BREAKING: Simmons will allow 50% of the typical residential campus capacity, approximately 500 students, to return to live on campus for the Spring 2021 semester, according to an email from the Office of the President. All undergraduate and graduate classes will be online, with exceptions for “specific academic clinical and practicum requirements.”
The plan for the semester was made with the Simmons COVID-19 Task Force’s primary principles in mind, including the mental and physical wellbeing of students, faculty and staff, ensuring equity and fairness for opportunity and experience, prioritization of optimal learning, and the pandemic information that is available.
Simmons noted this plan could change based on local and national data and stated that if they need to change plans, students will be notified by January 8, 2021. The email also said that there is a possibility for some in-person academic and co-curricular activities to be offered if permitted by the City of Boston.
“Students who need to be on campus for academic reasons such as labs, clinicals, or in person classes will be given first priority housing. International students will also be guaranteed housing for the spring,” said area coordinator Marcus Hill in a video posted on the Simmons youtube channel. The email from President Wooten noted that students who apply for “hardship circumstances” will also be given priority, followed by seniors, juniors, sophomores and freshmen in that order.
Students will need to apply to live on campus. Residence life will send an email to all undergraduate students November 12 with an application to live on campus. Applications are due November 30. All students, regardless of their plans for the spring, are asked to complete the survey.
“The residence campus is going to look a lot different in the spring than what you’re used to,” said interim director of residence life Amelia McConnell in the youtube video. She outlined protocols resident students will have to follow, including biweekly COVID-19 testing, a daily COVID symptoms report via an app. In the video, area coordinator Katie Kidwell said there will be no guests allowed on campus and students will not be allowed to spend time in each other’s rooms.
Students accepted to live on campus will move in on January 22. Classes will begin on February 1.