Fall 2020 Guide on Returning to Campus

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What to Do Before Arrival

  • We ask every student, regardless of place of origin, to quarantine for 14 days before coming to campus. Your self quarantine should involve separating yourself from anyone outside of your immediate family members that you live with If this is impossible, please minimize risk by practicing vigilant hygiene and social distancing, and quarantining for as long as possible prior to arrival. Please remember, do not travel to campus if you have any symptoms of COVID-19

    Note: You do NOT need to be tested prior to arrival on campus. All students will be quarantined until they receive 2 negative tests on campus.

  • All Williams students must certify they have completed the travel form as part of the campus check-in process. This certification, along with instructions for completing the travel form can be found here. Please read the document over in advance, before travelling to campus.

    In addition, all students should also review the community health commitment.

  • Our testing protocol relies on communication via students’ mobile devices. Students must update their mobile phone information in PeopleSoft. To do so, log into PeopleSoft → Williams Student → Student Records → Personal Details → Contact Details → Phone → Edit Phone. Students who do not have access to a mobile device, or have an international mobile phone number, should contact Cyndi Haley as soon as possible to discuss an alternative plan for communication.


  • To make your move-in easier, you should pack very lightly, bring only the necessities, and pack in multiple smaller boxes and bins. We recommend that students pack lightly for two reasons: (1) each student will be responsible for moving their own belongings to their room, so it will be important to take only what you can comfortably carry on your own; and (2) students may need to shift their housing assignments during the semester, so having fewer items will make it easier to move if necessary. Remember – do NOT bring a microwave or fridge – each room will be outfitted with a MicroFridge (microwave+mini-fridge/freezer) for your use.

    Linens (sheets, pillow, blanket, towels) will be provided for the initial quarantine period (students are welcome to use their own if they prefer) Students will be expected to return the linens after they have been cleared from quarantine and procured their own linens.

    For public health reasons you won’t be allowed to access stored or shipped belongings until after your initial quarantine period is complete and negative test results are confirmed. We encourage you to travel with any clothing and personal items (prescription medication, toiletries, schoolwork, entertainment, etc.) you’ll need during quarantine and through September.

    Also, if you have prescription medications, you should travel with enough for the initial on-campus quarantine, and please bring a thermometer with you to campus. (We have a limited number of thermometers available for students who are unable to bring their own and students for whom purchasing one is a financial hardship. Students in these circumstances can email [email protected] to request a thermometer. After quarantine, students can fill prescriptions at The Williamstown Apothecary at 72 Spring Street. The Apothecary’s hours are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Getting to Campus

  • If you are traveling to campus by air, train, or bus, the college has arranged for transport using large motorcoach buses from major transportation hubs. You must sign up for transportation in advance (there is no walk-on option). Click here for more information and to book a trip.

    From Albany Airport: Transport is available 3 times daily (10:30am, 2pm, and 6:30pm eastern time) during the college’s published arrival sequence (and check-in/testing will be available for students arriving to campus on the 6:30pm bus, even if it gets to campus a bit after 8pm – sign up for a check-in/testing time as close to 8pm as you can).

    From New York’s Penn Station & Boston’s Logan International Airport: Transport is available on select dates. The schedules and departure times were arranged to coincide with the arrival and check-in schedule on campus.

    We will be allowing 14 students to ride on each coach bus (which normally transports 55 passengers) in order to allow for social distancing. The driver will be wearing a mask and all students are required to wear a mask for the duration of the trip to Williams. There will be no student conductor roles on these buses as we had in the past. If you are a student with a documented disability or a temporary impairment that may require accommodations in your transportation arrangements with Williams Transport, please contact the Office of Accessible Education (413-597-4672) after purchasing your ticket. Accessible Education will work with you to coordinate accommodations with Williams Transport.

    Important Note – Students will not be permitted to access campus via private transportation outside of the testing and check in times. If your planned travel would result in your arriving on campus outside of the schedule noted below, you must make your own plans to stay overnight off-campus so that you can arrive on campus during the scheduled check-in days/hours. However, if you are on a Williams-scheduled motorcoach bus as noted above, you will be able to check-in and get your initial test even if the bus arrives to campus at or shortly after 8pm.

Arrival on Campus

  • All students who are enrolling on campus for the fall must sign up in advance for a spot in a 20-minute window on campus for Check-In & Initial COVID Testing. Sign-ups were due in July. If you still need to sign up, or need to change your day/time, contact Mike Bodnarik at [email protected].

    Students will not be permitted to access campus via private transportation outside of the scheduled testing and check in times. If your planned travel results in your arriving on campus outside of the schedule noted, you must make your own plans to stay overnight off-campus so that you can arrive on campus during the scheduled check-in days/hours.

    Given Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker’s executive order outlining new state travel restrictions, we strongly recommend that family members do not accompany your student to Williams. If you must do so, please respect the governor’s order. As a reminder, families, to minimize risk of campus contagion you’ll be asked to drop your student off at a designated drop-off zone and immediately leave campus. Family members will not be able to accompany students to their dorm rooms or spend time with them after drop off.

