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Coronavirus COVID 19 Update

COVID-19 Update for SUNY Cobleskill Students, Faculty and Staff

To our off-campus Coby students:

I am reaching out to you today to let you know that your Coby family is with you every step of the way during this pandemic. As you now continue your studies remotely, it must feel strange to be so close to campus, and yet not able to connect with us in person. As I drive through the Village, I think about all of you and hope that you are doing well.

I know that you have many needs and concerns, but your most important task is to stay focused on your work, stay in contact with us and follow strict COVID 19 prevention guidelines. We at the College are doing the same thing.  We strongly urge you to follow the guidelines noted below as they are critical action steps in keeping you safe.  

No matter your living arrangements or conditions (apartment/house), please put the following into practice for your safety and the safety of those around you:

  • Avoid any unnecessary travel, including to and from campus. Many of our facilities, including our recreational spaces are closed. There is no food service available, except for a few dozen students who had to remain in the residence halls. If you require Internet access, or are having difficulty with on-line access, please call the College Help Desk at 518.255.5800 for assistance between the hours of 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM, Monday to Friday. You will be allowed to use the computer lab in Warner Hall 021 with permission from the Help Desk between the hours of Noon – 6:00 PM; call to schedule time to visit the lab. Please bring your Coby ID or driver’s license. Strict guidelines are in place to protect on-campus staff and students.   
  • Social distancing is key to preventing the spread of infection. By allowing guests/visitors into your living space or creating situations where there are large group gatherings, you are putting yourself and others at risk of being exposed to the virus. Limit your socializing. Gathering in groups of any size can be risky. However, the larger the gathering the more likely it is that exposure to COVID-19 could occur. Please refer to the following FAQs from the CDC for more detailed information on best practices during this time:  https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/faq.html#anchor_1584386949645

Please remember that we are here to support you. The College is still in session. Your role as an active participant is to finish your academic program and to continue to abide by the College’s code of conduct. This now includes taking good care of yourself and your neighbors by following the COVID 19 protocols noted above. We are dealing with a serious virus and we all must do our part in protecting ourselves and our community. Such difficult times require stricter measures on our behavior. So please be mindful to also comply with public health department’s protocols for county residents.  Putting yourself or others in unnecessary danger may lead to College and County actions.  

If you are experiencing food insecurity, SUNY Cobleskill Community members and students can obtain food two ways locally during this time period.  All persons seeking food assistance may call:

  • Catholic Charities at (518)-234-3581.  Hours:  M-F 8:30am – 4:30pm
  • The Cobleskill United Methodist Church on Chapel Street, please call ahead and leave a message at 518-234-3571.  Hours: Fridays from 8:30am -12:00pm
  • For both pantries:
    • Community members will need to call before going as both pantries are not permitting walk-in clients at this time.
    • Callers will be briefly interviewed over the phone and their food will be available for pick-up at a designated time.
    • If students should have any questions or concerns regarding food insecurity, please contact Matthew Barney at barneyms@cobleskill.edu or Mike Wacksman at wacksmmr@cobleskill.edu.

For the most up-to-date information, please visit the SUNY Cobleskill COVID-19 link:  https://www.cobleskill.edu/covid19/

Thank you for your help in contributing to the efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19. Questions or concerns can be directed to the Office of the Vice President for Student Development at 518.255.5214 or studentdevelopment@cobleskill.edu

Regards,
President Terenzio

 

Employees

If a faculty or staff member is concerned that another employee who is present at work may be displaying symptoms of COVID-19, Nicole Field in Human Resources (518.255.5514) should be contacted immediately.  HR, in conjunction with the employee’s supervisor, will direct the employee to leave work immediately, to self-quarantine and to seek testing, as provided in guidance from the Governor’s Office of Employee Relations. Employees directed to leave campus will not have to charge leave credits and may be given an alternate, remote assignment.

Students in the Residence Halls

If a faculty or staff member, or student, is concerned that a residential student may be displaying symptoms of COVID-19, the Residence Hall Director and the Wellness Center (518.255.5225) should be contacted immediately.

Students in Other Campus Buildings

If a faculty or staff member is concerned that a student may be displaying signs of COVID-19, please ask the student to leave the area and go home (either on campus or off).  Please also ask the student to contact the Wellness Center and follow up with our health services professionals by calling 518.255.5225.

In all instances, Facilities staff will be deployed to clean and disinfect the affected areas per CDC guidelines.

There has been an extension of the directive for non-essential employees working from home. All non-essential employees should continue working from home through April 15th. As some of your telecommuting plans made with your supervisor may have been made through March 30th, please check with your supervisor for the expectations moving forward through April 15th. Essential and non-essential designations can change, based upon the needs of the campus.

Unless an employee’s designation or working arrangements are changing, all telecommuting agreements will be automatically extended through April 15.  There is no need to submit a new agreement.

We understand the unknowns involved with the Coronavirus have individuals nervous and uncertain. However, we assure you protocols are being followed to ensure the overall health of the campus community. We are in regular contact with the various levels of the Department of Health (county and state), and the cleaning staff is regularly disinfecting using enhanced procedures as well.

Your health is important to us, and we are taking measures to assure your working environment keeps you well.

If you have any questions please contact your supervisor, or Nicole in Human Resources.

