Insurance Deadline Extended to 9/15

The following is a repost of the email sent to students on August 11th.

 

Dear Wes Student,

This notice is being sent to all students.  If you have already complied with the annual insurance requirements at www.gallagherstudent.com/wesleyan,  you can disregard this message.

The deadline for annual insurance compliance has been extended to September 15.  If you have not yet completed a waiver or enrollment form, please go to www.gallagherstudent.com/wesleyan.  You will need to use your Wesleyan email user and password to log in or create an account.    After this date you will no longer be able to reverse the charges and you will remain on the school insurance.

If you are remote learning, you have the option to terminate the school insurance and receive a reversal of charges and comply when you return to campus in the spring (or next fall).  If you have not yet done so, please alert me by email if you decide to NOT come to campus so adjustments can be made accordingly.

Be Well,

Joyce

Joyce L. Walter

Director, Davison Health Center

Wesleyan University

327 High St.

Middletown, CT  06459

860-685-2656

860-685-2471f

www.wesleyan.edu/healthservices

Important Information for Fall 2020 Semester – Update from Dean Whaley & President Roth

The following is a letter Dean Whaley and President Roth emailed to students on August 10th.

Dear students,

As our staff makes final preparations for students’ arrival to campus only two weeks from now, we look forward to the start of the semester with a mix of excitement and anxiety. Most of us have longed for the day when we can be together again on campus since we were abruptly forced apart by the pandemic last spring, yet the worsening public health conditions in much of the country are deeply troubling. Thankfully, Connecticut continues to fare well with decreasing COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths—largely thanks to the continued diligence of our state’s residents in following the rules meant to keep the public safe.

Like the state, Wesleyan has its own set of rules and expectations that all students, faculty, and staff will be required to follow. We write today to remind you of these policies and practices, as well as to drive home how serious we will be about enforcing them. As stated in the student Code of Conduct—which all students will be required to read and acknowledge prior to arriving on campus and picking up keys to their residence—students are expected to follow the policies at all times. Non-compliance will result in a student being immediately required to leave campus on an expedited basis in order to protect the health and safety of others.

New public health guidance from the state of Connecticut has also required Wesleyan to change and tighten some of its rules and protocols, especially around the logistics of students’ arrival to campus. These changes were shared in an August 3 message to students. As a reminder:

  • Wesleyan is requiring that all students who are able to get tested for COVID prior to leaving home do so. The state recommends that this test be performed within 72 hours of arriving on campus. Students will be asked to upload a record of a negative test result to an app, which we will introduce soon. Any student whose test comes back positive for COVID should not travel to campus, but should seek medical advice from their healthcare provider, recover at home and, if possible, begin the semester remotely. Wesleyan will require documentation from students’ hometown healthcare provider clearing them to return to campus, which must be consistent with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines.
  • All students are asked to self-quarantine for two weeks prior to arriving on campus, and especially to avoid large gatherings.
  • In accordance with the state’s guidance, only students—not family members—will be permitted to enter student residences during move-in. Therefore, students should pack lightly, and only bring what they can carry to their rooms by themselves. More information on move-in is available on the Residential section of the Reactivating Campus website.
  • In order to have an effective quarantine on campus as required by the state, Wesleyan will require all students on campus to quarantine between August 24 and September 7. Students who arrive on campus after August 24 from affected states with high COVID activity or from other countries will still need to meet the state’s 14-day quarantine; thus their quarantine may extend beyond September 7. Students coming from Connecticut and other states not on the list of affected states will only need to quarantine from the day they move in to campus until September 7.
  • For this period of quarantine, students will be expected to remain in their residence except to pick up to-go meals and to get a COVID-19 test at the testing site. Students will not be allowed to leave campus at all during these two weeks.
  • Students will be tested two times per week, with the first test taking place upon arrival to campus. Once a student receives two negative test results, students living in residence halls will be permitted to expand the remaining time of their quarantine to interactions with others living on their residence hall floor or to similar sized groups of “neighbors,” as designated by the Office of Residential Life.

