The Office of the President
June 26, 2020

Updated:  July 1, 2020

We are pleased to share with our students, faculty, staff and administration the exciting news that our Oswego Forward plan has been officially approved by SUNY. This carefully developed plan will guide SUNY Oswego as we restart our residential campus operations and welcome students and employees back to campus in late August. According to SUNY, our plan “meets the New York State Department of Health’s ‘Reopening New York Higher Education Guidelines.’” The Oswego Forward plan remains subject to change due to new information, guidance and/or direction received from the State of New York and the Governor’s Office.

Dear Members of the SUNY Oswego Campus Community,

We are excited to tell you that SUNY Oswego will be welcoming students to campus for the new academic year beginning in late August!  The college has developed a plan to safely deliver a blend of online, hybrid and face-to-face courses on campus for a semester opening on August 24, 2020. 

Our "Oswego Forward” plan and the carefully made proposal to restart our residential campus operations ensures that the New York State Phase Four Reopening New York Higher Education Guidelines are met and that the health and safety of all students and employees are protected to the best of the college’s ability in each of SUNY Oswego’s divisions and operations.

Below are some key items of interest we want to provide prior to your arrival on campus.

  • New students will arrive one week to ten days prior to the start of classes for a specialized Welcome Week tailored to develop small-group connections, with returning students moving into the residence halls the weekend of August 22.

  • Classes will begin on August 24 and the fall term will end on December 11, but all face-to-face delivery will be completed by November 25, 2020 (the day before Thanksgiving). 

  • Final exams/assessment will mainly occur remotely. Classes needing to offer an in-person assessment will have that opportunity during the week of November 23.

  • SUNY Oswego is creating a full class schedule for the campus that is approximately: 1/3 face-to-face; 1/3 online; and 1/3 hybrid. Limiting our fully face-to-face classes in this way will have a positive effect on reducing classroom density.

  • We also plan to cancel breaks and hold classes on days that are currently on our Fall 2020 calendar as holidays.

  • Students will receive additional communication and updates throughout the summer confirming the instruction format of the classes they will be taking, as well as details on testing and tracing, face coverings, residential room assignments and dining operations in our focused effort to ensure the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff. 

Just as we have started making plans for an engaging and safe academic and residential experience, we are also making plans for campus safety, including cleaning, building protocols, dining and transportation. Below are some key items of interest that we wanted to share and let you know what you can expect when you return to campus for education and/or employment.

Oswego Forward Pledge - SUNY Oswego students, faculty members and staff who will attend classes or work on campus will be asked to agree to the Oswego Forward Pledge, which will require all students and employees to complete a health screening questionnaire 14 days prior to their specified or desired date of arriving on campus, and quarantine at home for seven days prior to arriving on campus to lessen the exposure opportunity to COVID-19. Moving forward, all students and employees must complete a daily health screen via an app (or alternative method if necessary) that will soon be available on the Oswego Forward/COVID-19 website.

Testing and Tracing – If students and employees screen positive on the health screening questionnaire and/or show symptoms of COVID-19, each student/employee must take a COVID-19 test from home and test negative for COVID-19 prior to returning to campus (pending what we learn about available test kits and supplies). SUNY Oswego is currently working closely with SUNY Upstate Medical University with the goal of gaining access to the saliva test kit that is in development.  If the supply chain allows, SUNY Oswego will need access to 10,000 saliva test kits to be able to mail a test kit to each student and employee who plans to be on campus this fall for coursework and/or employment. The test will be performed at home by the individual and the saliva sample will then be mailed to the designated laboratory for processing. SUNY Oswego through its Department of Human Resources and its Health Services Department will work closely with Oswego and Onondaga County health departments to provide support to students, faculty and staff who need to isolate and/or quarantine, and also provide support to tracing efforts.

PPE and Social Distancing - All students, faculty members and staff will be required to wear face coverings in accordance with CDC guidelines when they are with another person(s).  All students, faculty and staff will be provided with two free cloth face coverings from SUNY Oswego before rejoining the campus community.  We will continue to stress that all members of our campus community wash their hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; follow physical distancing and other guidelines; and remain home if you are not feeling well.

Residential Student Experience – The residential student experience will remain rich, dynamic, student-centered and focused on nurturing the social-emotional needs of the residential population through the creation of “Pod” family-style living groups. Additional information, including guidelines for student-athletes, will soon be shared in an email from Dr. Jerri Howland, the college’s Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management.

Dining Operations - Operations will resume to serve all residential students and residential staff who will be assigned a dining time and a specific dining hall. They will have the option to 1) Order online / pickup in dining hall; 2) Choose take out; and 3) Dine at site with members of their assigned Pod and adhere to social distancing rules.

Hygiene, Cleaning and Disinfection – SUNY Oswego will adhere to CDC and State guidelines related to cleaning, providing protective barriers, controlling foot traffic flows, and using elevators and stairwells.

I assure you that SUNY Oswego is committed to creating a safe environment for our students and employees and our plan is focused on keeping health and safety at the forefront of everything we do.  It is important to stress that we must all work together this semester and beyond.  Whether you are a first-time freshman, transfer or returning student, a recently hired faculty or a dedicated, seasoned staff member, each of you as individual members of the Oswego campus community must take personal accountability for the well-being of yourselves and those around you.

We are looking forward to welcoming you to (or back to) our beautiful, engaging campus on the shores of Lake Ontario.  Until then, please take care and enjoy your summer.  We will be sure to update you – our students and employees – soon with more detailed information and guidance related to the Fall 2020 semester and our Oswego Forward plan.  Stay safe and remember – we are #TogetherOz.

Warm regards,

Deborah F. Stanley

Office of the President
706 Culkin Hall
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