Please be advised that a change has been made to SUNY Cobleskill’s grading policy for the spring 2020 semester which will allow students the option of choosing S/U grades in one or all of their courses.

In short, here is how this will work:

  • Faculty will submit letter grades (A-F) for all students in their courses;
  • Students will have two weeks from the date that final grades are available to them to request to have letter grades changed to S/U;
  • The request will be submitted online and will be reviewed by Financial Aid and the Registrar’s office;
  • The Registrar’s office staff will process the student request and notify the student’s instructor and advisor.

More guidance on the process will be sent out in the coming weeks.  Students are strongly encouraged to discuss the benefits and potential consequences of choosing S/U grades with their academic advisor prior to the end of the semester.

Please also be advised that course withdrawal has been extended through the end of the spring 2020 semester.  Students may withdrawal from courses through May 8th.

The health, safety, and well-being of our students, faculty, and staff is of the utmost importance to us now and always. As such, we would like to offer some tools and information that will be helpful during this time of uncertainty. Please see below for more information regarding an on-line screening tool for COVID-19 as well as other helpful information.

On-Line Screening Tool

The New York State Department of Health now offers an online screening tool that will allow anyone to do a self-assessment of their current health status if they feel they are experiencing symptoms consistent with COVID-19 / Coronavirus. The self-assessment tool will also allow you to pre-register for testing if you meet the criteria. This valuable tool can be accessed at:

https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/covid-19-testing#online-assessment

 

Official SUNY Cobleskill COVID-19 / Coronavirus Communications

Official COVID-19 / Coronavirus information from or specific to SUNY Cobleskill can be found on our webpage at www.cobleskill.edu/covid19. Please visit this page often as the source for reliable and accurate information provided by the College.

 

New York State DMV information

New York State DMV has extended the expiration date of driver’s licenses and vehicle registrations expiring March 1st, 2020 and after. You can find more information regarding this by going to the DMV webpage here:

 https://dmv.ny.gov/

 

NYS Office of Court Administration

New York State Office of Court Administration has extended the expiration date of all Orders of Protection, and has also enacted temporary restrictions on evictions due to non-payment of rent. You can get more information regarding this by going to the OCA webpage here:

 https://www.nycourts.gov/index.shtml

The health, safety, and well-being of students, faculty, and staff is of the utmost importance to us now and always. As such, we would like to offer some tools and information that will be helpful during this time of uncertainty. Please see below for more information regarding how to be vigilant against fraudulent activity on-line.

Official SUNY Cobleskill COVID-19 / Coronavirus Communications

Official COVID-19 / Coronavirus information from or specific to SUNY Cobleskill can be found on our webpage at www.cobleskill.edu/covid19. Please check this page often as the source for reliable and accurate information.

 

Fake CDC Emails

Watch out for emails claiming to be from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or other organizations claiming to offer information on the virus. Do not click links or open attachments you do not recognize. Fraudsters can use links in emails to deliver malware to your computer to steal personal information or to lock your computer and demand payment. Be wary of websites and apps claiming to track COVID-19 cases worldwide. Criminals are using malicious websites to infect and lock devices until payment is received.

 

Official CDC COVID-19 Information 

If you are looking for accurate and up-to-date information on COVID-19, the CDC has posted extensive guidance and information that is updated frequently. The best sources for authoritative information on COVID-19 are www.cdc.gov and www.coronavirus.gov. You may also consult your primary care physician for guidance.

 

Phishing Emails

Look out for phishing emails asking you to verify your personal information in order to receive an economic stimulus check from the government. While talk of economic stimulus checks has been in the news cycle, government agencies are not sending unsolicited emails seeking your private information in order to send you money. Phishing emails may also claim to be related to:

  • Charitable contributions
  • General financial relief
  • Airline carrier refunds
  • Fake cures and vaccines
  • Fake testing kits
  • Student loan cancellations 

 

Counterfeit Treatments or Equipment.

Be cautious of anyone selling products that claim to prevent, treat, diagnose, or cure COVID-19. Be alert to counterfeit products such as sanitizing products and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), including N95 respirator masks, goggles, full face shields, protective gowns, and gloves. More information on unapproved or counterfeit PPE can be found at www.cdc.gov/niosh. You can also find information on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration website, www.fda.gov, and the Environmental Protection Agency website, www.epa.gov. Report counterfeit products at www.ic3.gov and to the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center at iprcenter.gov.

 

FBI Cyber Hygiene and Security Tips

The FBI is reminding you to always use good cyber hygiene and security measures. By remembering the following tips, you can protect yourself and help stop criminal activity:

  • Do not open attachments or click links within emails from senders you don't recognize.
  • Do not provide your username, password, date of birth, social security number, financial data, or other personal information in response to an email or automated call.
  • Always verify the web address of legitimate websites and manually type them into your browser.
  • Check for misspellings or wrong domains within a link (for example, an address that should end in a ".gov" ends in .com" instead). 

 

If you believe you are the victim of an Internet scam or cyber-crime, or if you want to report suspicious activity, please contact your local law enforcement agency and visit the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov.

Dear SUNY Cobleskill Students and Parents,

Now that we have taken care of the move-out, we are now putting the final pieces in place to resume the academic semester remotely on March 30, 2020. Students, your priority is to complete your semester in good academic standing. We have created remote tutoring sessions and we are building a network of mentors and advisors to support you. Faculty will provide your guidance and are ready to work with you.

