ST. BONAVENTURE, NY — SBU has postponed Family Weekend and the rescheduled Class of 2020 Commencement Ceremony.
According to a press release issued by the university Wednesday, though SBU officials felt confident the university would be able to host large-scale gatherings in fall 2020, such events are no longer possible under current New York State and university coronavirus restrictions.
In May, SBU President Dr. Dennis DePerro announced new dates for the Class of 2020 Commencement Ceremony (Oct. 10-11). Those dates, however, no longer work with the university’s new academic calendar. When the university amended its academic calendar in June, fall break (Oct. 10-13) was eliminated in an effort to keep students from traveling far away from campus.
DePerro said he is still committed to hosting a ceremony for the 2020 graduating class. Revised dates for the ceremony have not yet been decided, according to the press release.
“I am still committed to my promise of offering the Class of 2020 an opportunity to return to campus to celebrate their graduation,” DePerro said. “Hopefully we can reschedule for the spring, but given the continued uncertainty related to the pandemic, it’s just not prudent to commit to a specific date until we know for sure we can conduct a safe and meaningful event.”
SBU’s December Recognition Ceremony, originally scheduled for Dec. 19, has been canceled.
New dates for Family Weekend, which was scheduled for Sept. 25-27, have also not yet been determined. SBU’s Chief Communications Officer Tom Missel said the event could be held in the spring, but “it doesn’t make much sense for us to commit to a date given the uncertainty.”
DePerro said, “It’s an unfortunate byproduct of the pandemic, losing so many events that attract people from all over the region, but our top priority this fall is the health and safety of our students and employees.”
New York’s Phase 4 reopening plan does not permit gatherings of more than 50 people.
In addition, SBU has implemented a number of strict guidelines on visitors and gatherings. For instance, only specific individuals will have access to campus in the fall. That list includes: students, university employees, parents and families during move-in and move-out periods, essential vendors and business partners, delivery drivers, community members with P.O. boxes at the campus’ U.S. Post Office and people using the spur of the Recreation Trail that winds through campus.
Meanwhile, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced Tuesday that fans will not be allowed to attend collegiate sporting events.
Atlantic 10 Conference and institutional leaders have postponed fall sports, but agreed to a “look-in window” in mid-September, allowing for a potentially truncated competitive schedule among conference opponents if COVID-19 risks have been reduced substantially.
For the fall semester, in-person classes will begin Aug. 24 and end Nov. 24. The fall semester will continue on Nov. 30 with three days of online-only instruction, a reading/study day and five days of online final exams.