HR News

Faculty and Staff Appreciation Day to Be Held Sept. 24 at the Stadium

Syracuse University will celebrate faculty and staff with $5 football tickets at the stadium on Friday, Sept. 24, when the Orange take on Liberty  at 8 p.m. Faculty and staff and their guests are invited to the Shaw Quad prior to the game to enjoy the Pride of the Orange Marching Band performance and food and beverage concessions.

The first 350 full-time, part-time or temporary faculty and staff with a faculty or staff SU I.D. to visit the University’s pregame Faculty and Staff Appreciation tent on the Shaw Quad will receive a game day gift and a $5 concession coupon.

A few days prior to the game, a drawing will be held to invite faculty and staff members to enjoy an enhanced game-day experience. Those who have purchased tickets prior to Sept. 20 will be eligible for the drawing. Winners will be notified prior to game day.

Additionally, the Campus Store in the Schine Student Center will offer a 20% discount to faculty and staff on Sept. 24.

Tickets

The ticket price is $5 each for University faculty and staff, their children and their guests (up to a limit of 10). Faculty and staff may purchase tickets online. Tickets can be purchased until the day of the event. For more information on public health protocols in place for game day, please review the stadium’s COVID-19 guidelines on Cuse.com.

Parking

University parking permits will be honored for free game day parking at the Skytop parking lot. For faculty and staff who do not already have University parking permits, a single one-time-use complimentary Skytop parking pass will be available for game day. These permits will be available for pickup on Wednesday, Sept. 22, and Thursday, Sept. 23, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Office of Human Resources, Skytop Office Building, with proof of a Faculty and Staff Appreciation Day game ticket and an SU I.D.

For questions about Faculty and Staff Appreciation Day, contact the HR Service Center at 315.443.4042 or email hrservice@syr.edu. For questions about football tickets, call the Dome Box Office at 315.443.2121.

COVID-19 Update: Testing | Resources | Information Hub | Prevention Plan

Dear Students, Families, Faculty and Staff:

The first week of classes is behind us—it is wonderful to see our campus come to life for the new semester. We continue to learn new lessons about how to make the most of our time together on campus, while assuming the shared responsibility for the health and safety of our friends, colleagues and neighbors. Today’s message summarizes key COVID-related protocols, policies and recommendations in effect on campus and provides important updates, including:

1.   Surveillance Testing for Vaccinated Individuals

2.   Testing Requirements for Vaccine-Exempt Individuals

3.   Stadium Testing Center Hours and Protocols

4.   COVID-19 Response Checklists

5.   COVID-19 Dashboard

6.   Information Hub

7.   Airborne Infectious Disease Exposure Prevention Plan

Randomized Surveillance Testing for Vaccinated Individuals: The University has implemented a randomized surveillance testing program for vaccinated individuals. This program includes vaccinated Syracuse University faculty, students and staff, and SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry students, and has been implemented in response to the increasing number of “breakthrough” infections recorded among the vaccinated population across the U.S. Each week a subset of the vaccinated campus population will be randomly selected to test and will receive an email directing them to visit the University Testing Center during the week. As we conclude the first week of this important surveillance program, I’m happy to share that testing compliance has been very strong. Thank you.

As a reminder, the Stay Safe COVID-19 Testing webpage includes testing details, requirements and hours of operation for the Testing Center. Weekday testing is being held at the stadium (enter through Gate P); Sunday testing will continue to be held at Kimmel Dining Hall.

Testing for Vaccine-Exempt Individuals: As a reminder, ALL unvaccinated students, faculty and staff (also known as vaccine-exempt) who plan to access campus under a medical or religious exemption are required to participate in routine COVID-19 surveillance testing once per week until further notice. Compliance with this requirement is monitored regularly.