The College’s next task is to resolve the financial impact this transition to remote learning will have on your unused campus housing, meals and fees for the remainder of the spring semester.

Those of you who were living on campus prior to the COVID-19 crisis and have moved out will receive a refund or credit for housing fees and meal plan fees (if applicable) based on a departure date of March 22, 2020, which was the last day of our originally scheduled Spring Break. Students who have remained on campus will not receive refunds for room and meal plans. Students living off campus with meal plans will receive a refund or credit for the unused portion of their meal plans. Refunds will be adjusted for those students who have outstanding balances. Food service will not be available, except to those who are living on campus.

All students, regardless of residential status, will receive prorated refunds or credits for certain other fees for services that have been discounted due to the COVID-19 emergency.  The calculation of the amount of the refund or credit is being determined for each of these fees.  The fees eligible for a credit/refund include:

 

Charge Type

Notes

Room Rental

 

Meal Plans

 

Dorm Program Fee

For students new to campus spring 2020

Athletics

 

Transportation

 

Student Activity Fee

Amount of refund to be determined

Fitness Center

 

Parking Permits

 

Course Fees

Each course will be reviewed individually

 

As soon as additional information is available from SUNY, who is coordinating this plan, we will update you. Credits or refund plans and action steps will be finalized as soon as possible and certainly before the end of the spring semester. We recognize that this is a difficult time, if you have a critical financial need please be in contact with the Student Financial Services Office by email to financialaid@cobleskill.edu.

The entire Coby family is ready to assist you as you resume your courses. If you have any difficulty with your remote instruction, please contact your mentor-advisor team.

 

Regards,

Marion A. Terenzio

President, SUNY Cobleskill

Starting tomorrow morning, Sunday, March 22,2020 at 9am, and continuing through Wednesday, the College is allowing students back on campus to collect their belongings. We have strict protocols vetted by the County Health Department and SUNY that our University Police and professional staff will manage. During this time, we ask you not to come on campus so that we can get this done with as little risk as possible. The move-out instructions are on the College’s website. We will do everything in our power to encourage students and their families to spend as little time in the Village as possible.

Some have asked why we are having this move-out operation. In our role as an essential government agency, we are still an active operation, and we must move students out of our residence halls as soon as possible. Our instructions come from the state, with advice from local health officials.

We plan to complete the academic year remotely. Faculty and staff will resume our academic instruction and support through on-line and other remote venues on March 30, 2020.

Please be advised that the College is open, and we are operating the campus with designated essential staff. We are also serving a very small number of students who are on campus as per the Governor’s orders. They have been with us the entire time, and are complying with all protocols. Once we have completed the move-out process, we will prepare the campus for possible future service needs for our community.

We will allow people from the local community on campus starting Thursday. However, all buildings, including our barns and stables, are strictly off-limits to the public, as we must keep our staff and animals safe. In addition, we will require that everyone follow the social distancing directives that are in place.

As we monitor the changing situation closely, we are taking care to keep our entire community safe, which includes our village. I invite you to stay up to date with reliable and accurate information and news on our dedicated website, where you can also send us questions.

We are doing what SUNY Cobleskill does well, taking care of our collective community. Together we will take on this enormous challenge and come out stronger as a united community. Thank you for your patience and understanding.

I am following up to provide you with clarification regarding our move-out plan and our COVID 19 update. As you know, the Department of Health notified us that we have a confirmed case of COVID-19 for an employee of the College. That person has not been on campus this week. No residential buildings were affected, and those areas of campus that were affected have been sanitized and disinfected in compliance with CDC guidelines.

Students have begun registering to return to collect their belongings. Thank you for doing so.

Please be advised that you must register. It is a very easy process. If you do not register, you will not be permitted on campus. It is not our intention to cause you hardship. Quite the opposite.

I ask you to pause a moment and think about the staff who serve you whether you are here on campus or away. They include our cleaning staff, residence life, food service, UPD and so many others. The process we are making you follow allows us to protect them as well. They are still here serving you and this campus during this unprecedented time. Their extra burden is that we are operating at a 25% staffing level. My responsibility is to ensure their safety as well as yours and to ensure an effective staffing plan that protects our limited, precious resources. Taking care of the Coby community includes all members. So, again, I urge you to register. That is the only way we will allow you on to the campus premises so that we can safely space out your arrival times.

For those of you who will not be able to return during our designated times, we may have to store your belongings as we cannot guarantee our status as this fluid situation dictates our plans and operations.

We are all exercising patience and diligence in keeping our entire community safe, which includes our village. I assure you, we are not making decisions or imposing required actions capriciously or without regard for our students. We are doing what SUNY Cobleskill does well, taking care of our collective community.

Our next task in our “Coby Strong Plan” is to get ready to finish your academic semester. The faculty and staff are creating an entire virtual Coby World for you that will include tutoring, advisement, mentoring and instruction. We will be sending more information out to you very soon.

President Terenzio

It is with a heavy heart that I am announcing the postponement of our 102 Commencement ceremony which was scheduled for May 9, 2020. I fondly look back on the ceremonies that I presided over and seeing our graduates bask in the celebration of them. We all listened to the reading of each name presented to the audience and cheered for the entire class. I would send forth a directive to you to continue to do good works and be good citizens.

