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Daily Digest: SUNY New Paltz News

Posted on: Friday, August 7, 2020 at 10:00 AM

We created this daily newsletter to keep students, faculty and staff informed about campus news and resources for distance learning, while also reducing the volume of emails we're all receiving. Read more here.


  • Call for volunteers: Help us welcome students at a reimagined Convocation
  • Save the Date: State of the College, Aug. 21 at 9:30 a.m.
  • Daily health screening questionnaire is now live for students
  • New resource for faculty: Toolkit on student behavior during reopening
  • Updates on tenure clock extension from the SUNY-UUP MOU
  • FAQ of the Day: Why is the College charging regular tuition and fees when most courses are online?
  • From Our Community: The Dorsky Museum prepares for fall
  • Theses and Capstones: The humble fungus
  • Events and opportunities
  • The latest from media

News from around campus

Call for volunteers: Help us welcome students at a reimagined Convocation event, Aug. 19
Faculty and staff are invited to join a festive, socially distant, outdoor parade for new students

Save the Date: State of the College Address, Friday, Aug. 21, at 9:30 a.m.
President Christian's update to the campus community will be live-streamed

Daily health screening questionnaire is now live on
All students and employees will be expected to complete the screening every day they intend to be on campus
App is already accessible to students and will launch for faculty and staff on Monday, Aug. 17

New Paltz Forward faculty toolkit on student behavior enforcement
Recommended best practices for syllabus statements, classroom management and more

Tenure clock extension & review materials on the SUNY-UUP MOU
New information and reminders for faculty from the Division of Academic Affairs


Reopening FAQ of the day

Why is the College charging regular tuition and fees when most courses are online during the fall 2020 semester?
Despite the atypical nature of this upcoming fall semester, the College will continue to charge its standard tuition and fees. Our academic programs and broader campus operations require intensive human and capital resources, whether in-person or remote. 
Here is further information about some of these charges:
  • Tuition: Tuition charges are set at the state level and determined by the SUNY Board of Trustees, not the College. Additionally, many aspects of our academic teaching/learning experiences will continue to be sustained this fall, regardless of the remote environment. 
  • Technology Fee: While some students may be off campus and using their own laptop and WiFi connection, this fee supports the College's basic infrastructure that's essential for students and their daily functionality, including in a remote world (things like access to Blackboard, registration and billing, student technology support, etc.). 
  • Athletics Fee: This fee was reduced following the SUNY Athletic Conference's announcement that the fall season of competition would be suspended. The remaining fee supports the many Athletic & Wellness Center programs that are continuing this semester, including virtual offerings designed specifically for students who are taking classes remotely.
  • Student Health Fee: All of our students, including commuters, can use our Student Health Services through tele-medicine, as well as our counseling services. Students can also get prescriptions, as determined by our campus physicians.
  • Gift to New Paltz: This is a voluntary fee and students may choose to opt out of paying it each semester. 
We understand that the pandemic has caused many challenges for our students and their families and we will continue to offer support in whatever ways we can, while maintaining our community's health and safety. 
The College's fall 2020 reopening plan is highly detailed and dense, and our corresponding list of FAQs runs to more than 10,000 words (and counting!). In an effort to make this very important information more digestible for campus community members, we're highlighting questions and answers in this newsletter, one per day, as the fall semester approaches.
Please note: We are working to update and add FAQs as planning continues and this situation evolves. We will prioritize sharing the most current information in this space.

From our community

Things will be a little different at the Dorsky Museum this fall, but there will still be a full slate of exhibitions to see. The Dorsky (@dorskymuseum) shared this sneak preview from the installation of a piece by rising Hudson Valley artist Michelle Batho (@bird_batho). Stay tuned for more updates about upcoming exhibitions and how the Dorsky Museum is preparing to safely welcome friends and visitors this fall.

Events and opportunities

Trainings from the Office of Human Resources, Diversity & Inclusion

All faculty and staff must complete this 12-minute video training before returning to campus
Required for New York State employees prior to return to working on-site
Training covers new safety protocols, instructions for daily health screening and more

Dismantling Racism: Alumni Perspectives town hall rescheduled for Aug. 11
Event postponed due to power outages will be held next week

Summer evening meteor shower, Aug. 11 at the Smolen Observatory
Planetarium Director Raj Pandya invites all members of the community (limit 50 participants) to a special night of outdoor, socially distant stargazing

From the Chronicle of Higher Education: Preparing Instructors for an Uncertain Fall, Aug. 11 at 2 p.m.
Join a panel of university leaders from across the nation for a virtual forum that explores what it means for institutions to be prepared for the various learning environments and how colleges can best train and support faculty members to make such pivots


Coronavirus updates

Aug. 7 report on confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the campus community
No new cases to report as of 4 p.m. yesterday


The latest from media

First students return to SUNY New Paltz this week
Local update on international students' arrival
New Paltz Times, 8/5/20


Spring 2020 capstones and theses

It was genuinely difficult to keep up with the staggering volume of galleries, exhibitions, original research and video presentations New Paltz students published at the end of the 2019-20 academic year. With just weeks to go until the fall semester, we're taking advantage of a few more opportunities to give this exceptional scholarship and creative work its due.
Today, drawing inspiration from the humble fungus, from Gap in the Clouds, the Art Department's exhibition of senior capstones.
Hawke Franzese '20 (Visual Arts)
“The world around us is always growing and decaying. There are many things that aid in this cycle but one of the main organisms that help with this is the humble mushroom. In my art, I aim to portray these odd but wonderful fungi with both metal and other sculptural materials. Through a wide variety of shapes, colors, and materials, I define the many different types of mushrooms from harmless and edible to very deadly ... I want these works to capture the eye of the viewer and make them think about the complexity of something that seems so common but has so much more that lies beneath the surface.”

Daily Digest readers: We want to hear from you! 

Our team is seeking input on how this newsletter can best serve students, faculty and staff as we all adjust to new ways of teaching, learning, working and living.
We're inviting submissions* and ideas of all kinds:
  • Have important news to share with the SUNY New Paltz community?
  • Developed an innovative solution to improve remote teaching and learning?
  • Figured out a lifehack to help yourself stay positive?
  • Want to share a photograph with friends and colleagues?
Please just reply to this email or write to and let us know what you would like to see in this space. Thank you!
*Note: Opinions expressed by our contributors belong solely to their authors and do not necessarily reflect the positions of SUNY New Paltz.
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Message originally distributed via: SUNY New Paltz News