Student Life Plan

The college has proceeded with all the necessary planning and safety measures for students to return to classrooms and residence halls with the start of the fall semester on August 31. A personalized, on-campus experience is the foundation of a Canisius transformative education and one that the college has been committed to for 150 years.

Arrival on Campus

Undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in the College of Arts and Sciences, the Wehle School of Business, and the School of Education and Human Services began the academic semester as planned on August 31.

Canisius staggered the arrival of undergraduate students on campus. A comprehensive schedule included plans for students who must arrive on campus early in accordance with New York State’s travel advisory and quarantine requirements. Canisius encouraged all students of our campus community to stay at home, insofar as practical, and to associate only with immediate family members in the two weeks prior to returning to campus. We believe that taking proactive steps including encouraging the entire Griff community to self-quarantine two weeks prior to arrival adds to our safety and gives us momentum at the start the semester.

All individuals who entered New York from restricted states and other countries were required to self-quarantine for 14 days. This mandatory quarantine applied to everyone (residential and commuter students), including those who have tested negative for Covid-19.  For more information on New York State’s quarantine requirement, please read the state’s FAQ.

Move In/Residence Halls

Residence Hall occupancy has been reduced so that density in each building has been decreased in response to CDC guidelines to provide a safe living and learning environment. Undergraduate students who have roommates will be considered a family unit, which will enable us to monitor, quarantine and isolate students efficiently if cases of infection occur.  Graduate students were able to arrive on campus for classes consistent with their specific program schedule. 

The student housing reduced density plan is as follows:

● Upperclassmen will be able to select apartments as designated capacity.
● Bosch and Frisch = 254 freshmen or 4.2 students to a bathroom and 2.1 shower
● Dugan = 197 or 12.8 to a bathroom and 6.4 to shower
● Village = 128 or 2.1 students to a bathroom
● Delavan = 193 students or 2.1 students to a bathroom
● Total projected residence housing = 772 (62% of total capacity)

Consistent with local and state guidelines regarding safety and public distancing, the following expectations are required for residential students, when they arrive and throughout the year:

  • Residents must wear a facemask at all times when outside of their rooms or in campus buildings. Masks are not required but still recommended while outside with proper distancing.
  • All outside guest visitation will be prohibited. Canisius residents will be allowed to visit each other but non-Canisius students will not be allowed to enter the halls.
  • Elevator occupancy will be limited to maximum capacities as follows:
    • All locations: Maximum of four (4) persons, all must wear face coverings.
  • Lounge occupancy will be limited to maximum capacities as follows:
    • Dugan: Eight (8) persons at a time.
    • Bosch & Frisch: Six (6) persons at a time.
    • Face coverings required
  • Designated travel direction in stairwells to eliminate cross traffic.
    • Dugan: Middle stairwell to travel up/enter; End stairwells travel down/exit.
    • Bosch & Frisch: Middle stairwell to travel up/enter; End stairwell travel down/exit.
    • Village: Front stairwell to travel up/enter; Rear stairwell to travel down/exit.
    • Delavan A: Stairwell 1 (east end) and Stairwell 3 to travel up/enter; Stairwell 2 & Stairwell 4 (west end) to travel down/exit.
    • Delavan C & D: East stairwell to travel up/enter; West stairwell to travel down/exit
  • Designate one entrance for each building.
  • Laundry rooms occupancy will be limited to maximum capacities as follows:
    • Dugan: One (1) person at a time
    • Bosch & Frisch: Four (4) persons at a time; Two (2) at washers and Two (2) at dryers.
    • Delavan Townhouse & Village Townhouse: Four (4) persons at a time; Two (2) at washers and Two (2) at dryers.


Classes Began August 31

Undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in the College of Arts and Sciences, the Wehle School of Business, and the School of Education and Human Services began the academic semester as planned on August 31. Canisius has eliminated the Labor Day and fall break, making the last day of in-person classes November 24, when we break for the Thanksgiving holiday. After that date, all remaining instruction will move online. Undergraduate students will not be required to return to campus. Anyone who wishes to remain in the residence halls and access available dining and student services will be able to do so by registering with Student Life.

Physical Distancing

Physical distancing of at least six feet of separation will be implemented throughout the campus - in the classrooms and in all other public spaces.  Signage is placed prominently on floors for queues and at designated entrance and exit points.  Building “flow plans” reduce bi-directional foot traffic within buildings and maximize physical distancing.  Informational signs placed throughout campus support the importance of excellent hygiene, symptoms of illness, and ways to seek assistance.  

Click here to watch a video detailing signage across campus.

Daily Health Assessment

Students arriving on campus are not required to be tested for Covid-19 unless they are symptomatic. However, all faculty and staff are required to complete a daily health screening prior to reporting to work on campus.  Additionally, a mobile app, Campus Clear, is available for student use. Students are encouraged to utilize this daily self-monitoring tool whenever they are on campus. Results will be assessed periodically by a designated team in the Office of Student Health. If anyone reports symptoms or has been exposed to someone potentially infected, the college will initiate its protocols to care for the student and contain, monitor and track illness.

Student Engagement & Co-Curricular Activities

All student gatherings are limited to 50 people or in accord with current CDC and New York State social distancing guidelines and all health, safety and disinfecting procedures outlined in the plan will be strictly followed. There will be a two-hour gap between events to sanitize the rooms/chairs.

Student clubs and organization gatherings may continue but students are encouraged to hold meetings via Zoom to maintain social distancing. All in-person public events, lectures, entertainment and performances at Canisius will be canceled for the 2020-21 academic year and the college will not lease its space for other public events to external clients.

Campus Ministry continuea to hold Masses weekly with distancing guidelines enforced. All mass and wedding services follow recommendations developed by the Diocese of Buffalo.

Student shuttle services operated through WeCare will oversee the shuttle process. No more than eight riders will be permitted at a time and face coverings are required at all times. The shuttle will be disinfected before it leaves the lot in the morning and during all breaks.


If anyone is suspected of illness or diagnosed with Covid-19, a plan for containment, quarantine and isolation has been developed. If a student whose home residence is located within our region (within 250 miles of campus) must be quarantined or becomes sick, they should plan to return home. There is limited isolation/quarantine space available on campus and the college wants to ensure that anyone who may fall ill receives the best care possible.

For more specifics on isolation and quarantine procedures, visit Isolation and Quarantine.

Additional Resources