Everything You Need to Know About Restarting Bing for the Spring

Posted by John Brhel on January 28, 2021

We’re excited to welcome back students for the spring semester! Like every semester, there are a lot of things to keep in mind -- and there is even more to consider with COVID-19 still in the picture. Here are some of the most important things to remember as we work to safely and efficiently restart campus for the spring semester.

It’s more like move-in “week”

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To accommodate COVID-19 testing and manage density, move-in will take place over several days, from Friday, Feb. 5 through Wednesday, Feb. 10. 

Masks are essential

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Anyone in a Binghamton University (or University affiliated) space (including buildings, grounds, shared laboratory areas, conference rooms, hallways, restrooms, elevators, parking structures, etc.) must wear a face covering or mask that covers both nose and mouth at all times even when social distancing 6 feet apart.

All students living on campus will be tested for the coronavirus

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Incoming resident students will be tested at the Surveillance Testing Center before they are allowed to enter their residence hall. Only students will be permitted to enter the residence halls following testing. 

All students who will be on campus will be screened

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All residential students and off-campus students who will have any on-campus classes or responsibilities will be required to affirm that they have been symptom-free, have not traveled out of state and have not been exposed to a COVID-19 positive individual during the 14-day period prior to their coming to campus.

You should park in the Visitor’s Paid Lot/Lot W

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The Visitor’s Paid Lot/Lot W will be used by families during the move-in. Only employees with proximity card access to that lot will be allowed to park there from Feb. 5-10. Lot M will be used for overflow parking and Lot Q will be available for ADA parking. Lots P and Q2 will be closed to accommodate students moving in.

We will do more COVID-19 testing this semester

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COVID-19 testing will now be done on a weekly basis, as follows: Resident students will continue to receive the rapid antigen test that was utilized this past fall. Non-resident students, faculty and staff will receive a pooled PCR test and receive results in 36 to 48 hours. If a positive result comes from a pooled test, individuals in that pool will be retested and receive results in about 24 hours. Faculty and staff will be asked through a message to be sent Tuesday, Feb. 2, if they are to be fully remote or coming to campus this semester to establish who will need to be tested throughout the semester.

Students must schedule an appointment for COVID-19 testing

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There are no walk-in appointments at Decker Student Health Services Center. All appointments, including for symptomatic COVID-19 testing, will begin at Decker Student Health Services Center via teleheath. All students wishing to receive medical care at Decker Student Health Services must call 607-777-2221 to begin the triage process. In addition, no walk-in appointments are taken at the Surveillance Testing Center in Old Union Hall. Students will be contacted via email when they are to schedule a surveillance test.

Student activities will continue, with some limitations

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Student life will operate programming and support services in accordance with the Restarting Binghamton Plan. In an effort to continue to encourage outdoor recreation, the campus is adding a temporary outdoor ice-skating rink that will operate in accordance with state guidelines for such facilities. Student activities are primarily virtual other than activities that are inherently outdoor activities. Spaces used for indoor activities received air filtration upgrades prior to the fall semester, and any such activities must be reserved through a process that validates the space is suitable for the number of attendees with social distancing.

Campus will be as clean as can be

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Physical Facilities has deployed cleaning staff from third shift to first to enhance the cleaning of high-traffic areas and touch points across the campus, adhering to hygiene, cleaning and disinfection requirements from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Department of Health.

Vaccinations are managed by the state, not the University

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Vaccinations and vaccination appointments are managed by NY state, and the University is unable to control or coordinate them. Find answers to commonly asked questions about vaccinations in the Restarting Binghamton FAQs, under the Vaccines and vaccinations and COVID-19 testing sections online. If you have been vaccinated for COVID-19, and come to campus on a regular basis, you will still be subject to the weekly surveillance testing and required to wear a mask.

The semester will look a little different

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The spring 2021 semester begins Thursday, Feb. 11 (pharmacy and some nursing classes will begin online Monday, Feb. 8, to accommodate clinical rotations.), with all in-person final exams completed by May 21. There is an online exam period from May 24-26. This spring semester will not include a spring break. However, to help our students get some much-needed time to recharge during the spring semester, we have scheduled three nonconsecutive days off. These days were determined by the Student Association Executive Board in collaboration with the Student Association Congress. These days are Wednesday, March 17; Thursday, April 8; and Tuesday April 20.

40% of classes will have an in-person component

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Spring 2021 course delivery will utilize the same range of course delivery modes as outlined in our fall 2020 course delivery plan. Just like in fall 2020, approximately 40% of classes will have an in-person component. (The exact number will be posted on the website when available.) After reviewing the results of multiple student surveys about their learning experience in the fall 2020 semester, we have made a number of improvements. Among these are limiting the number of fully asynchronous courses and a greater emphasis on fostering student engagement with faculty and with other students regardless of the course delivery mode.

We have a FAQ for your questions

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A number of frequently asked questions and resource pages are available for everything from surveillance testing to academic success.

Restarting Binghamton FAQs 

Surveillance testing FAQs

Safe Housing (student isolation/quarantine) FAQs

Resources for student academic success 

Here to help resources for students

John Brhel is a communications manager in the Office of Media and Public Relations and a longtime resident of the Binghamton area. When he's not managing social media accounts or crafting press releases, you can find him drawing, watching movies, or spending time with his family.

Have questions, comments or concerns about the blog? Email us at social@binghamton.edu.