Message from President Kolison - August 26, 2021
August 26, 2021
Dear Students, Faculty, Staff, and Friends,
As we close out the first week of classes, I hope you are settling into your courses well and connecting, or reconnecting, with friends and colleagues. Yes, we are fully face-to-face! And it has been a pleasure for me to see Fredonia students and staff interacting on the campus. It is wonderful to feel so much positive energy and enthusiasm.
When I started as President of SUNY Fredonia just over a year ago, in the middle of a global pandemic, I indicated that I would communicate with the campus community on a weekly basis, and more, if needed, to keep everyone well informed about how we were doing to keep the campus safe from COVID-19 infections. I indicated that I would continue to do so until COVID-19 was no longer a significant threat to our community. Unfortunately, COVID-19 remains a significant threat to our collective health and safety and we must remain vigilant. Hence, I will continue these weekly messages for the time being. Of course, I will also use the opportunity to share other important developments with you. It is my hope that you will find these updates helpful.
I hope you saw my message earlier this week that the FDA granted full approval for the Pfizer vaccine. Once that happened, SUNY mandated that all students are required to be vaccinated. Every student has up to 35 days from Monday, August 23 to provide acceptable proof of vaccination or submit a request for a medical or religious exemption for campus review. Please be aware that if you get the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, both doses need to be administered within the 35 days.
Due to the aggressiveness of the Delta variant and the possibility of breakthrough infections, we will continue a surveillance testing program for everyone, regardless of vaccination status. Those who are not yet vaccinated, or who have not reported their vaccination status yet, are required to take part in weekly testing. Vaccinated individuals are required to take part in monthly testing. Our Fall 2021 webpage has information on surveillance testing, including the schedule of when vaccinated individuals will be tested.
Daily health screenings
Faculty and staff, In order to prevent the spread of Covid-19 and reduce the potential risk of exposure to our workforce, beginning Monday, August 30, we are reinstating the requirement that everyone complete a daily mandatory wellness questionnaire within the first 30 minutes of reporting to work. Please remember that if you are experiencing any symptoms, please do not come into the office to complete the form; instead, call your supervisor. Just as last year, the questionnaire will be sent via email every day. It should be completed every day that you are scheduled for work.
I was pleased to see that some members of our community took advantage of the vaccination clinic in Steele Hall on Wednesday. If you did not make it there, and you still need to be vaccinated to protect yourself and those you come in contact with and to fulfill the SUNY mandate, there are many other places locally you can obtain a vaccine. Please get your vaccinations so that your semester can go on uninterrupted.
Sharing a moment
On Tuesday evening, as I walked home from the office, I came across a class (an English class) meeting outside on the lawn. It was a beautiful evening, with the sun setting in the background. From my observation, the students appeared to be enjoying the class. I was captivated by the sight, and stood on the sidewalk listening to the professor and taking in the picture unfolding before me. As I attempted to walk away, I stopped and turned around, and asked if it was okay to take a picture of the class. They were gracious and allowed me to do so (see below). It was the highlight of my day.
I will have another message for you next week, or sooner, if new information needs to be shared before then. Have a great weekend!
Very truly yours,
Stephen H. Kolison, Jr., Ph.D.
President and Professor