FAQ

Niagara University's Response

Throughout the spring and summer months, Niagara University has been very busy preparing for the fall semester on Monteagle Ridge. The university is continuing to follow guidance from elected officials and health organizations from the federal, state/province, and local levels, and has developed “Forward Niagara,” a detailed blueprint that will guide us to safely resume on-campus learning, living, and working for the fall semester.

Forward Niagara Restart Plan

The University’s planning and response is guided by consultation with, and direction from, local, state, and provincial health authorities, including Niagara County Department of Health, New York State Department of Health, public health authorities of Ontario, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The University will use this site as a primary method to share information and updates.  Additionally, mass-email or other mass-notification systems may be used as necessary based on pertinent developments.

Niagara’s new cleaning provider, UG2, offers exceptional skill and expertise in cleaning solutions. The UG2 “ReNew” program was developed specifically in response to the COVID-19 pandemic with a goal of providing an exceptionally pristine and healthy campus environment that mitigates the risk of infection. The two-step process includes both cleaning and disinfection.

Technological enhancements offered by UG2 include the use of electrostatic sprayers that provide comprehensive, touchless disinfecting of all remote surfaces in a room, exceeding that which could be done manually.

In addition to enhanced cleaning protocols, heavy traffic areas (entrances, lobbies, elevators) will be cleaned and disinfected four times each day, and student spaces (residence hall restrooms and lounges, Gallagher Center, library) will also be cleaned at a higher frequency as well.

Specialized touchpoint disinfectant specialists will be easily identified in yellow shirts.

To provide the university community additional assurance of a healthy work environment, cleaning supplies, such as disinfecting wipes, will be made available throughout the campus for use, as desired, in work spaces and on office equipment.

  • Expedited procurement of cleaning supplies, hand sanitizer and other essential resources
  • Allowing qualified professionals other than doctors and nurses to conduct testing
  • Expedited procurement of testing supplies and equipment
  • Expedited personnel onboarding
  • Expedited leasing of lab space
  • Allowing EMS personnel to transport patients to quarantine locations other than just hospitals
  • Providing clear basis for price gouging and enforcement investigation
  • May also enable the state to request federal assistance if the state does not have enough resources to address or contain the emergency.

Bi-National Campus

In  keeping with the recommendations of health authorities and Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada's Chief Public Health Officer, it is recommended that all Canadians "postpone or cancel all non-essential travel outside of Canada."    Travel Advisory

Further information can be found at:  Government of Canada

In addition, the Ontario Government has updated a new site with a self-check section which can be found here:  Self-Check

City of Vaughan Update Page

Government of Ontario Update Page

Niagara University in Ontario

No, you will be able to continue past the initial due date to complete your practicum days, even if it extends beyond the current semester.

No, the Ontario Ministry of Education in consultation with the Ontario College of Teachers has amended Regulation 176/10 (Teachers’ Qualifications) with respect to practicum placement for candidates in their final semester of an Ontario initial teacher education program. Candidates who have not completed the 80-day requirement but who have completed all other graduation components of the program including a portion of the practicum will still be eligible for Certification as long as the missed days were solely as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.

Health and Safety

Reported illnesses have ranged from mild to severe and have typically appeared 2-14 days after exposure with symptoms of fever, cough, and shortness of breath.

The following everyday practices are important steps to prevent the spread of all viruses and illness:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

Masks must be worn by employees and students at all times when in the presence of others and regardless of the ability to remain 6 feet apart. This applies to classrooms, common work spaces, meeting rooms, etc. Masks are not a substitute for social distancing.

All employees will be provided with one cloth mask, and students will be provided with two. These masks are three-ply, 100% cotton, and contain copper and silver, which provide antimicrobial properties. They can be washed up to 15 times.

Surgical masks and N95 masks (please contact Adrienne Kasbaum, director of student health and wellness, for more information about obtaining these kinds of masks), clear masks and shields, gloves and gowns, lab coats and lab-specific equipment will also be available, as needed. The athletics department will also have pulse-oximeters and infrared thermometers available.

