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:
- Continuing exclusively remote learning until the end of the fall semester.
- 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.
- Cancelling or moving online on-ground campus events and activities.
- Continuing the University’s remote workforce plan and other flexible work arrangements, reserving an on-campus presence for personnel associated with critical operations.
- 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.
If you have more questions about housing, please call 413-572-5402, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 (email@example.com), 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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:
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 email@example.com. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or call 413-572-5231. Reference services will be available by calling 413-572-5234, emailing email@example.com, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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:
- Father Warren Savage, Catholic Chaplain: email@example.com / 413-572-5567
Catholic Deacon Roger Carrier: firstname.lastname@example.org / 413-572-8528
- Catholic Deacon James Conroy: email@example.com / 413-572-8556
- Reverend Nancy Webb Stroud, Episcopal Chaplain: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Reverend Barbara Hesse, Protestant Chaplain: Pastor@SecondChurchWestfield.org / 413-572-8568
- Rabbi Efraim Eisen, Jewish Chaplain: email@example.com / 413-572-8570
- Imam Rasul Seifullah, Muslim Chaplain: firstname.lastname@example.org / 413-572-8163
- Reverend Bruce Arbour, Methodist Chaplain: email@example.com / 413-572-8163
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?
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.
If you are a student with a documented disability, please contact Disability Services at firstname.lastname@example.org, and if you are part of the Learning Disabilities Program, please contact email@example.com.
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.
- College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences
- Dean Emily Todd, Ph.D.: 413-572-8695; firstname.lastname@example.org
- College of Education, Health, and Human Services
- Dean Juline Mills, Ph.D., 413-572-8691; email@example.com
- College of Mathematics and Sciences
- Dean Jennifer Hanselman, Ph.D., 413-572-8701; firstname.lastname@example.org
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 email@example.com.
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:
- Ryan Meersman, assistant director of early college access programs: firstname.lastname@example.org (dual enrollment/Westfield Promise);
- Sullynette Ortiz, early college program advisor: email@example.com (Westfield Promise).
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.