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Stronger Together Update (July 1, 2021)

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Help Us Kick Off Stronger Together with Ice Cream, a Student Union Open House and a Forward-Looking Vision

A Message from Lawrence M.  Zacarese and Lynn M. Johnson

Stronger togetherAs we transition from a year-and-a-half of unprecedented challenges, we are confident and excited for the future, grateful for everyone’s ongoing contributions and cooperation, mindful of all the individuals who were onsite throughout, and looking forward to having us all together again soon … stronger than ever.

And as we start to welcome more colleagues back to campus next week, we’re kicking off a new ‘Stronger Together’ campaign with a sweet treat: an invitation to enjoy the company of your coworkers, fellow students and friends at a free Ice Cream Social next Wednesday, July 7, 12-2 pm, outside the Student Union (rain location: Student Union lobby). Student Affairs will also be hosting an Open House event to help familiarize employees with the services that have been relocated into the Union from the Administration Building and other locations.

This is just the start of weekly events, workshops and activities that will fall under our Stronger Together umbrella as we celebrate our return to a vibrant campus environment this fall. All of these are designed to help you connect and engage with your colleagues.

We will keep you apprised of these happenings and the latest COVID-19 protocols through more updates like this, and a new Stronger Together website featuring FAQs, news and updates and a calendar of events. For convenience and easy access, you may want to bookmark the site, which replaces the Coming Back Safe and Strong website.

Stronger Together is an evolution of our Coming Back Safe and Strong efforts and celebrates the fact that we can, and always do, accomplish so much when we work as a team.

Last academic year we overcame COVID-19 challenges by adhering to strict protocols, following science and CDC guidelines, providing ongoing information and support to our entire campus community, and drawing on Stony Brook’s  extensive resources and expertise to put the health and safety of our campus community first.

Actions such as self-screening and frequent COVID testing led us to be recognized as one of the safest university campuses, and a role model for helping stop the spread of COVID-19.

Community outreach, including our role as one of New York State’s first public testing and vaccine distribution sites, gained us accolades and recognition as the standout healthcare provider we are.

As we return this fall, we are focused on providing a safe, gradual transition to mostly in-person teaching, learning and office occupancy, in line with federal, State and SUNY guidelines. And as we have throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we will:

  • Draw upon the knowledge and experience of subject matter experts across all disciplines on our COVID-19 task forces and planning groups, who have been meeting continuously.
  • Use science-based, data-informed decision making each step of the way.
  • Remain flexible and nimble, adapting to changing guidance and developments as circumstances and science warrant.
  • Apply the same dedication and resources to best understand, tackle, respond to and communicate potential new scenarios and developments, such as virus variants; vaccine information, regulations and questions; and any new guidance.
  • Stay proactive in responding to, and communicating, new issues and guidelines as they arise, and to serving the needs of our local communities through healthcare services and other outreach.

As more of you come back to campus, we realize that there are mixed emotions … some excitement perhaps, some trepidation for those who have been remote. But we know we are Stronger Together. And we welcome everyone back with the same mix of gratitude, empathy, camaraderie and support we all worked so hard to establish throughout even the darkest days of the pandemic.

In short, we are fully prepared and excited for fall and hope that you are too. Together we must continue to do all that we can to uphold our standards of academic excellence and to provide the rich and meaningful experiences that are the hallmarks of life at Stony Brook University. We will celebrate the return of a bustling campus. And we are proud of this community and all that you have accomplished during this most difficult time. We know that we will always be #StrongerTogether.

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