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Safe Opening FAQs

Last Updated: 3:10 PM Nov. 17, 2020
Check back for further updates

Westfield State University acknowledges the disappointment and frustration students, faculty, and staff are feeling, and we thank you all for your continued patience and understanding during this challenging time.


Why are residential students and families being given such short notice to move their belongings out of their on-campus rooms?

Per Interim President Roy Saigo’s Nov. 16, 2020, message to the campus community, Westfield State University apologizes for the inconvenience this little advance notice brings to our residential students and their families. Given the uncertainties related to the fluid nature of the global pandemic, Westfield State’s Safe Fall Opening Plan preserves the University’s ability to maintain flexibility. Even so, the University regrets the collective disappointment this change in format for the remaining semester brings to all students—commuter and residential. Know that the University consulted with Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) regarding the timing of this notification to coincide with when the majority of close contacts (beyond roommates and other on-campus close contacts already identified and properly quarantined following Massachusetts DPH guidelines) have been identified, notified of their potential exposure to COVID-19, and instructed to quarantine.

Important: Should you be contacted by a member of the University Contact Tracing Team now or in the future, please respond as your immediate response helps to mitigate the spread of the virus.


Could I have someone help me to move out of my residential hall room?

After connecting with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Westfield State is pleased to be able to permit each student to bring one guest into their residence hall to assist with the move-out process. All guests must follow these guidelines:

Upon arrival on campus check-in at the front desk of your student's residence hall. Fill in your information on the Visitor Log.
Follow all COVID-related policies, including wearing a mask at all times, socially distancing from other individuals, and washing your hands/using hand sanitizer.
After your student has completed their checkout at the front desk, fill in your departure time on the Visitor Log.

Please note that the University is unable to provide moving bins/hand trucks as we continue to focus on the health and safety of everyone on campus. We encourage families to bring their own hand trucks or other items to help with their student’s move out.


The temporary shelter-in-place period was scheduled to end Nov. 19. Why, then, is Westfield State University now advancing to a “Critical Operations Only” phase of its Curtailment Plan?

The health and safety of our students and workforce remains Westfield State’s top priority, so we are now at a critical juncture. Given the lessening capacity for isolation and quarantine and a continually increasing need for related resources, the University has made the difficult but necessary decision to activate the next phase of its Curtailment Plan.

Moving to exclusively remote learning will help us further de-densify the campus to help preserve the health and safety of our campus community.


What does the “Critical Operations Only” phase of the Curtailment Plan mean?

This phase involves the following measures:

  1. Continuing exclusively remote learning until the end of the fall semester.
  2. Closing residence halls to the general student population. A controlled move-out plan (Nov. 17–22) will begin Tuesday, Nov. 17, at 10 a.m.  
  3. Cancelling or moving online on-ground campus events and activities.
  4. Continuing the University’s remote workforce plan and other flexible work arrangements, reserving an on-campus presence for personnel associated with critical operations.   
  5. Sustaining the University’s shelter-in-place order beyond Nov. 19.   

When are residential students expected to move out of their rooms?

A controlled move-out of residence halls will start Tuesday, Nov. 17, at 10 a.m. Please read below for your appropriate category to determine when and how you may move out.

  • Move-out for residential students who remained on campus during the shelter-in-place period: Tuesday, Nov. 17, Wednesday, Nov. 18, and Thursday, Nov. 19; 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. each day.
  • Move-out for residential students who remained on campus to complete their quarantine or isolation order: When cleared by University Health Services, individual move-out plans will be arranged.
  • Move-out for residential students temporarily off campus during the shelter-in-place: Saturday, Nov. 21, and Sunday, Nov. 22, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. each day. Included in this group of residential students are those who opted to leave campus for their quarantine or isolation orders. When cleared by University Services, individual move-out plans will be managed.

Residential students should look for more information to come from Housing Operations on Monday, Nov. 16, to register for a check-out time.


What will the move-out look like?

The controlled move-out plan schedule is designed to allow less than 10 people, per hour, per hall to move their possessions out of their rooms. Although a parent or friend would be permitted access to campus to help with their students’ move, those guests must follow health and safety protocols and will not be allowed access to residence halls or other campus buildings.

Watch this quick video demonstrating how to select your check out time or view our printed Checkout Registration Guide.

If you have more questions about housing, please call 413-572-5402, or email housing@westfield.ma.edu.


Who is exempt from moving out of on-campus housing?

Due to a few limited and specific, in-person academic requirements or housing insecurity issues, there will be a small number of students who will be allowed to remain in on-campus housing and/or have access to campus for the remainder of the fall semester. Through special arrangement with the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs (provost@westfield.ma.edu), exemptions center on learning requirements that could not be transitioned to online instruction or the completion of practicums, clinicals, or field placements that require students to be in the Westfield area.

These students are required to attend mandatory asymptomatic/surveillance COVID-19 testing on Thursday, Nov. 19, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., in The Woodward Center.


I’m exempt from moving out. Is there anything specific I need to do during the move-out phase?

Students exempt from move-out plan should remain in their current housing assignment until the controlled move-out phase is complete and they are permitted to move into campus apartments for residency through the end of the fall 2020 semester.

These students are required to attend mandatory asymptomatic/surveillance COVID-19 testing on Thursday, Nov. 19, in The Woodward Center.


Will students receive housing, dining, and fitness center refunds?

Due to this phase of Curtailment, prorated refunds will be made for housing, dining, and fitness center. More information on this will be coming from Student Accounts in the days ahead. Note that residential students must complete required check-out procedures by Sunday, Nov. 22 to receive a full refund.

To receive their full, prorated housing, dining, and fitness center refunds, residential students must:
     1. adhere to the move-out date and time that they have selected while following mask,
         handwashing, and social distancing protocols; and
     2. complete appropriate check-out procedures.

Residential and commuter students who have a meal plan will be emailed regarding their prorated refunds for Dining Services.


I can’t get to campus during the allotted times. Could I just come now, or at another time, to pick up my belongings?

It is expected that students will make every effort to complete their move out of housing during the designated timeframes. If you are truly unable to do so, please email housing@westfield.ma.edu to explain your circumstance.


I need to remain in housing. How can I do that?

Due to extraordinary circumstances, a small number of students may need to remain in housing through the end of the spring semester. Approved reasons include housing insecurity, no access to online class content at home, a clinical/internship confirmed by the Registrar’s Office, and international students.

Students requesting to remain in housing must submit the Request to Stay in Housing until December 22 application in their MyHousing account. Requests must be submitted no later than Wednesday, November 18 at 11:59 p.m. Only those students approved to remain in housing will have continued access to their residence hall.


I’ve been approved to stay in the residence halls. May I have guests?

No. Student and non-student guests are not permitted to visit residence halls through the end of fall semester.


I’m planning to return in the spring, can I just leave my things on campus?

All students must fully move out of campus housing unless otherwise approved. For students living more than three hours from Westfield and plan to return to housing in January, limited storage options will be available.


I already moved out of housing, how do I return my key?

Keys can be returned by mailing them to:

Residential Life
Attn: Housing Operations
577 Western Avenue
Westfield, MA 01085

Keys must be received by Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020, to avoid lock change fees. We strongly recommend mailing your key in a padded mailer and/or taping it to a piece of paper or cardboard to ensure it doesn’t break through the envelope in transit. You should include your name, University ID number and housing assignment in the mailing.


I am currently in isolation or quarantine. What do I do?

Students currently in isolation or quarantine should remain in isolation/quarantine housing until cleared by Health Services. Upon clearance, you may complete your move out of housing.


Given all that is happening, I no longer wish to live on campus. Can I leave housing for the spring 2021 semester?

Students requesting to become a commuter (including those living at home for remote learning) for the Spring 2021 semester can complete the Petition for Release application in their MyHousing account. Students submitting their application no later than Monday, Nov. 30, 2020 at 11:59PM are guaranteed approval and will have the $750 Cancellation Fee waived. Students submitting the application after the Nov. 30, 2020, deadline will need to submit documentation demonstrating a significant hardship. If approved, the student will be responsible for the $750 Cancellation Fee.