Commencement is one of the most joyous times of the year at SUNY Cobleskill. In my video to you, I asked for suggestions as to how we WILL celebrate the 2020 graduating class and I am receiving terrific ideas. No matter how we will host a ceremony, know that your names will be called, your audience will applaud you, your diplomas will be signed and distributed, and I will send you off with a directive.

Now, I need you to buckle down and finish your work with the faculty. We have time to create a celebratory plan, and we will notify you in the beginning of May. Know that you will go down in history as the class who had an extraordinary Commencement filled with Coby spirit and had an unusual handshake from the President.

Dear residential students and families,

We are thankful for your patience as we worked to develop procedures for residence hall move-out. Unprecedented circumstances require extraordinary measures, as we work to secure the safety and well-being of our Coby community. In accordance to the Governor’s latest directive to minimize on-campus populations, we have established the move-out protocol noted to below

You are welcome to return to campus between Sunday, March 22 and Wednesday, March 25, to check out of residence halls. PLEASE comply with the directions outlined by the Office of Residential Life and register via this LINK. To our downstate resident students (New York City and Westchester, Rockland, Suffolk and Nassau Counties, and any emerging areas with a high level of reported COVID-19 cases), please know that we care deeply for you, and we have added an extra precautionary measure. We would like to request that you give us authorization to store your belongings for later retrieval. We would rather keep you safe and sheltered in-place if you believe you have been exposed to COVID-19.

We currently anticipate making the period from May 11–15 available for pick-up of stored belongings. Students who have already moved out and removed all belongings must also complete the form. It is important that we know each resident’s move-out intentions as soon as possible. We prefer to hear from you by Monday, March 23, 2020. However, we will accept your registration information up until Tuesday, March 24, 2020. Understand that this may change at a moment’s notice, and we may have no other option but to store your belongings. Please be aware that failure to complete the form may result in a reduction to a student’s room credit/refund.

Here are several guidelines that we ask you to follow

1. We are only permitting the student to enter the building to move belongings.

2. If the student has a mobility issue, you may bring one person to assist you in the building. Remember it is important that we limit the number of people on campus and in the buildings.

3. Individuals coming to campus must adhere to the recommended CDC guidelines on social distancing, staying at least six feet apart from others, to the extent possible. Your cooperation with this process will help us protect the health and safety of other students, families, and our employees. If you are ill or have health concerns that may put you or others at an increased risk, do not come to campus. We will make arrangements to secure your belongings.

Students who may have exceptional extenuating students (for example, international students who cannot return home due to COVID-19, housing insecure students) can complete an application form for permission to return to the campus. Please refer to the Residence Life website for the application regarding extenuating circumstances.

What When How
Collect your belongings from campus

March 22 – March 25

LINK to sign up for a time

Stay on campus (extenuating circumstances only)

No later than March 23

LINK to apply

 

We appreciate your patience and flexibility as we seek to conduct the move-out process in a safe, orderly, and timely manner.

Marion Terenzio
President, SUNY Cobleskill

Dear Campus Community,

I am writing to inform you that the College was notified late this afternoon of a confirmed case of COVID-19 on the college campus. This individual has been in isolation from the campus population and will remain so until cleared by public health officials.

We are working closely with the health department and other authorities, and we are strictly following the protocols for contacting campus members who may have come in contact with this individual. Also, as a precaution, we have thoroughly cleaned the relevant workspace and all other suggested areas. Please be advised that the spray techniques we employ and the chemicals we use are highly effective in eradicating COVID-19 from physical spaces.

I want to reassure you that all appropriate measures have been taken, and best practices have been employed for some time. Our Emergency Management Team has been vigilant in managing this highly fluid time period and has continuously provided updates and changes as necessary.

To that end, we have developed our plan to allow students to come for their belongings, which will commence within the next few days. A social distancing policy will be enforced as students enter residence halls to claim their belongings. Please visit the website for further information. We have also created a process for students with extenuating circumstances who may need to remain on campus.

Please continue to exercise caution regarding information you may see about the virus on social media, especially as it relates to our campus. Our website remains the official source for up-to-date and accurate information.

As always, our community rises to the occasion and moves forward with resolve. We are Coby Strong, as we continue to grow, sustain, and renew the world and its citizens.

 

Marion Terenzio, PhD
President
State University of New York College of Agriculture and Technology at Cobleskill

3/19/2020
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Dear SUNY Students,

When you chose SUNY as the place to pursue your college and career ambitions, you became part of the SUNY family. We made a commitment to you to support you along the way and that commitment remains – especially now during these challenging times. While on campus, you’ve made friends, developed traditions and enjoyed expanding your vision of what the world is and your unique role in it. I’ve heard from many of you regarding the anxiety and uncertainty you feel about your future, so I would like to offer a few thoughts and give you my personal support because that is what family does for one another.


Your safety and well-being are our number one priority. That is why we decided to cancel or postpone all study abroad programs, extended spring break, and encouraged those of you who can stay at home or with friends to not come back to your campuses until further notice. We took this action to blunt the spread of the COVID19 by reducing the density of exposure.


