Student Association welcomes students to campus for fall 2020

The following message was sent to all students on Aug. 21.

Dear Fellow New Paltz Student,

As a valued member of the New Paltz community we welcome you back as an enrolled student this Fall and are excited you made the choice to remain connected and work towards your degree here. As a New Paltz student, the Student Association (the primary student governing body on campus) is here to advocate for all students, whether you are on on-campus resident living in the residence halls, locally off-campus, commuting or have chosen to be home with your family and study remotely – we are here to serve and support you.

This is an unprecedented time, but the New Paltz campus community and the people in the village and town have a special bond, and together as a community we trust that we can all take the extraordinary steps needed to stay well and protect each other.

As we approach the official start of the Fall semester with classes beginning on Monday, we write to remind you that to ensure public health and following social distancing guidelines will allow the college to stay open through Thanksgiving. In addition to the existing Code of Conduct, there are new community standards and expectations in place for everyone, that represent our goals to ensure public health both on and off campus.

The theme of the semester is “We, not Me.” We all need to do our part by acting safely in the college community of which we are all members.

When you sign into or Blackboard the first time, you will be receiving this semester’s Acknowledgement checklist, including The Protect New Paltz Pledge. Since we all share the responsibility of keeping our community safe, here are some basic guidelines you should pay special attention to about expectations in place in order to maintain a safe and healthy environment both on and off campus:

  • The PROTECT NEW PALTZ Pledge states: “I pledge to take responsibility for my own health, the protection of others, and help keep the New Paltz community safe from the spread of COVID-19 and other infections as identified and instructed by the College.”
  • Compliance with Official Requests includes expectations of behavior to ensure public health.
  • All students, faculty and staff are required to complete the Daily Health Screening Questionnaire through (or the app) every morning on the days they will be anywhere on campus property.
  • Everyone must remember to always wear a mask or face covering with complete coverage of nose and mouth before entering any building on campus, store or business downtown, practice 6 feet of social distancing from others with whom you are not living, and wash your hands often with soap and water (and use sanitizer between visits to wash your hands at a sink)
  • Residence Halls are closed to anyone not residing in that hall. Anyone not living there will be considered trespassing.
  • Be reminded that Campus Regulations, which set the institution’s expectations of appropriate behavior, may apply to behavior regardless of a student’s location, whether on-campus or off-campus

Although coming back to campus and the village of New Paltz may feel different than wherever you call home, you must constantly remember we are still in the midst of a pandemic that requires we all vigilantly abide by public health standards.

Remember to be mindful that any parties or events that violate social distancing guidelines will be considered egregious violations and the hosts (renters) and guests can be charged with violations of the Code of Conduct for ignoring public health law. The Director of Student Conduct will impose charges and students can face serious sanctions. So try and find creative ways to connect with each other and enjoy your college experience while keeping yourself and those around you safe! We can only do this together. Being a part of the SUNY New Paltz community means that each of us — on campus and in the community, must work together to protect New Paltz and each other. Let’s make the commitment now so that we can all make the most of our experience as students here.

Haley Hershenson, Interim President / Vice President for Academic Affairs and Governance 

Dershanel Jno Lewis, Interim Vice President of Finance / Vice President of Programming 

Halle Paz, Senate Chair  

Brittanie Whyte, Council of Organizations Chair