I opted out of housing for fall 2020. Am I able to return to housing for spring 2021?

Students wishing to return to housing will have access to the Spring 2021 Housing Agreement beginning the last week in October in MyHousing under the Applications tab. It is necessary to complete this new Housing Agreement to be assigned a housing placement for the spring semester.


If I return to housing for the Spring 2021 semester am I guaranteed to have the same placement that I was assigned before?

We will be running a full room selection process for students wishing to live on campus for the spring. This reset will allow you to reassess your hall preferences and suite/apartment mate group and make the best housing choice for your individual circumstances.


How or when can I pick my room for the spring?

Students living on campus for the spring 2021 semester will have the opportunity to select their space in housing through a Housing Selection Process. Specific dates and times will be shared when they become available.


I completed a Spring 2021 Housing Agreement but was able to select online classes during course registration. Can I withdraw my Housing Agreement?

Students requesting to become a commuter (this includes living at home for remote learning) for the spring 2021 semester can email housing@westfield.ma.edu. Students doing so no later than Monday, Nov. 30, 2020, at 11:59 p.m., are guaranteed approval and will have the $750 Cancellation Fee waived. Students requesting to cancel a Spring Housing Agreement after the Nov. 30, 2020, deadline will need to submit documentation demonstrating a significant hardship. If approved, the student will be responsible for the $750 Cancellation Fee.

Will there be room/hall changes during the spring semester?

To help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and preserve the micro communities within the residence halls, we will not be permitting any room or hall changes during the spring semester. We strongly encourage students to have conversations about living together prior to forming roommate groups. These conversations may include off-campus commitments, sharing space while remote learning and COVID safety commitments.


How will Dining Services operate through the end of fall semester?

The Dining Commons (DC) will close Thursday, Nov. 19, at 7 p.m. Dining Services will then operate out of the TJ Bistro location, at the rear entrance to the DC. Those students exempt to the move-out will be provided an ongoing meal plan service.

Check the Westfield Dining Services website for updates.


Will all classes be held remotely?

Yes, with only a few exceptions. Exclusively remote learning will extend until the end of fall semester. Limited allowable exceptions to this include on-ground learning or academic requirements that cannot be transitioned to online instruction. The list of exceptions will be similar to the list during this semester’s delayed-opening period in September. Overall, moving to exclusively remote learning will help us to further de-densify the campus to help preserve the health and safety of our campus community.


Will the University’s COVID-19 asymptomatic/surveillance testing program continue?

Given the residence hall closures, only students exempt from move-out and employees for critical operations will remain on-campus for the remainder of the semester. Therefore, the next round of on-campus surveillance testing will take place Thursday, Nov. 19, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., once we have a sense of confirmed exempt students who will remain on campus (gathered through the required check-out process). This round of asymptomatic/surveillance testing will be for:

  • Exempt students who will remain in Housing for the remainder of the fall semester; and
  • Faculty/Staff with an on-campus presence for the remainder of the fall semester.

Given the residence hall closures, the asymptomatic/surveillance mandatory testing for students who had an on-ground presence—which was previously announced for Wednesday, Nov. 18 during the shelter-in-place—will not take place, nor will the next round of testing previously scheduled for Nov. 30 to Dec. 3. Instead, a revised asymptomatic/surveillance testing will be announced for those students who remain in the residence halls and faculty or staff that continue with an on-campus presence.

Note that free drive-up testing is available at Holyoke Community College Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, from 7 to 11 a.m.; and Tuesday and Thursday, from 2 to 7 p.m. Alternative testing locations are available throughout the Commonwealth. Click here to reference the list of sites.


I was contacted by a contract tracer. What should I do?

Should you be contacted by a member of the University Contact Tracing Team now or in the future, please respond; your immediate response helps to mitigate the spread of the virus.


What are the plans for the spring 2021 semester?

Westfield State will return to delivering in-person, remote, online, and hybrid instruction when the spring semester starts Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021. By Dec. 14, 2020, students will receive information on an additional housing selection process based on the to-be-determined configuration of Housing options for the spring semester. The University plans to offer residential housing and weekly asymptomatic/surveillance COVID-19 testing next semester.


What is happening to academic community events like lectures, workshops, etc.?

At Westfield State, we value the interactions we have as a community of scholars, and we take pride in offering opportunities for students to engage with scholars and professionals alike. Community academic events will continue to be held in a virtual format. We will keep you posted on opportunities to participate in virtual activities and discussions to maintain our community.


I need to visit in person the Registrar/Student Accounts/other office on campus. Will I be able to?

No. There will be no in-person services or appointments through the end of fall semester, but staff can support you remotely via phone and email. Westfield State University buildings will be accessible to only faculty and staff with an ID card as well as the limited-number of students who are approved to live on campus, and specific vendors.


How can I make a payment on my student account?

There are several ways to make a payment without coming in person to the Student Accounts office. They include:

  • Online payments are accepted through the student’s myWestfield portal. Once logged in, click “Finances” then “View Account and Pay Bill.” Student Accounts staff are available to walk you through making your online payment, if needed;
  • You may also call the Student Accounts office at 413-572-8538 to make a credit card payment over the phone;
  • Lastly, you may mail your payment to the Office of Student Accounts, 333 Western Ave., Westfield, MA 01085;

Owl Bucks may be added online at www.OwlBucks.com. Please follow the link for “Online Depositing.”


What are the hours of operation on campus?

Official hours of operation are generally 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., depending on the office or department. University personnel are reporting for regular work hours. You may reach them via phone or email during regular business hours. There will be no in-person services or appointments through the end of fall semester, but staff can support you remotely via phone and email.


Will Health Services be open?

Yes. Health Services staff will be available by appointment only Monday through Thursday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For guidance about health-related concerns, please call 413-572-5415. If students living off campus experience any symptoms of concern, they should contact their primary care physicians, local urgent care centers, or local emergency departments. Please mail or fax your health records directly to Health Services, 413-572-5545. At this time, we discourage students from dropping off their records in person.

Important: Do NOT come to campus if:

  • You have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19 (this includes close contact with those who are “confirmed” to have COVID-19 and those who are “presumptively positive” for COVID-19);
  • You are a healthcare worker who has been caring for patients with COVID-19.
  • You are sick with flu-like symptoms or are exhibiting symptoms consistent with COVID-19.
  • You have tested positive (presumptive or confirmed) for COVID-19.

Will the Counseling Center be open?

Counseling Center staff offer tele-therapy sessions to students living in Massachusetts (due to licensing statutes). If you are a current client at the Counseling Center (i.e. connected more than once with a counselor this semester), you can expect to hear directly from your counselor with information regarding scheduling, or you can call 413-572-5790. Students living in another state can contact their counselor, primary care physician, or health insurance to be connected to a counselor in your local area. If you are a new client looking to connect with a counselor, or a current client and have questions related to scheduling, please call the number above.

For information about support, medication appointments, and other services offered during this time, please visit www.westfield.ma.edu/student-life/counseling-center. For those students who have been approved to remain on campus through the end of the semester: If you are in need of immediate mental health support, please contact your RA or RD, or Public Safety at 413-572-5262. Students in Westfield: You may contact BHN (Behavioral Health Network) crisis at 413-568-6386.


Will Ely Library be open?

Students can continue to access library materials remotely via www.lib.westfield.ma.edu/home. While library staff will be available via phone and email, students will not have access to the building for the remainder of the fall semester. Faculty and staff requiring library resources should email elylibrary@westfield.ma.edu or call 413-572-5231. Reference services will be available by calling 413-572-5234, emailing askus@westfield.ma.edu, or using the chat feature on the library webpage during the following hours: Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Sunday, 1 to 9 p.m.


Will the Career Center be open?

