BREAKING: Simmons President officially announces fall reopening plans

The+Simmons+University+Main+College+Building.+Image+courtesy+of+Simmons+University

The Simmons University Main College Building. Image courtesy of Simmons University

Isabelle Indelicato and Katie Cole

BREAKING: Simmons President Lynn Wooten announced that the university is officially planning to reopen for in-person classes, at-capacity residence life, and on-campus events for the fall 2021 semester.

“As we look forward to a lively fall experience, we are mindful that COVID-19 has not yet been eradicated,” wrote Wooten in a March 25 email sent to the Simmons community. “The health and safety of our community members and all those who interact with us remains our top priority, and Simmons will continue to closely follow city, state and federal health guidelines.”

Wooten wrote that Simmons anticipates social distancing requirements will be modified, allowing for more students per classroom for in-person courses.

To ensure the health and safety of the Simmons community, Wooten said the university has installed a new HVAC system in the Main College Building, inspected ventilation systems on the academic campus, and will offer “readily-available PPE” along with strict cleaning and disinfection measures.

In the email, Wooten encouraged members of the Simmons community to get the COVID-19 vaccine if and when eligible, saying that vaccination is vital to the return to on-campus activities.

At this time, it is not required that students be vaccinated.

Simmons is made up of individuals who are committed to building a better world through our learning, scholarship, teaching, and service,” wrote Wooten. “After our collective experiences this past year, this mission is perhaps more important than ever before. I am excited about the fall and the future we will create as we emerge from this pandemic.”

 

Here are highlights of what we know so far:

In-Person Learning: 

  • The email was unclear if Simmons will be using a hybrid learning model, or continuing the use of the online campus platform, 2U

Student Services, Engagement and Co-Curriculars:

  • Study abroad programs remain cancelled for the fall
  • The Holmes Sports Center will be open for “recreational use”
  • Additional details in the coming weeks

Athletics:

  • Simmons plans to hold in-person training for all athletic teams, including preseason training for all fall teams in August
  • Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) has yet to make their final decision on team competitions 

International Students:

  • The Center for Global Education will be reaching out to students for updates for the fall semester