As we are all very aware, this will not be a typical year at Colgate or across the nation. How we work, live, and gather will be fundamentally changed. Safeguarding the health of the Colgate University and Hamilton communities will require a shared and steadfast commitment from all of us to modify many aspects of our Colgate lives — from how often we come to campus and how we move through it. Taking steps to minimize the risk of COVID-19 infections at the University is a shared responsibility.
In order to return to safely reopen campus, students will be required to submit a negative COVID-19 test result prior to arrival.
Students returning to campus are required to participate in three stages of testing:
All students are required to wear face coverings that completely cover mouth and nose at all times when on and off campus, in both indoor and outdoor spaces, when physical distancing of 6 feet cannot occur.
Colgate University will be providing two cloth face coverings to all students, free of charge. Students are expected to obtain additional face coverings as needed and to launder and care for their cloth masks according to the CDC’s instructions on use of and care for face coverings.
“Close contacts” (those who come into contact within 6 feet or less for greater than 10 minutes with someone who tests positive for COVID-19, will be required to quarantine for 14 days in an off-site location away from other students or roommates.)
Because keeping space between people is one of the best tools for avoiding exposure to COVID-19, students are required to maintain 6 feet of distance.
Students will be required to adhere to regulated space occupancy limits, which will be posted in every space on campus. During gatherings, face coverings and physical distancing must be maintained.
Seating capacity will be reduced in classrooms and other campus spaces.
The University has developed protocols for isolating people who contract COVID-19 and for helping those who have been exposed to then quarantine.
A student who is diagnosed with COVID-19 will be required to isolate and will be asked to provide information about other people with whom they have been in close contact during the time when they may have been infectious. A contact tracer will contact students who have been identified as having an exposure, and they will provide them with information and resources on contact quarantining. Students are expected to answer their phones to assist with contact tracing efforts.
Contact tracing will work to identify those who have had an exposure to someone with confirmed COVID-19. An exposure is defined based on department of health criteria as close contact (within 6 feet) for more than 10 minutes with someone with documented COVID-19.
If a student who lives on campus needs to move to quarantine, Colgate and the Department of Health will work to find safe housing that allows for more physical distancing and either a personal bathroom or fewer people sharing a bathroom.
Students indicated for contact quarantine and who live within five driving hours from Hamilton will be asked to return home within 48 hours of being identified as a “close contact,” and complete the remainder of their quarantine there, which will conserve quarantine and isolation space on campus for students who live further distances from campus and are unable to quarantine at home. Families will need to develop a plan for bringing their student home should that become necessary. We recognize that this may pose a significant imposition upon families who may not want their student to return; families should take this into consideration when deciding whether a student will return to campus for the fall or spring semesters of the 2020–2021 Academic Year.
Individuals in quarantine and isolation on or off campus must perform daily health surveys and undergo treatment as appropriate, utilizing Student Health Services.
Meals will be delivered to any student in contact quarantine or isolation on campus regardless of their meal plan status at that time. (These 42 meals will be applied to a student’s account) This does not apply to students who self-quarantine or isolate at home with parents or guardians.
The privacy of individuals in contact quarantine or isolation will be protected.
Individuals in isolation may return to in-person classes and activities after they have met CDC and New York State guidelines for quarantine and personal health (currently 3 days with no fever; and symptoms improved and 10 days since symptoms first appeared).
After completing a contact quarantine or isolation period, a student will have a consultation with a medical provider or the Department of Health to clear them to return to campus.
The number of isolation and contact quarantine spaces are finite. Approaching capacity in these spaces may necessitate the University to return to full remote learning and may require that all students leave campus and return home for the remainder of the semester.
Counseling services will offer students the following services via telemental health during the academic year:
The chaplains are a confidential resource available to provide individual pastoral care and counseling, share personal triumphs, provide advice, or offer comfort in times of sorrow or stress. Participation in religious observances is never required, before or after consultation — all are welcome. Remote/phone meetings are also available with Colgate’s chaplains (regardless of religious identity). Schedule appointments by calling our office at 315-228-7682.
On the YOU@colgate site, you can find tips and self-care strategies for tackling the challenges of being a college student. The website is completely confidential and free with your Colgate username.
The University’s decision to ask students to quarantine or isolate at their primary residence if they live within five hours from campus is in response to the challenges associated with these longer periods of isolation. Understanding that not all students are able to return home during these 14 day periods, they will be encouraged to utilize the services of the counseling center and chaplaincy.
To provide for physical distancing, the University will be labeling new traffic patterns through buildings where possible. Signs and other directions indicating this new flow will be installed in many buildings.
The University has redesigned many spaces on campus to adhere to physical distancing requirements. Students may not rearrange spaces or move furniture or other fixtures.
