Graduate Student Information for Fall 2021

We know that many in our community have been away from campus for more than a year, or have not yet had the opportunity to experience campus. In addition to COVID-19 Related FAQs for Students and our full Fall 2021 Graduate Community Standards, below is an overview of what you can expect this fall. We will share additional details as they become available to help you prepare for life on campus.

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Health and Safety

Masks

Masks will be required indoors, unless one is alone in a residence hall room or study space or while eating or drinking, until further notice. Masks are not required outdoors for fully vaccinated individuals. All students are expected to be familiar with and comply with any guidelines outlined on the Protecting Our Community page.

Testing

After careful consideration and review of the latest public health guidance, weekly COVID-19 testing will be required of ALL students who are on the Boston Simmons campus at least one day a week – regardless of vaccination status, until further notice. Compliance with Simmons testing protocols are critical to remain in good standing with full access to classes and other campus activities, to ensure the health and safety of the campus community, and to continue to allow face-to-face experiences and a vibrant on-campus learning experience.

All students will test on the Simmons Residence Campus and are required to utilize CoVerified to schedule their testing appointments, view test results, and track testing compliance. All students participating in the testing program should log in to CoVerified through the mobile app or website to activate their account by August 30.

Testing Compliance

It is our expectation that all students will comply with the COVID-19 testing policy, as they are critical to ensure the health and safety of our community. Students who do not comply with testing protocols will be subject to the following outcomes:

  • First Notice - If a student goes an entire week without testing, they will receive a warning letter on Monday letting them know they must come into compliance by the end of the day on Friday. Student-athletes will not be allowed to participate in athletic practice or competitions per GNAC and NCAA rules while non-compliant. This will be the only warning students will receive.
  • Second Notice - If a student misses a test for the second time, they will be required to attend a documented meeting with their Area Coordinator (for Residential Students) or the Dean of Student Experience (for Graduate or Undergraduate Commuter Students). Student athletes will not be allowed to participate in athletic practice or competitions per GNAC and NCAA rules while non-compliant.
  • Third Notice/Restriction - If a student misses a test for the third time, their access to campus facilities will be suspended until they are in compliance. Tap access will be monitored weekly and non-compliant students who are identified as having entered academic buildings will be in violation of the Student Code of Conduct and will be required to attend a conduct hearing. Students will be responsible for all fees and work missed during this time. Students who believe they have an extenuating circumstance will also have an option to appeal this decision. Student athletes will not be allowed to participate in athletic practice or competitions per GNAC and NCAA rules while non-compliant.

Simmons Star Testing Compliance Rewards Program

We value and appreciate your compliance with the Simmons testing policy and will recognize your commitment to health and safety through the Simmons Star Testing Compliance Rewards Program. Each week, students who test will be entered into a raffle to acknowledge their commitment to the health and safety of the campus community. Drawings will occur every Wednesday morning of the following week and students will have an opportunity to win a variety of prizes, including gift cards, Simmons swag and other fun items. Residential students will have an opportunity to earn additional incentives through the residential compliance incentive program. 

Thank you for your cooperation on this extremely important initiative, which is vital to ensure a safe campus community this semester.

CoVerified 

Download the CoVerified mobile app or access the website to activate your account. On the login screen, enter your simmons.edu email address. You should be directed to the Simmons sign-on page. Verify your mobile phone number and answer the prompts to activate your account. If you are using the app, make sure to allow notifications so you can receive results in a timely manner and ensure we can reach out to you as needed. You can also review the detailed instructions.
 
To schedule a COVID-19 test, choose “Testing” on the bottom of the mobile app or “Schedule a Test” on the left side of the website. Choose the Residence Campus site to see appointments.
 
CoVerified has three statuses:

  • Cleared - A green Cleared status means you have either tested negative within the last 12 days or you have been exempted from testing because you have tested positive for COVID-19 within the past 90 days.
  • Restricted - Your default CoVerified status will be “Restricted” until you receive your first negative test. Following that, a red Restricted status means you have either tested positive for COVID-19 within the past 10 days or it has been more than 12 days since your last negative test. Students with Restricted statuses should not come to campus for any purpose other than visiting the testing center to get back into compliance or to the Health Center for treatment.
  • Remote - If you are not going to be on campus for two weeks or more, set your CoVerified status to Remote so you will not be required to participate in weekly testing. Do not come to campus during Remote status. If you are coming to campus for any reason, click the “Return to Campus” button and follow the prompts. If it has been more than 12 days since your last test, you must immediately get tested to get back into compliance.