Career Center staff will be available virtually Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and will work with students and alumni via phone conference regarding assistance with career development. Please call 413-572-5206, or email careers@westfield.ma.edu. Students and alumni may continue to remotely access all Career Center materials and resources.


Will the Fitness Center/ Wellness Center be open?

No. The Fitness Center and Wellness Center be closed to students, faculty, and staff for the remainder of the semester. Students who have belongings in locker rooms will hear from center staff about how to retrieve their items.


Will Public Safety be available to me while I’m on campus?

The Department of Public Safety/University Police will remain open 24/7. For assistance, please call 413-572-5262.


Will the campus bookstore be open?

While online ordering is available, the bookstore is closed through Thursday, Nov. 19. Beyond that date, please refer to the store’s website for updates.


Will on-campus buildings (including residence halls) be cleaned and sanitized?

Yes. All buildings—including residence halls, academic buildings, and dining areas and surfaces—are frequently cleaned and sanitized by professional staff.


Will the PVTA bus still run?

The PVTA bus R10 route schedule is available here. Campus shuttles will not operate through the end of the semester.


Will interfaith services be held on campus?

At this time, any in-person services held at the Albert and Amelia Ferst Interfaith Center will not take place. Alternative services may be provided. If you need to speak with a chaplain regarding any religious services and updates, please contact the following:


What if I need help with remote learning?

Don’t forget that your academic and program advisor, department chair, and college dean can all be resources for you. Don’t hesitate to speak up if you’re struggling; we are here to help you.

If you’re having difficulty with technology issues in the remote-learning process, please contact the Center for Instructional Technology (CIT) Helpdesk. At this resource, you’ll be able to complete a ticket to request support.


What if I need academic support? Are tutoring services still available?

All students have access to online tutoring through the University’s online learning management system (PLATO) under Student Resources. If you have never logged onto PLATO, you may do that here.

The Banacos Academic Center provides a peer tutoring program which will continue online or by phone for the remainder of the spring semester. Students should contact their tutor to determine how they will proceed. Students in need of a tutor may request a tutor online.

The Center for Reading and Writing will provide student support through remote means. Please sign up for an appointment via the website.

STEM Tutoring (i.e., mathematics and sciences) will offer online appointments during its regularly scheduled times. The STEM tutoring website will have directions for securing remote appointments.

If you are a student with a documented disability, please contact Disability Services at ds@westfield.ma.edu, and if you are part of the Learning Disabilities Program, please contact ldp@westfield.ma.edu.


Will registration and advising proceed as scheduled?

Yes. Advising and registration will take place as scheduled. Please check the Registrar’s website for your advising and registration dates. Students should contact their academic advisor to arrange for a phone, email, or virtual advising session and access to your registration PIN.


Will my College Dean’s office still be available to assist me?

Yes. The College Dean’s offices will still be available to help you via phone and/or email from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday through the end of the semester.


With whom should I speak about my placement/internship/practicum or other experiential learning?

Questions regarding internships, clinical placements/community-engaged learning, internships, field experience, teaching practicum should be directed to your faculty supervisor, coordinator, or department chair.


Will the staff in the College of Graduate and Continuing Education still be available to help me?

Yes. The Graduate and Continuing Education staff will be available Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. There will be no in-person services or appointments through the end of the semester, but staff can support you remotely via phone and email. If you have questions, please call 413-572-8020, or email wsucgce@westfield.ma.edu


How does this situation impact Westfield Promise and dual enrollment-related classes and activities?

Questions regarding Westfield Promise and dual enrollment-related classes should be directed to:


I’m having IT trouble with my online classes. Who do I contact?

If you are experiencing trouble with online learning, please contact the Center for Instructional Technology.


What communication are parents receiving?

The University is sending (or has sent) an email to parents based on the contact information we have on file. If you didn’t receive the email, you can view copies of all University correspondence and links to important information by visiting the Safe Fall Opening website.


I have more questions.

Students and families or faculty and staff who have remaining questions about the University’s Curtailment Plan are encouraged to call our designated phone line—413-579-3050—from noon to 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 16, and from 1 to 6 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 17.

Updated Nov. 13, 2020

 

Why is a shelter-in-place period necessary?

Given the steep increase in our COVID-19 testing positivity rate, Westfield State University decided to activate the portion of the University’s Curtailment Plan that calls for a temporary pause of on-campus activities. The University has been in touch with the director of the City of Westfield’s Health Department, who is supportive of this action. The University believes this is a responsible, necessary, and prudent step to promote the health and safety of the campus and Westfield communities and to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.


How will classes be held during the shelter-in-place period?

On-ground classes will be cancelled Thursday and Friday, Nov. 5-6, while online courses will continue as scheduled. A temporary transition to fully remote learning will start Monday, Nov. 9, and normal class schedules will resume at 8 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 19. The campus will be closed to visitors and personnel not deemed critical for COVID-19 business operations.


How does the shelter-in-place affect commuters?

In-person classes scheduled for Nov. 5 and Nov. 6 have been cancelled. Classes will be held remotely Nov. 5 through the morning of Nov. 19. All commuter students are asked to remain off campus while continuing to follow health and safety protocols and narrow their social circles as much as possible.


How does the shelter-in-place affect employees?

All faculty and staff—except for staff critical to COVID-19 business operations—will work remotely during the shelter-in-place period. Faculty and staff who have further questions should connect with their supervisor or department head.


Aside from academics, how will the shelter-in-place impact residential students’ quality of life?

The shelter in place is aimed to create a bubble for the campus to help mitigate the further spread of COVID-19. Most activity will be limited to residence halls, with the exception of trips to the Dining Commons for meals and for individual exercise outdoors on campus.


Are residential students required to stay in their rooms throughout the shelter-in-place?

Dean of Students Maggie Balch sent an email to residential students Wednesday, Nov. 4, with information on these expectations.

  • Residential students received an email Nov. 4 from Dean of Students Maggie Balch with instructions on how to provide Housing Operations/Residential Engagement with notice of the student’s plan (complying with shelter-in-place and staying on campus or voluntarily leaving campus for home) during the curtailment period.
     
  • Students who voluntarily leave the residential halls to go home during the shelter in place should select this option in their MyHousing account by following the steps in the email from Dean Balch on Nov. 4. These residential students will not be permitted to return to campus until Nov. 19, only after providing a negative molecular COVID-19 test to University Health Services. The negative test result will have to be within 72 hours of their return to campus.

Will residential students be able to leave campus?

Residential students must remain on campus grounds and are prohibited from traveling to and from campus during this period. Limited exceptions to this include travel to and from campus for academic requirements (clinicals/practicums, internships, and student teaching) or off-campus employment. Students who meet these exemptions are permitted to travel for only these limited purposes and are reminded to be vigilant in wearing masks, hand-washing, and social distancing during their time on and off campus.

It is important to note that residential students who DO NOT meet the limited exemptions listed above and leave campus will not be permitted to return to campus until Nov. 19, only after submitting a negative molecular COVID-19 test result to Health Services within 72 hours of returning to campus. 

All students are expected to comply with the shelter-in-place order to support our mitigation efforts. Any student who does not comply with these requirements or restrictions may face sanctions up to and including suspension from the University through spring 2021.


May students return home?

The University believes that the safest place for students is on campus at this time. However, if a student and/or their parents/guardians are adamant about returning home, the student will not be permitted to return to campus until after Nov. 19, and only after providing to University Health Services a negative molecular COVID-19 test result within 72 hours of the student’s return to campus.

Students who voluntarily leave the residential halls to go home during the shelter-in-place should select this option in their MyHousing account by following the steps in the Nov. 4 email from Dean of Students Maggie Balch.


I need to pick up medications and/or attend doctor’s appointments. Will I be able to do so?

Students who have needs to pick up medications or attend medical appointments may do so. These students are instructed to travel to either their doctor’s office or pharmacy only and return directly to campus.