In addition, all students, faculty, staff, and administrators will be provided with one refillable 4 oz. bottle of hand sanitizer. Refill stations will be situated in 10 locations on campus.

All undergraduate students, faculty, staff, and administrators will be required to complete a daily symptom check using a comprehensive assessment tool that will enable us to monitor and track COVID-19 symptoms and reduce the risk of infection while maintaining privacy.

Screening of graduate students will take place on a less frequent, but regular basis.

Upon their arrival to campus, all out-of-state and international students will be tested for COVID-19 through our existing partnership with Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center (NFMMC). In addition, in alignment with MAAC recommendations, all student-athletes will also be tested.

Students who exhibit signs and symptoms of COVID-19 will be referred for testing through NFMMC and/or tested in the Health Services office as needed throughout the semester. Health Services and NFMMC will work in partnership with the Niagara County Department of Health in the contact tracing of COVID + students. 

Students who test positive for COVID-19 or exhibit signs and symptoms will be required to isolate for a minimum of 10 days, and those who are exposed will be required to quarantine for 14 days. Off-campus isolation/quarantine housing is available at a local hotel for both resident and commuter students. Students are also allowed to return home. The procedures at the hotel are in compliance with Niagara County Department of Health protocols, and students will be monitored by Health Services staff, in partnership with Niagara Falls Memorial Hospital staff. Meals will be provided and Residence Life staff will be on hand to assist students as needed.

Providing off-campus arrangements for these students is expected to contain the virus and minimize its spread on campus.

Our new cleaning provider, UG2, offers exceptional skill and expertise in cleaning solutions. The UG2 “ReNew” program was developed specifically in response to the COVID-19 pandemic to provide an exceptionally pristine and healthy campus environment that mitigates the risk of infection. The two-step process includes both cleaning and disinfection.
Technological enhancements offered by UG2 include the use of electrostatic sprayers that provide comprehensive, touchless disinfecting of all remote surfaces in a room, exceeding that which could be done manually.

In addition to enhanced cleaning protocols, heavy traffic areas (entrances, lobbies, elevators) and student spaces (residence hall bathrooms and lounges, Gallagher Center, library) will be cleaned and disinfected four times each day.

Specialized touchpoint disinfectant specialists will be easily identified in yellow shirts.

To provide the university community additional assurance of a healthy work environment, cleaning supplies, such as disinfecting wipes, will be made available throughout the campus for use, as desired, in work spaces and on office equipment.

Each campus building is being analyzed and modified as necessary to ensure compliance with detailed New York state guidelines regarding physical distancing, protective equipment, hygiene and cleaning, communication, and screening.
Signage that incorporates augmented reality to provide real-time physical distancing, entrance and exit information is being installed, as are floor decals denoting 6-foot distancing and traffic flow.

Furniture is being reconfigured to reduce density and capacity of communal spaces (6-foot spacing) and transparent barriers will be installed as necessary. This includes academic classrooms and additional spaces that will be used for instruction.

Once the assessment is completed and necessary alterations implemented, specific offices, at 50% occupancy, will be approved for opening.

Telehealth and tele-counseling options will complement in-person appointments, which will be scheduled as necessary. There will be no walk-in services offered.

Students in Niagara’s Ontario programs and on the Lewiston campus are encouraged to take advantage of counseling resources if they are finding difficulty in managing stress and anxiety.  These resources can be reached at:

Counseling Services - Lewiston Campus:
(716) 286-8536
Contact

Counseling Services - Vaughn Campus:
Ms. Sabrina Buzzanca

The Kiernan Center has a web page with a list of online resources for the campus community. https://www.niagara.edu/fitness-wellness-program/

As per the Niagara County Department of Health, as long as physical distancing measures (wearing masks and remaining at least 6 feet apart) is maintained in classrooms, there is no need to cancel a class in which a student has tested positive for COVID-19. 

