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Messages from the VP

 

July 30, 2021

Subject: Commuter Students: Submit Proof of Your COVID-19 Vaccination by August 15 

Dear Seawolves, 

Our records indicate that you have not yet submitted proof of your COVID-19 vaccination.  If you are enrolled or plan to enroll at Stony Brook this fall and don’t submit proof of vaccination by August 15, you will be required to wear a face covering while indoors in all campus buildings and obtain and submit a weekly negative COVID test in order to continue your enrollment at Stony Brook.

Please read these FAQs for more information:

Am I required to be vaccinated if I am commuting or living off-campus? 

We strongly recommend all commuter and off-campus students get vaccinated against COVID-19.  This measure will help ensure the health and safety of our campus community.  Per New York State policy, the vaccine will be required for all students upon FDA full approval of one of the COVID vaccines. 

What should I do if I have been vaccinated?
If you have received your COVID-19 vaccine, please submit your proof of vaccination to the Wolfie Health Portal by August 15.  All commuter students who submit proof of their COVID-19 vaccination by August 15 will be entered into a raffle for a chance to win Apple Airpods.  Six winners will be selected!

What should I do if I have been partially vaccinated?

If you have received the first dose of a two dose vaccine (i.e., Pfizer or Moderna which requires two doses), please submit the partial vaccination status to the Wolfie Health Portal by August 15 and indicate the scheduled date of your second dose.  After your second dose, submit your complete COVID vaccination record to the Wolfie Health Portal .

What is required if I do not submit proof of vaccination by August 15 or are unvaccinated?

If you will be physically on campus at any point during the fall semester, you are required to wear a face covering while indoors in all campus buildings, maintain physical distancing, and follow these weekly COVID test procedures:

  1. Obtain a weekly negative COVID test through an off-campus provider , beginning with the first week you are physically on campus through the end of finals. You are financially responsible for any testing costs incurred that are not covered by your health insurance.
  2. Upload your weekly negative COVID test result to the Wolfie Health Portal , starting the first week you are on campus through the end of finals.   Failure to comply with this requirement may result in deregistration of your fall classes and a referral to the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards.

What should I do if I am enrolled in all online classes this fall and will not be coming to campus?

If you are enrolled in all online classes and will not be physically present on campus at any time during the fall semester, you are not subject to the weekly COVID testing requirement.  Please complete this FORM by August 15.

What if I am an employee on campus who is enrolled in classes, and have already submitted my vaccination information to SOLAR?

If you are an employee on campus who is enrolled in classes, you must still submit your vaccination information to the Wolfie Health Portal by August 15 .

Where can I obtain a COVID-19 vaccine?

If you do not have access to a COVID-19 vaccine or cannot complete your vaccine series before you arrive on campus, and wish to be vaccinated, we will offer you the vaccine for free on campus.  Vaccines will be offered on a walk-in basis as follows:

Chapin Commons - Monday, August 2 - 1:30-4 pm; Tuesday, August 3 - Friday, August 6 - 10 am - 4 pm; Monday, August 9 - 1:30-4 pm; Tuesday, August 10 - Friday, August 13 - 10 am - 4 pm. 

Student Activities Center - Rooms 226 and 227 - Monday, August 16 - Friday, August 20 and Monday, August 23 - Friday, August 27 - 10 am - 4 pm each day.

Note that you will be required to obtain a weekly negative COVID-19 test until you are fully vaccinated. 

Can I submit a request for an exemption?

Since the COVID-19 vaccine is currently not required for commuter and off-campus students, there is no exemption process.  All unvaccinated students are required to obtain and submit a weekly negative COVID test, wear a facial covering except when sitting and eating a meal, and maintain physical distancing. 

Thank you for doing your part to keep our campus community safe.  We look forward to welcoming you to campus soon!

Sincerely, 

Rick Gatteau, PhD
Vice President for Student Affairs

Marisa Bisiani, DNP, ANP-BC
Assistant Vice President
Student Health, Wellness, and Prevention Services

 


July 16, 2021 

Subject: Important Update: COVID-19 Vaccine Requirement for Resident Students 

Dear Seawolves, 

From the onset of the pandemic, the safety of our campus community has been our top priority. In support of Stony Brook University’s commitment to health and safety, we are requiring all resident students to be vaccinated against COVID-19. This health policy update means that, with limited exceptions, all students planning to live on campus as a residential student in the Fall 2021 semester must be fully vaccinated. 

