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

Parent & Family Update


Parent & Family Communications

We are pleased to share with you a new resource for parents and family members: the Parent and Family Resource Guide. This printable, accessible PDF has lots of in-depth information about what to expect in your students’ experience, how things work at Colgate, and where to turn for support if necessary.


Read the Guide


Public health

Move-in, Colgate Together Style

Student embracing family member at move in

Student move-in is a monumental endeavor under any circumstances. A typical arrival day at the beginning of the academic year involves moving approximately 500 new students into their residence halls on a single warm summer day. Last weekend, we welcomed 2,700 students back to campus during two very harsh wintery days — a herculean task. In that same timeframe, Student Health Services and other staff members conducted thousands of COVID-19 tests. We’re doing all of this together so we can be together. Thank you to all the employees and families helping our students!

student signing in to move in day

Out-of-pocket COVID-19 Test Expenses

Students who paid out of pocket to meet pre-arrival COVID-19 testing requirements may request reimbursement by sending an email to They should be sure to include the receipt or proof of payment.

Universal Quarantine (Gate 0)

In order to replicate the success of the fall, with students’ arrival on campus over the weekend, we have returned to Gate 0, a.k.a. universal quarantine. This time around, Gate 0 will last at least 10 days, with the potential to move to Gate 1 following analysis of results from the second round of testing, which takes place during the week of 2/1. Read more on the Gates of Reopening page.

To keep their muscles — or entire person — from freezing up in the Hamilton winter, student recreation time has been redefined. During the activity and wellness period, students are permitted to fully traverse the contiguous campus and the available activity areas. However, recreation should be limited to the activity areas outlined on the Physical Activity and Wellness Time page.

While students are out collecting meals, packages, and fresh air, they might catch a glimpse of faculty and staff members taking wastewater samples for testing. Those efforts will continue throughout the semester.

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

Health Analytics Dashboard

The Health Analytics team continuously evaluates numerous data points related to Colgate’s return to on-campus operations to ensure effective public health measures are in place. Check out the Health Analytics Dashboard.

Colgate’s Contact Tracing Team

Colgate is grateful to the faculty and staff members who have volunteered to join the University’s new contact tracing team for the second semester. These individuals have already dedicated significant time to the Johns Hopkins contact tracer certification process, and they will be offering more hours to help control the spread of COVID on campus in the days and weeks ahead. Contact tracing is a vital function in keeping instances of the virus low on campus, and their efforts demonstrate their strong commitment to community health.

COVID-19 Vaccine

We are pleased to share news about COVID-19 vaccine distribution at Colgate. The University has received New York State approval to become a vaccine provider once doses become available. In addition, Colgate is working with the Madison County Department of Health and Community Memorial Hospital to provide future assistance with vaccine administration for the area community.

So, what does this mean? Colgate will handle the eventual administration of vaccines for all faculty, staff, and students on campus. Currently, those in NYS Phases 1a and 1b are the only individuals who are eligible to receive the vaccine. We do not yet know when Colgate will be receiving doses to administer.

This does not change the number of vaccine doses the county receives. By administering vaccines, Colgate helps to free up appointment slots in Madison County for individuals not affiliated with the University and also allows us to offer coordinated distribution for the Colgate community. Additional details will be shared with the campus community once we know more about when doses may be available and how people can sign up for a time slot.


Updates from Campus

Work Safe. Play Safe.

The Student Government Association (SGA) is beginning a peer-led campaign, “Work Safe, Play Safe,” to encourage compliance with the Commitment to Community Health while working to support students in a more holistic way. Students can find valuable information and resources and engage with the SGA more closely on the ColgateSGA Instagram account. Other “Work Safe, Play Safe” initiatives will address the many challenges that have arisen from the pandemic, such as issues of academic, mental, and social wellness. “The success of this semester is contingent on our support of one another,” said SGA President Amarachi Iheanyichukwu ’21, “and we want to do our part by supporting you all the best we can . . . Thank you again for your grace and determination; if we work safe and play safe, we can make the spring semester a good one!”

Last Friday, as students started to return to campus, Colgate announced historic news: applications more than doubled this year, from just over 8,000 to more than 17,000. Our students’ commitment to community health and successful completion of in-person instruction last semester were among many reasons for this remarkable result. As Laura Jack, VP of Communications, said in Friday’s Colgate Together campus digest, “I want to acknowledge you here today and thank you again for taking care of each other. The world noticed . . . Thank you for being ambassadors for community health and for this University.”

During winter break, Colgate’s ITS network administrators installed new high-speed network switches in all residence halls, boosting uplink speeds to the campus network core tenfold. All townhouse apartments have enhanced wireless coverage; four to five new wireless access points (AP) were added to the existing APs. The University also purchased additional wireless APs to address low wireless coverage areas reported by students to the Colgate helpline.


Final Thoughts

“On behalf of our Board of Education, students, faculty, and staff, I would like to extend our sincere appreciation for your commitment to community health [during the fall] semester. Our district has been able to stay open for in-person instruction, in part by your actions, and we would like to say thank you to the students, faculty, and staff of Colgate, from all of us here at HCS.”

— William Dowsland, Superintendent of Schools, Hamilton Central School

“From both my family and our school community, we would like to thank the entire Colgate faculty, staff, and student body for their commitment to community health this semester. In every interaction that I had within the Hamilton community, from the grocery story to the golf course, it was evident that this commitment was done due to the selfless nature of all. Well done!”

— Brian J. Latella, Elementary Principal/Director of Special Education, Madison Central School


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

Parents and Family Newsletter

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