OSWEGO — SUNY Oswego has 450 students remaining on campus despite the school strongly encouraging them to return home in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, college officials said Monday evening.
The college, along with the rest of the SUNY system, on March 11 began the transition to all-distance learning model to finish the spring semester under the direction of Gov. Andrew Cuomo. The roughly 8,000 Laker students who attend undergrad and graduate classes were on spring recess March 16-20, with classes starting back up this week online.
According to Dr. Jerri Howland, SUNY Oswego vice president for student affairs and enrollment management, students who stayed on campus during spring break and remain on campus had “extenuating circumstances,” characterized as either international students, those experiencing food or housing insecurity or students who had no internet access.
“It is important to note that students who had requested to return to campus after spring break to live in their residence hall room and complete online and distance education from campus were not approved to return to campus unless they had extenuating circumstances,” Howland told The Palladium-Times.
All of the academic buildings are closed, officials said, and Penfield Library is providing all of its services virtually. One dining hall is open for take-out only.
Students signed an agreement to stay on campus with three conditions, officials said. Students must pledge to remain on campus and only leave their room for walks or to pick up food, limit their interactions with others and follow social distancing requirements and follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines for personal hygiene.
“We are supporting our students during their time of need but each student is aware of their responsibility to help stop the spread of the virus,” Howland said.
“We have also communicated with all non-residential students stressing the importance that they too comply with official social distancing directives in their respective communities.”