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Hartwick College

Students Returning To In-Person Classes At Hartwick College

Students Returning

To In-Person Classes

At Hartwick College

Dr. Drugovich

ONEONTA – Hartwick College announced a few minutes ago that it is returning to face-to-face classes, as well as remote instruction, this Wednesday, after “a voluntary and precautionary two-week, remote-only period.”

“Face-to-face, personal instruction is a pillar of Hartwick’s educational mission, as it has been for 223 years,” said Hartwick President Margaret L. Drugovich. “Our students have made it clear that they want to return to the classroom, and the vast majority have demonstrated they can and will honor the rules we’ve put in place to control the spread of COVID-19.”

At SUNY, It’s Partying; At Hartwick, Trespassing

2 PRESIDENTS AT ODDS

At SUNY, It’s Partying;

At Hartwick, Trespassing

City Council member David Rissberger referenced this photo of a party in a SUNY Oneonta isolation dorm that was posted to social media over the weekend during this evening’s Oneonta Control Group meeting.  It painted contrasting pictures of SUNY Oneonta and Hartwick College, where a total of eight students have been put on administrative leave and two tickets issued for trespassing.

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

ONEONTA – A photo circulating on social media, purportedly showing a party underway in SUNY Oneonta’s isolation dorm over the weekend, prompted a conversation about the differences in how SUNY and Hartwick colleges are handling the COVID-19 outbreak and quarantines.

“I’m concerned by this photo,” said Council member David Rissberger, Third Ward, during the second of Mayor Gary Herzig’s Oneonta Control Room meetings this evening. “There’s no supervision, and the community needs reassurances that moving forward, something like this is not going to happen again.”

Currently there are 651 total cases of COVID-19 at SUNY Oneonta; 43 students are quarantined on the campus, with 139 in isolation after testing positive for the virus.

Public, Private Colleges Both Must Thrive

Public, Private Colleges

Both Must Thrive

It’s been reported that SUNY Oneonta’s volunteer quarantining was a SUNY-wide policy.

If so, then we can expected similar COVID explosions at Cobleskill, Delhi, Binghamton and across the 64-campus system, unless the campuses can quickly apply SUNY Oneonta’s new regimen of 100-percent testing and a two-week hiatus.

Throughout the pandemic threat, there have been calls for uniform policies and instruction from Washington D.C. (or the CDC in Atlanta), so a nation of 320 million people can proceed lock-step against a common foe.

That’s fine, but there’s a downside: If some central authority gets it wrong, then we all get it wrong. New York State got it wrong – it was a fiasco, but Governor Cuomo led us out of it – allowing other states to learn and adapt, albeit not perfectly.

There’s another reason for Hartwick College’s rigor vis a vis SUNY Oneonta’s fuzzier focus. President Margaret L. Drugovich undoubtedly understood that, if Hartwick didn’t get it right, there might be no Hartwick.

Within the SUNY system, there’s a different understanding: There will be hard times, there will be cuts, but the big bureaucracy will continue churning along. Thanks, taxpayers.

SUNY Oneonta had to get it sorta right. Hartwick had to get it perfectly right.

What does this tell us?

Nationally, we need diversity among the states to come up with solutions. With COVID-19, we need a diversity of institutions of higher learning to ensure a diversity of solutions (and diversity of thought, for that matter, but that’s for another day.)

Excelsior Scholarships, the SUNY system’s free tuition for children of families with incomes of less than $125,000, have put many of Upstate’s fine private colleges at a competitive disadvantage that will erode their effectiveness over time, maybe even their ability to exist.

Yes, Cornell, RPI, Colgate, Niagara, RIT, Hamiltion, Union and, yes, Hartwick, are already feeling the pinch. Earlier this year, supportive alumni pulled Aurora from the brink.

When we eventually get to the New Normal, part of it should be a revisiting of Excelsior Program to ensure an equal playing field. First, all students should have some skin in the game. Second, the state

Legislature should make sure tuition aid is equitably spread across the board, to SUNY colleges and private institutions alike.