Stadium Testing Center Closed Monday, Sept. 6: In observance of the Labor Day holiday, the University’s Stadium Testing Center will be closed on Monday, Sept. 6. The Stadium Testing Center will resume its scheduled hours on Tuesday, Sept. 7, beginning at 10 a.m. Testing hours are as follows:

·         Monday: 10 a.m.-3 p.m. (Stadium; closed Monday, Sept. 6, for Labor Day)

·         Tuesday: 10 a.m.-3 p.m. (Stadium)

·         Wednesday: noon-7 p.m. (Stadium)

·         Thursday: 10 a.m.-3 p.m. (Stadium)

·         Friday: 8:30-10:30 a.m. (Stadium)

·         Saturday: Closed

·         Sunday: 10 a.m.-2 p.m. (Kimmel Dining Hall)

Important: Taking a COVID-19 test is quick, simple and painless. However, to ensure our laboratory is able to provide an accurate test result—and to avoid being recalled a second time to the Testing Center—it is important to provide a viable and non-contaminated saliva sample by following these simple instructions:

·         Do not eat, chew gum, drink, use mouthwash or use any tobacco products for 30 minutes before testing.

·         Deposit enough saliva to reach the line marked on your tube.

·         Be sure you only deposit saliva into the tube (not mucus or phlegm).

·         It is recommended to hydrate well earlier in the day before you test to prevent dry mouth.

If you do not follow these instructions closely, there is a chance that your sample can’t be analyzed. In such an instance, you will be notified to return to the Testing Center to provide a new sample. If you have questions, please ask a testing assistant for help. For more information, please watch this short video.

COVID-19 Response Checklists: Quickly identifying, isolating and tracing instances of COVID-19 exposure is critical to mitigating the spread of the virus. As a reminder, the University developed a series of COVID-19 checklists for students, faculty and staff to provide direction in situations where a member of the Syracuse University community has tested positive for or suspects they have been exposed to the COVID-19 virus. The checklists can be found on the Stay Safe website. While these checklists cannot always fully address the unique nature of every situation, they are intended to provide general guidance related to the most appropriate and required actions in response to positive test results or suspected exposure to the virus. Members of the community should contact the Syracuse University COVID-19 Project Management Office (PMO) at 315.443.6180 or SUcovid@syr.edu with additional questions or concerns or to receive further guidance.

COVID-19 Dashboard: As of yesterday, Thursday, Sept. 2, we have transitioned to providing public updates to the University’s COVID dashboard daily, Monday through Friday. Updates to the dashboard will be posted by 5 p.m. each weekday. Monday’s update will include any new data resulting from weekend testing. Please continue to regularly visit the COVID-19 Dashboard to get the most up-to-date information about testing and active cases at Syracuse University.

Information Hub: I encourage you to bookmark Syracuse.edu/staysafe. This site will continue to be the hub for information about campus operations, public health and safety, testing information, the COVID-19 Dashboard and the answers to the most frequently asked questions, which are updated on a weekly basis (and more frequently, as new questions arise).

Airborne Infectious Disease Exposure Prevention Plan Now Available: In response to the New York Health and Essential Rights (NY HERO) Act, the University has established a new Airborne Infectious Disease Exposure Prevention Plan. The plan follows New York State’s Airborne Infectious Disease Exposure Prevention Standard and their model plan for private education. It outlines the range of actions Syracuse University may take to eliminate or minimize employee exposures to airborne infectious agents in the event of a declared airborne infectious disease outbreak. The plan will be implemented if a highly contagious communicable airborne infectious disease is designated by the New York State Commissioner of Health as presenting a serious risk of harm to public health. As of today, the state has not issued this designation. Please contact Environmental Health and Safety Services at ehss@syr.edu with any questions about the plan.

Thank you for your continued attention and commitment to our community’s public health. Wishing you and your loved ones a safe, happy and healthy Labor Day weekend.

Sincerely,
J. Michael Haynie
Vice Chancellor for Strategic Initiatives and Innovation

COVID-19 Update: Public Health and Safety Preparations for Fall 2021

Dear Students, Families, Faculty and Staff:

It’s exciting to see so many students back on campus. Our law students, as well as some graduate students, have already begun classes, but in just a few short days, the Fall 2021 semester will be in full swing with all students back in the classroom.