International Students

Continuing students can study completely online as an F-1 student without consequences to their I-20. If you are unsure if you are a continuing student, look at the top of your I-20 under “form issue reason”.

Initial students who are studying from inside the United States cannot study completely online and must register for courses that require their physical presence on-campus (i.e. traditional in-person lecture or hybrid).

Initial students who are studying from outside the United States can study completely online for the Fall semester. Niagara University will defer your I-20 to reflect a start date of Spring 2021. See below for information about deferring an I-20.

All students are still required to carry a full time course load (9 credits for graduate students and 12 credits for undergraduate students).

If you are an initial status student for Fall 2020 but cannot (or choose not to) physically enter the United States to begin your program, you may choose to defer your I-20 to the Spring 2021 semester.  This fall, you CAN progress in your program from your home country while waiting for international travel to open back up. You have the option of enrolling in a fully online course load as long as you remain outside of the United States. Please email Amanda or Sarina so that your I-20 can be appropriately amended.  

If you are a continuing student and will be continuing to study from outside the United States, your I-20 is unaffected but you are still required to complete check-in for your I-20. See below for more information about international check-in.

All students with an I-20 are required to check-in with the Office of International Relations within the first two weeks of the semester or risk termination of their I-20. This includes students studying inside the United States as well as students studying from their home countries. We will not be allowing walk-ins for check-in in order to prioritize the health and safety of our students and employees. You should have received an email to your Niagara University email account with instructions about how to complete check-in for the fall semester.  If you did not receive this email, please reach out to Amanda or Sarina immediately. 

No. The government repealed this policy decision and so you will not be required to present an updated I-20 to enter the U.S.; rather, you should plan on entering with your most recent I-20.

The Office of International Relations did issue a support letter requesting students with a valid visa and active I-20 be allowed to enter the U.S. to resume their course of study or begin their course of study in-person. This was sent to your Niagara University email account so please print the letter and present it with your I-20 when you are traveling to the U.S. and going through Customs. This letter does not guarantee admittance to the U.S. but rather acts as an added measure of support.

Unfortunately, there is not an easy answer to this as the situation is constantly changing. Please check the State Department’s website for the most recent travel advisories.  Please note, just because you hold an F-1 visa does not mean you are exempt from travel advisories.  If your country is listed as one from which travel is restricted, please confirm you will be allowed to enter the United States before making any travel arrangements. 

New York State currently has restrictions in place that limit an individual’s ability to travel to other states that are considered to have a significant degree of community-wide spread of COVID-19.  This means that if you travel outside of NYS, you are responsible for self-reporting this travel and quarantining, if required.  Information about restricted states and expectations upon returning to NYS can be found online here. Failure to adhere to these regulations has significant consequences and could jeopardize your status as an F-1 student. 

Yes, of course. We will continue to make tutoring and conversation practice available to support your continued language development. Schedules of these services will be available closer to the start of the semester.

Athletics, Clubs, Etc...

In alignment with MAAC recommendations, all student-athletes will be tested when they return to campus for the fall 2020 semester.

In addition, student-athletes will be monitored by sports medicine personnel and screened multiple times throughout the day during team activities, practices, and competition.

Masks will be required at all times other than during active training and competition, and cleaning protocols for athletics venues, equipment, and facilities have been enhanced to include both cleaning and disinfection, with special focus on heavy traffic areas. 

Division I athletic competition for fall sports (men’s and women’s soccer, cross country and volleyball) has been cancelled. Athletic related activities, including small group training, may be conducted in accordance with state and local regulations and NCAA guidelines.

Mandatory meetings of student clubs and organizations will be held virtually, and both in-person and online events will be offered. In-person events will be smaller in size and masks and physical distancing will be enforced. Outdoor areas, such as the O’Shea Quad, will be used as much as possible for events and other gatherings.

