Spring 2021 Guide and COVID-19 information

University life

Recently updated: Extracurricular events and activities

Busing/campus vehicles

  • Campus transportation employees will clean and disinfectant all high-touch surfaces within buses twice daily using EPA-approved spray products effective against human coronaviruses.
  • Hand sanitizer will be available at all bus shelters.
  • The front door of each bus will be the entrance point and the rear door will be the exit point. The number of buses running has been increased to maintain lower occupancies.
  • The first row of seats behind the driver will be vacant.
  • Only one person is allowed per seat every other row on each side of the bus with maximum occupancy of 15 riders. All riders are required to practice physical distancing and wear face coverings.
  • Campus vehicles will be disinfected with EPA-approved sprays effective against human coronaviruses before and after use. All vehicles will be provided with hand sanitizer or disinfecting wipes.


  • All dining employees will be required to wear face coverings and appropriate PPE.
  • All patrons will be required to wear a face covering until they are ready to eat and then replace it immediately afterward.
  • Patrons should maintain 6 feet of distance between each other, including when eating. If eating with others present, patrons should not sit facing one another.
  • Tables and chairs will be spaced 6 feet apart
  • Enhanced cleaning procedures in all Cortland Auxiliary units are being implemented, including frequent disinfecting of counters, tables and areas of contact.
  • Self-serve options in dining units will be eliminated.
  • Operating hours have been adjusted in order to accommodate all students.
  • Queuing will be used to manage distancing, and diners will use separate entrances for ingress and egress.
  • Circulation and densities will be monitored by dining management on the floor and via CCTV to ensure physical distancing rules are followed.
  • Outside groups and the general public will not be allowed to utilize residential dining (Neubig Dining and The Bistro) units until further notice.
  • SUNY Cortland employees are encouraged to take food back to their office area or eat outside (weather permitting) while continuing to maintain appropriate physical distancing. Cortland Auxiliary employees can utilize designated seating in the dining units.
  • Effective Aug. 10, Cortland Auxiliary is moving to cashless operations. Students and faculty/staff are encouraged to use their Connections accounts or employee ID cards.


  • Campus community members are encouraged to use the stairs whenever possible.
  • Buildings having a single elevator (e.g. Bowers Hall), should only be utilized by employees or individuals with ADA need.
  • Cloth face coverings must be worn while using the elevator.
  • Care should be taken to avoid touching the elevator buttons with exposed hand/fingers, if possible. (Using one’s elbow is a good alternative to using one’s fingers.)
  • Wash hands or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol upon departing the elevator.
  • Buildings with multiple elevators may have specific elevators designated as up or down only.
  • Physical distancing must be maintained. The number of people allowed in an elevator is dependent on its size. Signage will indicate capacity.
  • Elevator fans shall remain operational 24/7.

Extracurricular events and activities

  • At this time, no spectators are allowed at Spring 2021 SUNYAC athletic competitions pursuant to New York State Department of Health guidance. Any future decision on spectator attendance will follow New York State, SUNY, local departments of health, and institutional guidelines.
  • Campus departments, academic programs and student groups are encouraged to host programs remotely.
  • Requests for Student Government Association groups' in-person campus events must be submitted to the Campus Activities and Corey Union Office at least 14 days in advance.
  • Priority for approval will be given to events that:
    • Are not possible or effective to host virtually.
    • Involve quick and/or outdoor interactions with minimal contact.
    • Directly support higher learning.
    • Directly benefit the institution.
    • Directly relate to civic engagement.
  • Face coverings will be required for entry into all events.
  • Physical distancing requirements must always be maintained.
  • Concerts, dances and open mic nights will be restricted to online events due to the increased risk of coronavirus transmission associated with these kinds of activities.
  • Advance sign-up is required, and attendance must be taken and records kept in case contact tracing becomes required.
  • Events held outdoors may not be advertised to non-students/off-campus. 
  • Groups should implement live streaming (e.g. Facebook Live or Instagram Live) for any in-person program that does not conflict with copyright law or contractual agreements.
  • No communal food (buffets, etc.) is permitted. All food must be prepared by Cortland Auxiliary, an approved facility or pre-packaged/store-bought. Homemade foods are not allowed.
  • Events should be no longer than 90 minutes in length (from arrival to departure).
  • Event capacity may not exceed the adjusted room capacities for physical distancing. Outdoor venues also have established capacities based on the current guidelines established by the state.
  • Groups must assist in cleaning high-touch spaces and equipment. Supplies will be provided by Facilities Operations and Services.
  • Student groups may not host outside guests including, but not limited to, other college teams or clubs, high school/college prep programs, parents and family, alumni and friends.
  • Student groups looking to contract outside services must ensure and provide documentation that those vendor(s) will comply with campus standards for physical distancing, cleanliness, etc. Please note there will be a limit to the number of hired personnel permitted at any one program.
  • Offices or groups planning on hosting an in-person event must submit a program safety plan.

For more information on approval and venue availability and capacities, visit the Campus Activities and Corey Union website.

Off-campus life

  • The SUNY Cortland University Police Department and the City of Cortland Police Department will communicate regularly.
  • Communication regarding physical distancing, personal hygiene, mental health, community and individual responsibility will be ongoing.
  • Students will follow all physical distancing rules and wear face coverings according to guidelines while on campus and follow all state and municipal Executive Orders and guidelines regarding face coverings and non-essential gatherings while in the community.
  • All policies and procedures implemented as part of the campus response to COVID-19 fall under the jurisdiction of the Code of Student Conduct and will be enforced through the student conduct process. Violations may be submitted through the Incident Reporting Form.

