An Inside Look Into Quarantining at Syracuse University

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Several upstate New York Schools have already transferred to online learning because of a spike in coronavirus cases. So why has Syracuse, a university that is relatively large in size, been successful in keeping students on campus this semester? In large part, the success can be attributed to the precautions and intricate plan that Syracuse University has in place for its students who either contract the virus or come in close contact with someone who has it. 

How do I know all of this? Because I am going through it right now.

On October 1st, I found out that someone who I was in close contact with had Covid-19. What did that mean for me? I already had the coronavirus back in March, and I had tested positive for antibodies, so I knew I had a fighters chance of not getting sick again (and luckily, I did not.) But did being in contact with someone who had Covid-19 warrant a quarantine on my part anyway? I would soon come to find out the answer would be yes. 


Admittedly, this realization did bring some anxiety with it, as I knew this would mean I would miss two weeks of in-person classes. That being said, now that I am almost on the other side of the quarantine, I have to commend Syracuse University for all of the precautions they have put in place. It keeps students on campus. It keeps athletes playing games. At the very least, now I get to write a story about the experience. Lemonade out of lemons, right? Isn’t that what 2020 is all about? Here’s how it all went down.

Step 1: Calling the Barnes Health Center


Off-campus trips and parties are fueling a spike at Syracuse University, officials say.

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Even as rising coronavirus cases forced other colleges to halt in-person classes or send students home, Syracuse University managed to keep the virus at bay, with only a handful of students testing positive since classes began in the fall.

That was, campus officials say, until someone traveled to a nearby city and brought the virus back to campus, where it spread rapidly at parties. Syracuse, a big private college in Central New York, now has more than 75 active cases, including 68 people who tested positive in the last four days.

The sudden rise highlights how quickly the virus can spread in a college environment, even as many students take pains to protect themselves and their classmates.

It’s not how Ava Notkin was expecting her last semester to play out. The senior said on Saturday that she was exhausted from the health anxiety that pervaded the campus, making it hard to focus on homework, exams and other aspects of college life that would, under normal circumstances, constitute the bulk of a student’s stress.

“I feel like I’m teetering on the edge,” said Ms. Notkin, 21, a marketing management major from Pittsburgh. “We’re always in this risky gray area.”

Ms. Notkin and other students have expressed frustration with students holding parties that officials say are leading to new infections.

“Everyone just needs to realize that this is not our normal college experience anymore,” she said.

Still, students and campus administrators say they recognize the desire to socialize, particularly for those who are just getting to know their peers or are spending their last year in the same city. The campus has organized a series of virtual lectures, events — “Zumba Party at Home,” anyone? — and other programming for the campus. Ms. Notkin said she had safely enjoyed the region through


Remembering the time Lamar Jackson leaped over a Syracuse defender in college

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The loudest collective gasp I’ve ever heard came courtesy of a Louisville quarterback by the name of Lamar Jackson. He’d just leaped over an entire human. 

It was Sept. 9, 2016, in the Carrier Dome. Syracuse was hosting the Cardinals and Jackson, who before that game hadn’t been in much conversation about the best players in college football. I was a student at SU at the time, sitting in the student section aligned with one of the 20-yard lines. I didn’t know Jackson much more than the rest of the country did. All it took was one half to change that. 

Lamar Jackson’s Syracuse leap

Louisville already led 28-7 when the Cardinals lined up on first-and-goal just inside the Syracuse 10-yard line. Jackson ran a familiar read option play with his running back, Jeremy Smith, who didn’t get the handoff and was blown up by an SU lineman. Jackson took off in a race for the left pylon, but his path appeared to be blocked by Syracuse defensive back, Cordell Hudson. Hudson went low, and Jackson rose up.

I was at the opposite end of the field, about 80 yards away. That didn’t take away any of the majesty of what Jackson had just done. Jackson flew over Hudson and landed on his feet before having a pretty smooth final few steps to the end zone. The gasp took place in that middling moment, as Jackson hung in the air. He’d already taken all the energy out of the Dome with a big early lead. But for one moment, Syracuse fans were just fans of the most impressive athletic feat to take place in an SU football game in a long time.

That was Jackson’s fourth rushing touchdown of the game – he’d already scored from 72, 13 and seven