As students, faculty and staff resume normal routines on campus, we recognize that the recent increase in COVID-19 cases across the U.S. and Central New York is unsettling for some. As we have throughout the pandemic, please know that the University is closely monitoring public health conditions. We are in constant communication with public health officials, and our decision-making will continue to prioritize the health and well-being of our campus community.

We have learned a lot over the last 18 months and have applied that knowledge to the University’s COVID response for the upcoming academic year. While we can’t predict every turn of the virus and variants, I can say with confidence that we are prepared. The vast majority of the public health strategy that guided the 2020-21 academic year remains in effect this semester, with some additions and modifications, including:

·         Randomized surveillance testing of vaccinated students and employees

·         Required testing for unvaccinated individuals

·         Wastewater surveillance testing

·         Testing on demand for any student, faculty and staff member, or their family members who share a residence

·         Contact tracing to identify, isolate and quarantine those exposed to or diagnosed with COVID-19

·         Quarantine and isolation protocols consistent with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) policies and county health directives

·         Enhanced cleaning, sanitizing and air filtration

·         Tent and outdoor convening spaces for academic and extracurricular activities

For those of you who are new to our community, you will receive frequent updates from me and other leaders regarding the evolving nature of the pandemic. For those returning to campus for the first time since spring, thank you for your continued attention to this important information and commitment to health and safety. Today, I will address some very specific public health areas, including:

1.   Testing Requirements for Vaccine-Exempt Individuals

2.   Surveillance Testing Program for Vaccinated Individuals

3.   Testing Center Location and Hours

4.   Isolation and Quarantine Procedures and Resources

5.   Update on COVID Alert System and Masking

Testing Requirements for Vaccine-Exempt Individuals

Testing continues to be a central component of our strategy to lessen exposure, transmission and COVID illness on our campus. The University’s testing infrastructure remains prepared to conduct thousands of COVID tests per week on campus. For any unvaccinated member of our campus community, meaning those with approved medical and religious exemptions, you are required to participate in ongoing surveillance testing once per week (every seven days). Individual compliance with this requirement is closely monitored.

·         Vaccine-exempt students who do not comply with the weekly testing requirement will be prohibited from attending in-person classes and accessing any campus building, and will lose access to all online and digital resources, including Wi-Fi and Blackboard.

·         Vaccine-exempt faculty and staff who do not comply with the weekly testing requirement are subject to disciplinary actions as determined by the University’s chief human resource officer and vice chancellor and provost.

Surveillance Testing Program for Vaccinated Individuals

Given the increasing number of “breakthrough” COVID cases among vaccinated individuals, the SU Public Health Team has recommended that the University initiate a randomized COVID surveillance testing program that includes vaccinated members of the campus community. We will implement this recommendation beginning on Monday, Aug. 30.

Specifically, each week a subset of our on-campus population (inclusive of students, faculty and staff) will receive an email directing them to visit the Testing Center during the week to receive a COVID test. This data will be utilized to better understand the prevalence of breakthrough infection on campus, and in turn inform the most appropriate mitigation strategy.

Testing Center Location and Hours

The University Testing Center is now located at Kimmel Dining Hall. The hours are:

·         Aug. 27: 8 a.m.-noon

·         Aug. 28-29: 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

·         Beginning Aug. 30:

o    Monday: 10 a.m.–3 p.m.

o    Tuesday: 10 a.m.–3 p.m.

o    Wednesday: noon–7 p.m.

o    Thursday: 10 a.m.–3 p.m.

o    Friday: 8:30–10:30 a.m.

o    Sunday: 10 a.m.–2 p.m.

·         Please visit the Stay Safe COVID-19 Testing webpage to learn more about campus testing and how to prepare to take a test.

Isolation and Quarantine Procedures and Resources

The isolation requirement for those who test positive for COVID remains unchanged relative to last year. If you test positive for COVID-19, regardless of vaccination status, you will be directed by a legal order from the Onondaga County Health Department to isolate for a period of 10 days. Similar to last year, the University is fully prepared to provide isolation housing for students living on campus, and for those who cannot safely isolate in their off-campus apartments.