There will be increased cleaning across campus. The frequency and type of cleaning for each space will be determined by the intended use of the space as well as the volume of use. Designated high-traffic areas, such as high-volume elevator lobbies, high-volume restrooms, and other similar areas will be cleaned multiple times per day. Cleaning and disinfection protocols specified by the CDC will be implemented.
To strengthen the University’s plan to minimize the spread of SARS-CoV2 and to identify positive cases early in the semester, the University will require a universal mandatory quarantine of at least 14 days for all students.
Surveillance testing will be conducted weekly on approximately 6% of the population (faculty, staff, and students). In addition, wastewater effluent testing by residence hall will be conducted throughout the semester to further identify whether we have largely eliminated the virus and to identify if further individual testing should be conducted.
Initial, universal mandatory quarantine will conclude for all students on September 8.
Campus care packages (including face coverings, hand sanitizer, and thermometer) will be placed in rooms prior to their arrival.
Textbooks and packages will be delivered to the students’ places of residence until the mandatory quarantine period is completed. Students can inquire about this service from the bookstore staff.
To support students during the quarantine period, dining services, in partnership with Colgate, will deliver a care package of water and snacks to each room prior to move-in and offer three meals per day, seven days a week: a continental breakfast, a cold or shelf-stable lunch, and a hot dinner. Students not on a meal plan will be charged for these meals.
Colgate is unable to deliver meals to students in privately owned off-campus housing. The University is exploring with local businesses the possibility of grocery and/or meal delivery services for students who choose to opt out. Additional information, including costs, will be forthcoming as these options are finalized.
Colgate Dining Services will continue to accommodate dietary restrictions, including vegetarian options for every meal; we will not be able to customize meals due to the logistical challenges of delivering individually packaged meals to the entire campus. To supplement these meals, we strongly encourage students to bring plenty of their favorite snacks and beverages for this two week period.
We strongly encourage students to bring their own refrigerators, microwaves, and coffee makers. Please note that dining services will not be able to provide regular coffee service due to the difficulty of transporting individual hot containers, though we will include instant coffee in the care packages. Dining services is also exploring the installation of self-service coffee machines in common kitchens but are unable to confirm their availability at this time.
At the conclusion of this two-week period, we will offer new venues and increased hours at Donovan’s Pub as well as additional grab and go options in both Frank Dining Hall and the O’Connor Campus Center. The community will be able to see the changes we’ve made in all of our venues to promote health and safety and to enhance the student dining experience, including a newly renovated Frank Dining Hall.
Colgate will provide opportunities to engage in limited types of supervised, scheduled outdoor physical activity during this period of time.
As well, a portfolio of virtual recreational activities that can be done in student rooms will be offered.
The Partnership for Community Development is working to offer delivery options of food from local businesses. Information about this initiative will be shared prior to arrival.
All students will have access to courses in-person or online that will allow them to continue with their academic path. Students with questions about their academic program or course enrollment can contact their administrative dean or faculty adviser.
Students will use their own computers in an in-person setting instead of a University computer.
Laboratories, media studios, practice spaces, and theaters vary widely and appropriate precautions will be tailored to the course. Appropriate PPE should be worn when in person. At a minimum, face coverings, lab coat, protective eyewear, and disposable gloves are required.
Libraries on campus will be open. Study space in the libraries will be limited due to physical distancing requirements. The electronic resources of the library will be available to all students, and the libraries have been working during the summer to enhance available electronic resources. The University will identify other spaces on campus, including additional tents, that will be made available to students for studying. Physical distancing will limit the numbers of seats available in these spaces. Students should plan to do much of their studying in their residence.
To minimize health risk to our community, there are a number of changes to this fall semester’s arrival and move-in procedures. It will look and feel very different than previous years, and everyone’s cooperation with these new procedures is essential to the University’s plan to return to campus this fall. Please review the following information carefully with your family.
First-year students’ arrival time will be between 7:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, August 23. Students and families will select an arrival time to de-densify the move-in process. Students will be mailed available arrival slots from which to choose prior to arrival.
First-year students should arrive at Whitnall Field to drop off belongings at the designated tent based on their residence hall assignment. Family goodbyes will occur on the lower campus after belongings have been removed from the vehicle. Belongings will be moved to residence halls by Colgate staff.
Due to COVID-19, family members will not be able to move their students’ into their residence hall. We know how very difficult this will be, especially for families, and ask that you prepare for this farewell well before arriving on campus.
Face coverings must be worn after students leave their vehicles and begin the walk to upper campus. Face coverings can be removed once students have arrived in their residence hall rooms.
First-year students will be tested on Monday, August 24.
First-year international students who will arrive early must work with the Office of International Student Services to coordinate individual arrival plans.
Details on how first-year students can send in photos for their ’Gate Cards will be shared prior to arrival.