Per New York state guidelines, each area of the facility will be limited to 33% capacity. The capacity for each area will be clearly marked and staffed with a Kiernan Center staff member (who will be required to have their temperature checked and show proof of completing their daily screening upon entering the center). They will monitor capacity, compliance with protocols, and perform cleaning of equipment.

Locker rooms will be available, at a limited capacity, for changing and bathroom use only. However, lockers will be locked and shower areas and saunas will be closed and unavailable for use.

Bathrooms and locker rooms will be cleaned and sanitized every two hours at a minimum, and high-touch areas are being cleaned by UG2 on a regular basis throughout the day.

Air purifiers and window exhaust fans are being installed where possible to comply with NYS guidelines.

Bottle filling stations will be available, but drinking fountains have been disabled.

Certain activities will be restricted or not permitted. For example, no competitive activities, such as pickup basketball (1 on 1, 3 on 3, 5 on 5), will be permitted. Shooting on the basketball courts will be allowed, but everyone must maintain 6 feet of distance at all times.

The club sports program will offer only sports that promote proper social distancing, such as golf. Team involvement and community building opportunities will be offered to those sports that are unable to compete to ensure they maintain their connection and involvement with their teams. Many of these will be done virtually.

Accordingly, only intramural sports that promote social distancing will be offered, such as Kan-Jam, badminton, bag-toss, etc.

Everyone entering the Kiernan Center must swipe their NU ID card to be permitted access to the facility, and will be required to show proof that they completed their daily health screening through myNU. They will also be required to have their temperature checked.

Face coverings must be worn at all times while in the facility, regardless of activity (unless swimming). Acceptable face coverings include cloth face masks and disposable surgical masks. Bandanas, gaiters, and buffs are not acceptable face coverings, per New York state guidelines. No one will be allowed entrance without acceptable face coverings.

Everyone will be required to sanitize equipment before and after use, using wipes provided in green tubs located throughout each fitness area.

Only current Niagara University students, faculty, and staff will be permitted to enter the Kiernan Center. No guests, alumni, or community members will be permitted.

To ensure we have appropriate staffing, the Kiernan Center fitness areas and gyms will be open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m.-8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. during fall 2020.

New York Travel Advisory Quarantine

New York State has issued a Travel Advisory effective Thursday, June 25, 2020. If you have traveled from within one of the designated states with significant COVID-19 community spread, you must quarantine for 14-days when you enter New York State from the last travel within such designated state, provided on the date you enter into New York State that such state met the criteria for requiring such quarantine. Those traveling from designated states (whether by air or ground) must also complete a Traveler Health Form. The latest designated states, and the online Traveler Health Form, may be found at the following site: https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/covid-19-travel-advisory

Niagara University requires that all students from states affected by the New York State Travel Advisory to be in New York State, or another state NOT affected by the Travel Advisory, to complete the 14-day quarantine period prior to the beginning of classes on August 24. Students must register their plans for quarantine with Niagara University by completing information on MyNU:

All students traveling from Travel Advisory states must be tested for COVID-19 shortly upon arrival to the University-sponsored hotel, the Western New York area, or during the first week of classes. Further testing detail are below.

Students may choose among many options for completing the quarantine period, including:

  • Staying in the University-sponsored hotel in Niagara Falls, NY (available to Fall ‘20 Resident Students)
  • Staying in local place of fall ‘20 residence (for students living off-campus in the fall)
  • Staying with friends or family in New York State
  • Staying with friends or family in another state NOT affected by the Travel Advisory*
  • Staying in any hotel, Airbnb, campground, or other vacation or travel accommodation in New York State
  • Staying in any hotel, Airbnb, campground, or other vacation or travel accommodation in another state NOT affected by the Travel Advisory*

*Please be advised that if you quarantine in any state that is added to the New York State Travel Advisory list after your arrival, you may be subject to “reset” the 14-day quarantine period from a non-affected state.