As a residential student, if I go home and do not return to campus for the rest of this semester, will I get a housing-and-dining refund?

The University is not closing housing operations. If a student decides to go home during the curtailment period, that is the student’s choice. However, they are not permitted to return to campus until after the curtailment ends on Nov. 19 at 8 a.m. after producing a negative molecular COVID-19 test (within 72 hours of their return to campus) to Health Services.


How will Dining Services operate during the shelter-in-place period?

Students will still go to the Dining Commons to get their meals, and further information will be sent to students via email from Dining Services. Please check University email for current dining hours of operation.

Dining Services will be in touch with residential students and commuter students who have existing dining plans. Dining Services will contact residential students who do not have dining plans about dining options.


What services are available to resident students during shelter in place?

Dining Services and Health Services will be open to residential students.

From Thursday, Nov. 5 to Thursday, Nov. 19, Ely Library will be open only to current residential students with their Westfield ID card.

The physical location will be open:

  • Mondays 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Tuesdays: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Wednesdays: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Thursdays: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Fridays: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Saturday: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Sundays: Closed

Visit the library’s website for updates. 

https://lib.westfield.ma.edu/currentoperations/curtailed


Will residential students return to campus after Thanksgiving break?

This curtailment and shelter-in-place period is temporary. It is the University’s intention to continue the rest of this semester as currently planned.


When is the next round of asymptomatic surveillance COVID-19 testing at Westfield State?

The next rounds of testing will be held:

  • Nov. 10 and Nov. 18, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., in The Woodward Center, for residential students who have remained on campus during the curtailment/shelter-in-place period (mandatory for these students), and employees who have an on-ground presence during the curtailment/shelter-in-place period (employees are strongly encouraged to be tested); and
  • Nov. 30, Dec. 1, 2, and 3, in The Woodward Center (times to be announced).

Will the campus be safe to resume classes and live on this fall?

The health and safety of students, faculty, and staff is the University’s top priority, and our faculty and staff have been diligently working to create a safe environment for students in the residential halls, classrooms, and dining spaces. Westfield State continues to closely monitor the COVID-19 situation, and consults with state and local Departments of Health. It also follows the guidelines from Gov. Charlie Baker and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Face coverings, social distancing, frequent hand-washing, and other measures are part of the standard practices in place on campus to help protect community members and our visitors. A safe campus environment is also dependent upon our students adhering to the Protect the Nest Pledge.


Is there any possibility that the University will change course and send students home for the semester at the Thanksgiving break?

We are planning to have students return to campus after Thanksgiving. The University’s Emergency Management team, Safe Opening Task Force, and Cabinet continue to work with state and local Departments of Public Health, gathering information and ideas from the campus community through open sessions, and planning for several scenarios. We are aware that an unexpected outbreak of COVID-19 remains a possibility. For this, we remain vigilant and continue our contingency planning efforts.


What is happening to academic community events like lectures, workshops, etc.?

At Westfield State, we value the interactions we have as a community of scholars, and we take pride in offering opportunities for students to engage with scholars and professionals alike. During the upcoming weeks, we will hold our community events in a virtual format. We will keep you posted on opportunities to participate in virtual activities and discussions to maintain our community.


Will I be required to wear a face covering?

Face coverings will be required to be worn by all individuals without prohibitive health conditions, and 6 feet of social distancing (when possible) will be enforced. Hygiene and social distancing protocols will be prominently displayed on signage throughout the campus. All members of the campus community will be required to wear and display their University-issued ID badges when on campus property and to access campus buildi

Will the billing and housing deadline be extended beyond July 24?

Yes, following the billing and housing communication received by students and families, we received much feedback regarding extending the deadlines for billing and for returning students to submit a Petition for Release with the Cancellation Fee waived. The deadline for students and parents/families to pay fall 2020 semester tuition and for returning students to submit the Petition for Release with the Cancellation Fee waived, has been extended from July 24 to July 31. We hope the week extension gives students and their families more flexibility and time as they make decisions and plan for the fall semester.


Will students who have requested housing for the fall 2020 semester be guaranteed housing? 

As of now, all students who have requested housing for the fall semester are guaranteed housing.  


How will the residential move-in process work?

The move-in process for residence halls will mirror the move-out process in March, with students signing up for specific time slots offered over several days. Instructions will be provided by the Offices of Housing Operations and Residential Engagement later this summer.


When will students be able to register for a move-in time?

Students will be able to register for a drop-off time beginning on Monday, July 27 at 9 a.m.


How do I register for a move-in time? 

The first phase of this fall’s move-in process began at 9 a.m. Monday, July 27, 2020, with students being able to register for a drop-off day/time. Drop-off times will occur Monday, August 17 through Friday, August 21 and Monday, August 24 through Friday, August 28. Available times will begin at 9 a.m. and end at 5 p.m. each day. Students will be permitted to have two guests with them during their drop-off day/time. To follow the CDC’s recommendations for social distancing, a small number of students will be able to register for each drop-off period. 

Remember: This is a drop-off period only, and students will need to complete their drop-off and depart their residence hall within the hour they select. 

Follow these steps to select your drop-off period: 

  • Log into your MyHousing account. 
  • Go to the section on your homepage that says “Room Assignments” (be sure the fall 2020 semester is selected). 
  • Click on drop-down list of days/times and select the one you want from those available. 
  • Once you have selected the day/time you want, click on the button “Update My Time.” 
  • The page will reload, and you are all set! 

What if I don’t yet have a housing assignment? 

Students who are waiting on a housing assignment will see “Housing Placement Pending” under their “Room Assignment.” They are able to select a drop-off period as well. Once assigned, we will automatically move your selected day/time for you. 


What if the drop-off period I want is not appearing? 

If the day/time you want to select does not appear on the list, unfortunately this means there are no available spaces in that period. You should select a different day/time from those available on the list.  


One hour is not enough time to move into my room and set it up. What if I need additional time beyond one hour?

The drop-off time is only intended for students to drop off their belongings in their room and to depart the campus. Students should plan to setup their room when they return to move-in on August 30.


Can I wait until August 30 to move-in and avoid the drop-off period if I want?

Students who do not want to utilize the drop-off period may wait until August 30. However, no guests will be allowed in the residence halls beginning on August 30 and students would be expected to move into their rooms without any assistance.


Are students able to move in and stay in their rooms before August 30?   

In order to limit contact between students and their families during the drop-off period, it is not possible to allow students move in prior to August 30. The University must also be prepared to begin enhanced cleaning of the residence halls once students begin living on campus which will not be able to occur until August 30.


Will students be able to check-in at any time during the two week drop-off period if they arrive on campus on a different day from the one they registered for?

In order to limit contact between students and their families during the drop-off period, students will only be allowed to pick up their key(s) and drop off their belongings in their room at their scheduled day and time. Should a student arrive on a different day and time they will not be able to gain access to their room and will be asked to return home.


Will students be able to go into each other’s residence halls?

No guests, including students from other residence halls, will be permitted in any of the residence halls this fall.


Students will be attending classes together and will see each other outside of the residence halls including off campus. Knowing this, why are students not allowed to visit each other in other buildings?

A key recommendation from state and local health professionals, the American College Health Association (ACHA), the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and other relevant agencies is the need to restrict student and non-student guests within the residence halls. Although students may have classes together and see other students on campus, face masks and social distancing will still be an expectation at all times. Guest restrictions will help to ensure a small number of students are potentially impacted should someone test positive for COVID-19.


Can students sign a waiver acknowledging the risk of having guests in the residence halls allowing them to have guests? 

The guest restrictions in the residence halls will be in place during the entire Fall 2020 semester and will not include any exceptions.


Many other colleges have changed their housing to all singles; is Westfield State making this change?

As the number of students planning to live on campus for the coming academic year becomes clearer, it is possible the University will be able to convert some double rooms into premium singles. If this becomes possible, students will be notified via email.