As part of our commitment to your academic pursuits, we worked over the past year to upgrade our online learning platform which is now accessible to provide you the tools to complete your coursework remotely. While the learning environment is different, you will have the network and backing of all of SUNY at your fingertips to help you finish the semester. And for seniors— don’t worry. If necessary, we will reschedule your commencement to make sure you walk across the stage and we proudly celebrate your accomplishments. It is also important to mention that you will receive credits or refunds for the services that you do not use this semester, such as room, board and activity fees.


As a result, campus life has been turned upside down. I know what that is like. When I was at university, I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease, a cancer of the lymph system. It was also a major disruption that took six months of my life to overcome. What got me through it was the strong support of my family and my college network of friends, colleagues, and faculty. That same network will help support you through the COVID19 crisis.


Your SUNY family is here for you. The SUNY system and each campus president, the faculty and staff are committed to supporting you and to delivering a great education. I will continue to communicate with you weekly, and with your presidents daily. I encourage you to reach out for support. While everything may seem different, take comfort in the things that remain the same – studying, completing projects and connecting with each other virtually. Together we will get through this and come out even stronger. I promise you.
Take care of yourselves, your family, your friends, your SUNY.

Kristina M. Johnson, PhD.
Chancellor, The State University of New York

Dear Coby Students,

As I said in our video message, we care about your well-being, and we are preparing to continue your academic programming remotely starting March 30. So, to that end, we have another update for you.
As we continue to monitor this unprecedented COVID-19 event, our plans must be adjusted accordingly, and in compliance with orders from the Governor and SUNY. As many of you know, at the Town Hall meeting, we shared with you that the Governor wanted to make sure that you had a place to return to after spring break.

Today, that has changed again. We are dealing with a completely different scenario, including a confirmed case of COVID 19 in our County. In consultation with the Chancellor of SUNY and our local health department, the College has had to make the difficult decision to strongly encourage residential students to NOT return to campus post spring break. The campus facilities are operating with minimum staff or are closed. We have substantially reduced on campus services and required most employees to work from home. Only essential staff can report to campus.

  • We will continue to provide campus housing and meals for students with special circumstances, such as international students and students who do not have safe alternative living and dining arrangements.
  • We will provide further instructions regarding how you will collect your belongings.
  • As we monitor the volume of people we are permitted to have on campus as per the Governor’s Executive Order, we will assess our capability to allow students with special circumstances to return. Once we complete that assessment, we will let you know the outcome.  

We are very sorry for this new development, but it will not deter us from offering a robust plan allowing you to complete your academic program. This will include tutoring, counseling and other types of support to ensure your success. The Provost, Deans and faculty have transitioned ALL courses and programs to remote instruction. You will be receiving more direction prior to the start of classes on March 30, 2020. This will include further guidance on how we will accommodate access to books and other materials.

Please be assured that we will be issuing refunds/credits as per SUNY’s directed plan. Please be patient, as the details are being finalized. We will let you know as soon as the plan is activated.

The coronavirus pandemic requires an unprecedented response. We thank you for your understanding and flexibility. We want to keep you updated even if the information changes daily. The only constant in this is our resolve to get you through, keep you whole and provide you with an effective academic plan.

As was stated on the video yesterday, we will be reaching out to the graduates regarding our celebration of your accomplishments.  Please stay tuned for more direction regarding how and when you may return to collect your belongings. We will only allow you back when we think our campus is secure. So, understand that may be several months from now.

We are here for you and you are receiving our full attention to secure your well-being AND your academic progress.

Regards,
President Terenzio

Dear SUNY Cobleskill Students and Parents,

In recent days we have been working closely with SUNY leadership to quickly identify and resolve any potential financial impact that the move to an adjusted educational delivery method may have on students and families.

During this process we will work with you to ensure that your academic standing will not be impacted, that any and all effects on financial aid are understood, and you are protected.

SUNY Cobleskill recognizes that not all students have the means or the ability to complete the remainder of the spring semester off campus, and that there may be certain distance learning methods that could be used to complete your educational needs that would be better served by staying on – or near – campus. However, the health, wellness and safety of our students is our highest priority. Therefore, if a student feels it necessary to lessen their time on campus (due to their courses being completed entirely online or by personal choice) please know that we are:

  • Providing a credit to your upcoming term’s housing and board costs, based on the proportionate time between the end of term and when you chose to leave the campus.
  • Developing approaches to reimburse certain unused fees to students and we are analyzing other fees, such as course fees, some of which have been spent and some not, and to determine approaches that are fair to students who have remained on campus and those who have left.
    • Your Student Government Association executive board is reviewing the Student Activity fee charges.
    • The Technology Fee will not be eligible for reimbursement due to the high need for technology during this upcoming change to distance learning.

As you will still be receiving credit for coursework via distance learning and remote instruction, tuition will not be eligible for reimbursement. We are taking every measure to make sure you continue to receive a high-quality education.

We will provide more detail and clarity as we develop these approaches in the coming days. We encourage students or parents who have questions or concerns to visit the campus website for the most current information or to submit a question.

We encourage you to continue following all guidelines to keep yourselves and friends and family safe during this pandemic. We will promptly notify you if the rapidly evolving COVID-19 situation impacts our ability to welcome residents back to campus after Spring Break.