Following arrival, students will be tested twice weekly for COVID through a self-administered anterior nasal swab, allowing us to detect COVID in the pre-symptomatic or asymptomatic stage and to isolate any infected students and quarantine and test their close contacts (roommates, housemates, intimate partners, and anyone they have been in contact with for 15 minutes or longer at a distance of less than six feet). We will aim to quarantine for 14 days any close contact who may have been exposed before they are contagious (which typically happens two days prior to symptom onset), thereby greatly reduce the spread of the disease.

Any student who tests positive will be isolated for a CDC-recommended period of 10 days from the onset of symptoms, as long as they are improving and have had no fever for 72 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication.

Students are expected to comply with the University’s testing, contact tracing, and quarantine/isolation orders in order to break the chain of contagion, as well to abide by the following measures for the health and safety of the community:

  • Wear a mask or face covering at all times, except when sleeping, in one’s room (alone or with a roommate), eating, showering, or brushing teeth. This means masks/face coverings must be worn when a student leaves their room to go into the hallway or restroom, or when a guest is present in their room.
  • Maintain a six-foot physical distance from others at all times.
  • Avoid groups and gatherings. All meetings and informal gatherings are limited to 25 or fewer people and should take place in venues where physical distancing requirements can be maintained. All such gatherings should take place virtually whenever possible. Most in-person social events and parties are prohibited.
  • Comply with reduced capacity limits in classrooms, dining areas, and other campus spaces.
  • No visitors are allowed on campus during the semester, including students’ parents and other family members, speakers, performers, admission tours, etc.
  • Students are discouraged from traveling outside of the Middletown area (beyond a 25-mile radius from campus), and will be required to self-quarantine upon return to campus as per CDC and state Department of Public Health (DPH) guidelines. Any student who travels beyond the 25-mile radius should notify staff at Davison Health Services who will discuss with them necessary precautions upon their return.  Students are expected to comply with COVID precautions (including physical distancing, face coverings, etc.) as directed by local businesses/agencies when interacting with the local community.
  • The University will also increase the frequency of cleaning in all campus buildings, including residences. However, students are encouraged to carefully and frequently wash hands and to sanitize living spaces. Wesleyan will provide instructions on cleaning protocols intended to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and expects compliance with these protocols.
  • Students will be required to obtain an influenza vaccination prior to January 20, 2021 (unless they have an exemption as permitted by state law).

As we’ve said before, campus life this semester will undoubtedly look very different, but we are confident that with the cooperation of our campus community, we can all enjoy opportunities to learn, grow, and support one another. That said, if understanding these rules as a condition of living and studying on campus causes you to reconsider your plans for the semester, please contact your class dean as soon as possible to make a request to study remotely.

As always, we will be closely monitoring public health conditions and state guidance. If any change in our plans is warranted, we will alert you immediately.

Stay safe, and we look forward to seeing you soon.

 

Sincerely,

Dean Mike Whaley, Vice President for Student Affairs

Michael S. Roth, President

Virtual Wesleyan Students and Families Forum: Thursday, 8/13 at noon ET

Dear students and families,

Whether you will be joining us through in-person, online, or hybrid classes this fall, we cannot wait to see you again and reunite our Wesleyan community. As you know, faculty and staff have been working tirelessly to assure the success of this semester, and we would like to share more details about our plans. I invite you to participate in a virtual Students and Families Forum, on Thursday, August 13 at noon ET. Dean Mike Whaley will join me in leading the conversation.

This will be a Zoom video webinar. You can use the following information to participate in the Zoom:

Click here to access Zoom Webinar

Passcode: 646292

Webinar ID: 997 8720 6796

Find your local number

I look forward to reconnecting with you on August 13. In the meantime, be safe and stay well!

Sincerely,

Michael S. Roth, President

 

Open Call for Mutual Aid Support for the Middletown Community

Middletown Mutual Aid Flyer

As we get one step closer to a smooth reopening in the fall, many students and Middletown community members are concerned for what this sudden influx people might mean for the hygiene and safety of the Middletown community – much of which comes from backgrounds of more modest means than Wesleyan students, as I’m sure you understand.