The SUNY Oneonta fiasco (227 cases at presstime) – and, fingers crossed, Hartwick College’s relative success to date (two cases) – underscore: e pluribus victoria.

MOSTLY SPARED, HARTWICK WILL STILL GO REMOTE

MOSTLY SPARED,

HARTWICK WILL

STILL GO REMOTE

With Only 2 Cases, Drugovich

Announces ‘Precautionary Step’

President Drugovich

ONEONTA – With only two cases, compared to SUNY Oneonta’s 245 (as of now), Hartwick College President Margaret L. Drugovich nonetheless announced a few minutes ago the college is immediately switching to all-remote instruction for 14 days as a precaution, through Sept. 15.

“Because of the sudden and steep increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in the Oneonta community, we have decided to commence remote instruction only,” she said. “We are taking this step as a precautionary measure to protect the health of all members of our campus-based community.

“This adaptation was anticipated in, and is consistent with, our Reopening Plan,” she said.

3 Sports Teams Held Parties That Started Outbreak, Morris Says

3 Sports Teams Held

Parties That Started

Outbreak, Morris Says

SUNY Leader Expects ‘Ramp Up’ In Cases

Mayor Gary Herzig, second from upper left, addresses tonight’s first meeting of the Oneonta Control Room, a town-gown entity formed to oversee the local COVID-19 threat and assess the response.  Two boxes below Herzig is SUNY Oneonta President Barbara Jean Morris; Hartwick College President Margaret L. Drugovich is in the top row, second from right. 

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

ONEONTA – With 2,000 COVID-19 tests administered  Sunday and today, SUNY Oneonta President Barbara Jean Morris warned the Oneonta Control Room to prepare for a “ramp-up” of positive tests during their first meeting over Zoom this evening.

“Obviously this came on fast and hard,” she said. “We had a super-spreader event last weekend with three athletic teams who invited first-year students to a party, then those students came back to campus.”

At present, 177 SUNY students have tested positive for the virus, prompting Chancellor Jim Malatras Sunday to close the campus for two weeks; 600 students were tested between Friday and Saturday, when tests were brought to campus.

Single COVID Case At Hartwick College

Single COVID Case

At Hartwick College

ONEONTA – On Sunday, Hartwick College determined that a student has tested positive for COVID-19, the first confirmed case on the Hartwick campus.

The student is isolating at home, the college reported today. The county Department of Health is responsible for contact tracing and will notify individuals with whom she/he may have had contact.

As SUNY Hartwick Open, Oneonta Control Group To Meet In Public View

As SUNY, Hartwick Open,

Oneonta Control Group

To Meet In Public View

New Panel Monitors Students’ Return

ONEONTA – The first meeting of the “Oneonta Control Group” – it was set up to monitor the impact of returning college students – is at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 31, and will be broadcast on the city’s YouTube channel.  All meetings are virtual and open to the public.

Mayor Gary Herzig set up the group, which includes both college staff and students, business people and residents.

COVID-19 Free, Hartwick Takes Added Precautions, Limiting Who’s On Campus

CLICK AT 7 P.M. FOR CONVOCATION

COVID-19 Free, Hartwick

Takes Added Precautions,

Limiting Who’s On Campus

Violators Will Be Charged With Trespassing

ONEONTA – Hartwick College is COVID-19 free, and today announced additional precautionary steps to keep it that way, further limiting public access.

Effective immediately, only the following persons are permitted on the 425-acre private property (including Table Rock and Strawberry Fields, Elmore Field and running track, and the Pine Lake Environmental Campus):

Hartwick Students Tested Twice Even Before Class Starts

GOAL: KEEP COVID-19 AT BAY

Hartwick Students

Tested Twice Even

Before Class Starts

Drugovich

ONEONTA – Students returning to Hartwick College this weekend must already have been tested for COVID-19, and will be tested again before classes begin Monday, Aug. 31.

By then, all students and employees must sign a document averring they will “Our Social Compact: A Healthy Hartwick College,” outlining all steps they must take to keep the COVID threat at bay.