Importantly, the CDC and Onondaga County Health Department’s quarantine requirements for vaccinated persons exposed to a COVID positive individual have changed relative to last year. Those quarantine guidelines for vaccinated individuals are as follows:

·         Exposed, but no symptoms of illness (asymptomatic):

o    If you have come into close contact (as determined by a contact tracer) you have two options:

o    Wear a mask for 14 days from the date of exposure, or

o    Test 3-5 days after exposure (and wear a mask, until your test results are available)

§  If you test positive, you must isolate for 10 days prior to resuming standard prevention measures (this includes wearing a mask, washing your hands, covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze, maintaining distance and avoiding contact with sick individuals). Faculty and staff should report a COVID-19 positive test to HR Shared Services.

§  If you test negative, you may resume standard prevention measures.

o    If you are not a close contact, you can continue your standard prevention measures; no other action is necessary.

·         Symptomatic/Vaccinated

o    If you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 and are experiencing symptoms, you should stay home and test immediately. Only leave your home, apartment or residence hall to be tested.

§  If you test positive, you must isolate for 10 days prior to resuming standard prevention measures. Faculty and staff should report a COVID-19 positive test to HR Shared Services.

§  If you test negative, you should retest 3-5 days after exposure.

1.   At that point, if you test positive, you must isolate for 10 days before resuming standard prevention measures.

2.   If you test negative on the second test, you may resume standard prevention measures.

For any unvaccinated individual exposed to someone with COVID-19, the quarantine requirement remains unchanged from last year. Specifically, you will be required by a legal order from the Onondaga County Health Department to quarantine for 10 days. Once you are released from quarantine, you may resume standard prevention measures.

I recognize this is A LOT of information, but it’s important you know what to do in the event you are exposed. To learn more about quarantine and isolation protocols, please visit the Stay Safe COVID-19 Response Checklists webpage.

To our students, if you find yourself in this situation, there are ample resources and supports available to you. To review how the University will support you if you’re exposed, please review the materials located on the Support Resources for Students in Quarantine or Isolation webpage.

Update on COVID Alert System and Masking

On Aug. 13, the University introduced a four-tiered COVID alert system and associated masking framework, designed as a tool to refine and communicate campus masking requirements over time, based on an ongoing assessment of rates of new infection, testing data and contact tracing information unique to our campus and local community.

We have received several questions related to this new framework, that I want to answer here for all members of our community:

Why isn’t the University currently recommending masking for all when indoors?

Currently, the University is recommending masking indoors for all individuals. The University’s current COVID alert level is BLUE, which corresponds to a recommendation of indoor masking, inclusive of those vaccinated members of our community. Further, at the current alert level masking is mandatory for all in classrooms and other venues where academic instruction takes place. Our approach does allow that in certain settings and circumstances—for example, possibly when studying with a vaccinated group of friends in a residence hall lounge or when meeting with a group of vaccinated colleagues in a conference room—that vaccinated adults can choose to unmask if all members of the group are comfortable doing so.

How often will the University’s Public Health Team reassess the current COVID alert level?

The SU Public Health Team will reassess the COVID alert level at least three days a week, on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The SU COVID Dashboard is also updated on these days.

Who are the members of the University’s Public Health Team for the 2021-22 academic year?

A complete listing of the SU Public Health Team can be found on the Stay Safe website.

Thank you for your continued commitment to the health and safety of our campus and Central New York community. You will receive additional updates from the University in the coming days and weeks, as we continue to monitor pandemic conditions. Please bookmark Syracuse.edu/staysafe and visit it regularly.

Sincerely,
J. Michael Haynie
Vice Chancellor for Strategic Initiatives and Innovation

‘Build Your Financial Know-How’ Wellness Workshops Offered to Faculty and Staff in September

A dynamic series of financial wellness workshops for faculty and staff will be held on campus for the first time this September. Offered in partnership with Carebridge, the University’s faculty and staff assistance program, the series provides a practical approach to enhancing your financial aptitude while focusing on actions you can take to protect your finances. Attend one workshop or all three!

