SUNY Chancellor visits North Country to discuss ongoing COVID response

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Left to right:

SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras (left) greeted SUNY Potsdam Officer-in-Charge Dr. John Graham as he arrived on campus

SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras during an on-campus meeting at SUNY Canton

POTSDAM, N.Y. (WWTI) — SUNY Potsdam and Canton were paid a visit by the state education’s system top leader on Wednesday.

To discuss ongoing pandemic response and a “path forward,” SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras met with leaders from both institutions in Potsdam and Canton on September 8. Chancellor Malatras visited as both schools recently began their fall 2021 semester in the final weeks of August.

While at SUNY Potsdam, Chancellor Malatras met with Officer-in-Charge John Graham, Dean of Students Eric Duchscher, Director of Residence Life Julie Dold, Director of Environmental Health and Safety Patrick O’Brien, University Police Chief Tim Ashley II, Student Government Association President Nick Hausman and student contact tracer Nikki Ramirez. The group discussed SUNY Potsdam’s reopening plan for fall 2021.

During his visit, the Chancellor highlighted Potsdam’s high vaccination rate and energy on-campus.

“Today at SUNY Potsdam, I saw first-hand the excitement and energy among the students and staff I met, and I know they are committed to keep this positive energy going,” Malatras said. “Further proof is Potsdam’s on-campus student vaccination rate of 92%, and Dr. John Graham and his team will continue to remain vigilant in helping more students get vaccinated by the mandate deadline. “

Then at a brief meeting at SUNY Canton’s Richard W. Miller Campus Center, Chancellor Malatras met with President Zvi Szafran and many other college officials and students. This was the second time the Chancellor had visited SUNY Canton this year.

“We know what works in the fight against COVID-19-getting vaccinated and being on top of current health and safety practices to keep each other safe,” Chancellor Malatras said. President Szafran is working with local health officials to get the remaining unvaccinated students vaccinated. Now that students are back on campus, they want to stay here, and all of us at SUNY will help make sure that happens.”

Currently, 86% of SUNY Canton students in residence have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. During the Chancellor’s visit, President Szafran told the chancellor about his vison for the college.

“The Chancellor’s focus fits well with SUNY Canton’s plans now and for the next several years,” Szafran said. “There are a lot of opportunities for New Yorkers to improve their career prospects, and we are the place that can help.”

All students within the State University of New York education system are required to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 by September 27, 2021 if they have a physical presence on campus.

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