As we look forward to the start of the fall semester, the college has been working hard to make the reopening and move-in process at Canisius as safe, smooth and successful as possible for everyone later this month. The health and safety of our students, faculty and staff have continuously served as the guiding principle as we planned our return to on-campus learning and living this fall. But, in order for us to unite and stay on campus for classes for the duration of the semester, it is critical that we work together to ensure the health and safety of our community. We must each do our part to protect ourselves and each other. Many students, faculty and staff have shared a preference for as normal a campus experience as possible; whether we can deliver that experience will depend upon everyone’s cooperation.
An important part of our strategy is ensuring that people are healthy when they come to school, and modifying our facilities and procedures to mitigate risk. Through rigorous safety protocols and physical alterations to campus facilities, we have created an environment intended to limit the spread of COVID-19 in our community. All of us must adhere to some basic safety principles: monitor your health daily, mask wearing, social distancing, frequent hand-washing and avoiding large gatherings. We will ask everyone – students, faculty and staff alike – to acknowledge their pledge to commit to these new community expectations and practice them on a daily basis.
Though simple, some of these precautions represent a major change in normal daily behavior. We are confident that our campus community is up to the task of taking the needed steps to protect the health and safety of the students, faculty, staff, as well as their friends and their families. To be successful this fall, we truly do need to be, “men and women with and for others”. We are all in this together. Taking the steps necessary to protect others is who we are as Golden Griffins. We must understand how our behavior and individual choices can impact our campus. To this end every member of the community will enter into the Griff Pledge, a compact that formalizes our shared commitment to health and safety. Look for this the week prior to the start of school.
The following information, regarding Quarantine Requirements, a Safe Return to Campus and the Griff Pledge, was sent by Vice President for Student Affairs Dan Dentino, PhD, to undergraduate and graduate students earlier this week:
In the spring, New York was the epicenter of COVID-19 activity, but the state’s strict lockdown and the community’s compliance has drastically reduced the infection rate in our state. New York is reopening gradually and cautiously to prevent a resurgence and has instituted a quarantine requirement for individuals entering from states with significant community spread of the virus. As of this writing, all individuals entering New York from restricted states and other countries are required to self-quarantine for 14 days. This mandatory quarantine applies to everyone (residential and commuter students), including those who have tested negative for COVID-19. To “quarantine” means that you stay in an off campus location or your designated campus housing and not be in public or other campus buildings, grounds or common areas for 14 days; beginning the last day you were in a designated restricted state or country For more information on New York State’s quarantine requirement, please read the state’s FAQ. Given the quarantine requirements noted above, all students coming from restricted states and other countries should plan adequate time to quarantine. Please contact the Office of Student Life if you have questions or need more information.
For students, there are a few ways to satisfy this quarantine requirement:
· The first option is to make alternative off-site plans for quarantining. Click here for more information– https://www.canisius.edu/commencement/buffalo-travel-information. You may also use other hotels, including those outside of the metropolitan area that are in any state that is not on the list of restricted states. Students may also quarantine with a family member or family friend who lives in New York or one of the other states not designated as a “Hot Spot.” In this case, you are required to submit a NY State Traveler Health Form and email a screen shot of the confirmation you receive to Mr. Al Pilato, Associate Director of Student Life at firstname.lastname@example.org.
· The second option is to remain home and begin your classes online, until your state is removed from the restricted-state list. We understand that this may be a disappointing option for many to consider. Please be assured that we will be flexible in working with you on your plans to join Canisius College’s on-campus community at whatever time in the semester this becomes a comfortable and viable option for you and your family. If you choose this option, please contact the associate dean of your respective college/school:
o Wehle School of Business: Laura McEwen (email@example.com)
o College of Arts & Sciences: Dr. Phil Reed (firstname.lastname@example.org)
o School of Education & Human Services: Dr. Lorrei DiCamillo (email@example.com)
· The third option is for residential students only—if you are a student entering from a restricted state or another country and are planning to live in College housing, you are able to quarantine in Canisius housing with assigned roommate (if applicable) and your room or suite will be considered a living/family unit under these circumstances. For residential students, you have already received some information about this in a previous communication.
A Safe Return to Campus
The health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff remain the highest priority in our reopening plans. We have developed a series of health protocols to mitigate risk and promote the safety of the learning environment. These protocols include the following:
- Health Hazard Reduction: This is aimed at reducing or eliminating risk via the quarantine requirements noted above, regular health screening, and contact tracing efforts to ensure that people carrying the virus and their close contacts do not come to campus. As part of this process, you will be strongly encouraged to participate in a daily Mobile App screening. Please look for an email in the coming week to enroll in the screening.
- Density Reduction: We are focused on limiting the number of students, faculty, and staff on the campus and in the classrooms, and accommodating vulnerable populations.
- Engineering Controls: Improvements to campus HVAC systems and air circulation, will mitigate risk.
- Administrative Controls: These efforts protect our community with behavioral changes, through signage, training, and regular communication, to promote social distancing and reshape the way we live, work and study.
- Personal Protective Equipment: Face coverings, which will be provided to students as a critical component of risk mitigation, will be required at all times in all common, public areas, except in areas designated for eating or when you are in private quarters.
For more information about the steps the college is taking to promote health and safety, please see the college’s Return to Campus website
The Griff Pledge
Making the Canisius College campus safe is a shared commitment, and so we are requiring every member of our community to take the Griff Pledge, which demonstrates that we are all working together to protect one another from COVID-19. As a member of the Canisius College community:
- I will wear a face covering at all times on campus, both indoors and outdoors, and when taking part in College activities on or off-campus when unable to be socially distant (students can take face coverings off in their individual residence hall rooms);
- I will wash my hands frequently and thoroughly (for 20 seconds, minimum), especially after contact with surfaces and items in public areas, after eating, coughing, sneezing, or wiping one’s nose;
- I will self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms and complete daily MobileApp screenings;
- I will follow the directions of College and Erie County Health Department officials regarding testing, screening, and quarantine/ isolation (if necessary), and cooperate with the College and Erie County Health Department’s contact tracing efforts, if called upon to do so;
- I will act in the spirit of people for others, knowing that I am helping to protect the campus community from illness. I am responsible for my actions.
Submitted by: College Communications