Fall ’20 Resident-Students accepting the University-sponsored quarantine hotel will stay at the Niagara Riverside Resort

7001 Buffalo Avenue

Niagara Falls, New York 14304

United States

  • Single hotel room with private bathroom
  • Breakfast, lunch, and dinner provided
  • On-site Residence Life staff
  • Access to tele-health for physical and mental health support
  • Very limited access to general hotel and outdoor spaces (consistent with New York State quarantine requirements)
  • Travel prohibited off of the hotel property for the duration of the quarantine period (except in the event of an emergency)

Students registering for the sponsored hotel can arrive August 4th – August 10th. You will first travel to campus to drop-off your residence hall belongings.

  • First-year students participating in New Student Orientation (NSO) need to arrive by August 5th in order to complete the quarantine period by the start of NSO on August 20th.
  • Other Students must arrive on or before August 10th in order to complete the quarantine period prior to the first-day of classes on August 24.
  • Student-athletes and International students should confirm arrival dates with coaching staff or the office of International Relations

Students staying in the University-sponsored hotel will first arrive to campus to drop-off belongings either in your fall residence hall room (if it is available) or at the Kiernan Recreation Center where items will be temporarily stored until your return to campus for move-in.

All students will arrive at the Kiernan Recreation Center to receive direction on item move-in or storage. Following on-campus item move-in/drop-off you will proceed to the Niagara Riverside Resort. Campus arrival times at the Kiernan Recreation Center are as follows:

  • Tuesday, August 4: 9:00am – 2:00pm
  • Wednesday, August 5: 9:00am – 2:00pm
  • Thursday, August 6: 9:00am – 2:00pm
  • Friday, August 7: 9:00am – 2:00pm
  • Monday, August 10: 9:00am – 2:00pm

Any belongings you will need at the hotel should be brought with you from campus as you will not have opportunity to access belongings on campus once you arrive at the hotel.

Students who are unable to access their Residence Hall room to move-in belongings will store items at the Kiernan Recreation Center.  Items stored in the Kiernan Recreation Center will be moved by professional movers to your Residence Hall room by the start of New Student Orientation, Thursday, August 20, for First Year students, or by Sunday, August 23rd for returning students.

COVID-19 testing will take place based on the following schedule:

For early-arriving students staying in the Western New York Area

On campus testing (Health Services, Butler Building Parking Lot)

  • Tuesday, August 4th – 1pm-3pm

For students staying in the University-sponsored hotel

On-site testing (details to be provided after arrival)

  • Friday, August 7th.

For all other students from Travel Advisory States not tested previously

On campus testing (Health Services Office, Butler Building)

  • August 24th – August 28th

International Students

Dr. Deborah T. Curtis
Vice President, International Relations and the Brennan Center
PO Box 1944
Niagara University, NY 14109
Send Email
+1-716-286-8711

Student-Athletes

Simon Gray
Director of Athletics
Send Email

General Student Questions

Jason Jakubowski
Dean of Students
Send Email

Library

The Library Building may be closed, but the online resources are extensive and the staff are available to help:

  • Visit the Library Home Page. Look for the chat button on the web site to receive immediate assistance.
  • Text the Library at 716-803-6464 or email ask@niagara.libanswers.com.
  • Explore Research Guides to find recommended resources by subject. Online appointments are available with your department librarian if you need assistance with your research assignments. 
  • Access the Library's extensive collection of Research Databases.
  • The national interlibrary loan network has mostly shut down. For your document delivery needs, please email, rather than submitting an ILLiad request.
  • Learn about the Library’s distance education offerings here

Academic Success Center – Summer 2020 Resources

Contact us by form here - Academic Success center, or call 716-286-8076.

