Colgate University Parent and Family Newsletter
Colgate University Parent & Family Newsletter Summer 2020

Parent & Family Update


Welcoming the Spring 2021 Semester

The campus is buzzing as we prepare to welcome the students studying on campus and those who will join us remotely for the Spring 2021 semester. On Monday, President Brian W. Casey shared a heartfelt video message with the students.

Brian Casey Youtube Screeenshot

Public health

Student Arrival On Campus

As Colgate welcomes students back to campus for the spring 2021 semester, the arrival process will include practices and guidelines designed to protect the health and safety of all. Learn more about the check-in process.

Students who have outstanding items on their checklist have been contacted by email. For the health and safety of all in the campus community, and for our ability to successfully resume and maintain in-person instruction throughout the semester, it is essential that they complete all required items on their checklist before arriving on campus.

Icons for face coverings, hand washing, commitment, distancing, and cleaning

Universal Quarantine

All students arriving at Colgate for the spring 2021 semester will immediately enter mandatory universal quarantine in their residences. The quarantine requirement includes seniors living in privately owned off-campus housing. The mandatory quarantine page provides students with updated information on what to expect — and what’s expected of them.


A calendar of more than 150 activities offers students a wide variety of events, programs, recreational, and creative options to have a bit of fun, connect with others, explore interests, engage in career exploration, and de-stress during the quarantine — of course, they will be in class and studying as well!

Recreation programming offers Outdoor Education adventures, fitness classes, challenges, competitions, and tournaments.

New Coop Kits provide a chance to get creative and connect with friends. Options include Bob Ross paint sets, games, crafts, exercise bands, and more. Students received a form to request a free kit, available for pickup Jan. 24–Feb. 5, 11 a.m.–1 p.m., at the Coop CLSI window. It's theirs to keep. Students who are learning remotely are also welcome to order kits; they just need to include their address on the request form.

MLK Week illustration

Each day, ’Gate Giveaways — new books, snacks, crafts, and more — will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. (while supplies last) at the Coop for students living up the hill and at Parker Commons for our students living down the hill and off campus.

The University’s Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration spans the quarantine with a wide range of events and a keynote by Angela Davis.


This semester, for students participating in quarantine grab-and-go meals, dining venues will be open for pickup instead of deliveries to each residence hall. With this change, students can customize their food choices and portion sizes while also reducing food and packaging waste.

Each residence has been assigned a dining venue and specific pickup window of at least 30 minutes each for lunch and dinner. Although we encourage students to bring plenty of their favorite snacks and beverages, there will be more options at every meal, snack and beverage choices, and continental breakfast for the following day will be picked up at each dinner service.


See the menu


Students not participating in the grab-and-go quarantine meals are encouraged to bring enough groceries to last until grocery delivery services can begin. Students are not permitted to leave their residence for in-store grocery shopping once they enter quarantine, and, in most cases, travel restrictions will prevent them from entering a grocery store upon arrival in New York State. Students may order groceries and/or individually packaged meals from any local business as long as they can provide contactless payment in advance and ensure minimal contact with a delivery person, who should not enter any buildings on campus. Students should limit shared meal orders to direct family unit members. Several local businesses have delivery services available:

Package Pickup and Textbook Delivery

During the Universal Quarantine, students will be able to retrieve packages and textbooks in person at specific locations and scheduled times during recreation hours.

Gates of Reopening

Again this semester, Colgate will move through Gates of Reopening. The University has updated the Gates based on evaluation of Fall 2020 experiences. We encouraged students to read more about the revised Gates on the Colgate Together website before they arrive on campus.


Updates from Campus


Spring 2021 classes start on Monday, January 25, all in remote format for the duration of the Universal Quarantine. All classes (excluding labs) will meet for 20-minute remote sessions according to the Half-Day Schedule, irrespective of their regularly scheduled days. Classes will begin meeting on their regularly scheduled days/times on Tuesday, January 26.

The Drop/Add period is Sunday, January 24, through Wednesday, February 3. This period is allotted for students to amend their course schedule, with instructor permission where required.

Water Quality Update

Yesterday, Environmental Health and Safety updated the campus community about the elevated lead levels discovered at some lower-campus properties in the fall of 2019.

“Water sampling for lead has continued on a regular basis, and we are pleased to report that test results have remained below the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Lead and Copper Rule (LCR) action level for several consecutive months,” said Mary Williams, director of Environmental Health and Safety (EHS).

EHS staff will continue to conduct routine sampling where elevated lead levels had been previously observed, along with periodic sampling of all University facilities to monitor water quality across campus. At this point, and following several consecutive monthly water test results below the EPA Lead and Copper Rule action levels, the University will discontinue the mitigation measures in place over the last year.

As a best practice, the use of in-line and faucet-mount NSF-certified filtration systems will continue; however, temporary water coolers that were installed last year have been removed. Colgate continues to communicate regularly with the Madison County Department of Health and the Village of Hamilton regarding water quality, and we will continue to monitor the University’s drinking water as a standard practice.


Read the full update


Final Thoughts

Scenic winter campus photo

Wishing your students a safe start to the semester next week!


How to reach us
Rebecca Downing
Senior Director, Communications and Parent Initiatives

Parent and family resources

For urgent concerns
→ Concern about a student’s well-being
→ Campus safety Emergency: 1-315-228-7333

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