Oneonta, NY - The quest to a successful semester of in-person learning begins on Monday January 18, 2021 for Hartwick College, becoming the first college in the area to do so.
Monday's start is for their January class schedule (J-term) which was delayed two weeks. It runs for three weeks up to the start of the spring semester which will begin February 15.
“We have been testing all faculty and staff so we began that again at the beginning of the year. We did have one person test positive. Off campus we are testing and continuing to pay for the testing of students, faculty and staff throughout the January term and spring semester,” said Paula Lee Hobson, Vice President for College Advancement.
About 950 Hartwick students have been asked to come to campus over the past three days with a confirmed negative coronavirus test result.
“We did a controlled move-in. Every student came – 250 a day – they provided their negative test result, they went through a socially-distanced check-in and they went straight to their rooms. They will be in quarantine for 4 days and then we will retest them all,” said Hobson.
Students will have three hot meals delivered to their dorm room per day. Hartwick Residential Life has planned 40 virtual activities for students to participate in while in quarantine.
During the fall semester SUNY Oneonta suffered a coronavirus outbreak which trickled down to Hartwick prompting them to go fully remote for two weeks.
“I think that their desire to come back and abide by our fairly strict rules you'll remember our cases in the fall were quite low,” said Hobson. “They know that the campus is closed to the public so if a SUNY student wanted to come and visit they would not be allowed on campus. It’s not to be unkind, it’s to be as safe as we possibly can because our students are counting on us to protect them and keep them safe throughout the spring semester.”
Over 90% of classes at Hartwick will be taught in-person. The College is offering remote instruction for all classes in the event that a student(s) must quarantine.
One anticipated change Hartwick is making is canceling spring break.
“We are not having a spring break. We chose that intentionally so rather than a five-day where they leave campus, potentially get exposed, come back, we’re going to have them go straight through. We’re going to give them one day a month so they won’t lose their ‘break days’. We have a full suite of physical and mental wellness activities planned for those break days,” said Hobson.
Local College Reopening Schedule
SUNY Oneonta: spring semester begins online on January 25. In-person instruction to begin February 1.
Mohawk Valley Community College: spring semester begins February 2.
Utica College: Classes begin February 1. First week of classes is online. In-personinstruction to begin Feb. 8.
Hamilton College: spring semester begins February 1.
Colgate University: students return to campus 1/22-1/23.
Herkimer County Community College: students return 1/29-1/30.
SUNY Poly: classes begin 2/1.