Student Life Plan

The college is proceeding with all the necessary planning and safety measures for students to return to classrooms and residence halls with the start of the fall semester. 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

The college will stagger the arrival of undergraduate students on campus. A comprehensive schedule will be available soon. Graduate students will arrive on campus for classes consistent with their specific program schedules. Please look for more information from your program directors or supervisors.

As of August 4, 2020, all individuals entering New York from restricted states and other countries are required to self-quarantine for 14 days. This mandatory quarantine applies to everyone (residential and commuter students), including those who have tested negative for COVID-19. To “quarantine” means that you stay in an off campus location or your designated campus housing and not be in public or other campus buildings, grounds or common areas for 14 days; beginning the last day you were in a designated restricted state or country.

For more information on New York State’s quarantine requirement, please read the state’s FAQ

Given the quarantine requirements noted above, all students coming from restricted states and other countries should plan adequate time to quarantine. Please contact the Office of Student Life if you have questions or need more information.

Visit Quarantine Requirements for more information and ways in which students can satisfy these requirements. 

Move In/Residence Halls

Residence Hall occupancy is reduced in each building 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 the college to monitor, quarantine and isolate students efficiently if cases of infection occur.  

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.
  • Floor lounges will be limited to a capacity of six people at a time.  Masks must be worn in common areas.
  • Elevators will be limited to four people at a time.
  • In each building, the middle stairwell will be restricted to going up and the stairwells at the end of each hallway will be restricted to going down.

New Student Orientation

The college will offer New Student Orientation in a hybrid manner beginning Friday, August 28, to provide students time to transition to the campus and social distancing expectations prior to beginning classes.  Unfortuantely, New Student Orientation will be limited to students only.  No family or parent events are planned on campus because of social distancing requirements.  More details will be provided in the following weeks but below is the tentative schedule:

Friday, August 28, 2020

*All presentations will be live streamed over Zoom in classrooms.

11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Sessions with Academic Departments

*Students will be assigned classroom spaces for these sessions by major and limited capacity.  Orientation leaders will be present to facilitate and help field any questions for faculty. 

3:30 - 3:50 p.m., 4:00 - 4:20 p.m., 4:30 - 4:50 p.m.

General Interest Sessions

*More information to come

Classes Begin 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 begin the academic semester as planned on August 31. Labor Day and fall break are eliminated making the last day of in-person classes November 24, when the college breaks for the Thanksgiving holiday. After that date, all remaining instruction will move online.  Undergraduate students are not required to return to campus.  Students who wish to remain in the residence halls and access available dining and student services are 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.  

Monitoring Your Health

Faculty, staff and students will read and attest to a Campus Pledge when they arrive back on campus affirming their commitment to following the guidelines established by the college to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and to help protect members of the college community and their families.

Daily Health Assessment

Students arriving on campus are not required to be tested for COVID-19. However, all students, faculty and staff are required to take a Daily Health Assessment.  A mobile app will be available for student use upon arrival in the fall.  These daily screenings inform our designated team of anyone who may have symptoms or has been exposed to someone potentially infected and enables the college to take appropriate measures to contain, monitor and track illness. 


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