Touching Base With Students on Campus

Dear Students,

It has been a whirlwind of a week. This is my first message to the small group of students remaining on campus, and I’d like to begin by extending my thanks to each of you for cooperation and flexibility during this tumultuous time. I know that many of you are feeling unsettled amidst the rapid changes. So are many of us. It will probably take a bit of time to develop a renewed sense of community in the days and weeks ahead. Meanwhile, you likely have many questions about what life on campus will be like, and what resources will be available. I will try to address some of those questions below, as much as possible when things are still in flux, and will continue to update you as more information becomes available. Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions or concerns. Meanwhile, let’s stay well and be good to one another.

All best wishes,
Dean Sandstrom

Lodging and Travel:
We are very happy that you are here on campus. In order to ensure everyone’s health and safety, it is important that you don’t leave and then return to campus. If you believe you need to travel outside the local community (Berkshire County) for any reason, you must request permission in advance, including a justification for the travel and a documented 14-day self-isolation plan off-campus. Permission will only be granted in extraordinary circumstances and must be received before you depart, unless you don’t plan to return to Williams after your trip. We regret that the rules have to be so strict, but the data on COVID-19 contagion clearly demonstrate that the only way to “bend the curve” and avoid a local outbreak is to minimize interaction, including travel.

Health and Wellness:
The Health Center will be accepting telephone calls Monday-Friday from 9-5. Calls to the Health Center will be triaged by either an RN, Nurse Practitioner or PA. At this time, due to the nationwide shortage of protective equipment for healthcare providers, most patients will be managed remotely. In certain instances, if deemed necessary, an in-person appointment may be scheduled. For information on prescriptions, please call the office for further information. A physician is available after 5pm on weekdays and on weekends as well.

Integrative Wellbeing Services is available by phone (413.597.2353) or email ([email protected]) for questions. In order to access on-call services for emergencies, please calling 413.597.2353 and select Option 2 or call CSS at 413.597.4444. All planning for any additional services to be provided following Spring Break will be updated on the website and the FAQ page as information becomes available. Students are strongly encouraged to utilize Talkspace, which includes free unlimited messaging therapy with a licensed therapist and one live video session per month. You can register at

The Dean’s Office
The Dean’s Office is continuing to work with students, and the deans are available to help you with academic or personal questions as always, although unfortunately these meetings, too, have to be done remotely for now. Please schedule a virtual or phone meeting with a dean online. All of the deans are available, and will be very happy to hear from you—we are eager to stay in touch with you during your stay.

Accessible Education
GL Wallace and Jean Grant are available remotely, and are eager to assist you with any accessibility-related queries. Please contact them via email at [email protected] and [email protected]

The Office of Institutional Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
The Office of Institutional Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, including the Davis Center and Office of Special Academic Programs, will continue supporting students who remain on campus. Your friends, colleagues and supporters in these offices, too, are available to meet remotely, as described below. Please do not hesitate to reach out for assistance, as you would under ordinary circumstances.

The Davis Center team is available remotely: please email them to find a time to connect! The food bank and toiletry pantry in Hardy House are available to all students remaining on campus. Hardy, Jenness and Rice currently have swipe access. Please practice proper social distancing and preventative measures in these buildings at all times.

The Office of Special Academic Programs team will support students remotely via email and will hold office hours online via Google Hangout and phone from 1 to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Our Title IX, nondiscrimination and conflict resolution work continues and will be carried out remotely. Anyone who believes they have been impacted by discrimination is encouraged to contact Toya Camacho or Molly Magavern to make a report. You may also submit concerns online here.

The Chaplain’s Office
Please contact the chaplains directly to schedule a virtual meeting.

• The Rev. Valerie Bailey Fischer — 413.517.5364 — [email protected] or sign up for a meeting here
• Imam Sharif Rosen — 413.672.7048 — [email protected]
• Rabbi Seth Wax — 617.460.3317 — [email protected]
• Catholic Program Coordinator Tracy Finnegan — 413.455.5790 — [email protected]

The Chaplains are in the process of setting up a Virtual Chaplains’ Office where you will be able to schedule virtual appointments, join in group meetings, prayer meetings, sacred text discussions and other means of supporting your religious, spiritual and life journeys during these challenging times. The Chaplains are here to support the Williams community, and they are available to everyone, regardless of your faith or no faith. The Student Religious and Spiritual Life Groups are also making plans for virtual community options. Visit the Chaplains’ website at for more information about the latest list of office hours, daily office prayer and other connection points currently set up for the Williams community. They invite you to email them with ideas for how they can support you during this time.

Marlene J. Sandstrom
Dean of the College and Hales Professor of Psychology
Williams College
Phone: (413) 597-4261
Fax: (413) 597-3507