Message to students from President Collins on COVID-19

Students,

Spring Break begins this Friday.  Before you leave campus, it is fundamental that you know we want you back healthy and ready to go on March 23 to continue making progress towards your degrees.  We currently plan for your education to be in person on March 23, but we are ready for other high-quality scenarios like synchronous and asynchronous online courses that keep you on track towards degree completion. We might accelerate some classes, particularly lab classes.

With COVID-19 at the forefront of global news, it seems timely to remind everyone of the message we shared on your first weekend on campus as a Clarkson student:  “BE SAFE AND LOOK OUT FOR EACH OTHER.”   

This morning the Dean of Students sent a note out for any student with a serious chronic medical condition like heart disease, diabetes or lung disease to call the Health & Counseling Center, 315-268-6633 to set up an individual plan for how you should complete your semester, including finishing it from home. Please contact the Dean of Students office at 315-268-6620 with any questions or concerns.

If you travel internationally to specific geographies and domestic areas where there is a known outbreak, you must wait to return to campus until after 14 days and be symptom-free. We request anyone who is sick or believes they may have been in contact with someone who is sick to seek guidance from health providers and stay home. We anticipate that local health representatives will be diligent in this area of oversight when you return and we want you to be as well.  Apply the Clarkson value of integrity to your decisions.  We will work with each student who needs to isolate to ensure a path towards completing classes

A great way to look out for yourself and each other is to follow the preventive steps the CDC says you can take to avoid being exposed to germs like COVID-19: i.e. wash your hands FREQUENTLY with soap and hot water for 20 seconds or more; cover coughs and sneezes, don’t touch your eyes and nose; and avoid sick people.  IF YOU ARE SICK, wait to return to campus until you are cleared to return.  Eliminate handshakes and other forms of personal contact when greeting others. 

While there are no reported cases of COVID-19 in our community, as a precautionary measure, we are asking you to take with you any electronic devices/laptops, textbooks and other critical materials to be able to continue your coursework remotely if needed.  If you need help shipping these home, the Student Center mailroom will ship them for you this week.

We acknowledge that some students may be required to remain on campus during spring break – especially those who are from the New Rochelle/Westchester County where a mass containment effort launched yesterday seven hours from here.  Contact reslife@clarkson.edu if you need to make arrangements to stay in Potsdam.  Meals will be available for all students who stay on campus. 

If needed, when you return, the University will focus on learning approaches that transition into more social distancing.  Such examples include:

  • Cancel, postpone or conduct virtually planned events where attendance will exceed 50 individuals.
  • Lecture classes of 50 or more will be delivered online. 
  • External speaker or external groups on campus will be postponed.
  • Curtail community activities. 
  • Travel will be curtailed and evaluated on a case by case basis
  • Guidance for athletic events and competitions will be forthcoming, based on policy coordination with the ECAC and Liberty League

Please visit http://www.clarkson.edu/coronavirus for updates as they occur. 

Sincerely,

Tony Collins, President

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