Coping with financial challenges can increase personal stress, and if not managed correctly, result in costly mistakes. Becoming more conscious about your financial wellness starts with building your financial know-how. No matter what chapter of your life you are in, you can always begin, change or improve your financial story.

The workshops will cover the following topics:

  • Monday, Sept. 13: Managing Your Personal Finances
  • Tuesday, Sept. 14: Gaining Control of Debt
  • Wednesday, Sept 15: Developing a Savings Strategy

Each workshop will be offered at three different times on the same day, 9 a.m., noon and 2 p.m, so you can attend at a time that is convenient for your schedule. The 9 a.m. workshops will be held at the Goldstein Student Center, room 201 ABC. The noon and 2 p.m. workshops will be held at the Schine Student Center, room 304 ABC. Visit hr.syr.edu/financial-events for more information and to register.

With questions or if you require accommodations to participate, contact Human Resources at 315.443.4042 or hrservice@syr.edu.

Navigating COVID

Dear Students, Families, Faculty and Staff:

This weekend, many of our students will begin arriving on campus for the start of a new semester. Even before move-in begins, our community has already achieved a significant milestone. In April, I asked that everyone on our campus be vaccinated by June 1 for summer sessions, and before the start of the 2021 academic year for all others. As of today, more than 96% of our students, faculty and staff are fully or partially vaccinated or have received a medical or religious exemption. Syracuse University is one of the most vaccinated universities in the country. I am proud of how our community continues to follow the science in fighting COVID. The science tells us that while some vaccinated individuals may get COVID, their symptoms are far less severe, and hospitalizations are rare.

This is a positive way to begin this academic year. Over the summer, our faculty and staff have been working to ensure the University is prepared for a robust in-person learning experience for all of our residential students. Our campus is ready. Our people are ready. Our students are ready.

Still, conditions remain fluid with variants and other factors that we can’t control. Last year, public health guidance and conditions in Central New York changed less frequently than we expect this fall. For the foreseeable future, we anticipate the public health landscape may change often. With guidance from the Syracuse University Public Health Team and public health officials from Onondaga County and New York State, the University is constantly monitoring conditions. As we have done from the beginning of the pandemic, I, along with other University leaders, will continue to make decisions based on data, science and public health guidance. These decisions may not always be popular nor will they please everyone. But I assure you that our decisions and actions will always prioritize the health and well-being of our students, faculty, staff, neighbors and our Central New York community.

We will not come out of COVID overnight. However, the University is returning to more pre-pandemic operations inside and outside the classroom, especially related to in-person experiences. This semester will require all of us to get comfortable with changing policies and advice. This will require all of us to be nimble, flexible and patient with one another. As we all navigate these changes together, the University is committed to timely and transparent communication with our community, so you know what is happening and what to expect.

In the meantime, please continue to embody all the things that make being Orange special. Show each other grace, kindness and compassion. Treat others with respect. And lend a hand when you see someone in need. Our community did this last year under the most difficult circumstances; I have no doubt we will be successful again.

Let’s continue to persevere and show the world what it means to be Orange in the semester ahead.

Sincerely,

Chancellor Kent Syverud

COVID-19 Public Health Update: CDC Recommends Additional Vaccine Dose for Immunocompromised

Dear Students, Families, Faculty and Staff:

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued new guidance yesterday that will impact members of our community. The CDC is now encouraging individuals who are moderately or severely immunocompromised to receive an additional dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Who is eligible?

Eligible individuals include those who:

·         Are receiving active cancer treatment for tumors or cancers of the blood

·         Have received an organ transplant and are taking medicine to suppress the immune system

·         Have received a stem cell transplant within the last two years or are taking medicine to suppress the immune system

·         Have a moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency

·         Have advanced or untreated HIV infection

·         Are receiving active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids or other drugs that may suppress your immune response

Please note, this guidance is only applicable to individuals who have received the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines. Those who have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine are not yet eligible.

