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‘#FREDstrong’ students finish on campus

Banners such as this one reminded students to wear facial coverings.

State University of New York at Fredonia students headed home during the past few weeks and will finish out the semester online.

“Congratulations, Big Blue Family! We did it! You remained #FREDstrong, took care of each other, and kept your focus on your academic success this fall,” reads the university’s recent Facebook post. “After the break, we finish the semester with distance learning.”

In his final “Thursday Update,” President Dr. Stephen Kolison shared his final thoughts with the students regarding the fall semester.

All in-person classes ceased on Friday and the whole campus will first, enjoy their Thanksgiving Break, and second, carry out the rest of the semester virtually, which is one more week of classes and then finals week, starting Dec. 7.

“SUNY Fredonia faculty, staff, and students, there are no words that can adequately express how proud I am of our entire campus community for what we have achieved. During an unprecedented pandemic, and despite many concerns and a spike in positive cases early in the semester, the Big Blue Family took the situation seriously, held each other accountable and supported each other,” Kolison said. “Not only did you adhere to the new social norms of mask-wearing and physical distancing, you participated in surveillance testing that increased steadily throughout the semester.”

Over the past two weeks, there have been more than 3,000 tests performed, with only 26 of those being positive. As of Friday, in total, there were 9,303 tests performed throughout the whole semester, with only 66 positives. Compared to other SUNY campuses and other colleges, this number was quite low.

“Consider your efforts in the context of the bigger picture. Approximately a dozen colleges and universities across New York sent students home earlier than planned this semester. Within the SUNY System, two schools “paused” in-person classes for multiple weeks, and one university sent students home shortly after the fall semester began,” he wrote. “Even as the number of positive cases increased in the region this past month, our positivity rate on campus actually decreased. This achievement is a tremendous testament to all of you!”

Kolison also took the time in his last weekly report for the semester to thank all of the faculty, staff, reopening committee, and administration who helped the process of the fall semester run smoothly. He also thanked local and state leaders in the community for working with the campus to pull it through successfully.

On Wednesday, Fredonia faculty and staff surprised students with a car parade through campus to congratulate them on reaching the end of the fall 2020 semester successfully and safely. Kolison ended the email to the students with a well-wish and a reminder: “Students, I wish you all safe travels. Remember that the virus is everywhere. So, please remain vigilant and continue to practice the behaviors you’ve performed well all semester here at Fredonia. Be safe, be well, be rested, and be ready to re-engage with your classes when we return to campus in February 2021.”

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