Embracing a safe and strong return to campus, Stony Brook students are already meeting the challenges of a semester like no other, eager for a chance to get reacquainted — at a safe distance — as classes and activities begin.
First-class scholarship and hands-on research will continue to flourish, as reimagined to meet the needs of the moment — but not at the expense of fun. Opening weekend features a mix of online and safe in-person events, ranging from a virtual mentalist show to gallery tours and a fun run. A complete schedule can be accessed by through SB Engaged (filter events by choosing the “Opening Weekend 2020” category).
New and returning students also had an opportunity to exchange welcoming words with Stony Brook’s new president, Maurie McInnis, who toured residence halls on the first day of move-in.
“Today marks the beginning of so much — a reimagined campus experience, a strengthened commitment to our health and safety practices, and an embrace of new forms of learning and academic inquiry,” President McInnis said in a message to the Stony Brook community. “But it’s also the beginning of a time of extraordinary potential and unlimited possibility. In the coming months, we at Stony Brook are going to scale new heights of creativity and tread uncharted territory as researchers, scholars and students of the world.”
Meanwhile, measures are in place to help protect the health and safety of returning students, staff and faculty. In an email to the campus community, President McInnis introduced the University’s COVID-19 Pandemic Health & Safety Policy. The document clearly defines important aspects of the policy, such as health protocols for this coming year, which include required daily health screening for all students.
“This policy sets our expectations, and will enable us to help secure the wellbeing of our campus, while offering the same level of integrity and rigor in our academic experience,” President McInnis said.
Each resident student must complete a COVID-19 PCR test within 14 days of their move-in date, produce a negative result, and submit this negative test result on the day of move-in.
Additionally, students were urged to remain at home in self-quarantine after receiving their tests and are also asked to follow facial covering and physical distancing requirements. Students who have already had and recovered from COVID-19 were required to bring a medical clearance in writing from their medical practitioner that was written within 10 days of moving onto campus.
New York State has imposed a 14-day self-quarantine for any travelers coming to New York from outside the United States or from a state inside the United States that requires a “stay at home” period in response to increased rates of COVID-19 transmission. Our student body has been notified on a number of occasions about these requirements.
For students who qualify, Stony Brook is making available free of charge — including meal delivery — 226 quarantine-safe accommodations on its West Campus and on its Southampton campus. Qualifying students were invited to come to campus 14 days prior to the start of the semester, beginning August 10. At the conclusion of the quarantine period, students will move to their fall room assignment.
Commuter students will be required to use the University’s online health screener, which measures temperature and symptoms, before coming to Stony Brook’s campus every day. Students will be asked to stay home should they begin showing symptoms.
“Our commitment to the health and safety of Stony Brook University will not stop on move-in day,” said Rick Gatteau, Vice President of Student Affairs. “As the semester continues, we will conduct ongoing testing in addition to the testing that is required as a result should a student become symptomatic.”
Guidance, news and FAQs for all members of the Stony Brook community are available and continually updated on the Coming Back Safe and Strong website.