February 1, 2021 - 8:00am

Dear Students,

On this first day of the academic semester, I wanted to wish you well as we begin our spring 2021 journey together.  It is encouraging to see our students back on campus ready to engage with one another inside and outside of the classroom, in-person or virtually, in a socially distant manner.  Our faculty and staff are ready to challenge you and support you, as we all work to deliver a safe, healthy and productive semester ahead.

I am writing on this first day of classes to remind you that your actions will have a direct bearing on a successful spring semester for you and for SUNY Oswego. You have a big responsibility that is shared by each of us. Your day-to-day choices will impact the health and safety of everyone connected to SUNY Oswego as well as our neighbors in the communities around us.  You must follow the rules and guidelines that are designed to keep us all safe.  We can do this!  You can do this!  Last October we came together and pulled SUNY Oswego back from being overtaken by COVID 19. Our good character, tenacity and strength as Lakers prevailed.  

We learned a great deal from that experience and we know more about safe interactions.  We also now offer more safe activities and entertainment. So, with careful planning and your compliance, we are hopeful this can be a safe and satisfying semester!  I assure you that the leadership of the college will remain ever vigilant and relentlessly focused on doing whatever it takes to ensure the health and safety of our entire campus community.  And, we will respond to reduce and resolve any and all of your concerns if you bring them forward.  While perfect isn’t possible, we will refine and revise wherever we can with your help.  

But we must not let our guard down.  Below are a few key pillars of our Spring Forward 2021 Plan, which deserve repetitive reference as we kick off our spring 2021 semester.  Thank you in advance for your active participation and for adhering to these important requirements.

Baseline COVID-19 Testing
All students, including students residing off-campus and coming to campus for any reason, as well as faculty and staff coming to campus, were required to be tested prior to the start of classes today.  Failure to comply with this important testing requirement will result in restricted access to the campus network, including Zoom and Blackboard.  Please contact covidtesting@oswego.edu if you have not completed your baseline testing.

Daily Health Screening  
All students and employees who come to campus for any reason throughout the spring 2021 semester are REQUIRED to complete a daily health screen.  Students are asked to complete the "Symptom Tracker" (within the Medicat Patient Portal under the Covid-19 tab) on a daily basis.  Employees who are working on (coming to) campus are also required to complete a daily health screen, accessible via the employee screening app on the Oswego Forward website.  

Weekly Surveillance Testing
SUNY Oswego will conduct weekly surveillance testing (beginning today, Feb. 1) throughout the spring 2021 semester.  All students and employees coming to campus for any reason must participate in surveillance testing at least once each week throughout the spring 2021 semester.  Testing is by appointment only; visit the COVID-19 section of the college’s ticket/Box Office website to make your appointment(s).

Again, it is important to stress that failure to comply with weekly COVID testing requirements will result in disciplinary action, including immediate measures that will restrict one from participating in classes or accessing the campus network, as well as denied card access to residence halls and dining centers.  CTS is finalizing the development of a “COVID-19 Testing Compliance” app that once deployed will allow students the ability to verify they are in compliance with the weekly testing requirement, and share with faculty and staff who are requesting this verification.  

Stay Informed
We encourage you to visit the Oswego Forward website regularly to stay informed and aware of the latest updates, dashboard reporting, important information and resources made available to you.  In addition, we encourage our students to familiarize themselves with information contained within the What Students Should Know: A Guide on COVID-19 and Returning to Campus.  Located prominently on the Oswego Forward website, this helpful section contains important information and guidance.  A sampling of the content contained in the guide is provided below:

  • Testing and Isolation Requirements
  • Be Responsible – It’s Easy to Do Your Part
  • If Exposed, Complete Mandatory Quarantine and Isolation
  • Follow the Rules or Face Disciplinary Action
  • Take Care of Yourself—Physically and Mentally
  • Get Instructional and Technology Help
  • Housing and Dining Updates
  • If We Have to PAUSE, Follow These Rules
  • If We Have to Pivot to Remote Instruction, Follow This Plan

On this first day of the spring 2021 semester, I again wish you all a positive, productive, safe and healthy semester ahead.  Remember, we are all in this together.  We are #TogetherOz and I am counting on you!  Please contact us at oswego-forward@oswego.edu if you have any questions, concerns or ideas you would like to share.


Deborah F. Stanley