Simmons’ residential campus will close on Nov. 24, and will not house any students for winter break this year due to an increased risk of COVID-19 exposure, said Dean for Student Life, Susan Antonelli.
The Office of Residence Life confirmed that 84 students are currently living on-campus for the fall semester. Of those students, seven to eight are unsure of where they will be living after the Nov. 24 move out, explained Antonelli.
“Personally, I have no idea where I am going to go, and I feel like this entire year I have just been constantly living in transition because come November, that will be my fourth or fifth place I have lived since March,” said a student who is currently living on-campus in Smith Hall, and identifies as housing insecure.
Dean Antonelli said area coordinators, Katie Kidwell and Marcus Hill, are working with each student in need of winter break housing to develop individualized plans. The Office of Residence Life as a whole is working with partners in the area including The Colleges of the Fenway to search for temporary off-campus housing options.
Students who chose to live on the residential campus were informed before moving in that on-campus housing had a hard move out date. However, junior political science student Hailey Tran said that there was no clear answer at the time of announcement if there would be resources for students who did not have a home to go to after that date.
On-campus students who have a home to go to also expressed concerns about finishing their semester in a new environment. Senior nursing student Anna Leedham stated that living at Simmons helps her perform better academically, and allows her to be close to her job at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. When she heads home with four weeks left in the semester, Leedham will simultaneously lose her personal support system, and increase her work commute from ten minutes to two hours.
Dean Antonelli stated that in addition to helping students look for off-campus housing, the Support Our Students Fund (SOS) can be used during times like this to help pay for rent in the months between semesters.
Students in need of help finding winter break housing are advised to contact the Office of Residence Life for assistance, if they have not already done so.