Faculty/Staff Guidance

Faculty and staff who fit the above criteria should contact their primary care physician directly to discuss receiving an additional dose. Vaccines remain readily available in the community. To learn where you can receive an additional dose, visit vaccines.gov and click “Find COVID-19 Vaccines.”

Student Guidance

For eligible students, please contact your primary care physician, who will determine whether you qualify for an additional dose. If you require an additional dose and need assistance, the Barnes Center will work with you to coordinate your additional dose administration.

As we have since the start of the pandemic, we will continue to update our community on important public health developments to ensure you have the information and tools necessary to keep yourself and those around you healthy and safe.

Please continue to visit Syracuse.edu/staysafe for the latest public health guidance.

Regards,
Syracuse University Public Health Team

COVID-19 Campus Update: Dynamic COVID Alert and Masking Framework

Dear Students, Families, Faculty and Staff:

The start of a new academic year is quickly approaching. If you’ve been following media reports, you know that the pandemic remains a fluid, dynamic situation. Changes to public health guidance are still occurring frequently. We should all be proud that Syracuse University will start the fall semester as one of the most highly vaccinated campuses in the nation. Currently, more than 90% of our combined student and employee population is fully vaccinated against the COVID virus. And while breakthrough infections of vaccinated individuals are occurring as the experts predicted, the data is clear that the vaccine is performing its No. 1 function extraordinarily well—which is to prevent vaccinated individuals from experiencing serious illness and hospitalization.

Effective today, Syracuse University will implement a four-tiered COVID alert system and associated masking framework, designed as a tool to communicate and dynamically adjust campus masking requirements over time, based on an ongoing assessment of rates of new infection, testing data and contact tracing information unique to our campus and local community. This new framework is described below.

COVID and Masking Alert Framework

The four levels of the campus COVID alert and masking framework are color-coded and correlate to specific on-campus masking requirements applicable to students, faculty, staff and campus visitors. The four tiers of this new framework are as follows:

·         GREEN: indicates a low level of transmission risk on campus, and correlates with the following masking policy:

o    Masks Required: All unvaccinated students, faculty, staff and visitors on campus indoors at all times, and outdoors when in the presence of others

o    Masks Optional: All vaccinated students, faculty, staff and visitors—indoors and outdoors

·         YELLOW: indicates a moderate level of transmission risk on campus, and correlates with the following masking policy:

o    Masks Required: All unvaccinated students, faculty, staff and visitors on campus indoors at all times, and outdoors when in the presence of others

o    Masks Recommended: Vaccinated students, faculty, staff and visitors while indoors in the presence of others, and outdoors in large group settings

·         BLUE: indicates an elevated level of transmission risk on campus, and correlates with the following masking policy:

o    Masks Required: All unvaccinated students, faculty, staff and visitors on campus indoors at all times, and outdoors when in the presence of others

o    Masks Required: All students, faculty, staff and visitors (vaccinated and unvaccinated) in the following settings:

§  During academic instruction (inclusive of classrooms, laboratories and lecture venues)

§  During non-academic events, on a case-by-case basis, as determined by a public health risk assessment. These changes will be communicated directly as appropriate.

o    Masks Recommended: Vaccinated students, faculty, staff and visitors while indoors in the presence of others, and when outdoors in large group settings

·         RED: indicates a high level of transmission risk on campus, and correlates with the following masking policy:

o    Masks Required: All students, faculty, staff and visitors (vaccinated and unvaccinated) accessing the Syracuse University campus, indoors at all times and outdoors in the presence of others. At this alert condition (RED), the following masking exceptions are permitted for students, faculty and staff only:

§  Students while in their own residence hall room

§  Vaccinated employees while alone in private offices, personal workstations or when working independently outdoors on campus

Please note that all individuals—regardless of vaccination status and/or campus alert level—are required by New York State law to wear a mask on public transit (including the Syracuse University Shuttle) and when visiting any health care facility (including the Barnes Health Center and the Kimmel Testing Center). In addition, the above framework does not apply to events held at the Syracuse University stadium, where masking and other COVID prevention policies will be prescribed based on local and state public health orders.

