Important Fall and Spring Calendar Updates

The following is a repost of the email message sent by President Roth on October 5th.

Dear friends,

With the first month of the semester under our belts, I would like to pause to acknowledge the careful planning, creative problem-solving and exemplary adherence to safety protocols that have allowed us to be together this fall. This is a proud and happy moment for us all.

At the same time, it is a precarious moment. We understand that the pandemic is still with us and that the public health context can change at any time. We are also nearing the winter months, when more time indoors and flu season could pose additional threats. With these considerations in mind, we have made the following plans:

  • Thanksgiving recess begins Wednesday, Nov. 25 and extends through Monday, Nov. 30. Classes resume remotely on Tuesday, Dec. 1, with all classes and exams conducted online for the remainder of the semester. Students with special considerations (such as international students for whom travel is not advisable or students who depend on Wesleyan for housing) may petition to remain on campus over winter break. All other students must depart no later than Wednesday, Nov. 25 at noon.
  • Students may return to campus for the spring semester beginning Friday, Feb. 5, and classes will begin online on Tuesday, Feb. 9. Students whose theses or capstone projects require them to be on campus will be able to petition to return prior to Feb. 5 on a case-by-case basis. That petition will be distributed at a later date, and consideration will be given to any petitions by those who feel their work cannot be done remotely.
  • We continue to review the risk profile for athletics and for spring study abroad programs. We will be providing updates in the coming weeks.

We expect our February return will entail similar safety precautions to those that have proved effective so far this fall: students limiting exposure and getting tested prior to traveling back to Middletown; an initial two-week quarantine period on campus (Feb. 5-20); frequent testing and procedures for supportive isolation and contact tracing; and a no-travel, two-day spring break (March 24-25), which will negate the need for a post-break quarantine period. When we return next semester, we must maintain our vigilance with respect to social distancing, mask wearing and hand washing. If all goes well, we expect the semester to end in late May, with final exams May 18-21. We anticipate hosting Commencement on Sunday, May 30, and will determine the celebration’s format, as well as the celebration for the Class of 2020, as we get closer to the spring.

We will be in touch with more specifics later this semester. These are challenging times, but I am heartened by the many ways that you have risen to these challenges. Thank you for all you are doing to care for yourselves and one another.

Sincerely,

Michael S. Roth, President

Notes from the Class Dean – 8/30

Dear members of the Class of 2021,

I hope that all of you are well and settling into your plans for the fall semester. Classes begin tomorrow, Monday, August 31st, and I’m writing to follow up with some additional information/resources to help you start the semester well and successfully complete the drop/add period.

Digital Learning Tips for Classes and Drop/Add

Attached is a set of tips to help you navigate the remainder of the drop/add period, along with digital learning resources. You may also access this information through our class blog.

Refunds (RCF refunds and transitioning to remote study status)

Students have asked about RCF refunds with any transition to remote study moving forward. Remote study status entails pursuing courses entirely online from outside of campus, Middletown, CT (and the U.S. if a student is studying at Wesleyan on an F-1 visa).

Please see the note below from Student Accounts:

“[Student Accounts] will refund the RCF in full for any students who update their enrollment status to Remote (i.e. all online coursework, not living on campus or commuting to campus] during the drop/add period who have not moved into on-campus housing. Those who do move into on-campus housing and then decide to leave and finish the semester as a Remote student will be eligible for a prorated RCF adjustment based on their change of status date/date they leave housing and meal plan usage.”

COVID-19 Campus Protocol for Students on Remote Study Status & Leaves of Absence

Students on remote study status are not permitted to visit campus for any reason during the Fall 2020 semester. This includes attending in-person classes, events, meeting or visiting with students on campus, etc.

Students on medical, academic or non-academic leave must also adhere to the COVID-19 mitigation protocol to not visit campus for any reason during the Fall 2020 semester.

Additionally, the state of CT has a mandatory quarantine order in place for those traveling to any part of CT from other states on their list. You may access that information here: https://portal.ct.gov/Coronavirus/travel.

Honors Thesis Tutorial Registration

Some of you have asked how to submit your thesis tutorial form for registration. You may do this online through the end of the drop/add period. Instructions on how to submit the appropriate form online can be accessed on our class blog here.

