the College.   

+  What if employees have childcare or other responsibilities and risk factors outside of health that will make it difficult for them to return?

Employees are encouraged to work with their supervisors in consultation with HRDI to share concerns and establish strategies for meetings these needs. Options may include continued telecommuting plans, VRWS, temporary changes in FTE, as well as some leave benefits. Each case is specific and HRDI is available to provide further support, as needed.

+  How will faculty office hours and advising work in fall 2020?

Faculty will move their office hours and academic advising to remote platforms, and schedule consultations with students by telephone, video conference or email.


+  Is the College providing additional training to help faculty prepare for the fall 2020 semester?

Yes. Since May 2020, all SUNY New Paltz faculty have been enrolled in a contingency training program hosted on Blackboard.

The program focuses on preparing faculty for blended delivery (with asynchronous as well as synchronous seated or online elements) to support the effort to move courses to fully remote or hybrid formats.

+  How will the College help address incidents of disruptive behavior in face-to-face or remote classes?

Disruptive Behavior Incident Reporting Forms from faculty will be addressed via phone and WebEx (including inappropriate behavior in the virtual realm).

+  Can faculty still get support from the College to identify funding sources for research and creative activities?

Yes, the Office of Sponsored Programs and Research Compliance remains open, whether in person or remotely, to assist with identifying, securing and managing external funding for research and creative activities as well as assisting with research integrity and compliance.

+  Will employee travel be permitted in fall 2020?

All work-related travel after Jun. 30, 2020, will be very limited and will require pre-approval by the applicable Dean and Provost or Vice President. All pre-approved travel requisitions must be submitted to the travel office prior to travel taking place. If travel is not pre-approved, it will not be reimbursed. All Travel cards have been deactivated to discourage fraudulent activity.

Please be advised that the Governor has also issued a recent Executive Order directing that state employees who voluntarily travel to high-risk states or other countries after June 25 will not be eligible for COVID-19 paid sick leave.

+  How will the College handle students’ and employees’ personal travel in fall 2020?

In accordance with Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) guidance, the College strongly discourages those planning to travel to Level 2 or Level 3 countries from doing so.

College is mandating that any students or employees with travel plans out-of-state or internationally for official campus business register their plans. 

SUNY and New York State guidelines require anyone returning to the U.S. from another country to receive COVID-19 testing.

Anyone traveling to another country or state under quarantine order, as determined by New York State, will be required to notify their local health department, self-quarantine for 14 days and will not be permitted to come to campus for two weeks upon their return.

Those with personal, domestic travel plans out-of-state are strongly encouraged to register and report plans to supervisors and vice presidents as well. Travel to states experiencing high rates of infection is particularly discouraged. Additionally, please be advised that the Governor has also issued a recent Executive Order directing that state employees who voluntarily travel to high-risk states or other countries after June 25 will not be eligible for COVID-19 paid sick leave.

+  Will there be special rules and protocols in effect for employees working on campus in fall 2020?

All employees working in on-campus spaces will be expected to understand and adhere to requirements for safe social distancing and mask usage. Current guidance is that individuals should maintain six feet of distance where an office space is occupied by more than one person. Masks are required when using elevators.

Offices must consult with Human Resources, Diversity and Inclusion before inviting visitors to campus.

Offices are encouraged to continue using practices that avoid or reduce the frequency of in-person interaction by, for instance, using email, phone and web conferencing for meetings when possible, and using lock boxes and trays outside of offices for deliveries.

Lunch breaks in common eating areas or break rooms should maintain required social distancing of six feet per person.

+  How will the College handle Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) claims during the fall semester?

We recognize that some faculty, staff and students may have health issues that raise particular concerns related to COVID-19.

We encourage these campus community members to file appropriate documentation for accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Faculty and staff may have health issues that pose a higher risk or may have higher risk due to age. In addition, employees may have concerns about risk to children, elders or others for whom they are primary care givers. These individuals should work with their physicians and the Office of Human Resources, Diversity & Inclusion to complete appropriate paperwork and make an appropriate accommodation plan. More information, including HRDI’s workplace accommodation request form, is available here.

Students should work with their physicians and the Disability Resource Center to complete appropriate paperwork and make an appropriate accommodation plan.


+  Is personal protective equipment (PPE) eligible for coverage under the Health Care Spending Account?

Yes. The Health Care Spending Account allows employees to set aside any amount from $100 up to $2,700 for the 2020 plan year to pay for medically necessary health care expenses that are not reimbursed by their health insurance or other benefit plans.

N95 masks and thermometers are considered medically necessary and are a reimbursable expense under the Health Care Spending Account.