If a student in my apartment/suite leaves housing, are the other students assigned to the apartment/suite responsible for the cost of the open space?

Students assigned to apartments/suites are not responsible for the cost of any open spaces in their apartment/suite.


Can students have housing on campus but only live there part of the semester?

The University strongly encourages residential students to remain on campus during the semester to limit contact with people outside of their residence hall and classes. Should you decide to leave campus students are expected to follow the same face mask and social distancing policies.


Are residential students allowed to go home on the weekends?

The University strongly encourages residential students to remain on campus during the semester to limit contact with people outside of their residence hall and classes. Should students decide to go home, they are encouraged to wear a face mask when necessary and to continue social distancing.


Are residential students allowed to travel off campus?

The University strongly encourages residential students to remain on campus during the semester to limit contact with people outside of their residence hall and classes. Should you decide to leave campus students are expected to follow the same face mask and social distancing policies.


What are the additional cleaning measures being put into place by Environmental Services?

Environmental Services will be conducting daily enhanced cleaning of frequently touched surfaces on campus including residence hall bathrooms, stairwells, hallways, and elevators.


When will the Spring 2021 Housing Agreement be available in MyHousing for students to complete?

Students who will not be living on campus during the Fall 2020 semester but are interested in returning to housing for the Spring 2021 semester will be able to complete the Housing Agreement beginning in October.


Will housing be available for students during the Thanksgiving and Winter Breaks?

In order to keep the health and safety of all residential students and residence hall staff as the primary focus of the University, break housing will be available to only a small number of students identifying as housing insecure.

How will Dining Services operate during the shelter-in-place period?

Students will still go to the Dining Commons to get their meals. Dining Services will be in touch via University email with residential students and commuter students who have existing dining plans, and with residential students who do not have dining plans about dining options.

The Dining Commons (DC) will be open seven days a week during the curtailment period to residential students. Meal options (including hot and cold items) will be reduced to ensure faster service, but students are still welcome to take adequate amounts of food to ensure that their dining needs are met. A bagged breakfast meal will be provided at either lunch or dinner to reheat at a time that is convenient for the student. Lunch will be served from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and dinner will be served from 4 to 8 p.m.

TJ Bistro will be open Monday through Friday, offering continuous service from 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., using the GET App only. Rice bowls will also be available for lunch at this location.

Ely Harvest will be closed; please order from the GET App for similar options at TJ Bistro.

Ely Pop-Up will be closed, and rice bowls will be served for lunch at TJ Bistro through the GET App.

Marketplace Convenience Store will be open Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.; and Saturday and Sunday, noon to 9:30 p.m.

Additionally, indoor seating at Scanlon Banquet Hall will be closed.

Students may order up to three meals at a time in the GET App—not to exceed four meals in a day—if they prefer to minimize their contact with others.

Regular hours of operation are expected to resume Thursday, Nov. 19, at 8 a.m.

Please observe physical distancing, proper mask wearing, and use the provided hand sanitizer when visiting any dining location.

When is the first day of classes for the fall 2020 semester?

First day of classes for the fall semester was Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2020. All academic courses will be delivered remotely and online until Sept. 29, 2020, when the delivery of those classes will revert to the originally intended mode—In-person (NORMAL), Hybrid-blended (HYBRID), Remote (synchronous-RMSYNC), or Online (asynchronous-ONLINE).


Could fall opening plans change in September?

Westfield State University continues to plan for welcoming back our residential students and commuters at the end of September 2020. The University has kept in contact with the City of Westfield’s Director of Public Health regarding local COVID-19 trends and has been keeping a close eye on sister state universities and other institutions who began managing an on-campus student presence since the end of August. As of mid-September 2020, all factors and indications remain favorable for Westfield State to move forward with its plan. However, as with all decisions made regarding Westfield State continuity during a very fluid pandemic, the University has contingencies in place, should the current encouraging status of COVID-19 on campus and in the area significantly change.


I have never taken a remote course, and I’m nervous about whether I will be successful. What should I do?

The current environment is creating a good deal of change for all of us, and we understand that some students will be concerned about learning in a new modality. Some faculty are new to this experience as well. Our concern for your success is a part of all that we do, whether you are on campus or off campus. Discuss your concerns with your faculty member or academic/program advisor. Friends who have been in remote classes previously may be able to share their experiences and help relieve some of your concerns. We will also provide resources and assistance along the way. We truly are in this together!

There are many resources available to help you prepare for remote learning. Our Center for Instructional Technology (CIT) offers regular support and tips for online learning. All students have access to online tutoring through the University’s online learning management system (PLATO), here. Other resources with advice for remote learning can be found online as well. For example, please visit Northeastern University’s “8 Strategies for Getting the Most out of an Online Class.” Most resources recommend the following for remote learning:

  • Be sure to check your email/class posting each day, probably a couple times a day to receive instructions from your professors. Be sure to ask them questions if you are unclear about the assigned tasks.
  • Schedule your time as you would for a regular class. That means scheduling time to be “in class” and time for homework and projects as well. Do your best to keep your schedule.
  • Set aside space to do your classwork at home, and keep the work in that space as organized as possible. Take time to organize the desktop on your computer or laptop with specific folders for each class.
  • Engage with the instructor and students. Many students actually enjoy online discussions more than in-class discussions.
  • Save all your work before you submit it so that you have a back-up copy in case anything goes wrong with the technology. This includes assignments, discussion responses, blog entries, etc.)

What if I need help with remote learning?

Don’t forget that your academic and program advisor, department chair, and college dean can all be resources for you. Don’t hesitate to speak up if you’re struggling; we are here to help you. If you’re having difficulty with technology issues in the remote-learning process, please contact the Center for Instructional Technology (CIT) Helpdesk. At this resource, you’ll be able to complete a ticket to request support.


What if I need academic support? Are tutoring services available?

All students have access to online tutoring through the University’s online learning management system (PLATO) under Student Resources. If you have never logged onto PLATO, you may do that here.

The Banacos Academic Center provides a peer tutoring program which will continue online or by phone. Students should contact their tutor to determine how they will proceed. Students in need of a tutor may request a tutor online.

The Center for Reading and Writing will provide student support through remote means.  Please sign up for an appointment at their website.

STEM Tutoring (i.e., mathematics and sciences) will offer online appointments during their regularly scheduled times. The STEM tutoring website will have directions for securing remote appointments. 

If you are a student with a documented disability, please contact Disability Services at ds@westfield.ma.edu, and if you are part of the Learning Disabilities Program, please contact ldp@westfield.ma.edu.


Will advising and registration proceed as scheduled?

Yes: Advising and registration will take place as scheduled. Please check the Registrar’s website for your advising dates. Students should contact their academic advisor to arrange for a phone, email, or virtual advising session and access to your registration PIN.


Are faculty holding in-person office hours?

No. Faculty will hold virtual office hours and continue to support students’ academic work via phone, web services, and email. If you are experiencing academic issues or have questions about your academic work, please contact your instructor, academic department chair, academic or program advisor, or college dean. We will do our best to address your concerns and questions as soon as possible.


Will my College Dean’s office still be available to assist me?

Yes. The College Dean’s offices will still be available to help you via phone and/or email from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday through the end of the semester.

With whom should I speak about my placement/internship/practicum or other experiential learning?

Questions regarding internships, clinical placements/community-engaged learning, internships, field experience, teaching practicum should be directed to your faculty supervisor, coordinator, or department chair.


Will information about courses being moved online be released before the billing deadline?

We plan to have the spring schedule finalized before registration for the spring 2021 semester and have any schedule adjustments made before the spring 2021 bill is due. As we do not have control over the pandemic and may not be able to accomplish this goal, we will do everything we can to have the schedule for spring 2021 finalized before bills are due.


Is there any possibility that the University will change course and send students home for the semester at the Thanksgiving break?

