Get comfortable – Spring 2021 looks a lot like Fall 2020


Angela Caico, Staff Writer

Any hope for things going back to normal next year can be shelved until Fall 2021, at least.

The Spring 2021 semester will mimic the Fall 2020 semester, with online classes, strictly enforced Covid-19 protocols and limited on-campus services.

Buffalo State president Katherine Conway-Turner gave an update last week on what students can expect heading into 2021.

Here are the Highlights:

Remote instruction:

The only in-person learning that will be permitted on campus are specialized major courses, and hands-on classes such as labs. When registering for a class in Banner, the time column will indicate the modality of the course. If a specific time is listed, it will be in-person. TBD means it will be remote.

*If there are any questions or discrepancies you are encouraged to email the chair of your department for clarification.

Tuition and fees:

Many students are wondering if their costs will remain the same, given this new way of life and the changes and drawbacks they are experiencing. “Most financial obligations will not be removed or reduced”, says Conway-Turner.

This is due to the fact that although remote, all professors and coursework will be held to the same academic standards as they would be in the classroom. Student fees also support operations that are not part of the core academic budget, such as;
• Athletics
• Parking and transportation
• Technology
• Health and wellness (which is currently being fully utilized and then some) – now offering mental health telehealth counseling
• Fitness center, open skate and open swim

There is also a $2000 emergency grant (Cares Act Grant) available to students who are struggling financially. This grant can be used for unexpected medical/dental services, replacement of stolen goods, childcare, or rent/bills. Students are eligible for up to one grant per calendar year. Just submit your application and the committee will schedule a meeting with you via Zoom to discuss eligibility.

The financial aid office strongly encourages students to apply for any and all possible scholarships you may qualify for, and to keep track of what courses your financial aid is paying for. You don’t want to waste your aid on electives and run out of money for your required major courses.

Student fee consultations are held periodically to evaluate costs. They are in the process of discussing new, lost-cost options for books, and exploring the idea of a flat-rate option to decrease this significant student expense.

Prayer and meditation spaces:

This is currently under review for the Spring semester and will be determined based on student needs.

The school is working on offering space in the assembly hall.

Online social engagement:

‘E-sports’ is a fun, private gaming network for students. Sign up and connect with peers who have similar interests in games.

You can even join a competitive team for SUNY-wide tournaments. Cool activities and raffles are conducted on the Buffalo State Instagram and Twitter accounts (@lifeatbuffalostate) every Friday at 2pm.

Technical issues:

The help desk is available to you for any connectivity or technical problems you come across while getting acclimated to remote learning. They can be accessed on the first floor of the E.H. Butler Library, by phone at 716-878-4357, or by email at [email protected].

While Buffalo State continues to navigate the everchanging circumstances around us, we can count on receiving consistent clarity, communication and support.

Conway-Turner strongly encourages students to pay attention to their emails for any additional updates.