Residence halls

Residence halls will put in place protocols that will limit density, promote physical distancing, require face coverings and enhance cleaning. Housing considerations for students with special needs/underlying health conditions will be enacted.

All policies and procedures implemented as part of the campus response to COVID-19 fall under the jurisdiction of the Code of Student Conduct and will be enforced through the student conduct process. Violations may be submitted through the Incident Reporting Form.

Reduced density

  • The university will eliminate all triple occupancy in double rooms, and additional housing has been secured at College Suites.
  • Student rooms will be designed occupancy plus one — for example, a double room has a designed occupancy of two so that room can have both residents of that room plus one additional visitor from that same hall.
    • Similarly, a suite of six students can have only one visitor at a time from that same hall.
  • The move-in timeframe will be extended to eight days and staggered by student type, hall and floor.
  • Large gatherings will be prohibited.

Physical distancing

  • Residence halls have been evaluated for circulation and flow of traffic.
  • Physical distancing markers will be posted using tape or signs that denote 6 feet of spacing in commonly used areas. They also may be applied to floors in high-traffic corridors to denote a single direction of traffic and high-volume staircases may be denoted as up or down only. There will also be a “stay to the right” expectation when traveling in areas that have bidirectional traffic.
  • Restrictions on group events and activities will be put into place.

Common spaces

  • Face coverings will be required in common areas and hallways.
  • Access to kitchen facilities and shared cooking utensils will be limited.
  • Furniture use in common areas will be restricted.
  • Elevator use will be limited to those who require use and capacity will be reduced to ensure physical distancing.


  • Enhanced cleaning protocols based on CDC and NYSDOH guidelines will be implemented by custodial services.
  • Frequently touched surfaces in common areas of occupied residence halls will be cleaned and disinfected twice daily by the custodial staff using EPA-approved spray products effective in addressing human coronaviruses. Frequently touched surfaces include:
    • Tables and chairs
    • Door handles
    • Handrails
    • Faucets and fixtures
    • Equipment handles
    • Elevator and vending machine buttons
  • Building occupants also are asked to use disinfectant spray and paper towels provided by Facilities Operations and Services to disinfect high-touch surfaces.


  • Residence Life and Housing will strive to communicate with students via email and social media channels.
  • The office will inform students and families what custodial staff is doing each day to keep facilities safe, how staff can be available virtually and the consequences for those who do not follow protocol.

Residence hall guests/visitors

  • SUNY Cortland prohibits non-essential guests/visitors from accessing campus to enter buildings and meet with or interact with students and staff. Virtual visits and appointments should be used whenever possible.
    • Those who must make in-person visits (deliveries, inspections, contractors, etc.) will be required to be pre-screened, wear face coverings and practice physical distancing.
  • Off-campus guests/visitors, including non-residential students, will not be permitted in the residence halls at any time.
  • Students will not be permitted to visit halls in which they do not reside. For example, only residents of Bishop Hall can visit other residents of Bishop Hall.
  • Failure to adhere to these requirements could result in student conduct charges being filed.

Pending COVID-19 developments, the guest/visitor policy may be revised at any time.

Special housing considerations

  • Special housing considerations for students who are immunocompromised or who have an underlying health condition will work directly with the Disability Resources Office to ensure any required accommodations are provided.


  • Restrooms with multiple stalls will be limited based on room size to ensure at least 6 feet of distance between individuals.
  • Face coverings must be worn in restrooms as they are a shared space.
  • Air-blown hand dryers will be disabled and paper towels provided for use.

Student Health Service

  • Students will access health care on campus by calling the Student Health Service (607-753-4811) and speaking with a triage nurse.
  • The triage nurse will utilize established protocols to advise and schedule students for appointments.
  • Appointments will include both traditional in-person care as well as telemedicine appointments when appropriate.
  • Exam rooms will be disinfected between patient visits.
  • Individuals identified as possible COVID-19 patients by the triage process will be seen in a private setting separate from the main facilities.
  • A policy prohibiting non-essential visitors will be enacted.
  • Student Health Service plans to have on-site COVID-19 testing capacity.
  • All healthcare staff will perform daily enhanced, passive screening to monitor for signs and symptoms and have access to weekly antigen and PCR tests to be performed onsite.

Student Life Center

The Reopening Member Guide highlights changes that have been made to our facilities, operations and procedures to help reduce the risk of COVID-19 exposure and transmission. All changes have been developed using New York State Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Guidelines. Please familiarize yourself with our new policies and procedures to ensure you have the best and safest experience at the Student Life Center.


  • Workout time slot reservations using the Recreational Sports Purchase Portal will be required to enter the Student Life Center.
  • All patrons must complete their daily COVID-19 screening app before entering campus and must show confirmation at the Student Life Center front desk.
  • Face coverings are required at all times. Gaiters, buffs, face shields and bandanas are not allowed in the Student Life Center.
  • All equipment must be sanitized before and after use.
  • Only current students and faculty/staff will be permitted to use the Student Life Center until further notice.

Read the full guide on the Student Life Center website.

SUNY Cortland Cupboard

  • The cupboard will be open for students in need of non-perishable foods and personal hygiene items such as hand sanitizer and hand soap.
  • Students will be asked to use provided hand sanitizer before collecting their items.
  • Only one person will be allowed into the cupboard at a time.
  • Students exhibiting a cough, fever, shortness of breath or other COVID-related symptoms will not be allowed to enter. Instead, they can arrange alternative pick-up options.
  • View the SUNY Cortland Cupboard website for further details.

Key contact information