COVID-19 Communication to Students and Families - March 13, 2020

In this Update

  • Move Out Dates: Schedule, process, and forms for new move out timeline.
  • Key Drop Off: Guidelines for dropping off keys.
  • Policy Exception: Students returning from any Level 2 or Level 3 area (which now includes all of Europe) must self-quarantine for a minimum of 14 days and may not come to the Simmons campus during that time.
  • Exemption to Stay: Forms and process to apply for an exemption.
  • On-campus Operations: On-campus support and services will be limited during closure.
  • Commencement: We will communicate with students and families as soon as a decision about Commencement has been made.

Residence Campus Closure Information

President Drinan communicated via email earlier today that we will be moving all classes to an online format and the residence halls will close to resident students by March 23rd at 5:00 pm.  

This news is likely as difficult to digest as the decision was to make. That’s to say, we are saddened that your academic year on our campus has come to a sudden close and we will not get to enjoy a Spring semester together as a Simmons community.  We know that this decision is in the very best interest of our Simmons community and this disruption is the only way we can endeavor to keep you safe and healthy; but it still hurts and we recognize that you may be feeling sad, scared and anxious while being isolated from your Simmons family.

After the enormous task of closing our residence campus is complete, in the coming days and weeks you will be hearing from your Student Affairs staff about virtual programs, leadership development, and online meet-up programs so we can remain connected, engaged, and even try to have some fun during this difficult time.

However, our first order of business is to close down the residence campus. Students who have already signed up to return to campus on Friday, March 13 and Saturday, March 14th are allowed to return to campus and may begin to move out of their residence halls. In fact, you are encouraged to do so. In accordance with CDC guidelines, you should avoid congregating in large groups and maintain social distance from others.  

Move Out Dates

  • Students are required to fill out the Mandatory Check-Out Form by Monday, March 16th at 9:00 am.  
  • Students who reside in the Pilgrim Rd. side of Simmons Hall, in Smith Hall, Arnold Hall, Dix Hall, and North Hall will depart on Tuesday, March 17th and Thursday, March 19th between 9:00am and 5:00pm. 
  • Students who reside in the Brookline Ave. side of Simmons Hall, in Morse Hall, Mesick Hall, Evans Hall and South Hall will depart on Wednesday, March 18th and Friday, March 20th between 9:00am and 5:00pm. 
  • Students who reside on the Boston University Fenway campus in Riverway House and in the Townhouses should sign up for a move-out time as they see fit but must be out by March 23rd at 5:00pm.
  • Students who cannot move out during these fixed times should include this on their check-out form.  However, all residents must be moved out by 5:00pm on Monday, March 23rd.

You must sign up for a move-out time. By signing up for a move-out time, we can limit the number of people on campus at the same time and work to provide you with the smoothest move-out experience possible even under these difficult circumstances.

All residents should drop their keys off at the Office of Residence Life immediately after moving out between 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM or drop their keys at the designated key boxes located in their respective residence hall lobby. All Riverway residents MUST return their keys to The Campus Card Office, located on the first floor of the Palace Road Building (Room P-107). Townhouse (TH) residents will receive instructions from the TH management team with move out instructions, so please wait for further instruction.

A firm exception to this policy

Students returning from any Level 2 or Level 3 area (which now includes all of Europe) must self-quarantine for a minimum of 14 days. You may not come to the Simmons campus during the 14-day window after your return to the United States and must apply for an exception to move out outside of the designated times.

Simmons Campus During This Time

We understand that for some members of our community, it may not be possible to move home.  There may be no safe place for you to go, particularly in such a short timeframe. We understand that this may impact some of our most vulnerable communities and the fear of having nowhere to go may be very real. For that reason, students are able to petition for an exemption to stay on campus for the remainder of the semester.

However, there are some factors that you need to consider as we operate during these difficult times:

  • Food service will be limited to grab-and-go bagged meals that are available in a designated location on campus. However, students will not be able to gather and eat together during meals.  You should also plan for the potential interruption to food service based on the availability of staff.
  • Health and Counseling Center services will be limited for emergencies only.
  • Students may be required to move out of their regularly-assigned, academic year room to allow us to create space for potential quarantine locations.  
  • Cleaning services will be limited.
  • We will not be able to provide in-person programming opportunities as we will be following strict social distancing guidelines.
  • Students will not be allowed to bring guests or overnight guests to the Simmons campus.  It is important that we do our part to contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus, which means limited social interaction.
  • Resident Assistants will not be available for support or assistance.

If you need to apply for an exemptionplease complete the form by 9:00am on Monday, March 16th.  You will learn about our decision by 5:00pm on Monday, March 16th. All decisions will be final. After the 16th, this process will close and we will not review any additional exemption petitions.

Commencement

Simmons has not yet made a decision regarding holding Commencement. We will communicate to you as soon as that decision has been made.

Be Safe

We are committed to making your move-out as easy as possible so you can get home safely and take care of yourself and your loved ones. Again, we will greatly miss you and will look forward to connecting with you online.