Facility Upgrades

There have been many upgrades to campus facilities for increased health and safety protocols. All HVAC systems across campus have been upgraded with CDC-recommended air filters and increased airflow from outside air. Portable air filtration units have been added to classrooms and high-traffic areas. Plexiglass shields have been installed at high-traffic service locations. Enhanced surface cleaning will continue, and hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes will be available across campus.

Vaccine Requirement and Resources 

Vaccination is required for all students, graduate and undergraduate, who participate in face-to-face curricular and co-curricular activities at any of our Boston or remote locations, including all face-to-face classes, immersion weekends, off-site cohorts, and other in-person events at these locations. Our goal is to have all students vaccinated before the fall semester begins, and given the increasing availability of vaccines, we believe this is very achievable. To meet this requirement, students should aim to get their first shot before July 1. 

Ensuring our community is protected is a top priority, so Simmons is committed to help international students or other students who cannot access an approved vaccine in their area get vaccinated as soon as possible upon arriving on campus. Unvaccinated students may be required to quarantine or follow other health protocols until they are fully vaccinated. 

Students may reach out to the Simmons University Health Center to discuss the process for requesting a medical or religious exemption to the COVID vaccination policy, as they can for other vaccine requirements.

COVID-19 Vaccine FAQs

Academics

We are excited that Fall 2021 classes will return to in-person teaching and learning. With the relaxing of social distancing requirements, almost all classes will be able to operate at normal capacity. Currently, masks will be required in all classrooms.  Any changes to this requirement will be communicated prior to the start of the fall semester.

Beatley Library is currently under construction, and library services have been moved to the 5th floor of the Management and Academic Building. Additional tables, seating, and laptop bars have been added throughout campus to make up for the valuable study space that the library normally provides.

Students will still have access to accessibility services and other academic support in the Center for Student Success on the ground floor of Lefavour, as well as expanded online service options.

Student Life

We look forward to welcoming students back to a vibrant campus community this fall. We are planning to host a wide range of programs and events for health and wellness, diversity and inclusion, clubs and organizations, and more. Students will receive regular updates on upcoming opportunities through The Anchor: Graduate, a new email communication for Simmons graduate students that has been designed to provide regular updates and opportunities to get involved in the larger campus community. The Holmes Sports Center will be open for recreational activities. 

We have utilized this past year of virtual learning to redesign and modernize our physical campus. A few highlights you will see include the new Student-Driven Media Center; new Multicultural Center relocated to overlook the quad in the Management and Academic Building; a new student services "One Stop" center that provides convenient access to the bursar, registrar, student financial services, among others; new flexible, light-filled classrooms; and casual gathering spaces in common areas

Dining on campus will mostly return to normal operations. Meyers Cafe in Lefavour Hall will be closed due to construction. All dining locations are adding mobile ordering options to reduce lines and congestion.

Updated Travel Policy

In Spring 2020, Simmons restricted all travel due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Below are the most recent updates to COVID-19 restrictions on Simmons-sponsored travel. All Simmons-sponsored travel by students is still subject to the Student Travel Policy.

Domestic Travel for Students

Simmons sponsored domestic student travel (e.g., alternative spring break, field trips, athletics, etc.) is allowed and should be done in accordance with the Simmons Student Travel Policy, while taking into consideration appropriate health and safety guidelines. Travel that requires departmental funding will be subject to the approval of the unit head (Dean, Director, Department Chair, etc.) and is dependent upon the availability of funds within the unit's budget. Domestic travel covered by other sources (e.g., approved SGA funds, grant funding, etc.) does not require additional approval beyond pre-established funding request processes already in place.

International Travel

International travel for students through Study Abroad is suspended for the fall semester.

Questions

Contact the Health Center (617-521-1020) with questions or concerns, including with issues in appointment scheduling, if you believe you received a “restricted” status in error, or if you are unable to view test results in CoVerified. If you are unable to reach the Health Center, go directly to the testing site during open hours for help. You can also read the Return to Campus FAQs.