Class Dean Office/Appointment Hours

I am working remotely until further notice, but I am still accessible through email, appointment hours, etc. I will continue to conduct appointments through Google Meeting and Zoom, and my calendar is available through the following link for the duration of the Fall 2020 semester: https://tinyurl.com/deanleathers. I look forward to speaking with you soon!

Academic Programming/Support Suggestions

I plan to offer a brief survey for you to make recommendations for academic programming that will suit your needs this fall. Details are forthcoming!

This year has challenged us all in myriad ways, but I’m heartened by the conversations I’ve had with so many of you and I’m hopeful for the days to come. I wish you a wonderful start to fall classes, and do not hesitate to reach out with any questions or concerns moving forward.

 

All my best,

Dean Leathers

COVID Testing Follow Up

This is a repost of the message Dean Culliton sent to students on August 26th.

 

Dear Students,

I am following up my message from last week about testing with a reminder for all of you.  Please use this link now to schedule a test for your arrival date/time to campus.  If you are planning to arrive over the coming days, it is essential that you schedule your test so we can anticipate the volume of tests on each day.

(Tips to troubleshoot scheduling link: Make sure you aren’t logged in as another user, log out of any browser that you may be in, log back into the Wesportal using your Wesleyan credentials, once on the testing page make sure you are using Eastern Standard Time

Additionally, for those of you who are already on campus, please go into the portal and schedule your 2nd and 3rd tests at this time.  This week you should be using the following possible frequency(Monday-Thursday) (Tuesday-Friday) (Wednesday-Saturday)(Thursday-Sunday)

We will have testing hours from 8AM-5:45PM Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday of this week.

Beginning on August 31, we would like for each of you to shift to either Monday-Thursday or Tuesday Friday as we won’t have weekend hours the following weekend. You can also schedule your tests for next week at this point as well.

Read below for more details on the testing process.

Best, Dean Rick


From: Rick Culliton <announcement@wesleyan.edu>
Reply-To: announcement@wesleyan.edu” <announcement@wesleyan.edu>
Date: Thursday, August 20, 2020 at 11:18 AM
Subject: COVID-19 Testing and Next Steps

Dear students,

I am writing with information about your return to campus and the University’s plans for COVID-19 testing.

Students, faculty, and staff will schedule their tests for COVID-19 at covidtesting.wesleyan.edu or within their WesPortal in the COVID-19 Resources bucket. Users can select a preferred date and time for testing and once a test has been booked, the user will receive an email confirming the upcoming appointment.

Wesleyan, along with more than 50 other colleges and universities, had planned to use software developed by CoVerified to assist with scheduling tests, delivering results, and more. This software is not yet ready to be used. Wesleyan will deploy CoVerified if and when we are confident that it will meet the expectations of our students, faculty, and staff.

The Testing Process

All of the testing will take place under a large tent on Andrus Field, with six-foot distancing enforced. We will have medical staff on site to assist with the testing process. The testing processinvolves a self-administered nasal swab that should take three to five minutes to complete. Please be patient as we expect there may be some delays in getting everyone accustomed to the process. Learn more about our testing partner, the Broad Institute.

Here are the next steps for you:

  • Read and consent to participate in COVID-19 testing on campus via your WesPortal as a condition of returning to campus for the fall semester. You will receive email confirmation after you submit your consent form. Please be prepared to show testing staff an electronic or a paper copy of this confirmation the first time you come to the testing tent.
  • Where possible, complete a COVID-19 test at home within 72 hours of returning to campus. Email a copy of your result (a photo is fine) to healthforms@wesleyan.edu. If your test comes back positive, you have symptoms, or you have a known COVID-19 exposure, please stay home. Contact your primary care physician, and inform Wesleyan’s Health Services medical staff. You will not be permitted to come to campus until you have been medically cleared.
  • Update your personal contact information and emergency contact information in WesPortal. We need to be sure that the mobile number we have on file is correct.
  • Schedule an appointment for your first test upon your arrival to campus. To do this, please visit covidtesting.wesleyan.edu. You will be prompted to log in to your WesPortal. (If you are already logged in to your WesPortal, you can get to the site by clicking “Schedule COVID-19 Test” in the COVID-19 Resources bucket.) You can select a preferred date (it should be the day you arrive on campus) and time for testing. Once a test has been booked, you will receive an email confirmation of the upcoming appointment.
  • Please remember that while we have staggered the arrival of students over the week of the August 24 to reduce congestion on campus, there are a limited number of testing slots each hour, so please be patient if you aren’t able to schedule an appointment at your preferred time.  You will need to complete the test prior to going to your residence hall to pick up your key.  (If you arrive after the testing site closes for the day, you will be directed to Public Safety to pick up your key and you will be required to get your first test when the testing center opens the following morning.)
  • Students will be tested twice per week. Tests should be scheduled at least three days apart, and individuals are encouraged to adhere to a regular testing cadence (e.g., Monday/Thursday, Tuesday/Friday). Appointments are scheduled for 15 minutes.
  • The expected turnaround time of test results is 24 to 36 hours. You will be able to access your test results through a portal on the Broad Institute’s website. When your results are ready, you will receive an email containing a link to click, which will take you to a login on the Broad Institute’s website. The first time you log in, you will need to verify your local address and phone number (mobile number, if you have one). Once you complete authentication, you will set up a password and be able to access your test results.
  • Any student who receives a positive test result will be contacted by a member of Health Services to inform them of the result, assess how they are feeling, and guide them through the next steps. In the rare instance that the student is having worrisome symptoms, they will be transported to Middlesex Hospital for further care. Otherwise, they will be asked to stay in place until arrangements for isolation can be made. The student will be isolated for at least 10 days from the time that the test was conducted and/or the onset of symptoms. Food will be delivered twice daily, and Health Services staff will conduct daily wellness checks.