Sincerely,

 

President Marion Terenzio

CC:       Susan Zimmermann, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

Anne Hopkins Gross, Vice President for Student Development

Wendy Gilman, Vice President for Business and Finance

Bonnie Martin, Vice President for Operations

Frequently Asked Questions

The entire SUNY system is closely monitoring the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), and the action steps being taken will be updated continuously as the situation evolves. We have compiled helpful FAQs for both students and their families here.

At this difficult time, I want to take a moment to update you on our ongoing efforts to combat the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). The health and safety of our State University of New York Community is paramount. Therefore, in close coordination with the Governor and his team, the Department of Health and the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, we are taking action to reduce the density of exposure on our campuses in order to blunt transmission of this virus.

As you know, SUNY will be moving as many academic programs as possible to distance learning via our online platform, videoconferencing, teleconferencing, email and even traditional mail. We believe that these remote instruction modalities are necessary at this time to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Our SUNY COVID-19 Task Force has been working around the clock with campus leaders and our state government partners to prepare for and respond to the growing pandemic. While the large majority of our campuses have not reported confirmed cases of the virus, we are acting out of an abundance of caution to both protect our SUNY community and the community at large.

We canceled all study abroad programs for the rest of the semester and last week transported our students back to the United States from China, South Korea, Japan, Italy and Iran – all countries where COVID-19 is prevalent. Once the students returned, we arranged for several precautionary quarantine scenarios. Some students voluntarily quarantined at home, while others are undergoing a 14-day precautionary quarantine in specially prepared dorms.

We are now working to bring back all students who are studying abroad, regardless of the country in which they are located – a move I believe is prudent and in keeping with our main goal of limiting COVID-19 exposure to our students, faculty and staff.

Fortunately, we have been working for the last year to upgrade and modernize our online SUNY learning platform. Working with the Governor’s office, we directed each of our campuses to develop comprehensive plans for distance learning with the goal of continuing academic instruction, uninterrupted, in the safest manner possible.

Next week is spring break for most of SUNY’s university centers, comprehensive, technical and community colleges. The Governor’s guidance allows for campuses to extend their spring break by a week, in order to fully prepare for the transition to distance learning and remote instruction. Some campuses are ready to launch and therefore will not require a full week. By March 19, we will have our plans in place and be able to transition as many courses as possible online. Please consult with your individual campus regarding this revised academic schedule.

Campuses will make their distance learning curriculum available to all students. We recognize, as does the Governor, that some students will need to remain on campus for special circumstances, such as housing needs, employment responsibilities, and to fulfill coursework that requires hands-on instruction or laboratory work. We will make sure their learning environment is safe.

Therefore, many campus dormitories, dining halls and other facilities will remain open for the duration of the semester, until further notice. We will offer students the choice to return to campus. However, if they either choose not to return or are unable to do so, we will do whatever it takes to ensure they can fulfill and complete their academic requirements remotely. We are working quickly to resolve the financial impact remote instruction and distance learning will have on a student’s account.

In a system with 1.2 million students we understand that one size will not fit all. We will work to find solutions – on a case-by-case basis, if necessary – to ensure that every student can continue their education and complete their coursework to the extent possible.

This global public health crisis has resulted in dozens of new confirmed COVID-19 cases across the state daily. We have thus far confirmed cases of students with COVID19 at three campuses and have followed all local and state guidance to protect these campus communities.

I understand this situation is causing tremendous anxiety among students and their families, as well as our faculty and staff. Do know that the COVID-19 is a fragile but virulent virus.However, public health experts have repeatedly stressed that the best way to protect yourself against this virus is to wash your hands thoroughly and frequently, avoid touching your face, disinfect surfaces that may be contaminated and stay home if you are feeling sick.

In order to maintain our calm and to reduce anxiety that has arisen as a result of this outbreak, we will continue to keep our lines of communication open and to provide accurate information in a responsible manner. I am committed to keeping you as up to date as possible. I am confident that by working together we can overcome this ever-changing crisis and emerge stronger with important lessons learned that we can apply to strengthen our system in the future.

 

Dear Members of the Coby Community:

Please be assured that we continuously monitor the circumstances associated with the COVID 19 virus with the goal of ensuring a safe environment and delivering our academic programs with as little disruption as possible. Our aim is to provide as much stability as possible for students to finish this semester as we all deal with this highly fluid situation. To do so will require offering most of our instruction remotely, with special exceptions for our laboratories. We are updating our academic continuity plan to include Governor Cuomo’s most recent directive to minimize campus density and maximize alternate forms of delivery, which will include some specialized applied learning instruction off campus. More information will be forthcoming.

For now, we will proceed with our Spring Break session as planned, and we will extend our break, with classes resuming on March 30, at which time we will have converted our academic operation into remote instruction. This will include plans to resume specialized applied learning and laboratory work as well as address issues of limited broadband for some of our students and faculty. Students who have requested permission to remain on campus during Spring Break are allowed to stay; any students seeking permission to remain on campus during Spring Break should contact Residential Life immediately.

The campus will remain open and in full operation during Spring Break and after March 30. Remote and alternate specialized instruction will begin on March 30. Students may return to campus when classes resume. We will provide more information about the return process and about how we will continue campus operations. Details regarding online delivery and specialized instruction will be forthcoming.