Other PPE that is considered dual purpose will require a Letter of Medical Necessity signed by a doctor to be eligible for reimbursement.

Questions about flexible spending accounts can be submitted online at https://www.myfbmc.com/customers/cs.asp.

+  Will employee sick leave be affected by health screening and other protocols during the fall 2020 semester?

In cases when employees report a temperature or symptoms and do not feel able to work remotely until these conditions resolve, the College will follow campus and New York State Payroll guidelines.


  • An employee who is quarantined and not well enough to work remotely or whose work can’t be performed remotely will receive 14 calendar days of leave (in addition to any accrued sick leave). This does not have to be used continuously.
  • An employee who is quarantined and who is healthy enough and able to perform work remotely, can work with no charge to quarantine or other accruals.
  • In the case that an employee does not qualify for quarantine leave, an employee can use sick, FEPSLA or unpaid time.

Employees with questions about these policies can contact Benefits for support and guidance.


+  How will hiring and salary increases be impacted during fall 2020?

The State of New York has mandated a hiring freeze and the parameters have been set by the Office of the Budget. Under these parameters, there is to be no net increase in FTE or salary expenditure, with limited exceptions for those positions that contribute to revenue generation or are critical to mission, health and safety.

All requests for staffing or salary increases must be submitted to the Vice President of the area involved and will be reviewed by Cabinet in accordance with the parameters articulated in the directive from the state budget office.

SUNY campuses are given local control of hiring decisions, but must document their decision-making process, which is then incorporated into the documentation that must be submitted for consideration by Cabinet. 

Impacts on effective dates of salary increases will be determined by the state via payroll bulletins provided to the College. The College will communicate any changes to employees.

Buildings, Offices and Other Spaces

+  Where can commuters and other students and employees spend time on campus this fall?

Things are going to be different on the SUNY New Paltz campus this fall, but there are still lots of good options for commuters, other students and faculty who are looking for spaces to study, safely meet with friends or colleagues, or just get some rest between classes.

Most outdoor areas will be open to all campus community members. New outdoor furniture is being installed around campus to provide additional options, and the College is working to bolster outdoor Wi-Fi service to make it easier for people to get work done while sitting outside.

While many indoor spaces will be restricted this fall, there are still a number of buildings and areas that will be accessible to commuters and others who need a place to work or relax, including:

  • The Sojourner Truth Library’s first floor study areas
  • The Atrium Lobby and second floor Scholars Perch
  • The Student Union, second floor, outside the Multipurpose Room
  • The Student Union, ground floor, Entertainment Commons outside the Bookstore
  • The newly renovated Jacobson Faculty Tower Lobby
  • The lounge on the second floor of the Humanities building
  • First and second floor lounges in Science Hall
  • Second floor lounges in Wooster Hall
  • The Lobby and second floor lounge in Engineering Innovation Hub
  • The College Theatre Lobby

A limited number of campus computer labs will be available throughout the fall semester as well, though they may be operating at reduced capacity and/or hours of operation.

Use this link for a full schedule of where and when campus computer labs will be open.

As a reminder, most campus buildings will be card access only this fall. Students and employees will need to have their campus ID cards in order to access buildings.

If you lose your ID card, have issues with card access or have other questions, contact Card Services at cardservices@newpaltz.edu or (845) 257-3034.

+  Has the College set new maximum capacities for campus rooms and spaces for the fall 2020 semester?

Yes, in order to adhere to established social distancing guidelines, most indoor spaces on the New Paltz campus will be limited to approximately 10-20% of their original maximum capacities, effective immediately.

In addition to new indoor occupancy limits, the State of New York has capped attendance at indoor and outdoor events. The Mid-Hudson Region is currently in Phase Four of reopening, which sets attendance limits for gatherings at 50 people.

+  Will the public be allowed to access open spaces on campus in fall 2020?

The New Paltz campus has a variety of walking paths as well as outside sports fields and courts. Walking paths will remain open to the public with the requirement that those using these spaces maintain social distancing and wear a mask when they cannot maintain social distance. Sports fields and courts, as well as the pool are for campus-only use unless conditions change that would enable us to expand their use to community members.

+  Will on-campus work areas be modified to follow safety protocols?

Yes. All divisions will complete social distancing assessments of their office areas, and work with the Office of Emergency Management for guidance on how to address the needs in that office.

Where 6 feet of distance is difficult or impossible to maintain in the office space, divisions will explore whether furniture can be reconfigured to maintain distance and still preserve functioning.

In areas where proximate interactions are unavoidable, clear barriers will be used.

In service areas where standing in queue is sometimes unavoidable, floor markers will indicate 6-foot safety distances.

