Individual Responsibility for UAlbany's Collective Success
August 31, 2020
August 31, 2020
Dear Great Danes:
By now, you may be aware of several, large off-campus student gatherings this weekend in midtown Albany. These gatherings should anger anyone concerned about the health of our community. Despite a warning from the dean of students about parties on Friday night, similar events took place again on Saturday. As a result, four University at Albany students have been temporarily suspended. These events have also required the suspension of all athletic-related activities for the time being.
Some have suggested that this kind of behavior is inevitable, but we refuse to accept that young people cannot follow these straightforward rules. Most of you are proving us correct. However, under these circumstances, most is not enough. We brought students back to campus because we have a solid plan and faith in our community to uphold that plan. But the mistakes of a few may threaten our collective success.
In case there is anyone left who has not gotten this message loud and clear: UAlbany has zero tolerance for behavior that endangers the health and safety of others. The Dean of Students Office will continue to investigate the weekend’s events, including reviewing social media posts. Any UAlbany students found to be disregarding common sense public health precautions will face serious penalties—up to, and including suspension or dismissal.
It is critical that anyone who participated in these gatherings— whether or not they are UAlbany students – continue to monitor themselves for symptoms and get tested for COVID-19. UAlbany students can seek testing through Student Health Services, the New York State COVID-19 hotline 1-888-364-3065 or by visiting https://covid19screening.health.ny.gov.
Testing is confidential, and the results of testing and contact tracing will not be shared with the student conduct office – period. Our first priority must be containing the spread of the virus by getting tested and cooperating with public health authorities.
As of this writing, UAlbany has only one documented case of COVID-19 among students since the start of the semester. But this could change overnight, jeopardizing our semester and the well-being of our community. Most UAlbany students are making good on the pledge signed before coming back to campus, because they understand the stakes.
It is now time for everyone to get on board—or go home.
Michael N. Christakis
Vice President, Student Affairs