Establishing, Adjusting and Communicating Campus Alert Levels

The Syracuse University Public Health Team, in collaboration with local and New York State public health officials, will recommend adjustments to the campus COVID alert level, based on their ongoing assessment of campus and community testing data, contact tracing information, and other factors indicative of COVID prevalence and transmission within the campus community.

As of today, Friday, Aug. 13, our COVID alert level is BLUE.

Moving forward, any changes to the alert level and associated masking policy will be announced in the following ways:

·         campus email;

·         text message;

·         Twitter: @SUCampus and @SyracuseUNews;

·         Facebook: @SUCampus and @SyracuseUniversityNews; and

·         Syracuse.edu/staysafe and news.syr.edu.

If you have not already done so, please log into your MySlice account to be sure your Orange Alert settings are up to date prior to the start of the semester.

Continuing Campus Resources and Infrastructure Modifications

As we have since the start of the pandemic, the University will continue to prioritize the health and safety of our campus and Central New York community. At the same time, we are also committed to delivering a robust and engaged residential campus experience. We absolutely can accomplish both these objectives. To do so will require a dynamic, flexible and data-driven approach to navigating the constantly evolving COVID situation on campus, in our community and across the U.S. Still, a great many of the COVID-related campus resources and infrastructure modifications we implemented last year will remain in place for the upcoming academic year. These include:

·         free and readily accessible testing for students, employees and employee families;

·         enhanced ventilation and air filtration in classrooms and public spaces;

·         free and accessible isolation and quarantine housing for students; and

·         transparent and frequent communication related to the COVID situation on campus.

Syracuse University COVID-19 Dashboard Updates

Effective Monday, Aug. 16, the Syracuse University COVID-19 Dashboard will transition from a summer schedule of once weekly updates, to updates each Monday, Wednesday and Friday afternoon. The University’s COVID-19 Dashboard is where members of our campus community can access data and statistics regarding the COVID situation on campus.

Thank you for your continued partnership and commitment to supporting the safety and wellness of all members of the Syracuse University and Central New York Community. Please continue to visit Syracuse.edu/staysafe for the latest COVID guidance.

Sincerely,

J. Michael Haynie
Vice Chancellor for Strategic Initiatives and Innovation

August 2021: Progress on Campus Commitments

Dear Members of the Syracuse University Community:

Our university community has come together in profound ways to advance our goals in the areas of diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility (DEIA). Leaders from across our campus are guiding critical initiatives; students have called to attention areas where we should evolve; the Office of Diversity and Inclusion has expanded its programming, training and dialogue opportunities; and the DEIA Strategic Planning Task Force has made tremendous progress with the University’s first DEIA strategic plan. Countless others are involved, building on the work of so many over the years.

As I conclude my time at Syracuse this month, I want to acknowledge and thank everyone who has been and continues to be involved in our shared efforts. It has been an honor to work with you. This work is a powerful example of what we can achieve together. I have been inspired by the insights of students, the collegiality and wisdom of our faculty and staff, and the caring, passion and drive shown by so many on issues of social justice.

The work continues, including on our Campus Commitments. The following are some recent examples:

·         The University administration received the Onondaga Haudenosaunee language greeting translation for Huntington Beard Crouse Hall signage. The translation reads “Wa’tgwanoñheñ:nyoñ’ hwa’dyoñgwe’dageh.” Efforts are underway to have the signage in place for the fall semester.

·         A new elevator is being installed and an ADA accessible restroom is being renovated at 119 Euclid Ave. The work is expected to be completed in the fall.

·         Work is underway at 113 Euclid Ave., which will house the Native Student Program, to install a new elevator and an ADA accessible entrance and ramp. The work is planned to be finished in the fall.

·         The Haudenosaunee flag is being flown at the National Veterans Resource Center. Consistent with the University’s practice of displaying the U.S. flag higher than other flags when flown at Syracuse University, the Haudenosaunee flag will fly at the same height as the seven other flags at the center.

