Dear Students, Families, Faculty and Staff:
A new year is upon us, and soon the spring semester will be underway. Over the holiday break, we have been closely monitoring developments with COVID-19. It has become increasingly clear that the next several weeks will likely be among the most difficult our country and Central New York will experience since the onset of the pandemic. As a result, Syracuse University will begin the Spring 2021 semester and residential instruction on Monday, Feb. 8, and conclude on Friday, May 21. Move in for campus residence halls will take place the week of Feb. 1. This decision was made in consultation with the Onondaga County Health Department.
Starting our semester two weeks later best positions us to resume residential instruction in a manner that safeguards the health and safety of our students, faculty, staff and the Central New York community. First, it provides some distance between the expected post-holiday surge of cases and our return to campus. Second, it increases the possibility that some of our campus’ frontline workers will be vaccinated prior to the start of the semester. This includes our health care staff in the Barnes Center, who administer medical care to our students. The delayed start also gets us closer to the time when vaccines will be more widely available across the country. As we have from the start of the pandemic, Syracuse University continues to make decisions based on science, data and public health guidance.
You will hear more in the coming days and weeks about move-in logistics, testing and quarantine requirements, and additional information as our students prepare to return to campus. Mask wearing, social distancing, reduced capacity and other public health precautions will continue to be in place when you return next month. Like last semester, it is on all of us to keep ourselves and those around us safe, healthy and together.
I thank the dedicated team that worked through the holidays to develop plans for us to return to campus safely. It is that same determination and Orange spirit that will carry us forward to better days ahead in 2021. I look forward to welcoming you back to campus next month.
Chancellor Kent Syverud