Novel Coronavirus Information
Simmons University is closely following the latest news and updates related to the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19). We will continue to update this web page to keep our community informed of the University’s efforts related to this disease and to provide additional resources and guidance.
Our Latest Information
Updated March 24, 2020
- Commencement: Our latest information on commencement.
- Supporting Our Students (SOS) Fund: We are grateful that so many members of the Simmons community have expressed concern for our students and asked how they can help. In response, we have established the Supporting Our Students (SOS) Fund to help provide needed resources to our students.
- All Classes Will Meet Remotely: All undergrad and graduate campus-based classes will meet remotely for the remainder of the semester and will resume on Monday, March 23, 2020, after our extended Spring Break. All online graduate courses will run on their originally published schedules.
- Resources for Virtual Instruction and Learning: Resource pages have been created on our internal website for students and faculty.
- Residence Halls Closing: All residence halls will close and students are expected to move out no later than 7:00 p.m. on March 19, 2020.
- Athletics: Athletic contests are cancelled for the rest of the semester. The Holmes Sports Center will also be closed for the rest of the semester.
- No On-campus Meetings & Events: For the remainder of the semester, all on-campus meetings and events will be offered virtually, if possible; if not, they will be postponed or cancelled.
- Remote Working: Guidelines for remote working and who to contact with questions.
- Dining Options: Dining services for on-site employees will be offered in a limited fashion.
- Travel Bans: All Simmons-supported travel – domestic and international — will be cancelled for at least the next 30 days.
- Travel Study Courses: Simmons travel study courses will be cancelled for the remainder of this fiscal year.
- Stay Safe: Things you can do to keep safe.
- Previous Communications: See previous communications sent to our community.
After much consideration and deliberation, we’ve made the painful but necessary decision to cancel our in-person commencement exercises planned for May 15 – in keeping with city and state authorities who have prohibited all large gatherings for the foreseeable future.
We are working hard to create a unique, memorable and meaningful virtual experience for our graduating undergraduate and graduate students – something we do routinely with commencement exercises for our online graduate programs.
We want to thank students and families for their flexibility and patience, and we will share additional commencement details in the coming days. In addition, we hope to invite the class of 2020 back together, in person, at a later date after the crisis has passed.
Supporting Our Students Fund
We are grateful that so many members of the Simmons community have expressed concern for our students and asked how they can help. In response, we have established the Supporting Our Students (SOS) Fund to help provide needed resources to our students. Gifts to the SOS Fund provide relief for alternative housing and transportation, mental health and medical needs, groceries and personal items, technology, and other accommodations to complete coursework.
Learn more about supporting our students.
Campus-based Classes Move Online
All undergrad and graduate campus-based classes will meet remotely for the remainder of the semester and will resume on Monday, March 23, 2020, after our extended Spring Break. Students will hear more details about their classes next week.
All online graduate courses will run on their originally published schedules.
Faculty will receive further information from Provost Katie Conboy.
Resources for Virtual Instruction and Learning
Residence Halls Closing
All residence halls will close and students are expected to move out no later than 7:00 p.m. on March 19, 2020.
We are currently working on a policy on housing and dining refunds and credits. Our first priority is to ensure a safe move out for students, and we will communicate additional information as soon as we have it. Thank you for your continued patience and understanding.
Athletic events are cancelled for the rest of the semester. The Holmes Sports Center will also be closed for the rest of the semester.
Meetings and Events
In-person campus events are cancelled for the remainder of the semester. When possible, these events will become virtual or be rescheduled for the future. See a listing of updated events at Simmons.
Guidelines for Remote Working
Effective Wednesday, March 18, all non-essential personnel at the University must work remotely. Employees who are considered “essential” have already been notified. Please note that Simmons is not "closed." Hundreds of classroom hours will continue to be underway for the duration of the semester. Students will continue to have needs we must address. We are open for business, and we are doing our work remotely.
All employees will need to complete a Remote Work Agreement. Over the days to come, we will provide more information, including webinars to help our employees work remotely as effectively as possible. Employees should keep a close eye on their email and on the Simmons Internal Faculty & Staff website. Please continue to reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org with any specific questions.
With our new 100% remote status, dining services will be discontinued effective immediately.
We have broadened our travel ban to include all Simmons-supported travel – domestic and international — for at least the next 30 days. This means you should cancel any travel you have planned on behalf of Simmons in the next 30 days to attend or speak at conferences, college fairs, donor events, and other large gatherings – even if there will be cancellation charges. We will let you know if we extend the ban beyond 30 days. In the meantime, please do not purchase travel-related expenses for dates at any time beyond the current ban.
We are also cancelling all Simmons travel courses for the remainder of this fiscal year. It's too soon to make a call on programs planned for late summer or fall, but we will continue to monitor their viability.
If you have questions related to traveling abroad or being an international student, please email the Center for Global Education at email@example.com.
In any instance of in-person interactions, let's keep in mind the safety measures the CDC offers – stay about 6 feet apart, be careful to cover your coughs and sneezes, resist shaking hands or touching your face, and wash your hands often and properly. Keep calm, wash your hands and stay home if you're sick.
For more information on what to do if you feel sick, or if you become aware that you or someone in your household may have been exposed to the virus or becomes symptomatic, check out our frequently asked questions.
We will send more updates as we have them; please keep a close eye on your email and on the Simmons web page.
If you have particular questions or concerns, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can get back to you with accurate directions or answers.
The uncertainty surrounding the spread of the coronavirus has heightened anxiety around the world. As we implement precautionary measures to protect the health and wellness here at Simmons, I remind everyone that we are a strong, united community. We must work together as we face this common threat, treat one another with kindness and empathy, and offer our support to those who need it.
- President Helen Drinan