UAlbany Embraces Spring with Renewed Activities
ALBANY, N.Y. (April 6, 2021) – The energy at the University at Albany is building as the days grow longer and the end of the spring semester approaches. But before commencement week arrives on May 15, you’ll likely see signs that spring is in the air as spaces begin to loosen restrictions to provide more activities for the UAlbany community.
“We’re able to start easing restrictions because students, faculty and staff have really done a great job this semester practicing health safety protocols,” said Kevin Wilcox, associate vice president for Enterprise Risk Management. “However, we need to continue safe practices to avoid any increase in positive COVID cases on campus. In addition, testing continues to be our best mechanism to keep our campus safe and the number of positive cases among our community relatively low. So let’s keep up the great work, be smart and finish the second half of the semester in as good as, or better shape than we are right now.”
This year’s commencement will offer a unique hybrid approach with weeklong activities including the Great Dane Graduation Experience and a Virtual Commencement Ceremony. The events are carefully designed to celebrate the achievements of our graduates while keeping them and their families safe.
Among the other areas coming on line:
- Tents have been erected on the east and west sides of the Campus Center and in the Parents Courtyard within the Campus Center. As the weather grows warmer, enjoy these areas to have lunch or meet up with some friends.
- Basketball hoops are reinstalled and ready for play.
- Tennis courts are now open for use.
For each of these areas, masks are to be worn at all times and physical distancing should be practiced.
In addition, recreation, intramural and club sports activities are being allowed to expand to include full practices and scrimmages within the team. If students are interested in taking part, they need to participate in the University weekly surveillance testing program. At this time activities are limited to members of the University community.
Also, the attendance limits for University approved on-campus events has been raised to 100 for indoor events and 200 for outdoor events. While events can’t yet include dancing or other physical activities that could increase the likelihood of virus spread, these changes are a welcome sign that UAlbany is on its way to welcoming back all students, faculty and staff for the fall semester.
Some other things to remember as restrictions are reduced at approved on-campus events: a University approved safety plan is still required for all events with over ten participants or attendees; physical distancing must be observed and masks must be worn at all times for both indoor and outdoor events; no outside guests can attend; and all attendees at events must be students participating in the University weekly surveillance testing program.
One annual event which has been traditionally aligned with the spring semester that won’t occur this year is the starting of the main fountain. UAlbany is in the process of conducting renovations and repairs to the iconic structure. As part of this process, the University is exploring the addition of new features to keep the centerpiece welcoming and enjoyable.
Facilities, in conjunction with University art designers, are working to help keep the area around the fountain vibrant and encourage community use of the space while the fountain renovation is underway. The campus is planning to add colorful new graphics, lighted walkways, plants, seating areas and other additions for students and staff.
“While we know nothing can replace the iconic fountain, we hope bringing some new life and energy to the space, particularly as we all begin coming out again after the longest winter of our lives, will keep the center of our campus bright and welcoming until the fountain returns better than ever,” said Interim Associate Vice President for Finance and Administration Errol Millington.