Fall 2020 Plan

As you are aware, SUNY Cortland has established a comprehensive restart plan (PDF). Residence Life and Housing is developing detailed plans to welcome students to our residence halls with added precautions to set you up for success. By working together and doing our part, we can ensure this year be a safe, healthy, and successful one.

Move-In Summary

  • First-Year Students
    • Day 1 – Saturday, August 22 - first-year students only
    • Day 2 – Sunday, August 23- first-year students only
    • Day 3 – Monday, August 24- first-year students only
  • Transfer Students plus College Suites & West Campus
    • Day 4 – Wednesday, August 26 – transfer students, College Suites & West Campus only
    • Day 5 – Thursday, August 27- transfer students, College Suites & West Campus only
  • Returning Students
    • Day 6 – Friday, August 28 – returning students
    • Day 7 – Saturday, August 29 – returning students
    • Day 8 – Sunday, August 30 – returning students

Room assignments and assigned move-in times will be made available to residents via myRedDragon at 9 a.m. on Monday, August 10. Arrival information will be updated throughout the summer. We encourage you to check this page periodically for updates. (Updated: July 29, 2020)

Additional Move-In Information

Residential students will only be allowed two family members or two friends to help with move-in. Students and their help will be required to wear coverings/masks, gloves, and maintain six feet of distance during the move-in process. Once a vehicle is unloaded, the student and one helper can begin bringing items to the room while the other helper can move the vehicle to the appropriate parking area. Residents will be limited to one trip for move-in. Students and families should plan on bringing all necessary items during their move-in time. Return trips to the residence halls will not be permitted.   

There will be designated entries and exits at each hall to minimize residents passing one another on their way in/out of the residence halls. Additionally, there will be a “stay to the right” guideline when traveling through hallways/stairwells.

Elevators will be available in halls that have them on a limited basis. Carts and hand trucks that are traditionally supplied to residents will be unavailable during move-in.

Staff will be available in the RA office for students to retrieve their key, ID card, and other check-in information.

Before You Get Here

Purchase what you need for your room. Coordinate with your roommate to decide who is bringing what shared items like the TV, refrigerator and rug. Refer to our “What to Bring and What Not to Bring” document and print off our suggested shopping list (PDF) to bring with you

Label Your Items

Label all items you will move into your room with your name, residence hall and room number. To make this process easier we have created labels that you can download and print (PDF) onto your own label sheets (or just print them on regular paper and tape them on). You can use 2"x4" labels (Avery 5163). If you would like to receive assistance moving in your belongings, make sure your items are labeled (including your fan, refrigerator and any other loose items you have in addition to boxes and bags).

When You Get Here

When you arrive on campus SUNY Cortland staff will be available to make the move-in process one of the easiest you will ever experience. Here is what you can expect:

  1. A University Police officer will direct you where to go to move in.
  2. Once parked, one person must stay with the vehicle.
  3. Complete the info card and place on the dashboard of your vehicle.
  4. Check in and pick up your room key.
  5. Unload vehicle immediately as instructed by staff.
  6. As soon as your vehicle is empty, move it to the Park Center parking lot. Buses will be available to shuttle you back to the residence halls.

Where to Check In

Report directly to your assigned residence hall. Visit the staff office to officially check in. Students assigned to West Campus Apartments should go directly to the West Campus Recreation Center to check in. Students assigned to College Suites should go directly to staff office.


The following halls have elevators and require you to place your belongings in a pre-marked location to wait to use the elevator:

  • Alger Hall
  • Casey Tower
  • Cheney Hall
  • Clark Hall
  • DeGroat Hall
  • Dragon Hall
  • Fitzgerald Hall
  • Glass Tower Hall
  • Higgins Hall
  • Smith Tower

Helpful Links

Residence Life and Housing Updates

Room Types

There will be no mandated triple room assignments in any of our residence halls. All rooms will be singles, double, or designed triple rooms.

Capacity Limits

Touch points in community spaces will be minimized and physical distancing promoted by reducing seating. Occupancy limits will be posted outside of common spaces in the residence halls. 

