Rick Gatteau, Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students, has released a message to students giving guidance and information as classes resume. The message reads as follows:
As we return from spring break, so much has changed in our lives due to COVID-19. Our sense of stability has been shaken, our daily lives have been disrupted, and social distancing has become our new normal. For all of you, especially our spring graduates, this is not the end of a semester you ever expected or deserved. But, we must not allow these changes, or our fears or anxiety, to stop us from pursuing our goals. We are a resilient and strong community, and now, more than ever, we must come together and support one another.
Keeping You and Our Community Safe
I urge you, as members of our Seawolves community, to heed the advice of the experts and not put yourselves or others at greater risk. It is our responsibility to prioritize our health and well-being, protect our loved ones, and support the health of our local communities. We must each do our part to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
As you already know, maintaining social distancing is a measure that will help keep ourselves and our communities safer. This may be inconvenient and, frankly, not very fun; however, even if you are healthy and believe you are at low risk, you can transmit this disease to others who are at higher risk or immunocompromised, resulting in a catastrophic effect. The fact of the matter is social distancing saves lives. You can save lives.
What is social distancing?
● Staying 6 feet (1.8 meters) apart from other people
● Not hosting or attending social gatherings
● Avoiding close contact and not shaking hands with others
● Staying in your room or home if you are sick and avoiding contact with others
● Visiting loved ones virtually through use of electronic devices
What is NOT social distancing?
● Going to a party with a group of people
● Piling up on a couch with friends to watch a movie
● Sitting close to each other to have dinner
What else can I do to protect myself and others?
● Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
● Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces such as tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks
● Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze
● Do not share utensils, glasses, or other personal items
It is your responsibility as a Seawolf to step up and model the way. Keep up to date about COVID-19 by visiting stonybrook.edu/coronavirus.
You are a valued member of our diverse campus community. Our students, faculty, and staff represent all races, ethnicities, religions, sexual orientations, gender identities, and abilities — and we all benefit from each other’s perspective. We uphold our commitment to maintaining the dignity, respect, and fair treatment of all members of our community. We will not stigmatize any individual or group of people, and expressions of xenophobia will not be tolerated.
Please keep in mind that the Code of Student Responsibility applies to both on and off-campus. You will be held responsible if your actions are deemed to adversely affect, compromise, or create a threat to the safety and security of the University, University property, or individual members of our community.
If you have been targeted or experienced discrimination of any kind, including xenophobia, report these incidents to the Office of Institutional Diversity and Equity.
We are committed to connecting you with your friends and classmates, and have planned many virtual events and activities. Periodically check SBEngaged and the CORQ app to find these events and how to join in, including virtual fitness classes, virtual Let’s Talk sessions, club and organization activities, and much more. Student Engagement and Activities has created a portal where you can find virtual resources to take care of your physical, mental, and social health.
Ask for Help
It’s normal to feel anxious or experience a range of emotions as a result of these unexpected changes in our lives. We must all take this emergency seriously, but do not allow it to consume you. Our Student Affairs team and campus resources are ready to support you. If you are facing any personal, health, or family challenges as a result of COVID-19, please reach out for help. We have services in place to support you:
Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)
CAPS offers you free and confidential services. Call (631) 632- 6720 for an appointment and speak to a counselor 24/7
Student Health Services
Call (631) 632-6740 for an appointment. To speak with a healthcare professional after hours, call (631) 632-6740, option 3.
As we face these challenges together, let’s continue to show compassion, caring, and support for one another. I am so proud of each of you, and know that with hope and determination, brighter days are on the horizon. Go Seawolves!