We are planning to have students return to campus after Thanksgiving. The University’s Emergency Management team, Safe Opening Task Force, and Cabinet continue to work with state and local Departments of Public Health, gathering information and ideas from the campus community through open sessions, and planning for several scenarios. We are aware that an unexpected outbreak of COVID-19 remains a possibility. For this, we remain vigilant and continue our contingency planning efforts.


Will the campus be safe to resume classes later this fall?

The health and safety of students, faculty, and staff is the University’s top priority, and our faculty and staff have been diligently working to create a safe environment for students in the residential halls, classrooms, and dining spaces. Westfield State continues to closely monitor the COVID-19 situation, and consults with state and local Departments of Health. It also follows the guidelines from Gov. Charlie Baker and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Face coverings, social distancing, frequent hand-washing, and other measures are part of the standard practices in place on campus to help protect community members and our visitors. A safe campus environment is also dependent upon our students adhering to the Protect the Nest Pledge.


Will the fall academic calendar change?

The fall 2020 academic calendar will not change. There is always the possibility that we may need to change course modalities to be fully online, if there is an unexpected outbreak of COVID-19.


How will classes be conducted?

All academic courses will be delivered remotely and online until Sept. 29, 2020, when the delivery of those classes will revert to the originally intended mode—In-person (NORMAL), Hybrid-blended (HYBRID), Remote (synchronous-RMSYNC), or Online (asynchronous-ONLINE).


Will I be required to wear a face covering?

Face coverings will be required to be worn by all individuals without prohibitive health conditions, and 6 feet of social distancing (when possible) will be enforced. Hygiene and social distancing protocols will be prominently displayed on signage throughout the campus. All members of the campus community will be required to wear and display their University-issued ID badges when on campus property and to access campus buildings.


Will Commencement ceremonies still be held as scheduled?

As communicated August 14, 2020, to members of Westfield State University’s Class of 2020, we share with the broader University community the unfortunate news that we will not be able to host the Oct. 24 Undergraduate and Graduate Commencement ceremony as planned.

Following recent discussions with the event venue—MassMutual Center in Springfield—we were left with the sad, difficult reality that we would not be able to hold the ceremony. Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker’s August 7 announcement to remain in step one of Phase III of the Commonwealth’s reopening plan, coupled with further limitations related to gathering sizes for events held indoors and outdoors, lead to further uncertainty that current restrictions would loosen in time for our October Commencement event date. After discussing a variety of potential alternate solutions, including a series of smaller events to accommodate fewer guests and more social distancing indoors or outdoors, it became apparent that the University could not offer a prudent and safe solution to host the 2020 Commencement ceremony this fall.

We share the significant disappointment that the Class of 2020 and their families are experiencing in reaction to this news. Commencement serves as the culminating event for Westfield State graduates and an opportunity for the fuller campus community to share in this annual celebration of our graduates’ success.

Currently, more intimate virtual celebrations by academic college or department are being planned. In addition, members of the Class of 2020 will be invited to walk during a May 2021 Commencement ceremony.

We are proud of all our graduates—but especially our 2020 graduates, who persevered to attain their degrees despite the challenges associated with a global pandemic. We look forward to acknowledging their undergraduate and graduate academic success in person next spring. On behalf of the entire Westfield State University community, we wish the Class of 2020 well-deserved congratulations on completing their undergraduate and graduate degrees.

When is the first day of classes for the fall 2020 semester?

First day of classes for the fall semester was Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2020. All academic courses will be delivered remotely and online until Sept. 29, 2020, when the delivery of those classes will revert to the originally intended mode—In-person (NORMAL), Hybrid-blended (HYBRID), Remote (synchronous-RMSYNC), or Online (asynchronous-ONLINE).


Could fall opening plans change in September?

Westfield State University continues to plan for welcoming back our residential students and commuters at the end of September 2020. The University has kept in contact with the City of Westfield’s Director of Public Health regarding local COVID-19 trends and has been keeping a close eye on sister state universities and other institutions who began managing an on-campus student presence since the end of August. As of mid-September 2020, all factors and indications remain favorable for Westfield State to move forward with its plan. However, as with all decisions made regarding Westfield State continuity during a very fluid pandemic, the University has contingencies in place, should the current encouraging status of COVID-19 on campus and in the area significantly change.


I have never taken a remote course, and I’m nervous about whether I will be successful. What should I do?

The current environment is creating a good deal of change for all of us, and we understand that some students will be concerned about learning in a new modality. Some faculty are new to this experience as well. Our concern for your success is a part of all that we do, whether you are on campus or off campus. Discuss your concerns with your faculty member or academic/program advisor. Friends who have been in remote classes previously may be able to share their experiences and help relieve some of your concerns. We will also provide resources and assistance along the way. We truly are in this together!

There are many resources available to help you prepare for remote learning. Our Center for Instructional Technology (CIT) offers regular support and tips for online learning. All students have access to online tutoring through the University’s online learning management system (PLATO), here. Other resources with advice for remote learning can be found online as well. For example, please visit Northeastern University’s “8 Strategies for Getting the Most out of an Online Class.” Most resources recommend the following for remote learning:

  • Be sure to check your email/class posting each day, probably a couple times a day to receive instructions from your professors. Be sure to ask them questions if you are unclear about the assigned tasks.
  • Schedule your time as you would for a regular class. That means scheduling time to be “in class” and time for homework and projects as well. Do your best to keep your schedule.
  • Set aside space to do your classwork at home, and keep the work in that space as organized as possible. Take time to organize the desktop on your computer or laptop with specific folders for each class.
  • Engage with the instructor and students. Many students actually enjoy online discussions more than in-class discussions.
  • Save all your work before you submit it so that you have a back-up copy in case anything goes wrong with the technology. This includes assignments, discussion responses, blog entries, etc.)

What if I need help with remote learning?

Don’t forget that your academic and program advisor, department chair, and college dean can all be resources for you. Don’t hesitate to speak up if you’re struggling; we are here to help you. If you’re having difficulty with technology issues in the remote-learning process, please contact the Center for Instructional Technology (CIT) Helpdesk. At this resource, you’ll be able to complete a ticket to request support.


What if I need academic support? Are tutoring services available?

All students have access to online tutoring through the University’s online learning management system (PLATO) under Student Resources. If you have never logged onto PLATO, you may do that here.

The Banacos Academic Center provides a peer tutoring program, which will continue online or by phone for the remainder of the semester. Students should contact their tutor to determine how they will proceed. Students in need of a tutor may request a tutor online.

The Center for Reading and Writing will provide student support through remote means. Please sign up for an appointment at their website.

STEM Tutoring (i.e., mathematics and sciences) will offer online appointments during their regularly scheduled times. The STEM tutoring website will have directions for securing remote appointments. 

If you are a student with a documented disability, please contact Disability Services at ds@westfield.ma.edu, and if you are part of the Learning Disabilities Program, please contact ldp@westfield.ma.edu.


Will all courses through the College of Graduate and Continuing Education be online?

The vast majority of courses taught through the College of Graduate and Continuing Education (CGCE) will be taught online. However, there are some courses that will either be completely in person or have some in person components. Classes are coded to highlight their modality.

  • NRML (Normal) – completely in person;
  • HYBRD (Hybrid) – partially in person and partially online;
  • RMSYC (Remote/online synchronous) – completely remote/online but with meeting/participation on specific days/times;
  • ONL (Remote/online asynchronous) – completely remote/online without specific days/times for meeting/participation, just dates/deadlines for submission of assignments and completion of coursework and exams

With whom should I speak about my placement/internship/practicum or other experiential learning?

Questions regarding internships, clinical placements/community-engaged learning, internships, field experience, teaching practicum should be directed to your faculty supervisor, coordinator, or department chair.


Will the staff in the College of Graduate and Continuing Education still be available to help me?

Staff in the College of Graduate and Continuing Education (CGCE) will still be available by email and phone Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The CGCE office number is 413-572-8020, and all staff will respond to emails throughout the day during regular business hours. CGCE staff can also schedule phone and Zoom appointments as needed.


