Chancellor Malatras Responds to Large Parties Held By SUNY Cortland Students

February 15, 2021

"I have received a report from the City of Cortland Police Department about large unauthorized parties held by SUNY Cortland students in recent weeks. At least one of the parties had up to 100 people packed into a house. As a result, there have been several arrests of SUNY Cortland Students. I thank the City of Cortland and Cortland University Police Departments for their joint effort and tireless work.

While I understand the fatigue and frustration of dealing with COVID, this is reckless and unacceptable behavior. Let us not forget that SUNY Cortland ended its fall semester on a state-mandated pause. If the actions of a small minority of students aren’t reversed immediately, the college will be put on a path toward a similar fate for the spring semester. Although low, SUNY Cortland’s COVID positivity rate is the highest of all SUNY campuses in the Central New York region.

Screenshot of central NY SUNY schools and their covid case counts as of february 15 2021

Source: SUNY COVID Tracker 

These unauthorized large parties could result in a significant increase in COVID cases. SUNY Cortland’s Administration must take control of this situation and they have begun taking disciplinary actions. To monitor any potential issues arising from these parties, I’ve asked SUNY Cortland to implement twice weekly testing of all students—on or off campus—for at least the next two weeks.

As a system SUNY has done extraordinarily well, with nearly one million tests and a statewide COVID positivity rate of just 0.52%. However, we cannot let a handful of selfish individuals ruin the semester and shutdown in-person learning for everyone else. We’ve come too far and we cannot go back. There is light at the end of the tunnel only if we stick together and respect the rules and one another."

About the State University of New York
The State University of New York is the largest comprehensive system of higher education in the United States, and more than 95 percent of all New Yorkers live within 30 miles of any one of SUNY’s 64 colleges and universities. Across the system, SUNY has four academic health centers, five hospitals, four medical schools, two dental schools, a law school, the state’s only college of optometry, and manages one US Department of Energy National Laboratory. In total, SUNY serves about 1.3 million students in credit-bearing courses and programs, continuing education, and community outreach programs. SUNY oversees nearly a quarter of academic research in New York. Research expenditures system-wide are nearly $1.1 billion in fiscal year 2021, including significant contributions from students and faculty. There are more than three million SUNY alumni worldwide, and one in three New Yorkers with a college degree is a SUNY alum. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunity, visit suny.edu.


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