SA President: Syracuse University “Social Compact” Draft Asks Students to Avoid Leaving Central New York in Fall

Monday, Jul 06, 2020 at 8:59 pm by Lucas Vogel

By Ricky Sayer

SYRACUSE, N.Y – A recent draft of Syracuse University’s “social compact,” which SU will encourage students to sign, includes a pledge they avoid leaving Central New York, wear masks, and stay 6 feet apart, according to Student Association President Justine Hastings. The compact will be part of the university’s effort to educate students and prevent the spread of COVID-19, according to an SU News release.


Hastings said she learned details about the social compact during a meeting with Dean Robert Hradsky last Tuesday. Hradsky, she said, admitted that it could be difficult for the university to keep track of students while they travel.


“This is tricky,” Hastings said. “It’s encouraged to avoid it, but I do not think they have a system in place to tell which students have traveled and which ones have not – it’s just not feasible.”


The Student Association is still collaborating with the university to plan an initiative which will require travel, Hastings said. Syracuse University has not revealed how they plan to enforce a directive that restrains student travel, nor how the university currently plans to enforce social distancing or mask-wearing on campus.


“There is a form of enforcement in that students would be violating ‘Failure to comply with University compliance’ if they did not follow the guidelines,” Hastings said.


Hastings said Hradsky told her the compact will apply to off-campus events and activities.


“This extends to private residences, but specifically residences that attract attention like parties,” Hastings said.


She believes Syracuse University will ask students to abide by the rules, regardless of whether or not they sign the pledge.


“To keep our community safe, students who plan to enroll on-campus in the fall will be expected to adhere to the pledge,” said Dean Hradsky, in a statement to CitrusTV.


Hastings said Hradsky told her guidance from their legal team led the university to “encourage” students to sign the compact, rather than require it.


“The team is working to finalize the social compact, as it is still in draft form,” said SU spokesperson Sarah Scalese, in a statement to CitrusTV.  “We hope to finalize this shortly so we can communicate directly with our students.”


Hastings said the compact would be released to students around July 13th. However, a university press release posted before Hastings’ conversation with Hradsky said it would release the social compact the week of July 6th.


Students will be able to sign the compact, which Hastings said Hradsky referred to as a “Virtual Stay Safe Pledge,” using their SUID. Hastings said it’s possible Faculty and Staff might create their own pledge later in the summer.