How does this situation impact on-campus meetings, appointments, and events related to Graduate and Continuing Education?

Any/all business that can be conducted remotely should be until further notice. Staff in the College of Graduate and Continuing Education are available by email and phone during regular business hours and can also schedule phone and Zoom appointments as needed. In the event that something must absolutely be handled in person, CGCE in-person office appointments must be arranged in advance by email or phone. Any guests who do come to the CGCE office will be asked to sign in for contact tracing purposes. 


How does this situation impact Westfield Promise and dual enrollment-related classes and activities?

WESTFIELD PROMISE

The Westfield Promise early college program has migrated to remote learning for the start of the fall 2020 semester, in tandem with the undergraduate day division and CGCE. All grade 11 stretch courses are offered at each partner high school through the “remote synchronous” method until further notice.

Grade 12 students are registered in remote synchronous or fully remote courses for the fall 2020 semester to reduce the number of people on campus, and to eliminate transportation needs from partner high schools to the University. We plan to resume the ability to register for in-person courses for the spring 2021 semester, should guidelines at the time from the state, school districts, and University allow.

All additional early-college programming will be conducted through virtual formats until further notice.

Students and parents/champions should reach out to westfieldpromise@westfield.ma.edu with any questions.

 

DUAL ENROLLMENT

Students in grades 9-12 from Massachusetts public, private, or homeschools are able to participate in dual enrollment for the 2020-21 academic year under the current safe-opening guidelines.

For the 2020-21 academic year, students may only register for fully remote courses, or remote synchronous courses to qualify for Commonwealth Dual Enrollment Program funding (available for the spring and summer I 2020 terms only).

Students, parents/champions, and school counselors seeking more information should email dualenrollment@westfield.ma.edu.


How can I make a payment to my student account?

Students may either remit payment for CGCE classes and fees using their myWestfield portal, under the Finance tab, or mail payments directly to the CGCE mailing address (ATTN: Finance Office). Inquiries regarding student accounts can be made to Financial Manager Christopher Riffenburg at either criffenburg@westfield.ma.edu, or by calling 413-572-8832.


Will Commencement ceremonies still be held as scheduled?

As communicated August 14, 2020, to members of Westfield State University’s Class of 2020, we share with the broader University community the unfortunate news that we will not be able to host the Oct. 24 Undergraduate and Graduate Commencement ceremony as planned.

Following recent discussions with the event venue—MassMutual Center in Springfield—we were left with the sad, difficult reality that we would not be able to hold the ceremony. Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker’s August 7 announcement to remain in step one of Phase III of the Commonwealth’s reopening plan, coupled with further limitations related to gathering sizes for events held indoors and outdoors, lead to further uncertainty that current restrictions would loosen in time for our October Commencement event date. After discussing a variety of potential alternate solutions, including a series of smaller events to accommodate fewer guests and more social distancing indoors or outdoors, it became apparent that the University could not offer a prudent and safe solution to host the 2020 Commencement ceremony this fall.

We share the significant disappointment that the Class of 2020 and their families are experiencing in reaction to this news. Commencement serves as the culminating event for Westfield State graduates and an opportunity for the fuller campus community to share in this annual celebration of our graduates’ success.

Currently, more intimate virtual celebrations by academic college or department are being planned. In addition, members of the Class of 2020 will be invited to walk during a May 2021 Commencement ceremony.

We are proud of all our graduates—but especially our 2020 graduates, who persevered to attain their degrees despite the challenges associated with a global pandemic. We look forward to acknowledging their undergraduate and graduate academic success in person next spring. On behalf of the entire Westfield State University community, we wish the Class of 2020 well-deserved congratulations on completing their undergraduate and graduate degrees.

Will the billing and housing deadline be extended beyond July 24?

Yes, following the billing and housing communication received by students and families, we received much feedback regarding extending the deadlines for billing and for returning students to submit a Petition for Release with the Cancellation Fee waived. The deadline for students and parents/families to pay fall 2020 semester tuition and for returning students to submit the Petition for Release with the Cancellation Fee waived, has been extended from July 24 to July 31. We hope the week extension gives students and their families more flexibility and time as they make decisions and plan for the fall semester.


If a student’s classes are setup as either hybrid or in person but move online after the billing deadline, will students requesting to move off campus still be responsible for the Cancellation Fee?

If a student’s courses switch from in-person/hybrid to online only after the billing deadline, the student may submit a Petition for Release attaching the notice they received showing the date and time of receipt. If the change in course delivery occurred after the billing deadline, the student’s petition will be granted and the Cancellation Fee will be waived.


Can I visit campus to pay a student’s bill in person?

Unfortunately, the campus is closed to the public through the summer due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so all payments to the University must be made either electronically or mailed to:

Office of Student Accounts
Westfield State University
333 Western Ave.
Westfield, MA 01085


If I have already paid a deposit for housing but decide to commute this semester, how do I get a refund for my deposit?

If a new incoming student no longer wants to be in housing for the coming year they can contact the Admissions Department to change their status from “Housing” to “Commuter” and the housing and dining charges will be removed from their account. The student should complete this task before they check into housing or they will only be eligible for a partial refund.

For returning students, refunds will be issued automatically if someone paid a housing deposit out of pocket. Or, if the student is on financial aid, a credit will be given in October, when financial aid disbursements are made. Students are encouraged to first check their myWestfield account, then email: studentaccounts@westfield.ma.edu with any questions.


If the University must move to an online learning model after the semester begins, will housing and dining charges be refunded? 

If the campus closes the residence halls at any point during the semester, it is highly likely housing and dining fees would be pro-rated and credited to the student account.  We anticipate following the same process as the spring 2020 semester refunds.


Is financial support available for students in need?

We have created a Student Emergency Fund to support the essential needs of our students who do not have parents or champions to assist them. To make a gift, please visit www.westfield.ma.edu/owlshelpingowls

Will there be on-campus COVID-19 testing for students?

Yes. As part of our plan to keep the campus community safe during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, all undergraduate and graduate students planning to return to Westfield State’s campus in late September—either as a resident or commuter student—must participate in University COVID-19 testing Sept. 24-27, 2020. Without completing this testing requirement, these students will not be permitted to physically return to campus. 

Please review the COVID-19 Testing Schedule.


I didn’t sign and submit the two online consent forms for COVID-19 testing by Sept. 8. May I still be tested?

Yes. Simply print and sign the two informed consent forms, and bring them with you to the testing. An email was sent on Sept. 17 by the Dean of Students to students who did not sign and submit the online forms by Sept. 8. That email includes the consent forms as attachments and provides information on the testing schedule. Without completing the testing requirement, students will not be permitted to physically return to campus. 

Please read these important reminders about COVID-19 testing at Westfield State University:

  • COVID-19 TESTING INFO FOR RESIDENTIAL STUDENTS
    • COVID-19 testing for residential students will take place Sept. 25, 26, and 27, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., in the Woodward Center. IMPORTANT: Each residential student has been assigned a pre-determined day and time to be tested; they should refer to the August 28 email they received from Housing Operations that states their pre-determined testing time/date.
  • COVID-19 TESTING INFO FOR COMMUTER STUDENTS
    • COVID-19 testing for commuter students (who will have any on-campus presence this fall) will take place Sept. 24, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.; and Sept. 25, from noon to 4 p.m., in the Woodward Center. IMPORTANT: The time and date of testing for commuter students depends on the first letter of your last name.

Please review the COVID-19 Testing Schedule.


What happens if I get sick?

Students should contact University Health Services for instructions on handling an illness.

Students with a positive or undetermined COVID-19 test result will be contacted swiftly and directly by University Health Services, who will communicate next steps. Although there are specific isolation plans for those students who test positive and will be remaining on campus, students are also encouraged to consult with their champions/parents about creating a plan in the event that they test positive. When residential students move onto campus in late September, they should bring a pre-packed bag with essential items they would need to isolate or quarantine for 14 days. In some cases, students who test positive may be permitted to return home to isolate; however, a separate, designated residence area has been planned for those who will remain on campus for isolation.     \


I live on campus and think I am experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. What should I do?