“Hartwick’s goal is to enable our students to return for instruction while complying with the best guidance available to protect our community, both on- and off-campus,” said college President Margaret L. Drugovich.

All students and employees will be required to:

• Provide evidence of negative results from COVID-19 testing within a maximum of 14 days prior to arrival.

• Quarantine for 14 days, if arriving from a “Hot Spot” state, as determined by the State of New York, even if the student has tested negative for COVID-19;

• Undergo COVID-19 testing again on arriving on campus Aug. 22-31 – students and commuters, and all employees.

• Be tested every week until the end of in-person classes (Nov 20). Again, that applies to students and employees.

Further, “Out Social Compact” requires wearing masks in public, six-foot social distancing at all time, and respect for personal space; good hygiene, including frequent handwashing; participating in daily screenings including temperature checks; disinfecting living and working spaces and personal items on a regular basis; and comply with the College’s Reopening Campus Plan as well as local, state, and federal guidelines on COVID-19 when both on and off campus.

Course work will be delivered both in-person and virtually for students in the fall semester. Changes to the academic calendar for the fall semester eliminated breaks until in-person instruction ends on Friday, November 20. All students will leave campus by Nov. 21 and then complete the semester’s instruction and exams remotely. Final exams conclude on Dec. 10.

The College has enhanced safety and cleaning measures campus-wide, including:

• Daily screening of all individuals entering campus.

• Increased sanitizing of academic and administrative buildings and residence halls.

• Additional hand sanitizer dispensers at building entrances, dining and café locations, fitness entrances, and event spaces.

• Markings and signage in campus buildings to indicate six-foot distancing.

• Designated single-direction foot-traffic in some spaces, and limited the number of building entrances to facilitate screening.

• Restricted elevator occupancy.

• Reduced capacity in theaters and auditoriums to maintain six-foot social distance.

Herzig To Students: House Parties Could Result In $1,000 Fine
CLICK HERE FOR TEXT OF HERZIG LETTER

Mayor To Students:

House Parties Could

Result In $1,000 Fine

ONEONTA – College students who host house parties could face criminal charges and fines up to $1,000, according to a letter Mayor Gary Herzig has written to SUNY Oneonta and Hartwick College students.

“The virus doesn’t care where you are,” he wrote. “The virus doesn’t respect boundaries or property lines. It is happy to infect you wherever you are.”

All Of Hartwick’s Students, Staffers To Undergo Testing

All Of Hartwick’s

Students, Staffers

To Undergo Testing

Oneonta Campus Reopens Aug. 22

Drugovich

ONEONTA – With students returning Aug. 22 and on-campus classes beginning Aug. 31, Hartwick College today issued a four “protocols” and 12 “enhanced cleaning and safety measures” – they include testing of all students and employees – to keep COVID-19 at bay.

“Hartwick’s goal is to enable our students to return for instruction while complying with the best guidance available to protect our community, both on- and off-campus,” said college President Margaret L. Drugovich.

All students and employees will be required to adhere to the following specific protocols:

As Students’ Return, Mayor Plans ‘Tipline,’ 2 ‘Working Groups’
Reprinted From This Week’s
Freeman’s, Hometown Oneonta

As Students’ Return,

Mayor Plans ‘Tipline,’

2 ‘Working Groups’

Together, City Hall, 2 Colleges

Will Monitor COVID Threats

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

Mayor Herzig

ONEONTA – With 7,000 SUNY Oneonta and Hartwick College students ready to come back to school at the end of the month, Mayor Gary Herzig is taking no chances when it comes to the community’s health and safety.

“We’re working on a dedicated tip line dedicated to COVID health concerns,” he said. “It’s not just for students, it’s for anyone with a public health concern.”

The phone line will go directly to the Oneonta Police Department, and reports can be made anonymously. “When that phone rings, whoever is there knows that it’s a public health emergency,” he said. “The person won’t have to fill out a report, and action can be taken immediately.”

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