As the fall semester begins, SUNY’s 64 schools have been working tirelessly to craft re-opening plans so that students from across the system can partake in in-person instruction and enjoy on-campus activities. With students returning to campuses throughout New York State, one major element of ensuring that re-openings are successful and low-risk is engaging our campus communities. SUNY is no stranger to creating local partnerships, whether it be for job opportunities or community service projects, and the COVID-19 pandemic is no exception to this trend, as witnessed by campuses working closely with the Department of Health and Governor Cuomo’s office to ensure each campus plan has been carefully prepared.
A recent partnership has evolved between SUNY New Paltz, whose plan has been approved and reviewed by President Christian and Chancellor Malatras during a recent campus visit, and the local government bodies surrounding the school. The Village of New Paltz, Town of New Paltz and SUNY New Paltz are partnering this fall to Protect New Paltz during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic through a series of joint initiatives, education campaigns, and cooperative enforcement measures.
“Through individual and collective action, New Paltz, Ulster County and New York State have had success ‘flattening the curve’ and reducing community transmission of COVID-19,” said SUNY New Paltz President Donald P. Christian. “Nevertheless, as recent news at larger university campuses in other parts of the country illustrates, we cannot let our guard down. Our students contribute to the vitality of the New Paltz community economically, socially, culturally and in many other ways. But as part of our reopening plan, we have consistently reminded students that adopting a ‘we, not me’ approach this fall is in their best interest, and that their compliance with health and safety policies is essential to protecting our community and ensuring that their fall semester can proceed as planned.”
“We will succeed or fail based on whether or not we work together so that everyone complies to protect us and reduce spread,” said Town of New Paltz Supervisor Neil Bettez.
“The long-term goal for all of us right now is to prevent an increase in COVID cases,” said Village of New Paltz Mayor Tim Rogers. “In order to achieve this goal, we must all take precautionary measures seriously and in unity. When safety can be ensured for an entire community, we will be able to return to certain events and gatherings that must remain on hold right now.”
Important information and elements of the Village, Town, and College partnership to Protect New Paltz are outlined below:
You can also see a comprehensive list of SUNY campus re-opening plans and re-opening FAQs online.
Taras Kufel is the Manager of Digital Engagement at the State University of New York.