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A Letter from the Boards of the Town and Village of Canton, St. Lawrence University, and SUNY Canton

Dear Canton Friends and Neighbors,

On behalf of the Boards of the Town and Village of Canton and the St. Lawrence University and SUNY Canton communities, we hope that you and your families are well and are enjoying this beautiful North Country summer. We are grateful to the businesses and organizations in our community that have worked so hard to remain open or reopen safely. We recognize the difficulty and expense this must have entailed. We are so proud of our local businesses and the essential workers who keep them going, and want to thank you for all you have done.

As we prepare to welcome students back to Canton, please know that the we have been working hard, just like you, to prepare to do so safely. Both St. Lawrence and SUNY Canton are implementing mandatory testing for all students, and keeping our resident students in quarantine until their test results are known. Though this level of testing is not required by New York State, we feel a particular obligation to make sure that we are doing all we can to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Just as the Governor’s guidelines require you to do at your businesses and organizations, we too are requiring that students wear masks in all public indoor spaces – both on campus and off-campus – and that they maintain appropriate social distancing whenever possible. Masks will be mandatory in all public areas on campus for all faculty, staff, students, and visitors. As has been said so many times—we’re all in this together.

We are asking our students to respect the safety protocols that you put in place, and we hope you will be our partners in helping ensure that they, your staff, and your other customers and visitors do so as well. Just as important, we are reaching out to you because especially during these tough times, unity and welcome are more important than ever. We are counting on you to help us welcome our students back into our community. After all, they are an indispensable part of what makes Canton so vibrant and special. 

Both St. Lawrence University and SUNY Canton re-opening plans are posted online. We encourage you to take a look: www.stlawu.edu/always-forward and www.canton.edu/restart.

We are all figuring out what this “newest normal” will look like: how to be a socially-distanced but still close-knit community, and how best to keep our economy afloat in such uncertainty. We all have the responsibility to show each other kindness and respect as we move forward together. It is our sincere belief that the Canton community can and will be a safe and welcoming place for everyone – locals, visitors, and students included – with all of us working together. 

We welcome conversations with you if you have questions or concerns.

Thank you,

Mary Ann Ashley
Town of Canton

Michael Dalton
Villag of Canton

William Fox
St. Lawrence University

Zvi Szafran
SUNY Canton