COVID-19 Updates

Information for Spring Break and Spring Term

Publication Date

Dear students,

We write to share additional information for the spring term. We remain committed to protecting the health of our community while pursuing our educational mission. Please see details of our current plans below. You are also welcome to join our upcoming virtual community conversation. We'll talk about spring term and address any questions or concerns you might have.

Community Conversation for Students

Thursday, March 11 at 6 p.m.
Zoom link: https://union.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_Yirfe9PuSdOi9cQdW4r5rg

Community Conversation for Parents

Thursday, March 4 at 7 p.m.

Zoom link: https://union.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_iljihGrQQe68g4xX3i1Thg

Key Dates

March 1: Students elect mode of engagement for spring term
March 8-11: Spring-term course registration
March 22: Students who were not on campus for winter term must sign the revised COVID-19 Policy Agreement by this date
March 25-28: Modified spring break
March 29: First day of spring term
March 29 - April 8: Students and employees who are on a weekly testing schedule must test twice a week

Spring Break

Spring break will be shortened to four days (March 25-28). While we appreciate the need for a break between terms, we must limit the flow of people off campus. This will reduce the risk of an outbreak that could jeopardize a successful spring term.

  • For these reasons, we ask students to remain on campus between winter and spring terms.
  • As we have communicated previously, anyone who travels outside of New York must follow New York State COVID-19 travel advisory guidelines.
  • Union will not provide quarantine accommodations for students who travel away from campus; per the Department of Health, students are not permitted to quarantine in their rooms.
  • Students who decide to leave campus for one or more nights from March 18-29 need to complete this form to share their destination and quarantine plans. Failure to comply with policies, department of health directives or campus expectations will lead to disciplinary action up to and including suspension or expulsion.
  • We have found that many of the cases we’ve had on campus are a result of travel off campus, including visiting friends and family. We also ask that you avoid frequenting restaurants, bars, and off-campus fitness centers. Please remember that each time we leave our “bubble” and return, we run the risk of increasing exposure. We require your compliance to help us avoid another campus-wide quarantine during spring term.
  • As a reminder, visitors are not permitted in residence halls.

Academic Calendar

  • The first day of classes will be March 29.
  • April 21 and May 18 - we have planned mid-week wellness days during the spring term to give our community short breaks. These dates are intended to be on-campus breaks; do not plan travel for these days.
  • Spring-term classes will end on June 4, as originally scheduled.
  • We still hope to host on-campus Commencement for the Class of 2021 (on June 13). This and all events must follow state and College guidelines. We will continue to monitor conditions and keep the Union community apprised of our plans.

Modes of Instruction

As in the fall and winter terms, our spring term Union Where You Are plan includes three broad modes of course instruction: in-person, hybrid (available both in-person and remotely) and online. Our listing of courses denotes their modes of delivery (see the location and meeting time column). As a reminder, the course petition process runs through today, Feb. 23. Course registration begins the week of March 8.

  • Engaging Experiences for Remote Students: Union will continue to offer a variety of compelling remote courses and internships this spring for students who choose to study remotely (i.e., not on campus). Minervas Online courses will offer, to all class years, interdisciplinary opportunities to explore major societal challenges such as sustainable living, constitutions and democracy, conspiracy theories and misinformation, and social justice. To sophomores, juniors, and seniors, we will offer Experiential Education virtual internship opportunities in education, health care and social innovation; student-arranged internship courses based on individual interests; and Global Virtual Internship Courses offered in collaboration with the College’s study abroad partners.
  • Remote students who complete a remote experiential course will receive a Robert J. Moser ’99 Experiential Learning Award of $2,000 to help offset related expenses.

Community Standards

Protecting the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff and maintaining a rigorous learning environment continue to be of utmost importance to Union. We all have a shared responsibility to understand the risks of COVID-19 transmission and the actions we all must take to keep ourselves, our community and the surrounding area healthy.

  • Students on campus in any capacity are responsible for complying with the rules, policies and regulations contained within our Community Standards, as well as this supplemental section pertaining to COVID-19. In addition, students are required to follow any laws or ordinances not listed here. Failure to comply with policies, department of health directives or campus expectations will lead to disciplinary action up to and including suspension or expulsion.
  • ACTION REQUIRED: Students who were not on campus for winter term but will be for spring must sign the COVID-19 Policy Agreement by March 22.

Housing

Students in assigned campus housing may remain in their residence for spring term if they are continuing with in-person study.

  • ACTION REQUIRED: If you are changing your mode of engagement or enrollment status for spring term (e.g., you were remote or withdrew for the winter term and want to be on campus for the upcoming term, or vice versa), you must:
  • Complete this change to mode of engagement form by March 1.
  • Submit the housing preference form by March 1. Changes submitted after March 1 may be unable to be accommodated.
  • All students returning to in-person learning for spring will be assigned housing using a lottery priority system.
  • Housing assignment notifications will be sent out by March 15.
  • Because we have limited campus housing, students seeking to return to in-person study for spring term will not be guaranteed on-campus accommodations, and single rooms will be limited in availability. Those who are unable to be housed on campus will be permitted to remain on remote status or will be granted off-campus release for the spring term.
  • If you have any housing related questions for spring term, please contact Residential Life at housing@union.edu.

Testing

  • All students and employees who are typically scheduled for weekly testing must test twice weekly for the first two weeks of the spring term, March 29 through April 8. The Testing Center will be open Monday - Thursday for those two weeks. Students schedule your test here.
  • Students who have traveled off campus must follow the NYS guidelines for testing and quarantine (off-campus). Any student found violating this will have their housing and in-person class and campus privileges revoked immediately and may be subject to additional sanctions.

We will continue to monitor any changes to campus, local, state and regional conditions and we will update the community if our plans need to change for any reason. If you have any additional questions, please contact covid19@union.edu.

As the weather turns warmer and the vaccine becomes more readily available, there is much hope for a return to normalcy in the future. However, with new variants in the country and their possible impact on cases, we will have to be even more vigilant if we are to complete this academic year on campus. We thank you for your patience and partnership.

Regards,

Fran’Cee Brown-McClure
Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students

Strom Thacker
Dean of Faculty and Vice President for Academic Affairs