Waiting areas for individuals visiting campus offices will be eliminated. Offices are required to develop alternative procedures for those waiting for appointments.


+  How will the Student Union operate this year?

Facility hours will be adjusted to meet at least the minimal needs of food service and a small window for programming time. 

Gathering spaces and rooms will have modified layouts to promote social distancing. Floor signage and plexiglass partitions for the HQ Welcome Desk in the Atrium will be in place. Safety and cleaning measures will be put in place for shared/communal equipment (i.e. - club keys, portable computer carts, etc.). 

+  How will the Athletics & Wellness Center adapt to a new campus environment in fall 2020?

The Athletics & Wellness Center and Elting Gym are planning to remain open, with access restricted to students only. However, the reopening of these facilities is subject to state health guidance that may change as conditions of the COVID-19 pandemic evolve.

Recreational activities will be scheduled in blocks of time to allow for expanded cleaning protocols. Staff will supervise and maintain a safe environment for all who use the facilities or participate remotely.

Virtual wellness programming will continue to be offered to all students, faculty and staff, and members. Wellness staff will strive to offer synchronous (rather than pre-recorded) classes whenever possible, to increase a sense of connection amongst participants. Staff are also exploring options for offering wellness classes outside and in person.

In recognition of the recreational benefits and growing popularity of e-sports, wellness staff will continue promoting e-sports and e-intramural opportunities for students. 

+  Will the Sojourner Truth Library be open in fall 2020?

Yes, the Library will begin the semester open but with reduced occupancy and other protocols in place to ensure safe social distancing. As conditions evolve over the course of the semester, the Library may move to more or less restrictive policies.

As of the first day of classes, Aug. 24, only the Main Floor of the Library is open, and all visitors are required to reserve seating in advance. Complete instructions are available here: Library Booking/Reservation System.

The Library has also implemented a curbside pickup program to accommodate students, faculty and staff in safely checking out books and other materials. Learn more about Curbside Borrowing via this link.

Library staff has worked with instructors all summer to make more class materials available online than ever before. Students and faculty can also get daily assistance online via the Library's Ask A Librarian page.

+  What materials and services will be available through the Sojourner Truth Library in fall 2020?

Online databases and resources remain available to students and faculty through our Sojourner Truth Library digital holdings and subscriptions.

Library staff are trained and available to assist faculty and students with checking out materials from our collection or arranging inter-library loan, whether the Library is open for in-person use or via online service provision.

The Library has been collecting data on required course materials and will make available as many as possible for remote access. For those materials that cannot be made accessible, alternative content will be provided in consultation with faculty. 

Research help for students will be delivered via online resource guides, and real-time and asynchronous librarian consultations. 

Library liaisons to academic departments will coordinate access to resources, information literacy, management instruction and research help as needed, using chat, email, web conferencing and other tools.

+  Will the Speech-Language and Hearing Center be open in fall 2020?

The Speech-Language and Hearing Center provides vital professional learning opportunities for our students, while also providing valuable services to community members.

In order to continue providing these opportunities and services, the Center will be open on a limited basis in fall 2020 with new restrictions and safety protocols in place.

The Center will adopt usage of personal protective equipment, social distancing practices and lower density than in typical semesters.

The audiology clinic will maintain a limited schedule within the constraints of social distancing and lower density.

The speech clinic will operate remotely with no in-person services.

We may rely wholly or partially on simulated clinical experiences (Simucase) and teletherapy.

+  How will the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art adapt to a new campus environment in fall 2020?

The Dorsky Museum will reopen in Sept. on a typical fall exhibition schedule, and will operate at reduced capacity with a maximum number of occupants allowed in each gallery at a time.

Museum staff and visitors will be required to wear masks and adhere to social distancing. The museum will hold events and outreach virtually and in person, adhering to current guidelines for group gatherings. If necessary, due to reduced student staffing, the museum may be open one less day per week.

+  How will the Kirk Planetarium and Smolen Observatory adapt to a new campus environment in fall 2020?

Planetarium shows at the Kirk Planetarium will be suspended indefinitely, as the close quarters inside the Planetarium make adequate social distancing impossible.

Observatory events are outdoors and can be held with social distancing and mask usage.

+  How will the Children’s Center adapt to a new campus environment in fall 2020?

The Children’s Center of New Paltz, Inc., is a licensed, non-profit, corporation. It is not presently open.

When the Center reopens, it will follow all COVID-19 protocols set forth by the CDC, the New York State Office of Children and Family Services, the Center’s licensing agency, and SUNY New Paltz. 

