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From the President

Posted: Thursday, July 22, 2021

SUNY Releases COVID-19 Guidelines for Fall 2021: Return to Near Normal Operations

Earlier this month, State University of New York Chancellor Jim Malatras announced updated COVID-19 protocols and guidelines for fall 2021 operations (PDF, 224 KB). Thanks to New York State’s low positivity rates and increasing vaccination rates, I am pleased to confirm that Buffalo State College plans to welcome students, faculty, and staff members back to campus this fall for a fully in-person academic year. The Return of the Roar will be heard throughout our classrooms, Bengals sporting events, and campus life this year as we celebrate Buffalo State’s 150th anniversary and reconnect with our friends, classmates, faculty, and colleagues.

Consistent with guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and SUNY, effective immediately, all students, faculty, staff, and visitors who are fully vaccinated are no longer required to wear a mask or practice social distancing in indoor or outdoor settings on Buffalo State’s campus, including classrooms, laboratories, studios, offices, residence halls, recreation spaces, and dining areas. Full vaccination status is considered to be effective two weeks after receiving the second dose of a two-dose vaccine or two weeks after receiving a single-dose vaccine.

As Governor Cuomo announced in May, all students planning to attend in-person classes at SUNY campuses this fall must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. This mandate will be implemented by SUNY and Buffalo State College once the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) fully approves one of the three COVID-19 vaccines currently available under Emergency Use Authorization. The timing of full FDA approval remains to be determined. In the meantime, Buffalo State will require all resident students living on campus this fall to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, with limited medical or religious exemptions. Any students who are not yet vaccinated should expect some limited experiences on campus this fall, including mandatory mask wearing in nearly all settings (including in classrooms), as well as possible restrictions on the use of facilities such as the fitness center, participation in recreational sports, attendance at select student events, and in-person dining options.

I urge any student, faculty member, or staff member who has not yet received a COVID-19 vaccine to do so immediately. We have joined Chancellor Malatras and other SUNY campuses in participating in the #30DayVaxChallenge, and we urge any remaining unvaccinated individuals to do their part before returning to campus this fall. Don’t wait. Make a vaccine appointment today by visiting suny.edu/KnowYourVax. The vaccines are safe, effective, and free. We’re all looking forward to getting back to the things we’ve missed over the past year and a half—mask-free conversations, concerts, student clubs, and gathering with friends. That all starts with being fully vaccinated.

Additional details and protocols for the fall semester (For Students | For Faculty and Staff) can be found on Buffalo State’s Coronavirus Information website. Faculty and staff members should read the Daily Bulletin for the most current information about returning to the workplace. Students should check their email for updates from Students Affairs, Residence Life, and their faculty members.

Just as we have throughout the pandemic, Buffalo State will remain flexible and ready to adjust our plans, including the guidelines on masks, if conditions should change. The health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff will continue to be our top priority.

We look forward to seeing everyone on campus soon. The fall semester begins August 30!

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