On-Campus Life - Spring 2021

Academic instruction for our undergraduate and graduate students will be almost entirely online for the spring semester with very few exceptions. The COVID Recovery Task Force continues to analyze the latest public health data on the pandemic, but based on the data and current number of students who are planning to return to campus, we are moving forward with the Spring semester as outlined below. In addition, the Task Force is working on Simmons’ vaccine planning and rollout, and we will share that information as it becomes available.  

Learn more about residential life this spring, dining, and our plans for testing and keeping you safe on campus.

We've also recently added additional access for commuter students to support their academic and wellness needs.

Residential Campus

  • Only 8 of our nine residential buildings will be in use, and will house students in single occupancy rooms. One residence hall will be reserved for isolation of symptomatic or COVID-positive students.
  • Move-in dates are January 22-31, 2021. The plan for staggered move-in includes scheduled time slots where no two students from the same floor can schedule simultaneous times. All students invited to reside on campus will receive detailed instructions from Residence Life about when and how to move in.
  • Upon arrival, all students will be required to quarantine in their single rooms until they receive negative results from their initial test and another test conducted about 3 days later.
  • To ensure that our students who are on campus remain engaged with Simmons and with each other safely without needing to leave campus, the Simmons Offices of Student Leadership and Activities, Residence Life, First-Year Programs, and the Multicultural Center have collaborated to plan a robust calendar of virtual co-curricular programs for our undergraduate and graduate students. This includes daily events and activities, leadership development, and opportunities for students to maintain meaningful relationships with each other.
  • Read more about protocols and policies for residential students on campus in Spring 2021.

Testing, Quarantine, and Contact Tracing

  • We are partnering  with the Broad Institute for testing and contact tracing. Students, faculty and staff will be required to participate in regular testing at our on-campus testing site at Alumnae Hall as a condition of living on or coming to campus plus an initial onboarding test upon move-in or before classes begin.
  • Students living in residence halls, residential staff, and high-risk essential staff will be tested twice per week. Students attending in-person classes, in-person instructors, and essential staff with limited student contact will be tested once per week. Any faculty or staff with periodic or low-contact presence on campus will only be tested if they show symptoms.
  • All students, faculty, and staff coming to campus will be required to use the CoVerified app to report any symptoms they are experiencing every day before coming to campus.
  • If someone tests positive or reports a symptom of COVID-19, they will be contacted by the Health Center to provide more information, including potential quarantine or isolation procedures.
  • Anyone who tests positive or reports positive symptoms will be asked to use CoVerified to list anyone with whom they were in close contact so that these people may be contacted by our contact tracers with more information about quarantining, symptom checking, and potential testing.
  • One residence hall will be reserved for the isolation of COVID-positive students. If a student tests positive for COVID, they will be required to move into this facility (unless they can isolate in their room with a private bath) and will be supported by Residence Life, Counseling, and Health Center staff through the duration of their period of isolation.
  • Students who test positive AND show symptoms will remain in isolation for at least 10 days since symptoms first appeared AND at least 24 hours without symptoms, without the use of fever-reducing medication. For students who never develop symptoms, isolation and other precautions will be discontinued 10 days after the date of their positive test.

Campus Safety Measures

  • Face coverings will be required at all times outside of the students’ residence bedroom and singularly-occupied private offices.
  • We will sanitize all common areas and classrooms three times per day, including a deep clean every night.
  • Anyone on campus is expected to clean the spaces they use, including private residence rooms and private offices, as well as any shared chairs, desks, or other equipment. Sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, and other cleaning supplies will be provided throughout common areas for all to clean and disinfect their areas.
  • Signage will be posted throughout campus to remind all community members of proper handwashing, physical distancing, and mask-wearing practices.
  • Physical plexiglass barriers have been installed at all service locations to provide an extra layer of protection for in-person interactions.
  • Due to construction on campus, access to buildings will be very limited. Students, faculty, and staff who will come to campus regularly will receive relevant information about campus access procedures. All visitors should check in through Public Safety at the Palace Road building to ensure that they receive the proper instructions.

Dining Services

Dining services will be provided at Bartol Hall to resident students with grab-and-go and low-contact service options with limited indoor seating. This plan will continue to adapt and align with the ever-changing state, local, and university guidelines as necessary.

Hours of Operation

Monday to Friday

  • Breakfast, 7:00 am – 10:00 am
  • Lunch, 11:00 am – 2:00 pm
  • Dinner, 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Saturday & Sunday

  • Brunch, 10:30 am – 1:30 pm
  • Dinner, 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Dining times might be adjusted based on final class schedules.

Unlimited Meal Plan

  • No points, unlimited swipes – Unlimited meal option is the only option for Spring  2021 residents
  • No cash will be accepted at the register
  • Card tapping system will be added to the cash register
  • Mobile ordering available for Spring 2021
  • Commuter students, faculty, and staff will be allowed to use the facility as well. Credit cards will be the only form of payment accepted for these patrons.

Safety/Sanitation/Social Distancing

  • Hand sanitizer will be available at entrance and exit as well as throughout the dining hall
  • Students will enter Bartol Hall through the main entrance and exit through the parking lot side emergency exit to help maintain social distancing.
  • Guests needing accessibility assistance can enter and exit through the main door
  • Masks or facial coverings must be worn at all times by employees and students while in the dining hall
  • Signage to indicate 6 feet of distance between each student
  • No outside guests allowed in the residential dining facility
  • Limited seating inside Bartol
  • Plexiglass shields to be utilized at food stations and cashier
  • Facilities and Aramark to help maintain a sanitized dining location
  • Food stations will adhere to social distancing guidelines
  • Retraining of all employees regarding food and environmental safety
    • Emphasize/Retrain Hygiene Standards
    • Increased Cleaning Frequency of High-Touch Areas
    • Increased Frequency of Utensil/Pan Rotation
  • All Aramark employees will be required to complete symptom checks before coming to work, including having their temperature checked before entering the dining location
  • All Aramark employees will be tested on a regular basis following the protocols established by Simmons Health Services. Aprons changes every two hours / Use of disposable aprons
  • No employee allowed into the prep /dining areas in civilian clothing 
  • Employees will not be allowed to leave the dining location for any reason during their shift
  • Serving utensils changed during service at least one time
  • Only disposable utensils will be used (prepackaged plastic fork, knife, and spoon)
  • Reusable plastic cups will not be available for use
  • No self-serve stations during all meal periods, including self-serve beverage machines, toaster and toppings bar, and coffee/tea stations

Student Code of Conduct

As always, all students--residents and commuters--are held to the standards set forth in the Student Code of Conduct. In a COVID environment, students have additional responsibilities such as daily attestation and strict adherence to testing protocols. Failure to comply with these policies will result in loss of residential campus housing and could affect the ability to attend on-campus classes. All residence students must sign an Addendum to the Housing License Agreement that indicates an understanding and acceptance of these new policies.