In this regard, myself and other Wesleyan students have been collaborating with community members and institutions – like the North End Action Team, St. Vincent de Paul, etc. – to provide material services and fundraise for the most vulnerable people in Middletown at this time. We set up a Direct Cash Assistance Fund with the purpose of supporting the neediest without means testing and with no questions asked. Since its inception, we have raised over $20,000 and were able to send checks to nearly 100 families over the last month. As President Roth has blogged and promoted the fundraiser, I hope you can do so as well, and implore the Wesleyan community to support their neighbors that have taken such good care of us throughout all these years.

Below is the link to our fundraiser:
https://tinyurl.com/givemtown

Best regards,
Bryan Chong
Wesleyan University ’21
Mutual Aid Flyer in Spanish/Espanol

Public Health Update – 7/24

What follows is the most recent public health update from Dr. Tom McLarney, Medical Director of Davison Health Center.

To the Wesleyan Community,

Welcome to the dog days of summer. Did you know this expression actually comes from the rise of Sirius, the dog star, from July 3 to August 11? It has nothing to do with dogs, though my Labrador Retriever remains skeptical. And there’s your piece of trivia for the day!

I write to you amidst a heat wave in Connecticut, as my colleagues and I are working hard in preparation for the start of school, just over a month away. Today, I’d like to share details of Wesleyan’s plans for COVID-19 testing.

For testing on campus, we are partnering with the Broad Institute, a non-profit organization based in Cambridge, MA that has a history of performing premier work with human genetics. They also have an extremely large capacity to run tests, and are partnering with many other colleges and universities in New England. The Broad Institute has promised a turn-around time for tests of 36 hours, greatly superior to the typical turnaround time of four to 10 days for many commercial labs.

The Broad Institute will be using a Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test, a kinder and gentler anterior nasal swab that students, faculty, and staff will self-administer under the observation of Davison Health Center staff. The sensitivity of this test (detection of true positives) is believed to be greater than 95 percent.

Testing at Wesleyan will begin on or around August 24, when students begin moving in to campus residences. All students will be tested on the day they arrive on campus, and must self-quarantine in their student residences. Students returning from any state with high COVID-19 activity will be required to quarantine for 14 days based on current state of Connecticut requirements. The state of Connecticut will also recognize a negative pre-arrival COVID-19 test (with written proof of test) performed within 72 hours of arrival. We are actively seeking guidance from the state related to our testing protocol and whether that will allow for a shorter quarantine based upon two negative results on campus.

On the subject of pre-arrival, we are asking all students to self-quarantine for 14 days prior to arriving on campus. Yes, I realize this will put a damper on the typical end-of-summer farewell celebrations that are a tradition for many students, but for the safety of our campus community, it is essential that students avoid such gatherings and other opportunities for contagion.

Following arrival, students will be tested twice weekly. Testing will be performed outside in tents, as outdoors has been shown to be a safer environment to deter the spread of COVID-19, and six-foot distancing will be enforced. Wesleyan faculty and staff will also be tested regularly, and details on those plans will be forthcoming. We’ll be releasing more details regarding testing locations and appointments in the near future. Wesleyan is also pursuing an app that will remind people of their test times, give test results, and share national and state information related to COVID, among other things.

With the results of these tests, Wesleyan will be performing contact tracing to contain the spread of any contagion. This means that anyone who receives a positive test will be asked about anyone with whom they had close contact (including roommates/housemates, intimate partners, and anyone with whom they have been in contact—less than 6 feet apart—for 15 minutes or longer) within 48 hours prior to the test being performed (or, if the person tested is showing symptoms, within 48 hours prior to symptom onset). We will reach out to these individuals, without revealing the identity of the person who tested positive, and they will be required to quarantine for 14 days (the maximum incubation time for COVID-19). Because people can infect others two days prior to symptom onset, we aim to put close contacts in quarantine before they become infectious, preventing the spread of COVID.