  •  Bathrooms
    • Students will be required to wear a mask when traveling to and while using the bathroom. A student may only remove their mask when in the shower stall or while brushing their teeth at the bathroom sinks. Cleaning supplies will be available in the bathroom for students to wipe down the area that they used.
  • Lounges
    • Some furniture from these spaces will be removed if possible, to minimize large gatherings. Recreational items such as ping pong paddles and pool sticks will not be available.
  • Laundry rooms
    • The Laundry View app should be used to determine what units are available at any given moment. Residents will be encouraged to fold laundry in their room to avoid densities in the laundry room. Residents will also be encouraged to use one unit at a time and to wipe down the door handle after use.
  • Kitchenettes
    • Students will be asked wipe down and sanitize the space after each use. There will be cleaning supplies available in each kitchenette for student use.

There will be limits on the number of in-hall residents that can be in a room/suite/apartment. 

Isolation Spaces

Spaces have been set aside for 14-day isolation of residents if a student tests positive for COVID-19.


Rigorous sanitizing procedures will follow CDC, New York State, and SUNY guidelines. Cleaners and custodians will clean all bathrooms at least 1-2 times per day.

PPE Requirements

Students will be required to wear a mask in all common spaces (hallways, bathrooms, laundry rooms, lounges, kitchenettes, mail pick-up areas, study rooms, and any other shared space) in the residence halls. Students will be provided at least one reusable mask to use when accessing common spaces. Students who share the same residence (i.e. double room, quad, suite, or apartment including the Leadership House) will be considered members of the same household and will not be required to wear a mask within their hall assignment.

Guests and Visitors

Residential students will not be permitted to have guests (non-SUNY Cortland students, non-residential students, siblings, family members, etc.) or visitors (residential students from another hall) in the residence halls. A form will be made available to students and staff for guest requests for special circumstances. All requests will require the approval from the Residence Life and Housing Office.


Community programming will be redesigned to offer socially distanced, online, and passive programs. Masks must be worn at all in-person programs, informal activities, and intentional interactions.


Failure to adhere to expectations for social distancing and COVID-related safety requirements will violate the Student Conduct Code failure to comply. Any students not adhering to these policies could result in conduct charges being filed.

Frequently Asked Questions

What actions can students take to help keep themselves and their fellow community members safe and healthy this fall?

There are some actions that every member of our campus community must take to keep ourselves and each other safe and healthy:

  1. If you are sick, stay home and do not go to class or work.
  2. Wear a face covering at all times indoors and outdoors when other people are nearby.
  3. Keep appropriate distance between you and others.
  4. Wash your hands frequently or use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.

Are there plans to increase cleaning in public areas within the residence halls?

Public restrooms and high touch-point areas such as elevator buttons, door handles, and handrails will be cleaned at an increased frequency.

Will there be additional cleaning supplies available for students, if needed?

Yes. Residence Halls will have designated sanitation areas and staff will be equipped with extra cleaning supplies

Will students keep the same residence hall room from August to May?

Yes. Students won’t completely move out in November. Students will be required to move out before Thanksgiving, and will be able to return when the Spring semester starts.

What should I bring to campus?

Students are encouraged to pack only what they need for September-November. You can use our What to Bring page and suggested shopping list (PDF) as guides. We also encourage you to bring items that will assist you with move-in (carts, hand trucks, plastic bins, etc. - these will not be provided by staff)

What form should a student complete if all their scheduled classes are being held remotely and the student will be living at home for fall semester?

Students may submit a form if all their scheduled classes are being held remotely and the student will be living at home for fall semester. To access the form follow the steps below:

New Students:

  1. Once you are logged into myRedDragon go to the student tab
  2. Look for the Residence Life and Housing section
  3. Select the 'Housing process and information' link
  4. From the top menu, select Forms
  5. New Student Off Campus Approval Form

 Returning Students:

  1. Once you are logged into myRedDragon go to the student tab
  2. Look for the Residence Life and Housing section
  3. Select the 'Housing process and information' link
  4. From the top menu, select Forms
  5. Release from Housing for Fall 2020 Form

Will a continuing student who stays home this semester be guaranteed housing next semester?

Yes. Students who are exempted from their housing requirement due to their scheduled classes being held remote will be guaranteed housing for the spring. Students will need complete the Wait List Housing Form for Spring 2021 (available in October 2020).

Will Blaze's Opening Crew be available to assist with move-in?

No. Blaze and his opening crew will not be able to assist this year with new student move-in.