The importance of an effective vaccination program in order to make our residential community safer for all cannot be overstated, especially since students who live together sharing common spaces are at a higher risk of infection. The benefits of the COVID-19 vaccination include prevention of serious illness, hospitalization, and death from the virus. Broad immunization is critical to help stop the current pandemic and to protect our University community.  

If you have already submitted proof of your COVID-19 vaccination to the  Wolfie Health Portal  you don't need to do anything further.

If you have not yet submitted proof of your COVID-19 vaccination, you are required to do so (or as noted below, submit a request for a medical or religious exemption) to the Wolfie Health Portal by August 1, 2021. 

Partially Vaccinated Students: 

If you are only partially vaccinated by August 1, you must submit your partial vaccination status by August 1, 2021 to the Wolfie Health Portal, and include the scheduled date of your second vaccination.  For planning purposes, Pfizer requires a two-dose vaccination 21 days apart.  Moderna requires a two-dose vaccination 28 days apart.  J&J requires only one dose.  If you receive the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, you must complete your second dose before you arrive on campus.  Once you are fully vaccinated, you must submit your updated vaccination information to the Wolfie Health Portal .

International Students: 

If you are an international student currently residing outside of the United States and have questions about acceptable COVID-19 vaccines, please review the FAQs on the Stronger Together website.   

If you do not have access to any COVID-19 vaccine in your home country or cannot complete your vaccine series before you arrive in the United States, and are not requesting a religious or medical exemption (please see details below), we will offer you the vaccine for free upon your arrival to campus.  You will be permitted to check into campus housing, but MUST complete this form by August 1, 2021, indicating that you agree to receive the COVID-19 vaccine on campus.  Student Health Services will send a message to your Stony Brook email account with the dates and times when you will receive your COVID-19 vaccine.  You will be required to participate in free on-campus COVID-19 testing twice per week until you are fully vaccinated.  More information about campus testing will be shared with you upon your arrival.

Medical and Religious Exemptions:

You may request an exemption from the residential COVID-19 vaccination requirement for medical or religious reasons. Exemption requests are evaluated on a case-by-case basis; they are NOT automatically granted. If you are granted an exemption, you will be required to follow the guidelines for unvaccinated residential students (see below). 

The COVID-19 vaccination exemption request forms are available on the Student Health Services website at https://www.stonybrook.edu/commcms/studentaffairs/shs/COVID-Vaccine_Exemptions.php .

Outcomes of requests will be communicated to you by secure messaging through the Wolfie Health Portal . Requests for exemptions must be written and signed by you if you are 18 years of age or older, or a parent or guardian if you are under the age of 18. 

The deadline to submit a request for a medical or religious exemption is August 1, 2021

Medical Exemptions:  

If you are requesting an exemption from the COVID-19 vaccination requirement for medical reasons, you are required to submit a statement from a licensed healthcare provider such as a Medical Doctor, Nurse Practitioner, or Physician Assistant identifying the medical contraindication and the time period for which the exemption is being requested. The document must be signed by the licensed healthcare provider and include the provider’s contact information.  

Requests for consideration for a medical exemption must be submitted through the  Wolfie Health Portal by August 1, 2021 utilizing the COVID-19 Vaccine Medical Exemption form

Student Health Services medical staff will review exemption requests in the same manner as they do for other immunization exemption requests.  Medical exemptions are reviewed annually.   

Reasons for a medical exemption include:

  • Documented history of severe allergic reaction to a component of each currently available COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Documented history of severe or immediate-type hypersensitivity allergic reaction to a COVID-19 vaccine, and separate contraindication to other available formulations.
  • Receiving immunosuppressive (weakens the immune system) treatment and advised by a medical provider to defer vaccination until a future date.

Examples of conditions that are NOT considered for a medical exemption include:

  • History of COVID-19 infection or positive antibody screen is not considered a substitute for vaccination.
  • History of severe allergic reactions to foods, latex, pets, insects, and environmental triggers.
  • Fear of needles.
  • History of vaccine side effects or general avoidance of vaccines.
Religious Exemptions:

If you hold genuine and sincere religious beliefs that are contrary to COVID-19 vaccination, you may request exemption from the vaccination requirement by submitting a written statement on the COVID-19 Vaccine Religious Exemption Request form to the  Wolfie Health Portal by August 1, 2021 .  In your statement, please explain how receiving the COVID-19 vaccination conflicts with your sincere religious belief or practice. Student Health Services medical staff will review exemption requests in the same manner as they do for other immunization exemption requests.

