Many Stony Brook students were left with questions after the university suddenly announced, on March 17, that students would be required to move off-campus immediately, so The Statesman asked Stony Brook officials for more information. This is their response (edits are noted with brackets):
Editor’s note: As the COVID-19 pandemic response is a constantly evolving situation, the following responses may change within the next hour, or the next day(s) to reflect evolving protocols and decisions.
Q: Is this decision definitely for the rest of the semester?
A: Yes, the decision is for the rest of the semester.
Q: Why was this decision made, and why was it made now? A lot of people are wondering why it’s so sudden, and why they need to move out so quickly.
A: As we follow the guidance being updated daily by all levels of state government and by SUNY, we are anticipating increased travel restrictions and have put these plans in place for the continued safety of our students and to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Q: Why don’t students have the weekend to move out? Parents [and/or guardians] work during the week. Especially for students who live far away, it might be difficult for them to collect their things.
A: Please see above.
Q: Will students be refunded the daily rate for days not spent in their dorm room, or will it be prorated in a different way?
A: Room and meal plan costs (where applicable) will be prorated for the remainder of the semester for all students leaving campus housing and applied as a refund and/or credit to your student account based on the date of check out.
Q: Will meal plans, such as swipes, also be credited as money to student accounts, or will they roll over to the next semester? Some students are asking if they’ll only get dining dollars back.
A: Please see above.
Q: Will students be able to be tested for COVID-19 before they go home to their parents? Many chose to stay on campus because they were afraid that they would [infect] them.
A: Call your healthcare professional if you feel sick with fever, cough, or [have] difficulty breathing, and have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19, or if you live in or have recently traveled from an area with ongoing spread of COVID-19. Your healthcare professional will work with New York State DOH and CDC to determine if you need to be tested for COVID-19. If you’re a student, you can call Student Health [Service] at 631-632-6740 or your healthcare provider.
Q: What will happen to international students, and students who don’t have good home situations? Some people don’t have anywhere else to go, and some international students may be restricted from traveling home.
A: Dormitory space should only house those students with special circumstances: International students and students where other safe living and dining arrangements cannot be made or have limited or no access to technology may return to campus facilities. All those seeking exceptions should complete the form for special consideration and will receive a response within 24 hours.
Q: Will there be measures taken for students who don’t have their own laptops or internet access at home?
A: Please see above.
Q: Will dorms be used as a makeshift hospital or to quarantine people?
A: Stony Brook University stands ready to do all we can to help support the state’s public health system as we deal with an increase in coronavirus cases and we’ll share information if and when plans are put in places.
Q: Why didn’t every dorm receive the email at once? Some residents are saying that they haven’t received it yet.
A: All resident students received this email. If, for some reason, a student who lives on campus did not receive this email, they should contact [email protected].
Q: The email says that there will be exceptions on a case-by-case basis — what are some examples of students who can stay?
A: See previous response above.
Q: If students choose to stay on campus, will they be allowed to stay in their rooms or will they be required to move into a different building? I know the email says they may be assigned to alternative housing.
A: Students who remain on campus may be assigned to an alternate living space once we know who is approved to remain on campus. Personal preferences will not be accommodated for students who remain in campus housing.
Q: Will students on campus be allowed to leave at all? For instance, I know a journalism major whose final project is based on [Long Island] but he isn’t from around here. He would need to leave campus to work on it.
A: Students who stay on campus are expected to remain on our campus for their own safety, the safety of fellow students, and the broader community.
Q: Will dining be closed? Since there are some exceptions to campus move out, there’s some confusion about how those students will eat.
A: To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, starting today, [campus] dining has moved its operations to take-out only. However, these options will be open prior to and after spring break. There will be several dining locations open to accommodate students. These dining options will adhere to all safety recommendations. To view the dining schedule, visit stonybrook.edu/dining.
Q: Will [the Student Health Service] be totally closed?
A: No, Student Health [Service] is open and will remain open. For hours of operations, visit stonybrook.edu/shs or call (631) 632-6740 [and press] Option 2.
Q: Will CAPS stay open in any capacity, and will their after-hours line continue to operate?
A: Yes, students will still be able to speak to CAPS counselors. CAPS After Hours is operating and will continue to operate. For students needing support, call (631) 632-6720, and press 2 to speak to a professional counselor.
Q: Will the university add another week onto the end of the semester?
A: No, at this time, a decision has not been made to add an additional week onto the end of the semester.
Q: Some students need the money back to pay their bills if they’re going to stay here. When will refunds be issued?
A: The adjustment may take several days to post to a student’s University account after the move out process is complete.