·         As communicated in a message from Chief Bobby Maldanado to the campus community in June, the implementation of Loretta Lynch’s recommendations are continuing, including the posting of Department of Public Safety’s (DPS) Standard Operating Procedures to the DPS website.

Along with Campus Commitments, other recent programming and initiatives developed by diversity and inclusion colleagues across campus include the following:

·         The S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications created a bias-reporting survey for the school. About 450 students completed the survey by the end of May, and a majority of staff members completed the survey by the end of June.

·         Wordgathering: A Journal of Disability Poetry and Literature, which is a collaboration between Burton Blatt Institute’s Office of Interdisciplinary Programs and Outreach (OIPO) and Syracuse University Libraries, hosted a Zoom reading on June 25 with acclaimed writer Ona Gritz to celebrate her work in disability literature (#CripLit) and to assist with launching her new book, “Present Imperfect: Essays (Poets Wear Prada).”

·         The Martin J. Whitman School of Management’s DiversityEdu online course was completed by 100% of tenured faculty and full-time staff in May, and 95% of adjunct faculty completed the course.

All of these endeavors are the result of the commitment from many individuals to the ideals of diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility. This vital work and the Syracuse University community—our drive toward academic excellence, our achievements in diversity and inclusion, and our indomitable spirit—will remain with me at all times. Thank you one and all.

Embracing our connectivity,

Keith A. Alford
Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer

Coming Out of COVID

Dear Orange Friends:

In July I spent a lot of time on the road and in airports, and a lot of time talking with Syracuse folks from all over. Two things have impressed me from this experience: First, it is going to be a fairly long time before we really come out of COVID and all the things it has changed for us as a community. And second, by and large, people at Syracuse were amazing in how they coped and kept going throughout the past 18 months.

When I say it is going to be a while before we come out of COVID, I don’t mean just the public health aspects. To be sure, we still are very much dealing with the public health challenges of COVID for our community here, as the delta variant spreads in many parts of the country and the world. We will have to be very attentive to public health on campus as we start the fall semester, including testing and accommodation of those who cannot be vaccinated—while at the same time delivering all the in-person activities that our new and returning students are so desperate to have again. Whether it be classes or intramurals or performances or social gatherings, it is time for us to confidently engage again across the board, even as we learn new healthy practices, especially for those who are at risk.

But beyond that, in my travels I have witnessed a lot of folks who are still cautiously emerging from COVID fatigue. People are more on edge. There is often rage or frustration or exhaustion or sorrow just beneath the surface, and at times it comes out at the wrong person or an unlikely place. And yet, I have also seen a lot of people being exceptionally kind and grateful, including to strangers, in the most unlikely circumstances. I have heard about, witnessed and experienced this time and again from Orange people.

In a few weeks, our campus will once again be a busy and bustling place. Things will be closer to normal than they have been in a long time. Still, I ask that we all remember that those we interact with may have good reason to be fragile or on edge. I ask that we try our best to manifest Orange values of community and kindness. In the last 18 months, we saw our community undergo great stress and rise to the occasion with humanity and decency. We got through things better than most schools and better than most of us expected. Let’s remember and channel that success to this new time, when we are coming out of COVID, but not at the finish line just yet.

Sincerely,

Chancellor Kent Syverud

Masks and Cleaning Supplies Available by Request

Dear Faculty and Staff:
In support of the University’s focus on protecting the health and well-being of our campus community, please remember that an ample supply of masks and cleaning products is available to you.
Departments, schools and colleges can continue to request these supplies using the COVID-19 Supply Request Form. The requested supplies will be delivered directly to you, generally within 24 hours of the request. The items available include, but are not limited to, cloth and disposable masks, Clorox wipes, sanitizing wipes, disinfectant spray and hand sanitizers. These supplies continue to be provided at no cost to you for use on campus.
For more information on COVID-19 supplies, please contact Environmental Health and Safety Services (EHSS) at EHSS@syr.edu.
Sincerely,
Syracuse University COVID-19 Project Management Office