If you have any reason to believe you may have been exposed to COVID-19—or if you are experiencing fever, cough, or shortness of breath—please stay where you are, and do the following:

  • Call University Health Services prior to coming to the building at 413-572-5415 during normal office hours;
  • Alert the health care provider of the following: your name, date of birth, symptoms, and recent travel history;
  • Follow the health care provider’s instructions, and do not go anywhere, unless told otherwise; and
  • If you need emergency assistance, call Public Safety at 413-572-5262, or call 911.

What will happen if a student tests positive for COVID-19?

Students with a positive or undetermined COVID-19 test result will be contacted swiftly and directly by University Health Services, who will communicate next steps. Although there are specific isolation plans for those students who test positive and will be remaining on campus, students are also encouraged to consult with their champions/parents about creating a plan in the event that they test positive. When residential students move onto campus in late September, they should bring a pre-packed bag with essential items they would need to isolate or quarantine for 14 days. In some cases, students who test positive may be permitted to return home to isolate; however, a separate, designated residence area has been planned for those who will remain on campus for isolation.     


If I have concerns about mental health and wellness, what should I do?

Services for students are available through the Counseling Center, and for employees through the Employee Assistance Program at 800-451-1834. The Ferst Interfaith Center can also provide support for community members.

Will it be safe for students to live on campus this fall?

The health and safety of students, faculty, and staff is the University’s top priority. Westfield State closely monitors the COVID-19 situation, and consults with state and local Departments of Health and will follow the guidelines from Gov. Charlie Baker and the recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Face coverings, social distancing, frequent hand-washing and other measures will be part of the standard practices on campus to help protect community members and our visitors.


Where will I have to wear a face covering?

Face coverings will be required to be worn by all individuals without prohibitive health conditions, and 6 feet of social distancing (when possible) will be enforced. Hygiene and social distancing protocols will be prominently displayed on signage throughout the campus. All members of the campus community will be required to wear and display their University-issued ID badges when on campus property and to access campus buildings.


What will campus life be like?

Campus environments will be modified—including academic buildings, dining spaces, and residence halls—to support social distancing and uphold health protocols. Directional signs, occupancy limitations signs for elevators and restrooms, and hygiene and social distancing reminders will be prominently posted. An increased number of sanitation stations will be installed in all campus buildings.

Likewise, campus activities will be modified for health and safety. Interactions with staff may be limited to either in-person appointments or online formats.


What is the plan for Athletics?

The Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference has cancelled the fall season sport competitions. Owls teams will have practice opportunities. The Athletics Department will be in touch with existing and incoming student athletes with additional information. 


When will Ely Fitness Center be open?

Ely Fitness Centers hours for the fall are: Aug. 30 & 31: 9am-4pm (open for tours and waivers only. No workouts.)
Closed Sept. 1 for staff training. Beginning Wednesday, Sept. 2, fall hours are: Mon.-Thu: 7am-8pm; Fri.: 8am-5pm; Sat./Sun.: 12pm-5pm
Pool and aerobics begin Monday, Sept. 14 (phased opening)

What is the process for new students to get their student ID cards?

Online photo submission will be available until August 3 at 8 a.m.  You can upload a photo using two methods. Visit:  https://get.cbord.com/wsc/full/login.php. Enter your myWestfield user name and password. On the right side bar, click “Upload a Photo” then choose a file and click “upload”.  Crop photo with gray box and click “Crop”.  You will then have a ‘Pending Photo’ on your file. If your photo is accepted by our staff, you will receive a photo acceptance email.  (Note:  If your photo was accepted, do NOT upload another photo. This will result in a $30 fee.) If your photo does not meet our guidelines, you will receive a photo rejection email and you will have to resubmit a new photo. GUIDELINES: No hats, sunglasses, funny faces, props, filters or snapchat … just a head and shoulder shot with a plain background. A smile is encouraged.


What are the plans for new incoming students?

For updates and details to orient new students to Westfield State, please visit either First Year Students (Class of 2024) or Transfer Students.

Are campus tours available?

While our campus buildings are currently closed, please check out our campus with a Virtual Tour. If you are interested in upcoming events, such as virtual information sessions, click here. For more information about undergraduate admissions, email admissions@westfield.ma.edu or call 413-572-5218. For graduate, part-time and evening admissions, email wsucgce@westfield.ma.edu or call 413-572-8020.

Will COVID-19 testing be available for faculty and staff?

Yes. As part of our plan to keep the campus community safe during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Westfield State University is strongly encouraging onboard and periodic COVID-19 testing for faculty and staff who will have an on-campus presence in the fall semester.  

Employees interested in taking advantage of the onboard and asymptomatic testing offered by Westfield State University should have signed and submitted to the Office of Human Resources, Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity two consent forms by Sept. 8, 2020. (Check your email for the two attachments.)

If employees did not submit their two online consent forms by Sept. 8, they may bring their signed consent forms to the testing site and be tested, at the time according to where their last name falls alphabetically. See the onboard testing schedule, below.

Testing will take place in the Woodward Center.

Onboard testing for faculty and staff will be offered on Sept. 24 or 25, based on the following schedule:

Thursday, Sept. 24  

3-4 p.m.:                           Employees from the Student Affairs Division 

 

Friday, Sept. 25  

8-9 a.m.                            Faculty and staff with last names beginning with A-G 

9-10 a.m.:                         Faculty and staff with last names beginning with H-O 

10-11 a.m.                        Faculty and staff with last names beginning with P-Z  

The overall schedule for onboard and asymptomatic testing is as follows:

  • Onboard testing: Sept. 24-27, 2020  
  • October asymptomatic testing: Oct. 13-16, 2020  
  • November asymptomatic testing: Nov. 2-5, 2020  
  • November/December asymptomatic testing: Nov. 30-Dec. 3, 2020  

The University has partnered with The Broad Institute to supply test kits and process results, which are expected within 48 hours. The University has also contracted with On-site Medical to manage the administering of the tests, notifications of test results, and to assist with symptom tracking and contact tracing. The test collects samples from the front of the nose, is minimally invasive, and results in less patient discomfort than other types of COVID-19 tests.  

As part of our agreement with On-site Medical to assist with COVID-19 testing, a Wellbility app will be provided for faculty and staff use. As part of our campus community’s collective effort to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, and to expedite the communication of test results, students, faculty, and staff who have an on-campus presence for the fall semester will be strongly encouraged to use the app for daily secure self-assessment of potential symptoms. The app will also be used to assist with contact tracing, should the need arise.

Faculty and staff with a positive or undetermined test result will be contacted swiftly and directly by an Occupational Health Professional in the Office of Human Resources, Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity, who will communicate next steps.

As a campus community, all members will be expected to adhere to the Protect the Nest Pledge to ensure all community members collectively contribute to the safety and well-being of the full University community.  


What if I am exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms?

Our top priority is the health and well-being of the Westfield State community. Employees who have been instructed to return to the workplace must conduct symptom monitoring, including taking their temperature each day before reporting to work. For a list of symptoms, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.

If you have any symptoms, contact your primary care physician for guidance. Please also email hr@westfield.ma.edu or call either Tina Bonés at 413-572-5274 or Alexa Fiorita at 413-572-8730, in the Office of Human Resources, Inclusion, Diversity and Equity (OHRIDE). Consistent with existing university policy, employees are also required to notify their supervisor of all expected and unexpected absences from the workplace (including COVID-19).


What Personal Protection Equipment will I be required to use as I perform my job?

All employees will be responsible for providing their own cloth mask/face covering. PPE that exceeds beyond having a mask requirement, will be provided to select employees based on the nature of their job function and inherent risk. Job-specific PPE requirements will be communicated to employees by their direct supervisors.