Summer Hours (May 18 – August 21, 2020): Monday through Thursday from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM

Please call 716.286.8541

Yes, if you have timed online testing, extended time is still possible in the online environment for any online assessment, including tests, exams or quizzes.  Please contact Kelly Adams Engert, Coordinator, Accessibility Services, with your accommodation requests.  Based on documentation of disability, Accessibility Services can prepare an electronic version of the Course Accommodation Approval form to send to your professors.

Yes, online writing tutoring is available. Please send your questions, information on the assignment, and a draft of your paper to Sharon Green. Please allow two days for a response (excluding weekends). Someone will communicate with you by phone or video conferencing.  

No. The purpose of tutoring is to help you become a better writer. The tutor may ask questions, point out recurring errors, and explain how to fix them. She may also look at development, organization, or documentation, and explain what improvements can be made. These are the same strategies she employs in a face-to-face meeting with students. 

The Academic Success Center does not offer Peer Tutoring over the summer.  If you have questions about course material, please email your professor. 

The Academic Success Center does not offer drop-in math tutoring over the summer. If you have questions about course material, please email your professor.

During the COVID-19 pandemic and Niagara University’s shift to online learning, the Academic Success Center continues to offer assistance in college reading and study skills.

Tips for managing online learning are listed at https://www.niagara.edu/assets/listpage/Online-Learning-March-2024.pdf

Tips for studying for exams in an online learning environment are listed at https://www.niagara.edu/assets/listpage/Tips-for-Preparing-for-Finals-Exams-in-an-Online-Learning-Environment.pdf

Yes, the Academic Success Center continues to offer academic coaching. Academic Coaches help students tackle academic challenges to help them reach their full potential. If you would like to work with an Academic Coach who can provide individualized mentoring and support to help you achieve your academic goals, please contact Virginia Pasceri. More information on academic coaching can be found at https://www.niagara.edu/academic-success-center-programs/.

Food Service

Health and safety protocols for the Russell Salvatore Dining Commons and the Gallagher Center, grab-and-go options, distancing protocols, and cleaning procedures will ensure that we support our students with ample food and meals.

  • All Metz employees will be required to wear both a face mask and gloves while working.
  • Prior to entering the building, each Metz employee will be tested for a temperature and sent home if it is over 100.4 degrees. In addition, each employee is being trained on new health and safety policies and procedures.
  • A new sanitizer manager position has been created to ensure that all areas are properly cleaned and sanitized during each shift.
  • Upon entering the dining commons, each student will swipe their ID card in at the kiosk and will be handed silverware wrapped in a napkin, along with a glass for beverages.
  • All food items will be served by Metz culinary staff, including those at the salad bar. Markers will be placed at the stations to separate students by 6 feet.
  • In the dining commons, all tables will be separated by 6 feet, based on CDC guidelines. The maximum capacity at one sitting will be 192 people. To accommodate our entire student population, we will provide five 45-minute dining windows so everyone has the opportunity work around their classroom schedule. Students will be able to sign up for a time slot online that will apply to the entire fall 2020 semester.
  • Take-out will be available during the day, and is the only option available for late-night dining.
  • Additional stations will be added to high-usage venues, e.g., Tim Hortons.
  • Students with dietary restrictions will be accommodated.

The Grove C-Store, Gally Grill, Bravo! Express, Tim Hortons, Poblano’s, and Subway in the Gallagher Center offer evening hours Monday through Friday. In addition, on Saturdays, Tim Hortons is open 8 a.m.-2 p.m., the C-Store is open noon-8 p.m., and Gally Grill is open 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Visit https://www.metzniagara.com/gallagher.html for weekday hours and more information.

The Dining Commons is open on the weekend and evenings, as well, but due to limited seating, graduate students are asked to purchase take-out meals.

Miscellaneous

Health related concerns can be directed to the Health Office
716-286-8385
Contact

Academic related concerns can be directed to the Academic Affairs office
716-286-8342

Residence Life and student life concerns can be directed to the Student Affairs Office
716-286-8405

International students/study abroad questions can be directed to the International Relations Office
716-286-8711
Contact