Campus closure is not planned. However, we are prepared to do so if and when circumstances associated with the spread of COVID 19 warrant closure, and as directed by the Department of Health. We will keep the community apprised of changes in our plans or status through all possible means of communication. However, please verify information you may receive via email or text by checking our website.

So, students please remember to take home whatever you need from your residence hall (books, notes, laptop, pets, food, medications, etc.). It is not our intention to preclude you from returning, but circumstances may change within the next two weeks.

To the on-campus Coby community, as we continue to ready our campus during this unprecedented time, we have cancelled all on-campus events open to the public. We will restrict groups of people visiting the campus, and we are creating a plan for future campus visits. There will be one bus tour today and we will be implementing a social distancing protocol with the students.

In addition, and effective immediately, the College will be implementing new guest policies for all residence halls. Until further notice, only students who reside on campus and essential College employees can enter residence hall buildings. Resident students cannot invite outside guests to visit them, and off-campus students and non-students are not permitted in residence halls at any time. We will work to implement other measures that will be associated with the completion of our alternative academic plan.

For those of you who will be traveling during Spring Break, please take all the precautionary measures to keep yourselves safe. While we recognize that you are not obligated to inform us as to your travel plans, we request that you consider completing a voluntary travel registry form.

To the students, as you leave today and tomorrow, Provost Zimmermann and I want to remind you that your job is to take time to rest and prepare to finish out the semester in good health and good spirits. We will do everything in our power to create an academic plan that will allow you to complete the semester.

While you are away, we urge you to be mindful of the environment in which you will be spending your Spring Break. Caring for yourself and being vigilant about hand washing and other hygiene practices is also caring for your community. While this health threat may require social distancing and other forms of prevention, you should remain calm, attend to your needs and commitments and keep up to date by visiting our website. We will post every time we get new information and when we need to let you know of changes in plans.

To our entire Coby Family, we are fully aware of the stress that you are experiencing and the daunting task that we have ahead of us. For 100 years, Coby has been steadfast in serving our students and creating a safe space in which to learn. We will, once again, roll up our sleeves and collectively ensure that space. Dr. Zimmermann and I look forward to our work together and we are confident that we and our students will prevail.

President Terenzio
Provost Zimmermann

 

 

Following Governor Cuomo’s press conference today, SUNY Cobleskill is enacting social distancing protocols. The regular class schedule remains in effect through Friday, March 13. Spring break begins this Saturday, March 14, and normal spring break procedures are still in place. Students who need accommodations on campus over break should contact the Office of Residential Life in Bouck Hall or call the office at 518.255.5215. Students leaving for break should bring pets, textbooks, medications, and other essential belongings with them.

All campus-sponsored domestic and international travel programs are canceled. A decision will be made on athletic contests shortly. All external events on campus are canceled until further notice.

We are aware that Governor Cuomo just announced that SUNY campuses may be moving to a distance-learning format. Further information regarding program delivery will be forthcoming.

Please continue to monitor your campus email for updates as the situation is fluid and subject to change.

Updates are also available on the web at: https://www.cobleskill.edu/covid19/index.aspx.

Greetings,

Residential students who wish to stay on campus during Spring Break may do so. We ask that students sign up by Thursday, March 12 at noon so that we can make necessary preparations. To register for housing during Spring Break, please go to the Residential Life Office in Bouck Hall or call the office at 518.255.5215. Given the situation with COVID-19, the Residential Life Office will be waiving the normal $10 daily fee during this Spring Break.

Regarding meals during Spring Break, please look for an email from CAS with the most up-to-date dining information.

For those of you leaving for spring break, out of an abundance of caution due to the rapidly evolving COVID-19 situation, please take the following items with you when you leave for break:

  • your academic materials, including books, computers, chargers, etc.
  • any medications you may need
  • pets of any kind
  • items you may need for an extended period of time

 

As you prepare for Spring Break, please be mindful that travel to high-risk areas can endanger not only you, but also everyone with whom you come in contact. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention travel guidelines can be found here.

If you are planning to travel during Spring Break, in order to best support you when you return to campus, please let us know where you are planning to travel to by completing this form.

May your spring break be relaxing and peaceful. Above all, be safe and … wash your hands!

Dr. Anne

Below is a COVID-19 update from UPD Chief/Director of Emergency Management, Richard Bialkowski, unipol@cobleskill.edu, the campus’s point of contact. He will be updating the campus community frequently. Please take a moment to read the following information.


