Step Up to Protect Greatness

September 17, 2020

Dear Great Dane,

We recognize and appreciate that most of you are making an effort to stay safe and healthy during this unprecedented pandemic. Yet, some of you may be encountering situations on campus and in the community where others are not following guidelines.

We recommend the following five quick and easy steps you can take to address situations when others are not following the University’s COVID-19 policies or public health guidelines:

Step 1: Notice what is around you 

How can we all help minimize the spread of COVID-19? Familiarize yourself with UAlbany’s COVID-19 guidelines

Step 2: Identify potentially risky circumstances 

Are people around you following COVID-19 public health guidelines, such as wearing masks, physically distancing, washing their hands, using hand sanitizer, and disinfecting spaces regularly?

Step 3: Decide to respond

Each of us has the choice to address situations that are potentially risky. Consider responding in one of the following ways outlined under Step 4.

Step 4: Know how to respond

When you witness others not following COVID-19 public health guidelines, it is not always necessary for you to confront the situation directly. Here are some other strategies to consider:

  • Engage in a conversation with the other person and ask them to abide by public health guidelines and support everyone’s welfare.

  • Leave the situation in the interest of your own health and safety.

  • Report the problem. Residential Life can be contacted for situations that occur in the residence halls. The COVID-19 Complaint Form can be completed anonymously for on and off-campus non-emergency matters. If you’re off-campus and a situation is actively occurring in the City of Albany, you can contact the Albany Police Department (non-emergency number) at 518-438-4000. All health and safety emergencies should be immediately reported to emergency services by dialing 911 when off-campus or UPD at 518-442-3131 when on-campus.

Below are additional resources that might be helpful as you consider how you might address the situation:


What you do matters. Please remember it will be you, as part of a community of students, who will be the most influential in determining the course of your college experience this semester. Though you, as one individual, may feel that you cannot make a difference, your behavior and choices matter and contribute to a collective culture shift toward increased health and safety.


M. Dolores Cimini, Ph.D.
Director, Center for Behavioral Health Promotion and Applied Research

Brian T. Stephenson
Director of Community Standards
Assistant Dean of Students

Luke Rumsey
Assistant Dean of Students
Off-Campus Student Services