Wesleyan will cover the cost of all testing. Needless to say, if a student, staff, or faculty member will be doing 100 percent of their work virtually (off-campus), there is no need to come to campus for a COVID test. We are not planning to do antibody testing on campus, as these tests do not tell if someone has an active disease, nor do they necessarily mean that person is immune to reinfection from COVID-19.

Testing and contact tracing will go a long way toward keeping us all safe, but practicing other safe behaviors at all times—including wearing masks/face coverings anytime you are in public (outside your own dorm room or private office), staying more than six feet away from others, and washing hands frequently—are also critical. Please pack a thermometer to help self-monitor for illness.

Stay safe, and I look forward to seeing many of you on campus (a safe distance away!) very soon.

Tom McLarney, MD

Definitions of Course Formats/Instruction Modes for Fall 2020

Definitions of Instruction Modes:

In-person only = Intend to hold the class in-person on campus until Thanksgiving, remotely after Thanksgiving, and cannot accept any online students who would participate remotely.

In-person with remote students = Intend to hold the class in-person on campus until Thanksgiving, remotely after Thanksgiving, and will accept students who are unable to participate in-person and need to participate remotely.

Online only = Intend to hold the course online for the entire semester.

Hybrid in-person only = Intend to offer a course that will include some in-person sessions and some sessions online until Thanksgiving, fully online after Thanksgiving, and cannot accept any students who would not be able to participate in the in-person sessions.

Hybrid with remote students = Intend to offer a course that will include some in-person sessions and some sessions online until Thanksgiving, fully online after Thanksgiving, and will accept students who are unable to participate in-person and need to participate in all sessions remotely.

You may access this listing from the Office of the Registrar here.

Notes from the Class Dean – 7/22

Dear members of the Class of 2021,

I hope you are doing well as you consider your plans for the fall semester. I also want to take this time to draw your attention to information and resources that may be helpful.

WEBINARS

The university will host several webinars and town halls before the start of the fall semester. Several of you have asked me about testing, and a webinar is scheduled to address your questions and concerns on Thursday, July 23rd (see details below). A webinar for the arts at Wesleyan is scheduled for today, July 22nd at 2:00pm, EST.

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Testing
2 p.m. ET
Webinar ID: 939 7310 4846
Password: 222623
Find your local number

You may find a complete list of the webinars on the Town Halls/Webinars page of the Reactivating Campus website.

COURSE ANNOUNCEMENT

Prof. Kolcio announced a new course that may be of interest as you contemplate modifications to your Fall 2020 schedule.

“CSPL/CGST480 ENGAGED PROJECTS is  a 1-credit course in which students design a semester-long project around a topic of their choice that engages the broader public. EPs respond to this critical moment in history by empowering students to connect their academic pursuits to what is happening in the world around them; they deepen student learning and self-reflection, ease the undeniable challenges of online and hybrid learning, and introduce students to their own agency and positionality in society.”

More background is here and here.

GRADING MODES FOR FALL 2020

Students have asked me about grading modes and whether the full range of grading options will be available for their courses this fall. Currently, grading modes for courses are not based upon the format(s) in which they are offered and they are up to the discretion of each instructor. Some courses are still letter graded only, credit/no credit only (CR/U), or students have the option to choose between the two by the posted deadline (i.e. student option). It’s my understanding that the deadline to choose a mode (with the student option) will not be the end of classes as it was for the spring, but the change of grading mode deadline, which is usually two weeks after the end of the drop/add period.

I do know there are ongoing conversations within our division of Academic Affairs about grading modes for the fall, but I have not been apprised of any modifications to the policy as of now. Additionally, changes will most likely still be up to the discretion of instructors, but there is a push to encourage them to offer letter grading and the CR/U option to students. Unfortunately, this does not guarantee that each instructor will adopt the full range of grading options for each course. More definitive details are forthcoming.