Protocols include but are not limited to the following:

  • Conducting and documenting daily health screenings of all children, staff, parents, and students.
  • Outdoor drop-off, pick-up and health checks, to eliminate the need for parents to enter the Center.
  • All staff will wear face masks.
  • Face masks will be recommended, but not required, for all children over the age of two.
  • Groups will be limited to 10 children and two adults, and classrooms and groups will not combine.
  • Indoor activities, nap and story time will be time limited.
  • Cleaning practices will be increased and expanded.
  • Parents will be required to pick their children up within 30 minutes, in the event a child gets sick while under the Center’s care. Children who get sick will remain separate from the group until picked up.

Hygiene and Sanitization

+  Will the College deploy special cleaning of rooms on campus where positive case exposures may have occurred?

Classrooms and other spaces are cleaned and disinfected daily. In the event a space has not been cleaned and disinfected since the time of exposure, the Office of Emergency Management will direct that the space be secured through our electronic access control, placarded to prevent unwanted entry, and cleaned and disinfected after 24 hours of closure.

Upon completion, the space will be permitted to be re-occupied. If seven days have passed since the positive case was last in a given space, additional cleaning and disinfecting will not be required, per current CDC guidance.

+  Will there be new cleaning and custodial protocols in place for fall 2020?

Custodial teams have developed detailed cleaning and disinfecting plans for each type of occupancy on campus.

Cleaners will perform focused cleaning and disinfecting of high-touch surfaces including doorknobs, handrails, light switches, elevator buttons, etc., in addition to regular performance of routine cleaning. Effective disinfection requires that the surface first be pre-cleaned of any visible dirt or grime. Disinfectant will then be applied and allowed to sit for 10 minutes before wiping off, to ensure disinfection of the surface.

+  How will cleaning work in spaces occupied by individuals infected with coronavirus?

Campus administrators will coordinate third-party disinfecting for spaces on campus recently occupied by infected individuals, as needed. The Office of Emergency Management will direct the closure of these facilities as needed.

The plan for cleaning and disinfecting areas occupied by infected individuals is as follows:

  • Close off areas used by infected persons.
  • Open outside doors and windows to increase air circulation in the area.
  • Wait 24 hours before you clean or disinfect. If 24 hours is not feasible, wait as long as possible.
  • Clean and disinfect all areas and surfaces used by the infected person(s), such as offices, bathrooms, common areas, shared electronic equipment like tablets, touch screens, keyboards, remote controls and ATM machines.
  • Once the area has been appropriately disinfected, it can be opened for use.

Areas that have been unoccupied for seven days or more only need routine cleaning to reopen the area.

Once buildings and departments have been re-occupied, they will receive the same level of cleaning and disinfection as other campus spaces.

+  How will classrooms be kept clean during the fall 2020 semester?

Custodial staff will clean classrooms daily, using CDC-approved disinfectant on high-touch surfaces.

The College will also provide disinfectant spray, paper towels and wipes in classrooms. We strongly encourage all students, faculty and staff to keep a personal supply of disinfectant or cleaning wipes with them and use them frequently to keep the spaces around them clean.

We also request that campus community members contribute to our effort to keep campus safe and clean by wiping desktops, lecture stands, keyboards and other surfaces after use.

Planning Process

+  Who contributed to the fall 2020 re-opening plan, and who will be included as we move toward implementation?

The SUNY New Paltz COVID-19 Planning Team included representatives from across the academic and administrative units on campus, including all five academic deans and specialists in emergency management, health services, information technology, online learning, human resources, diversity and inclusion, student affairs, communication and government relations.

Employees across these various areas were consulted and/or provided input into the planning because of their specialized or unique expertise in their job.  

The report was compiled by co-chairs Kristin Backhaus, dean of the School of Business, and Shala Mills, assistant vice president for graduate & extended learning. Other members of the COVID-19 Planning Team include:

  • Donald P. Christian, President
  • Barbara G. Lyman, Interim Provost
  • Shelly Wright, Chief of Staff and Vice President for Communication & Marketing
  • Stephanie Blaisdell, Vice President for Student Affairs
  • Michele Halstead, Vice President for Administration and Finance
  • David Eaton, Vice President for Enrollment Management
  • Tanhena Pacheco Dunn, Vice President for Human Resources, Diversity & Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer
  • Erica Marks, Vice President for Development & Alumni Relations and Executive Director, SUNY New Paltz Foundation
  • John Reina, Chief Information Officer
  • Scott Schulte, Director of Emergency Management
  • Laurel M. Garrick Duhaney, Associate Provost for Strategic Planning & Assessment
  • Laura Barrett, Dean, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences
  • Dan Freedman, Dean, School of Science & Engineering
  • Jeni Mokren, Dean, School of Fine & Performing Arts
  • Michael Rosenberg, Dean, School of Education (to June 12, 2020)
  • Rene Antrop-Gonzalez, Dean, School of Education (from June 15, 2020)
  • Rich Winters, Director of Community & Government Relations
  • Matt Skillman, Director of Digital Media