Guidelines for Students Living on Campus who are Approved for an Exemption of the Vaccination Requirement:

If you are granted an exemption, you will still be able to live in on-campus housing; however, you are required to follow the guidelines for unvaccinated residential students:   

Unvaccinated residential students are required to: 

  • Participate in mandatory COVID-19 surveillance testing twice a week .
  • Maintain six feet of physical distance and wear a mask at all times when indoors except when in their residence hall room, suite, or apartment; or when eating meals on campus while seated.

Stony Brook University reserves the right to reassign exempted unvaccinated students from their current housing assignment. 

Students with exemptions who fail to abide by Stony Brook’s COVID-19 Pandemic Health & Safety Policy will be subject to the student conduct process and possible removal from housing.

It is the responsibility of the student to schedule and complete testing twice weekly as long as they remain unvaccinated or are not yet fully vaccinated (less than two weeks post-completion of vaccination or vaccination series).  It is also the responsibility of the student to notify Student Health Services if their vaccination status has changed.

If you have any questions about the exemption process, please contact Student Health Services at (631) 632-6740. 

As you prepare to return to campus, please complete these requirements in a timely manner, as those who do not submit their proof of full vaccination and who have not applied for and received an exemption will not be permitted to move into the residence halls. 

Thank you for keeping our campus community safe. We look forward to seeing you in the fall! 

Sincerely, 

Rick Gatteau, PhD
Vice President for Student Affairs


Marisa Bisiani, DNP, ANP-BC
Assistant Vice President
Student Health, Wellness, and Prevention Services




June 9, 2021

Subject: COVID Vaccination, Quarantine, & Testing Update 

Dear Seawolves,

If you are a new or continuing undergraduate or graduate student, we look forward to welcoming you to Stony Brook this fall.  We understand that you may have questions regarding the COVID vaccination requirement (please see message below from May 25)  for Stony Brook students, contingent on final approval by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of a COVID-19 vaccine(s). 

To best respond to your questions about vaccination requirements, quarantine, and testing, we have compiled answers to several Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) .  These FAQs will provide you with more detailed information, including what you should do if you don’t have access to an FDA-approved vaccine.

If you have already been vaccinated, or you will be vaccinated in the coming weeks, please submit your vaccination record as soon as possible, but no later than August 9, through the Wolfie Health Portal (formerly Medicat) using this link . For instructions on how to upload your vaccination record, please review this tutorial

Please read carefully these FAQs . Should you have any additional questions not included in these FAQs, please reach out to Student Affairs at studentaffairs@stonybrook.edu

Sincerely,

Rick Gatteau, PhD
Vice President for Student Affairs

Marisa Bisiani, DNP, ANP-BC
Assistant Vice President for Student Health, Wellness, & Prevention Services

 


May 25, 2021

Subject: COVID Vaccine Requirement & Testing Updates for Students 

Dear Seawolves,

As you may already know, Governor Cuomo has announced that students at SUNY and CUNY colleges and universities will be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 before arriving on campus this fall. If you are enrolled in at least one in-person class or visit campus for any reason, including conducting research; working on campus; participating in athletic practices; or visiting the library, academic buildings or other campus facilities, this requirement also applies to you. 

Although this requirement is contingent on final approval by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of a COVID-19 vaccine, we anticipate that the FDA will formally take up approval of a COVID-19 vaccine soon. 

To avoid any disruption and to promote a healthy campus environment, we strongly encourage you to get vaccinated for COVID-19 as soon as possible, and ideally before arriving on campus this fall. 

To be considered fully vaccinated, you need to complete your vaccination series -- one dose of Johnson & Johnson, or the second dose of Moderna or Pfizer, two weeks prior to your arrival to campus for the start of the fall semester.  For most students, that date is between August 1-9, depending upon the date you move into the residence halls or commute to campus for your first class.  Fall classes begin on Monday, August 23.

If you have already been vaccinated, please submit your vaccination record TODAY through the Student Health Services Medicat portal using this link . For instructions on how to upload your vaccination record, please review this tutorial

If you are an international student currently residing outside of the United States and either do not have access to one of the three approved vaccines in the United States -- Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, and Pfizer -- or you have received a different vaccine, we will provide you with additional guidance soon.  We will offer COVID-19 vaccines upon arrival at Stony Brook if you do not have access to a vaccine prior to your travels to the United States.

At this time, Stony Brook does not have specific guidance from the New York State Department of Health regarding possible exemptions from the COVID-19 vaccine requirements. While we anticipate that these exemptions will follow a similar process for other mandatory vaccines such as measles, mumps and rubella (MMR), we expect any exemptions from the COVID-19 vaccine requirement will be limited and will require proper documentation. 

