Office of the President

The University has successfully welcomed residential and commuter students to campus and started on-ground courses on Tuesday, Sept. 29. It has been wonderful to have our students’ energy and presence back on campus.

Thank you to all members of the campus community in working together to follow new protocols and procedures to ensure our health and safety.

COVID Testing and Dashboard

Thank you to the entire campus community for its cooperation with the September 24-27 round of COVID-19 testing. Working with our partners from the Broad Institute and On-site Medical, Westfield State has administered nearly 3,200 COVID-19 tests to date, which has yielded four positive results, as we shared with you earlier this week. For more information, refer to the email I shared Tuesday afternoon, Sept. 29, or visit the Safe Fall Opening site.

The University’s COVID-19 Dashboard has been updated with the most recent information. Refer to this resource for information about campus testing results, as well as COVID-19 case totals in the City of Westfield.

Planning has begun for the October 13-16 round of COVID19 testing. Required testing for students that have an on-campus presence and faculty and staff will again take place in The Woodward Center from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., according to the below schedule:

  • Tues., Oct. 13: Residential students living in Dickinson and New halls and the Apartments
  • Wed., Oct. 14: Residential students living in Davis, Lammers, and University halls.
  • Thurs., Oct. 15: Commuter students (including part-time continuing education and graduate students) with last names beginning with A-K; and faculty and staff
  • Fri., Oct. 16: Faculty and staff (8a.m.-noon only); Commuter students with the last names beginning with L-Z.

Wear masks, wash hands, keep your distance, and don’t hold doors for others
To keep all campus community members and our visitors safe during this time of restricted campus access, I remind on-campus students, faculty, and staff to adhere to established procedures related to wearing masks, frequent handwashing, and socially distancing from others. Also, it is important to not hold doors open for others to enter campus facilities, given the University’s status of continued restricted access throughout the fall semester. Only students who have participated in the COVID-19 testing program, and faculty and staff will be permitted to be on campus for the fall semester. Access to academic and administrative buildings is limited to faculty, staff, and students through use of their University-issued I.D. cards, which must be worn visibly while on campus. In addition, only visitors with business with the University will be permitted on campus by appointment only. The respective University department or division must coordinate and log its campus visitors. 

Your continued cooperation with these parameters is critical to the University’s ability to continue in-person learning and meaningful residential experiences through the semester.

Important Reminders from Residential Engagement

The Residential Engagement team looks forward to building our residence hall communities. Learn more about Residential Engagement leadership by watching a welcome video from the team. If needed, students, champions, or community members are encouraged to contact resengage@westfield.ma.edu or 413-572-5402.

Additional policies in place for the fall 2020 semester are included in the Housing Agreement Addendum that residential students signed prior to move-in. These include:

  • Face masks will be required when students are outside of their room, apartment, or suite;
  • No guests are permitted in the residence halls, including residential students from other residence halls, commuting students, non-students, and family;
  • Room changes will not be permitted to limit contact between students assigned to different areas of housing;
  • Study lounges and kitchens will have seating reduced, and in some instances, may be unavailable for use; and
  • Students living in traditional halls will be assigned to one bathroom.  

Student Account credits/refunds
As previously communicated, student account credits (for Housing, Dining and Fitness Center fees) will be processed by mid-October. Financial Aid must be disbursed to a student’s account before credits can be applied. This activity is scheduled to occur next week. Once Financial Aid is disbursed and accounts are reviewed, credits/refunds will be processed on a rolling basis. The account review and credit/refund process may take up to two weeks to complete from the date of the Financial Aid disbursement. Updates will be posted to the Student Accounts website.

Welcome back, Owls! It is great to have you back in the nest.

Warmly,

 

Roy

Roy H. Saigo, Ph.D.
Interim President