Other voices in our decision-making and planning include:

  • Jack Ordway, Director, Student Health Service
  • Lucy Walker, Assistant Vice President for Institutional Research
  • Beth Vargas, Executive Director, Center for International Programs
  • Melissa Kaczmarek, Director of Communication
  • Andrew Bruso, Assistant Director of Communication
  • Matthew Alfultis, Emergency Preparedness Specialist
  • Mike Malloy, Director, Environmental Health & Safety
  • Chrissie Williams, Assistant Director of Media Relations/Magazine Editor
  • Dante Cantu, Executive Director, Center for Student Success
  • Stella Turk, College Registrar
  • Kate Bohan, Lead Instructional Designer
  • Mark Colvson, Dean, Library
  • Members of the faculty, via regular meetings between academic deans and department chairs/faculty
  • Faculty Senate:
    • Anne Balant, Presiding Officer of the Faculty 2019-20
    • Reynolds Scott-Childress, Presiding Officer of the Faculty 2020-21
    • Executive Committee Members

As we move to implementation of the plan, consultation will continue with members of our community including Student Leadership, including Executive Committees of the Student Association and Residential Hall Student Association, Faculty Governance and Union leadership. 

+  What were the guiding principles for the fall 2020 Reopening Plan?

The Planning Team developed policies, guidelines and recommendations with a focus on continuing to fulfill the College’s educational mission in a fiscally responsible way, while maintaining the health and safety of all students, faculty, staff and the New Paltz community.

The planning adheres to core guiding principles outlined by SUNY System administration for the planning process:

  • Put safety first: When making financial decisions, safety comes first
  • Protect the core academic areas of excellence
  • Maintain our fundamental mission: The broadest possible access to world-class teaching, research and scholarship
  • Sustain academic programs and achieve operational efficiencies
  • Demonstrate agility in responding rapidly to workforce needs
  • Be mindful of and support vulnerable populations
+  Is SUNY New Paltz prepared with plans to return to remote operations in the event in-person, on-campus operations cannot safely be sustained?

Yes. The College has developed a “Pause and Pivot” procedure which can be implemented if the College is so directed by the state’s Regional Control Room, SUNY, the Department of Health or other body.

The plan outlines steps to be taken to shut down in-person activities, reduce campus density and return to remote operations. These steps include:

  • Halting all in-person instruction, pivoting to remote delivery, and resuming in seven calendar days.
    • In this event, the academic calendar would be adjusted to add back the lost instructional days at the end of the semester when we have already moved to remote instruction.
  • Issuing new directions to employees regarding telecommuting policies, equipment for home offices, and other issues pursuant to SUNY and state directives and collective bargaining agreements.
  • Continuing operation of facilities, maintenance, custodial and other essential functions to ensure the health and safety of any employees who must remain on campus.
  • Reverting all activities to virtual modality, with support from Instructional Technology Services.


+  Under what circumstances would the College need to pivot to fully remote learning for two weeks?

SUNY New Paltz would be required to pivot to fully remote instruction for two weeks in the event that a total of 100 students, faculty or staff within our on-campus community test positive for COVID-19 within a 14-day period.

This is pursuant to guidance issued by Governor Cuomo on Aug. 28, outlining when colleges and universities in New York will be required to transition to a fully remote learning format. The guidance reads in part:

“Whenever the lesser of 100 individuals or 5% of the total on-campus population – inclusive of students,  faculty, and staff – of a higher education institution location test positive for COVID-19 within a 14-day period, the location must immediately (1) transition all in-person learning to remote format(s) and (2) limit on-campus activities for a period of 14 days.”

For the fall 2020 semester, SUNY New Paltz’s on-campus population is estimated to be about 4,589 people (Note: This figure is accurate as of Sept. 10, 2020, and is subject to change).

This count includes:

  • 1,645 resident students
  • 704 employees working on-campus
  • 2,023 commuters (students who live off campus but are expected to attend campus for at least one in-person class)
  • 49 construction workers
  • 93 Sodexo staff (food service)
  • A buffer of 75 individuals, which could include one-day drop-ins by staff or other community members

Based on this calculation, for New Paltz, “the lesser of 100 individuals or 5% of the total on-campus population” is 100 (5% of 4,589 is approximately 229).

So, the College will be required to pivot to fully remote learning in the event 100 people in our on-campus population test positive over a 14-day period.