Prior to arrival, all upper-level students will be sent a survey to select an arrival time for move-in periods on Monday, August 24, or Tuesday, August 25. Students may begin arriving on Monday, August 24, at 7:00 a.m. Upper-level students must be moved in no later than 4:30 p.m., Tuesday, August 25.
Sophomores who live on upper campus will be required to drop their belongings on Whitnall Field at the designated tent based on residence hall assignment. Belongings will be moved to residence halls by Colgate staff. Family goodbyes will occur on the lower campus after belongings have been removed from the vehicle.
Face coverings must be worn at all times during the move-in process. Face coverings can be removed once students have arrived in their residence rooms.
Upper-level students will be tested on Tuesday and Wednesday, August 25 and 26.
Due to COVID-19 and the need to limit interactions between individuals, no family members will be able to move their students into their residence halls, apartments, or townhouses. We know how very difficult this will be, especially for families, and ask that you prepare for this farewell well before arriving on campus.
Face coverings are not required when students are in their bedroom and the only other person present is their assigned roommate. Any time students leave their bedroom and are within 6 feet of others, including going to common spaces or bathrooms, face coverings are required.
We encourage students to bring their own headphones that could be used for video conferencing.
When interacting with others in residence hall areas, physical distancing should be maintained and masks must be worn.
Students are limited to conducting personal hygiene in the floor bathroom to which they are assigned and must keep their shower and bathroom supplies in their rooms rather than storing them in bathrooms.
Maintenance of a clean living environment is important to prevent transmission of all germs, including COVID-19. The University is taking extra precautions to clean high-touch areas across campus, and the same principles apply in students’ living spaces. Students should clean high-touch surfaces regularly within their own living spaces to limit transmission of germs carried in droplets that may have landed on surfaces, or may have been transferred to surfaces from hands. High-touch surfaces include door and cabinet handles, bathroom faucets and surfaces, and kitchen surfaces. While cleaning supplies will be available, we also encourage students to bring their own supplies, whether wipes or disinfectant sprays.
In order to limit the spread of COVID-19, it is necessary to limit contact between people, particularly in any on-campus spaces. Accordingly, absolutely no guests from outside the University will be permitted in any on-campus spaces during fall 2020. Similarly, students will not be permitted to access any other on-campus residences outside of the one to which they have been assigned in the first several weeks of the semester. Colgate is working on plans for phased re-opening of social life and activities on campus. Progression of 'Gates' with less behavioral restrictions is dependent on health metrics data for the entire Colgate community (including student compliance and behaviors).
Students living off campus have the added responsibility of adhering to current public health guidelines, not only to protect the campus community, but also to protect those individuals and families living in the Village and Town of Hamilton.
Gatherings at off-campus residences are not permitted per the University’s Commitment to Community Health.
Students living off campus who contract COVID-19 must contact Student Health Services to report their positive test results and receive isolation instructions.
Students living off campus who are identified as close contacts with someone who has contracted COVID-19 must follow the University’s instructions for quarantine. Students will be required to isolate or quarantine in their private off-campus residence or to return to their primary residence if they live within 4–6 hours of driving distance from campus.
Before you arrive for fall instruction the following items must be completed:
New Student Orientation begins Sunday, August 23, and will be conducted in a completely virtual setting due to the universal quarantine requirement.
If and when in-person meetings and events of 10 or more people may resume, event organizers must place EMS reservation requests for gatherings of 10 or more people at least one week in advance and must place EMS reservation requests for gatherings of 50 or more people at least two weeks in advance.
This will initiate a reservation process, managed by a new Event Safety Group, which will provide advice on how to conduct the event safely.
There will be no food at events until further notice.
Choose venues that allow for safe social-distancing practices and/or plan for hosting events remotely.
Physical distancing capacities, including visual aids, and floor plans for standard setups will be available for every room.
Avoid meeting in person by continuing virtual meetings whenever possible. When hosting virtual meetings and events, take steps to safeguard against Zoombombing or other spam behavior.
Avoid bringing speakers to campus entirely and allow participants to participate virtually when possible.
Virtual student engagement will continue. Students participating in remote learning this fall will have access to departmental programs and campus engagement opportunities, online and through other means.
Hosting an event at a private residence, bringing together large numbers of people who do not live in the same residence, is prohibited as this type of event has been shown to be a source of rapid community spread.
As much as possible, student organization meetings should occur through a virtual format.
Avoid hosting events that are open to participants from outside the Colgate community, including students from other universities. Guests are not permitted on campus during the fall semester. This restriction includes events planned by student organizations.
Staff members must reserve spaces on EMS, Colgate’s room scheduling software, for student events; students may not reserve space directly. This measure is in place to manage public health considerations for student events earlier in the planning process.