We know you may have additional questions about testing. Dr. McLarney and I are hosting a Testing webinar for students today at 1 p.m. to answer your questions. Learn more about our plans for testing, and see a checklist of everything you should do before arriving on campus.

Thank you in advance for your cooperation.

Sincerely,

Dean Rick Culliton

Dean of Students

Chair, Pandemic Planning Committee

Wesleyan University

Important Move In Process Information: Check In Locations and More!

The following is a repost of the email sent from Kieran Duffy of Residential Life on August 21st.

Hello!

The move in process is quickly approaching and we want to make sure you have as much information as possible so that you are prepared for how the process will work this semester.

Please take some time to read through the Move In Overview at this link:

https://sway.office.com/5Z6vKEReuoAUUZtu?ref=Link

It covers the Move In process step-by-step and includes details for where you should check in.

We look forward to welcoming you back to campus!

Best,

Kieran

Kieran J. Duffy ( He, Him pronouns)

Assistant Director of Residential Life

Wesleyan University

237 High Street

Middletown, CT 06459

(860) 685-3429

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

Wesleyan Financial Aid and Student Accounts Virtual Q&A on 7/20

The following is a message from Admissions, Student Accounts, and Financial Aid.

 

Dear students and families,

I hope that you and your loved ones remain well during these challenging times.

In an effort to keep you well-informed, Director of Financial Aid Bob Coughlin, Director of Student Accounts Robert Mirabal, and I invite you to attend a live webinar this Monday, July 20, from 12:00 noon to 1:00 p.m. (Eastern time). This session will address concerns we’re hearing from students and families in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, and will speak to how to manage student accounts.

During the session, Bob and Robert will also respond to questions you may have pertaining to their respective areas. We encourage you to submit questions in advance.Please also note that both students and family members may use the same link to access the webinar.

Financial Aid and Student Account Q&A
Monday, July 20, 2020
12:00
noon to 1:00 p.m. (Eastern time)
Access via Zoom

Webinar ID: 916 9414 1689

Password: 553090

Find your local number: https://wesleyan.zoom.us/u/adD1wg6oqi

We look forward to visiting with you soon.

Best regards,

Amin Abdul-Malik Gonzalez ‘96
Vice President and Dean of Admission & Financial Aid

Bob Coughlin, Director of Financial Aid

Robert Mirabal, Director of Student Accounts

Checking In – 6/17

Dear members of the class of 2021,

I hope this message finds you and your families healthy and doing well. I’m also writing to offer clarity as I’ve received a few inquiries about the fall intention form. Please know your responses are not binding; they will be used to get a sense of students’ tentative plans in order to help the university determine next steps.

Also, if you are an F-1 visa holder and have questions about how to proceed, please take a look at the following resource from OISA:
http://classof2021.blogs.wesleyan.edu/2020/06/17/information-sessions-for-f-1-visa-holders-fall-2020-semester-6-18/

More information from the university is forthcoming next month, but do not hesitate to reach out with any questions or concerns in the interim.

Take gentle care,
Dean Leathers