Once on campus this fall, as part of our ongoing efforts to ensure a safe campus environment, we will conduct COVID-19 surveillance testing in accordance with New York State guidelines in effect at that time.  Frequent COVID testing will be required of students who are not vaccinated.

We will provide more direction on the vaccine requirement as soon as it is made available by SUNY and New York State.  In the interim, if you have not already done so, we encourage you to get vaccinated. 

Thank you for your patience given this evolving situation.  We will send you additional updates in the coming weeks.  I look forward to welcoming you in-person this fall!  

Sincerely, 

Rick Gatteau, PhD
Vice President for Student Affairs

 


 

May 12, 2021

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,

I am very pleased to share that Dr. Ric McClendon has been appointed as Stony Brook University's Assistant Vice President and Dean of Students effective July 12, 2021.

Ric has served as the Associate Director of Student Centers at George Mason University for the last six years, and previously served as the Director of Student Engagement and the Brandt Student Center at Shenandoah University for four years.  He also worked previously in Fraternity & Sorority Life as well as Residential Education at Colgate University.  Finally, Ric worked in the Center for Alcohol & Drug Issues at Western Carolina University.

Ric earned his Bachelor's degree in Hospitality and Tourism and Master's degree in College Student Personnel at Western Carolina University, and his Doctor of Education in Administrative Leadership at Shenandoah University.

As the Assistant Vice President and Dean of Students, Ric will have overall responsibility for several departments and functions in Student Affairs, including New Student Programs, Family Services and Support, Student Support Team, Multicultural Affairs including the LGBTQ* Center and UNITI Cultural Center, Student Centers including the SAC and Union, Student Engagement and Activities, Student Community Development, and Athletic Bands.  The AVP/Dean of Students will play a pivotal role in successfully transitioning our undergraduate and graduate students to Stony Brook and in strengthening students' connection, sense of belonging, and retention.

My sincere thanks to the search committee led by Dr. Marianna Savoca, and our members including Dr. Janet Clarke, Dr. Judi Brown Clarke, Al deVries, Rob Pertusati, and Lindsi Walker.  I appreciate your hard work and dedication to this process.

Thank you for welcoming Ric to our Stony Brook community!

Sincerely,

Rick Gatteau, PhD
Vice President for Student Affairs

 

 

May 6, 2021

Dear Colleagues,

This summer, we are excited to welcome 4,800 new undergraduates to our Stony Brook community.  And we need your help.  We are creating a comprehensive Welcome Week, offering expanded programming from August 15-22 for all 3,400 new first year and 1,400 new transfer students prior to the first day of fall classes on Monday, August 23. 

A key goal of Welcome Week is to successfully transition our new Seawolves into our campus community.  This includes offering several hundred opportunities for students to gather in small groups throughout the week to strengthen their sense of belonging and connection.  These small groups --most often an hour in length during various days and times of Welcome Week-- are part of our "Choose Your Own" events, activities, and workshops.  And we need your involvement to make these small group opportunities a success!  

If you have a particular skill or interest, or want to offer an in-person or virtual workshop on a topic that helps acclimate students to Stony Brook, or just want to help lead a fun or social activity, we're aiming to have as many faculty and staff as possible participate. We're looking for creative ways for new students to get to know you and each other.  If you're looking for ideas, please see this LIST.  For any events you're interested in leading (or offering with another colleague), we will provide you with a location and supplies (as needed), and a student Orientation Leader on site (or virtually for remote programs) to help.  New students will sign up in advance for all "Choose Your Own" small group activities, and all in-person activities will follow COVID safety protocols.

Please click HERE to complete your interest form in leading one or more events, activities, and workshops by Friday, May 28.  If you wish to offer multiple events/workshops of the same program, you only need to fill out the form once.  If you wish to offer different workshops/events, please fill out the form for each proposed workshop/event.  Upon receipt of your interest form(s), the New Student Programs team will be in touch with you to discuss and confirm dates, times, locations, and other relevant details.  If you have any questions, please reach out to Kat Colantuoni, Coordinator of New Student Programs, at katherine.colantuoni@stonybrook.edu.

Thank you in advance for your support of this new initiative and for spending some time getting to know the newest members of our Stony Brook community!  

Sincerely,

Rick Gatteau, Vice President for Student Affairs
Nakiya Findley Drago, Interim Director, New Student Programs