Canisius College is making plans to welcome students back to campus for the fall semester. The college is proceeding with all necessary planning and safety measures for students to return to classrooms and residence halls beginning Aug. 31.
The college’s recovery task force developed the reopening plan informed by the latest guidance from local, state and federal government officials and public health authorities. The health and safety of students, faculty, staff and their families remains the college’s top priority and continues to lead all decision-making.
Canisius’ strategic plan for the fall balances the desire of students for the full college experience – taking in-person classes and enjoying the social life of a campus – with all the necessary health measures. Canisius is also focusing on first-year students to ensure they have an engaging experience.
“A personalized, on-campus experience is the foundation of a Canisius education and one that we have been committed to for 150 years,” President John J. Hurley said. “It is what we do best. This plan allows students to safely enjoy the full Canisius experience.”
√ Employees return to campus – Faculty and staff began a three-stage plan to return to work on campus on June 29, in preparation for the fall semester.
√ Revisions to the academic calendar – To ensure fall classes are instructed face-to- face as much as possible, and to reduce risk of exposure, the college revised its academic calendar by eliminating the Labor Day and fall breaks. The last day of in-person classes is Nov. 24, when the college breaks for Thanksgiving. Only two remote teaching days and final exams follow the holiday.
√ Reduction in class size – As a small school with small class sizes, it is easier to adapt to social distancing guidelines and protocols. The college will maximize the use of additional campus spaces to accommodate as much in-class instruction as possible.
√ Reduction in residence hall occupancy and dining hall capacity – A reduction in residence hall occupancy will promote a safe living and learning environment. Undergraduate students who have roommates will be considered a family unit, which enables the college to monitor, quarantine and isolate students efficiently if cases of infection occur. The maximum capacity in the college’s dining facilities will be 50%.
√ Protocols for wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) – The college will provide face coverings (masks or shields) or essential PPE to students, faculty and staff. While indoors, everyone will wear face coverings any time there is more than one person in a given space, especially when it is not possible to maintain a 6-foot social distance.
√ Guidelines for health and safety – Personal hygiene, social distancing, enhanced cleaning and disinfecting, wearing face coverings, completing daily health assessments, and staying home when ill are embedded in the college’s “new norm.”
During the first week of August, Gov. Andrew Cuomo will make a determination about the resumption of in-person schooling.