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Dean of Students Issues Coronavirus Guidance

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Rick Gatteau, Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students, has issued an update to students regarding various issues related to the coronavirus crisis. The message reads as follows:

Coronavirus UpdateI hope that you and your loved ones are safe and healthy. We’re approaching the end of a very challenging semester, where we have faced many unprecedented circumstances.  I am very proud of your positive attitude and resilience, and know that by leaning on each other, our Stony Brook community will continue to remain strong.  As we approach final exams, please read the important reminders below:

Stress and Finals
The end of the semester is often a stressful time under normal circumstances, and this semester has proven anything but normal.  However, please keep in mind that although studying is extremely important, so is taking breaks and making sure you get enough hours of sleep. Check SBEngaged and the Corq app to find virtual events to help you relax and destress during finals. Take advantage of the good weather and go for a stroll around your neighborhood if possible – just don’t forget to be safe, wear a face covering, and keep your social distance.

We are here to help you end this semester successfully.  If you need to talk to someone, Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) is available to speak with you confidentially, anytime, day or night. Just call (631) 632-6720 to talk with a counselor about anything on your mind. Also, Let’s Talk offers you a chance to have a brief, informal and confidential talk with a counselor virtually. Fill out this form to reserve your time slot. You can also reach out to the Student Support Team at if you need help or advice managing a challenge you are facing.

Student Emergency Support Fund
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, some students are facing unexpected financial burdens or crises that could be adversely impacting their ability to succeed academically. To help these students, Stony Brook has set up the Student Emergency Support Fund.  This fund was made possible through the generosity of donors in our community who love our Seawolves!  If you are in need of emergency financial assistance, please submit an application. Our Student Emergency Support Fund team will review all applications and follow-up with you.

Summer and Fall Classes
As you already know, Interim Provost Minghua Zhang announced that all classes during Summer Sessions I and II will be offered online only in order to prioritize the safety of our community by minimizing on-campus density.

For fall 2020, as mentioned in President-Elect Maurie McInnis and Interim President Michael Bernstein’s message to the campus, the University is actively planning campus and classroom scenarios that will minimize the disruption to your education and ensure our entire community’s safety, health, and well-being.  As this is an evolving situation, it is currently too early to make final decisions. When decisions are made, they will be communicated to you via your Stony Brook email address.

Making The Most of Your Summer
In spite of these unprecedented times, it is important you give thought and planning to your summer. Consider ways to give your summer purpose, even if your original plans for an internship or job have been halted due to COVID-19.

Employers are still hiring.  The Career Center has created a list of job and internship search resources for students and alumni to find companies that are hiring for jobs and internships, remote job opportunities, and other important job search information.

Take time for your personal and professional development.  Develop new skills, work on how to present yourself, maintain, and develop new networking contacts. Start by taking the time to review your resume, go over your Handshake and LinkedIn profiles, and practice your interviewing skills. You can also research online resources to earn new credentials, read more about your chosen industry in books and digital publications, and find professional associations to join.

Don’t forget that you can still meet with a Career Coach virtually by participating in our meetups (group appointments), drop-ins, and appointments.  The Career Center and our employee partners are also offering virtual workshops and events through the end of the semester.

Keeping Yourself and Others Safe
On April 15, New York State issued an Executive Order requiring all people in New York to wear coverings or masks in public to help prevent the spread of the virus to others. This means that you must wear a face covering or mask that covers your nose and mouth whenever you are in public spaces, on and off campus. If you don’t currently have a face covering, several online retailers have them available for purchase. In addition, you can make your own using this guidance from the Centers for Disease Control. For more information on how to safely wear and care for face coverings and masks, please visit Care and Use of Face Coverings and Masks for COVID-19.

Please remember that even when wearing a face covering or mask, you are expected to still follow social distancing guidelines and remain at least six feet apart (1.8m).  

Please continue to take the following steps to protect yourself and others:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, throw the tissue away, and then wash your hands.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects or surfaces such as keyboards and doorknobs.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • If you feel sick, stay home, remain in your room, and separate yourself from others. Seek non-urgent care by contacting your doctor or Student Health Services at (631) 632-6740 if you develop fever, cough, or difficulty breathing.

Although these are difficult times for all of us, I am confident that our Stony Brook community will persevere and thrive. Seawolves are determined and hard working, and the courage and grit we possess is what makes Stony Brook such an incredible place.

Go Seawolves!

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