  • As you prepare for Spring Break, please be mindful that travel to high-risk areas can endanger not only you, but also everyone you come in contact with. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention travel guidelines can be found here.
  • Residential students who wish to stay on campus during Spring Break may do so. An email asking students to sign up as soon as possible is being sent by Student Development.
  • SUNY Cobleskill is continuously monitoring COVID-19 / Coronavirus announcements and alerts from local, state and federal agencies, and SUNY System.
  • The College Emergency Management Team is meeting daily and actively updating a comprehensive plan that addresses all aspects of this fluid situation, including academic continuity, and student and community wellbeing. This work is performed in complete consultation with SUNY System and local and state health departments. The Emergency Management Team has implemented long-term incident command procedures and roles, with team members cross-trained to fully support the health and safety of our campus. The Emergency Management Team is working in partnership with the Schoharie County Department of Health.
  • If you have not done so already, request a link to register with the Emergency Alert System by clicking here.
  • SUNY Cobleskill has developed Academic Continuity comprehensive guidelines and resources for faculty, should the impact of COVID-19 / Coronavirus necessitate a shift from face-to-face delivery of courses to an alternate mode of delivery. The Manager of Online Education, Vinny Basile, is available to assist faculty and will begin offering Moodle workshops on a daily basis effective March 10, 2020; a schedule will be distributed to faculty. Additional options for course delivery are being explored, and this plan will continue to be reviewed and updated as necessary.
  • All College-sponsored international travel for the spring semester has been cancelled, except to Canada. Currently, school sponsored domestic travel is not restricted
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash your hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
  • The campus has implemented Enhanced Cleaning Procedures which prioritizes the daily cleaning and sanitizing of high touch areas such as door handles, light switches, handrails, faucets, countertops, common use keyboards, etc. using an EPA registered disinfectant for use against coronavirus.
  • What to do if you are feeling sick?

If you are a student, contact the Beard Wellness Center for advice. Please call before presenting at the clinic: 518-255-5225

If you are a non-student, contact your personal healthcare provider. Please call before presenting at their office or clinic.

 

You can find additional COVID 19 / Coronavirus updates at the following websites with the most accurate information and action alerts:

SUNY Cobleskill: https://www.cobleskill.edu/campus-life/university-police/covid19.aspx

Guidance from SUNY can be found here: https://www.suny.edu/health-alert/?utm_source=home&utm_campaign=012020

NYS Department of Health https://www.health.ny.gov/diseases/communicable/coronavirus/

Police Chief / Director of Emergency Management Richard Bialkowski is the campus point of contact in this matter. unipol@cobleskill.edu

Below is a COVID-19 update from UPD Chief/Director of Emergency Management, Richard Bialkowski, unipol@cobleskill.edu, the campus’s point of contact:

 

While SUNY Cobleskill does not have any students, faculty or staff currently in study abroad programs in China, Italy, Japan, Iran, and South Korea, here is current information from SUNY to keep you informed. We will continue to update campus as information becomes available.

 

On Wednesday, March 4, 2020, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that the SUNY and CUNY study abroad programs in China, Italy, Japan, Iran, and South Korea have been suspended effective immediately in response to concerns over novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The decision was made based on recommendations from the New York State Department of Health (DOH). 

SUNY and CUNY are making arrangements to bring back all non-essential students, faculty and staff currently studying or working in those countries and begin 14-day quarantine. All five countries have either been issued a Level 2 or Level 3 travel notice from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Out of an abundance of caution, SUNY and CUNY have cancelled campus-sponsored travel outside of the United States to impacted countries for the spring semester. SUNY and CUNY will continue to review CDC guidance and work closely with DOH to make additional determinations on continuing or cancelling upcoming travel at all other campus sponsored international locations.   

SUNY Chancellor Kristina Johnson said, "With close coordination with the New York Department of Health and the safety and health of our students, faculty and staff overseas in mind, we are suspending study abroad programs in impacted countries and have directed our SUNY family to return home. We will provide students with financial and academic resources and work to minimize any disruption today's action may cause, while we work aggressively with all our partners at the local, state and federal level to protect our entire campus communities." 

 

What to do if you are feeling sick?

If you are a SUNY Cobleskill student, contact the Beard Wellness Center for advice. Please call before presenting at the clinic: 518-255-5225

 

If you are a non-student, contact your personal healthcare provider. Please call before presenting at their office or clinic.

 

 

If you plan on travelling outside the US in the near future, you can find guidance from the US State Department here to assist you in making informed decisions about the safety of your travel.

 

Police Chief / Director of Emergency Management Richard Bialkowski is the campus point of contact in this matter. unipol@cobleskill.edu

 

Below is a COVID-19 update from UPD Chief/Director of Emergency Management, Richard Bialkowski, unipol@cobleskill.edu, the campus’s point of contact:

In response to COVID-19, the College is monitoring the situation and will keep the campus community informed. The SUNY Cobleskill Campus Emergency Management Committee and related subgroups have been meeting regularly and are prepared to implement appropriate control measures as needed to ensure the continued health and safety of our students, staff and visitors.

Everyone can do their part to help respond to this emerging public health threat. Please take a moment to review the following Health Alert information from SUNY.

• It is currently flu and respiratory disease season and CDC recommends getting a flu vaccine, taking everyday preventive actions to help stop the spread of germs, and taking flu antivirals if prescribed.

 

Health and prevention actions

There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, as a reminder, CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:

For information about handwashing, see CDC’s Handwashing website. For information specific to healthcare, see CDC’s Hand Hygiene in Healthcare Settings. These are everyday habits that can help prevent the spread of several viruses.

 

What to do if you are feeling sick?

If you are a student, contact the Beard Wellness Center for advice. Please call before presenting at the clinic: 518-255-5225

If you are a non-student, contact your personal healthcare provider. Please call before presenting at their office or clinic.

If you plan on travelling outside the US in the near future, you can find guidance from the US State Department here to assist you in making informed decisions about the safety of your travel.

Police Chief / Director of Emergency Management Richard Bialkowski is the campus point of contact in this matter. unipol@cobleskill.edu