Update: September 30, 2020, 1:36 p.m.
Last week, we shared an important update regarding uniform SUNY-wide sanctioning in response to COVID-19 student violations. This uniform policy will begin to be implemented tomorrow, October 1, 2020.
Though I continue to be impressed with how hard our community, students, faculty, and staff have worked to keep our COVID-19 infection rates down, the gathering that occurred off campus early Sunday morning is very concerning. In response, students who are residents of Campus Walk are required to participate in pool testing, and many have already done so. If you are a resident at Campus Walk and have not completed your testing, the make-up opportunity will occur tomorrow, October 1, from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. in the Social Hall of the Campbell Student Union. Students who are required to participate in testing should refer to their e-mail for additional instructions. Questions about testing can be directed to Rock Doyle, Weigel Health Center, at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (716) 878-6711.
Based on this weekend’s activity, it is important that we’re clear on what actions and behaviors we need to embrace. The Dean of Students Office, Residence Life Office, and University Police are investigating the situation and referring individuals who participated in or hosted this reckless event to the Student Conduct and Community Standards Office for possible sanctions. Additionally, clarity on responding to behaviors that are not in compliance with maintaining public health are being provided by SUNY Chancellor James Malatras. The Chancellor has shared guidance about what students are expected to do, and what he expects the campus administration to do should violations occur.
Beginning next week, selected students will be contacted to participate in random pool testing. Though every student will not be tested every week, a sample of the campus will be. It is expected that students participate in this testing when selected, and failure to do so can also result in action under the Chancellor’s guidance and policy. Other things that are included in this guidance are:
- Students with positive COVID-19 test results are expected to maintain required isolation until the Erie County Department of Health and Buffalo State College have confirmed isolation is complete. Failure to comply will result in immediate removal, suspension, or dismissal from the institution.
- Students are expected to wear masks in public spaces, keep social distance from others (at least 6 feet), and complete their Daily Symptom tracker. Students who receive follow-up on these items and do not comply may face sanctions that could be as severe as suspension from in-person classes, housing, and permanent dismissal from the institution.
- Students are expected to comply with campus, county, and state health orders if advised to isolate or medically quarantine. Failure to maintain required or recommended isolation or quarantine will result in sanctions including expulsion or suspension from the institution and/or housing for no less than one year. Any student suspended for a positive intentional violation shall be ineligible for admittance to any other SUNY institution.
- The hosting of and attendance at large, on or off campus gatherings (those outlined in the governor’s health order) is prohibited. Hosts may have escalated sanctions but those attending these gatherings will also face sanctions.
- Athletic teams, student organizations, and student groups should not host large gatherings (as defined by the governor’s health order) and risk removal of their recognition status should they be found to be in violation. Student-athletes, at minimum, will lose eligibility to compete in intercollegiate athletics during this academic year. This may also include permanent loss of eligibility at the institution. Student organization sanctions will include de-registration or de-recognition and a report to a national organizing body. It may also include permanent ineligibility for recognition or registration.
Our Bengal family will get through this, and despite the setback this weekend, I am proud of how much our community has come together. Stay safe and continue to work hard to complete the fall semester. Additional information regarding the guidance from the SUNY Chancellor can be found online.
In good health and with much pride,
Timothy W. Gordon
Vice President for Student Affairs
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