LEAVES OF ABSENCE VS. DEFERRALS

This is a quick reminder that returning students (i.e. sophomores, juniors, and seniors) are not eligible for deferrals as the university currently defines them. Incoming first-year students may request deferrals for their enrollment at Wesleyan. Returning students may request leaves of absence. This may seem like the university is splitting hairs, but clarifying the terminology will help minimize confusion, especially as it relates to how we process these requests.

Returning students may request to take a leave of absence (which effectively terminates course registration and housing assignments) by August 30th to avoid prorated charges for the Fall 2020 semester; these charges (i.e. tuition, room, board, fees) commence on August 31st. Requests to take a leave of absence are not official unless you submit them through the appropriate form in WesPortal. F-1 visa holders should also consult with my colleagues in the Office of International Student Affairs (OISA) if you plan to take a leave of absence to discuss the potential impact on your visa status, eligibility for CPT/OPT, etc.

Students may access more information about taking a leave of absence here.

BILLING QUESTIONS & FINANCIAL AID

Admissions, Financial Aid, and Student Accounts offered a joint webinar earlier this week to discuss questions that students and their families have about financial aid packages, costs for the Fall 2020 semester (and beyond), and financial aid. I’ve also fielded questions about billing, costs, and financial aid packages, and I will do my best to provide support where I can to help you address your concerns. However, I’m limited in how (and if) I can address specific questions about billing and financial aid packaging for any given semester. I don’t have access to information on each student’s account (e.g. balances, credits), and I can’t confirm whether a student will receive a material refund given their financial aid packaging for this academic year. The last thing I want to do is create or add to any confusion, and it’s important that I defer to my colleagues in the appropriate finance units to work with you to resolve issues/concerns in these areas.

Alyssa Corvi is the Financial Aid liaison for the Class of 2021 and can assist you in answering specific questions about your aid. However, I encourage you to allow at least a couple of business days for her to respond as the volume of inquiries has increased dramatically since the end of last semester.

I’ve also received specific questions about billing and the Residential Comprehensive Fee (RCF), and the information provided by my colleague in Student Accounts may offer more clarity:

Residential Comprehensive Fee

  • On-Campus (…the full RCF will be charged whether your courses are in-person, online or a hybrid.)
  • Off campus/Commuter (…if approved [by Res Life] to be off-campus, a 60% credit will be applied to your student account for the housing portion of the RCF. A request for a meal plan exemption must be submitted to Michelle Myers-Brown in dining services.
  • Remote (…fully remote, from home, no on-campus services utilized, no RCF charges)

Questions about your bill can be addressed to Student Accounts, but I encourage you to check your student account online for updates before any outreach. As Student Accounts and Financial Aid learn of official changes in the statuses of student plans (e.g. transitions to remote learning or off-campus status; leaves of absence), accounts will be adjusted accordingly. It could take 3-5 business days from the time a student submits a request to change their status for their account/financial aid package to reflect the change. I know this entire process can be stressful and frustrating, but I encourage you to be patient and to keep checking your student account online for updates.

My apologies for the length of this email, but hopefully, the information provided above is helpful. As always, don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions or concerns.

Wishing you and your families good health,

Dean Leathers

Move-In Timeslot Sign Up Available Now

The following is a message from Residential Life.

Please use the following link to access the tool for signing up for a timeslot for the move-in process.

A few important notes:
  • Please only sign up for 1 timeslot
  • Incoming first-year students will have housing assignments visible by the end of the day tomorrow, July 22nd, and can use that information to sign up for the appropriate move in event.
    • Please do not sign up for a timeslot without a room assignment.
  • Students traveling from NY, NJ, or New England states should sign up for the later dates if possible in order to leave the earlier dates open for students traveling from farther away.
Additional information about the move-in process can be found on our FAQ page here: Residential Life Fall 2020 Opening FAQ

 

Best,
Kieran

Kieran J. Duffy ( He, Him pronouns)
Assistant Director of Residential Life
Wesleyan University
237 High Street
Middletown, CT 06459
(860) 685-3429