SUNY Sullivan Closes Residence Halls for Fall Semester: September 2020

LOCH SHELDRAKE, September 2020 — In the interest of the safety of students and the entire college campus community, SUNY Sullivan has announced that campus residence halls will not be opened for the fall semester.

Facing complex issues regarding facilities design, population density, and other related challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic, college leadership and the SUNY Sullivan Dormitory Board made the decision in late August to keep the Lazarus I. Levine Residence Hall closed through the end of the year and continue planning for opening the Hall for the spring semester.
“While the country continues to be in the grips of the COVID 19 pandemic, our goal at SUNY Sullivan remains as it always has been: to provide our students with the highest quality educational experience possible,” said SUNY Sullivan President Jay Quaintance. “After seeing what has happened across the country at other colleges, we believe that we would not be able to accomplish that goal with students in the residence hall due to the increased risk to their health and safety and the stress and anxiety that would accompany living in close quarters. We are confident that all our students will have a fulfilling, supported semester under the current plan.”
Remote instruction modalities will remain the same as previously planned. Courses that do not require specialized equipment will be taught at a distance, limiting both faculty and student traffic on campus and further reducing the risk of COVID-19 exposure. Classes that involve laboratory experiences or clinical experiences, including nursing, respiratory care, medical assisting, culinary arts and pastry arts lab classes, and theater will include in-person instruction. This will help facilitate social distancing as the on-campus programs will have virtually unlimited space, and will reduce traffic in hallways and classrooms. The administration has implemented mask mandates, installed plexiglass barriers in communal areas, increased cleaning and sanitizing intervals, and placed hand-sanitizing stations throughout the campus.
The majority of courses will be offered remotely, with classes that meet at specific times and feature real-time interaction through distance learning platforms. Students will also be able to stay on track with flexible study options. Certain classes will be conducted in a hybrid environment with a combination of in-person and distance learning instruction. And student support activities, such as tutoring, advising, counseling, and club activities, all of which help provide the full college experience, will take place in virtually networked communities.
These programs will front-load experiences to minimize disruption if there is a general campus shutdown, and most on campus instruction should conclude by Thanksgiving week. The semester will continue via distance learning instruction through Friday, December 18.
In-person and online instruction began at the college on August 31.