In-person events will need approval through the Center for Leadership and Student Involvement, will include attendance caps, and must meet all other University guidelines for physical distancing and personal protection. Large events will be prohibited.
No social hosting, parties, or off-campus social events will be permitted for the fall semester. Violations of this policy will be considered a flagrant violation of the Commitment to Community Health and will lead to serious implications for the sponsoring organization and individual students, as applicable.
If students are acting on behalf of a student organization and are found responsible for not following the Commitment to Community Health, the entire student organization may be held responsible.
The Colgate calendar is more important than ever in providing the community with information about upcoming events. When submitting new virtual events to the calendar, please use the following best practices to ensure your events are displayed correctly:
All members of the Colgate community should minimize personal travel in and out of Hamilton, with priority given to essential work-related travel and travel that is fundamental to the University’s operation and educational mission.
When traveling to and from Hamilton, all members of the Colgate community should take steps to mitigate their risk of exposure and take appropriate steps to protect others.
Students are expected to remain in Hamilton throughout the current semester except as required by University-organized trips or as necessitated by personal or family emergencies.
Students should refrain from travel during weekends, on holidays, or otherwise from the time they arrive at the start of the fall semester until they depart for Thanksgiving on Friday, November 20.
Visits to campus by family and friends of members of the Colgate community (students, faculty, and staff) are discouraged throughout the semester.
Students will not be permitted to use their cars on campus.
Due to many tents erected in parking lots on campus, minimal on-campus parking will be available and will be reserved for faculty and staff. Students that have cars will be required to park in a satellite parking area (ex. General Use Lot adjacent to Tyler’s Field). Students living at the townhouses and apartments may park in those lots.
Use of personal vehicles is only allowed for trips to local business, in emergency situations, and/or to return home at the conclusion of the semester.
Broad Street Houses will be required to operate with physical distancing and safety comparable to those of the University facilities overseen by Chartwells.
During the 14-day quarantine period:
After the 14-day quarantine period:
New members will not be able to change their chosen University meal plan option for Fall 2020.
Anyone who is not a member of the organization should not be permitted in any common spaces or residential rooms.
Any student returning to campus in any capacity will comply with the restrictions, requirements, and behavioral expectations the University, state, and local authorities are putting in place to promote public health. Agreement to follow the expectations in the University’s Commitment to Community Health or other policies or applicable laws or guidance will be a condition of accessing residence halls, classrooms, dining locations, and services on campus.
Behaviors that violate these expectations jeopardize health and safety, increase the likelihood of a viral outbreak on our campus or in the greater community of Hamilton, and may result in actual harm to one or more community members. Therefore, failure to comply with the commitment and/or existing behavioral expectations outlined or other policies or applicable law or guidance may result in a forfeiture of campus access or removal from University housing, in addition to other disciplinary measures, up to possible dismissal from the University. In the unfortunate instance a student is found responsible for flagrant noncompliance, the student will be required to return home and access classes remotely.
The University holds as paramount the health, safety and welfare of every member of its community. None of us can guarantee what course the COVID-19 pandemic will take, and none of us – including the University – can guarantee a COVID-19-free environment.
The University is committed to the goals of preventing the spread of COVID-19 and reducing the risk of exposure to COVID-19 for all of its community members. Even with these mitigation measures and students’ full compliance with the guidance provided in this document, it is unfortunately not possible to completely eliminate the risk of COVID-19 infection on campus. It is likely that there will be cases of COVID-19 on campus during 2020–21. It is possible that students may become ill and spread the disease to others in their residential housing, in their classes, and others on campus. It is also possible that some students will become infected during their time at the University and spread it to family members and any other people they have close contact with outside of the University. The University certainly does not wish this on anyone, and we are taking recommended steps to mitigate this risk, but the University cannot categorically guarantee this will not happen. By coming onto campus, each person should understand that this is possible.
It is also important to note that the University may make changes of any nature at any time and from time to time to its educational services and activities, working and living environment, offerings, events, services, activities, calendar, schedule, standards, policies, requirements, rules, and procedures whenever the University deems it necessary or desirable in connection with the on-going COVID-19 pandemic, as determined by the University in its sole discretion. This may include, but is not limited to, changes to modes or methods of delivery of education and activities (including hybrid and remote), modifying, suspending, cancelling or
rescheduling any or all activities, services, and events, whether on or off campus, and requiring compliance with new, additional, or modified community standards, policies, procedures or rules intended for the protection of health and safety, in any such case giving such notice as is reasonably practicable under the circumstances.
Students who elect to reside in University residential housing or come to campus should understand that they may be required to leave campus and remain off-campus after a positive COVID test, if the University returns to all remote learning due to a viral outbreak, or in connection with disciplinary action or other action taken in response to violations of the University’s community standards, policies, procedures or rules.