DATE: August 26, 2021
TO: NYU Students
FROM: Linda G. Mills, Vice Chancellor and Senior Vice Provost, Global Programs and University Life and Dr. Carlo Ciotoli, MD, MPA, Exec. Lead, NYU COVID Prevention & Response Team

Dear Student,

We are eagerly looking forward to your arrival for fall classes.

The University recently wrote to all students, faculty, administrators, and staff regarding the latest COVID-related developments. We want to follow up with some items that are important for students specifically to know.

Our university community begins the year with a high rate of vaccination among students, faculty, administrators, and staff — the most significant element in keeping us safe. However, the ongoing presence of COVID-19, and especially the emergence of the more contagious Delta variant, requires additional caution. Partly that will be achieved by the safety and health protocols NYU has put in place (see below), but partly it will rely on students’ own sense of personal responsibility.

COVID-19 Safety and Exercising Good Judgment — Avoiding Crowds and Indoor Settings Where People are Unmasked

It is important that you conscientiously observe NYU’s safety and health protocols, and beyond that, we expect you to exercise good judgment and care. You don’t want to be infected with COVID-19 and have to be isolated, and we are sure you don’t want to be a source of spread to others. The kind of circumstances that increase the transmission of COVID are well known by now, especially crowded indoor settings, and gatherings with large numbers of people without masks and in close proximity. Use common sense in keeping yourselves safe and preventing the spread of COVID-19. Actively avoid risky situations — for instance, crowds and especially indoor settings where a lot of people are not wearing masks — and encourage others to do the same.

If you do experience symptoms of COVID-19, report them to the COVID-19 Prevention & Response Team right away using this form. Stay home, and don't go to class. Someone from the CPRT will reach out to you promptly.

Expectations for Students

All of us have a role to play in the health of the NYU community; each of us has a personal and collective responsibility to keep each other safe. All students are required to be familiar with and will be held responsible for complying with the safety and health rules that NYU has put in place for the fall 2021 semester. Violations of the rules will make students subject to Office of Student Conduct proceedings.

This Fall’s Return, and NYU’s Multi-Layered Approach to Safety

We are excited to resume in-person classes widely, as well as other in-person activities that were suspended last year, such as in-person programs, events, and athletics competition. As we do so, the University’s decision-making continues to be guided by the safety and health of the NYU community. The well-being of the NYU community is both an individual and collective responsibility.

As the recent communication indicated, a multi-layered approach to safety, with each layer mitigating the likelihood of COVID-19 spread, served us well last year, and we will adopt a similar approach for this coming year.

This includes:

  • A vaccination requirement for all members of the NYU community. We have already achieved very high rates of vaccination (95% among US students; 94% among full-time employees, nearly 90% among adjunct faculty, and 75% among international students (with many of the remainder having already made appointments to be vaccinated upon arrival)), and are continuing to press for still higher rates.
    • If, for some reason, you are among that very small fraction of students that still has not complied with the University’s requirement to be vaccinated and upload proof, it is imperative that you do so immediately and upload information about your vaccination, even if you have only received the first dose of a two-dose vaccine.
    • If you are unable to be vaccinated before arriving on campus, you should make an appointment now to be vaccinated upon arrival. We are providing vaccinations on the first floor of Bobst Library by appointment at no charge to you.
    • Students who do not comply with the vaccine requirement will be prohibited from moving into the residence halls, entering NYU buildings, attending classes in person or participating in University events, and they are subject to de-enrollment.
  • Required mask-wearing in classrooms and all other NYU indoor settings (except when eating in designated areas or when in one’s own suite or room)
  • Robust testing
  • Contact tracing, isolation and quarantine
  • Restrictions on building access for members of the community who have not complied with the University’s vaccination requirement
  • Strict rules regarding campus visitors, and
  • Conforming our air handling systems to recommended practices.

We believe that these measures, working in conjunction and taken together both with a local rate of new cases per 100,000 that is lower than most of the US and your own individual commitment to keeping each other safe, will prove very effective at keeping all NYU community members safe as we resume in-person instruction.

Move-In Day For Students In Residence

For those moving into NYU student housing, especially for the first time, Move-In Day is exciting and can be emotional. We also want to be sure that it’s safe for everyone. Here are some important details to know:

Don’t Come Early, Don’t Come Late

Students moving into housing have selected their own move-in window with a specific day and time. Aim to be on time — it will help us avoid crowding and lines.

Drop-Off Should Be Quick

If you are coming by car, be prepared to be quickly dropped off with your belongings while others drive off to park the car.

Vaccination Required

You will not be able to move in without proof of vaccination, a valid exemption, or proof of an appointment to be vaccinated promptly.

One Helper, One Bin, One Trip

In a normal year, it’s common for loved ones to help students settle into their rooms, and they often bring a lot on Move-in Day to help furnish the room and make it comfortable.

But this is not a normal year. It is important to minimize lines, minimize elevator trips, and minimize the presence of outsiders in the residence halls. So, this year, the motto will be “One Helper, One Bin, One Trip.”

One Helper

Only one person can accompany a student up to the room at a time. There will be a wrist-band available, and only those visitors with a wrist-band will be permitted upstairs. Whoever goes upstairs with the student resident must be fully vaccinated or have had a PCR test within three days (with subsequent negative result) prior to Move-in Day.

One Bin, One Trip

NYU provides bins to help students carry their belongings to their rooms; the dimensions are typically about 19 sq ft. We’d like students to show up with no more belongings than can fit in the bin and be carried by hand in one trip in the elevator. The rest can be shipped.

Residential Life

Residential life is an important, valuable, and fun part of the NYU student experience. We know that last year wasn’t the experience many had hoped for; we are eager for this year to be different.

But the safety and well-being of you and all the other residents of student housing must be foremost and prevail above all other considerations in the face of the pandemic. In the way you socialize, dine, and enjoy life at NYU and in New York City, we expect you to make decisions that will minimize the spread of COVID-19.


Mask-wearing is an important measure in preventing the spread of COVID-19. Masks covering face and nose are required in all common and public spaces in a residence hall — lounge, hallway, elevator, laundry room, etc. You may only remove your mask in your suite or room.

If you have a visitor in your suite, everyone must be masked in any common space in the room while the visitor is there.

Visitor and Guests

Residents of student housing may visit other students’ rooms in their own residence hall and other residence halls. Outside guests are not permitted at all.

Common Spaces and Lounges

Lounges and similar public spaces can be used, but all users must be masked and should try to maintain 6 feet of physical distancing. No eating is allowed in these settings.

Student Dining

Dining facilities will offer both grab-and-go and seated meal options. We encourage students to use grab-and-go as much as possible and to eat outside, at least at the beginning of the year.

Guidance for seated dining:

  • Except for when you are eating or drinking, keep your mask on, including in line, before you start eating, after you finish eating (in other words, as much as possible).
  • Limit your time in any dining facility — the less time you spend around others not wearing masks, the better. Try to keep your time at the table to less than 15 minutes.
  • There will be areas of each dining facility that have tables with physically distanced seating. Those who are not fully vaccinated are required to use these seating areas; they are also open to anyone who is more comfortable being physically distanced from other diners.

Campus Life

An essential part of your college experience is engaging in the life of the NYU community. This year is no different, even if we must adjust how we engage in order to do so safely. Many students share that getting involved helps them find community at NYU, so connect through your schools and the Division of Student Affairs — there is so much available to you! NYU Welcome features a variety of programs, events, and initiatives (available on NYU Mobile) for new and returning students transitioning to the start of the academic year. Meet new people through the Center for Student Life, Global Spiritual Life, CMEP, leadership and service opportunities. Tend your physical and mental health through programs and services from our Department of Athletics, MindfulNYU, Counseling and Wellness Services, including the Wellness Exchange, and the Student Health Center, among others. Like each year before this one, and each one after, we encourage you to join clubs, attend events, connect with others and otherwise be part of the vibrant fabric that makes up NYU.

The Surrounding Community: Washington Square Park, the Neighborhoods Around Us, and New York City

The University is judged, in part, by the way we all conduct ourselves. That very much includes our students.

Washington Square Park

The public park at the heart of our Greenwich Village campus — Washington Square — is a fantastic, vibrant urban open space that draws people from the neighborhood, from all over the city, and from around the world.

Like any urban park, it has to harmoniously serve a lot of different users. Given how many of our key buildings are on Washington Square's perimeter, small wonder that it attracts so many NYU students. Our proximity to the park demands a special sense of responsibility on the part of NYU community members.

Please remember:

  • Use and share the park respectfully. Be mindful of other users, such as families with children.
  • Drinking is not permitted in the park; neither is smoking.
  • Keep it unplugged — amplified sound is not allowed without a special permit from the Parks Dept.
  • The park closes at midnight. That means you should not be in it or traversing it after that time.

Personal Safety

Being an NYUer means being a New Yorker; we want you to enjoy the city. Despite some notable incidents that have grabbed headlines, overall crime in New York City is actually slightly lower than it was last year, and crime rates continue to be the lowest seen in decades. New York continues to be one of the safest large cities in the US, and NYU is in some of its safest neighborhoods, including Greenwich Village.

Still, common sense and listening to your instincts are important tools for keeping yourself safe in New York or anywhere else.

NYU’s Department of Campus Safety’s uniformed officers, investigators, prevention personnel, and others — more than 350 personnel in all — are a campus-wide presence to help keep the NYU community safe. They offer tips to keep yourself and your property safe that are good sense anywhere and worth familiarizing yourself with.