    The central drop-off zone on campus will take place at outdoor tents near Cole Fieldhouse on the northern part of the campus, north of Poker Flats. There will be signage to direct you, but you should access this location by vehicle via Cole Ave. to Stetson Road. You will find a large tent near Cole Fieldhouse that is intended for students to drop off their belongings upon arrival. Your things will then be transported to one of several tented sites on campus closest to your dorm; you’ll move your things into your room from that site.

    We can’t let others into your room due to the quarantine period you’ll follow after your check-in & testing, so you will have to move your things into your room solo. Pack very lightly (remember, bring just the necessities), pack in smaller multiple boxes/bins to make the moving process easier. If you need things later, you can order online and have them mailed or shipped. Packages may be picked-up after your quarantine period is over.

    For sophomores, juniors, and seniors who are arriving with your own vehicle that you plan to keep on campus: Once you have completed your initial COVID test and checked in at the OCL tent, you can 1) drive your vehicle to your building, 2) unload your belongings, 3) immediately move your vehicle to your designated parking location (contact CSS if you’re not sure where your parking location is), and 4) immediately return to your room to begin quarantine. Please note that you must park it immediately after dropping off your belongings. You will not be able to use your car again until Oct 1 (after the “on-campus” quarantine.) You may not drive your car for any reason during September quarantine, including driving to the testing site. If you have any accessibility issues, please reach out to G.L. Wallace to discuss.

    The college is committed to serving the needs of students who may be uniquely impacted by this year’s moving-in policy. Any student who requires assistance due to a physical disability, temporary impairment or chronic health condition is asked to contact G.L. Wallace, our director of accessible education, as soon as possible. You will be asked to provide documentation that specifically identifies your needs to allow time for the appropriate coordination of support.

  • The student arrival testing, check-in, and orientation is available from 12 pm to 8 pm on the announced days. Arriving students who anticipate not arriving to Cole Fieldhouse by 8 pm** due to travel complications or unexpected delays, should make arrangements to stay off-campus until the following day. We recognize this is not ideal, but to maintain the planned testing regime and the efficacy of the quarantine process, we cannot support after hours check-ins. For those arriving at Albany International Airport, we have arranged for a special overnight rate at the Tru Hilton Albany Airport. Students should mention Williams College or Williamstown with the reservation staff. Students who find themselves in a situation (either at an airport or in Williamstown) can contact the Dean on Call for assistance (413-597-4444). **Note that students who are signed up to take the 6:30pm Williams Motorcoach bus from the Albany Airport to campus, will be tested & checked-in upon the bus’s arrival to campus, even if the bus arrives to campus after 8pm.

Testing Upon Arrival

  • Testing and contact tracing are the backbone of our health and safety protocols, and are critical to controlling transmission of the virus. This is the only way to identify COVID-19 positive individuals who are asymptomatic and limit their interactions with others.

    All students studying on campus in the fall—including those who are living in off-campus housing— will be required to participate in the testing protocol. Students who fail to responsibly participate in the testing program as instructed will not be allowed on campus or to use any on-campus services. These students will be transitioned from in-person to remote enrollment and must leave campus immediately.

    Testing will occur at drop-off and is required before students can access their rooms (or, in the case of officially-released off-campus students, is required before post-quarantine card access to campus buildings will be activated). All students are required to wear a face covering while waiting for testing; the site is designed to allow 6 feet between individuals. Staff at the testing site will wear face coverings and protective gear.

    Students will receive their initial arrival test at the Cole Field House site, and will then receive the second test three days later, at the top/open-air level of the parking garage located on Whitman Street. Students who arrive on campus on Thursday will need to be retested on Monday as we do not have Sunday testing. While the arrival tests have been pre-scheduled, students will be expected to schedule their second appointment. You will receive more detail on the scheduling platform shortly. Please make sure you wear a mask and bring your College ID, as you will not be able to test if you forget one or the other.

    Williams has contracted with the Eli and Edythe L. Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard for our testing kits and processing. Williams will staff our testing site. The Broad test is a RT-PCR test that is a high throughput version of the CDC 2019-nCoV Realtime RT-PCR test. This test uses nasal swabs in the lower nasal cavity (anterior nares swabs) and differs from the more uncomfortable test involving a swab placed deeply into the upper nasal cavity (nasopharyngeal swabs).

    Students will be asked to complete a quick symptom check to confirm they are feeling well. Next, they will sanitize their hands and complete a brief registration, confirming their identity. They will be given a specimen bag with a sterile swab and a specimen tube labeled with their name and date of birth. Professional EMTs will be on site to witness each test; students under 18 years of age must have their tests administered by an on-site EMT. Students aged 18 and older will administer their own test under the observation of an EMT. You must bring your Williams College ID to the testing site, you cannot be tested without it. You must blow your nose just prior to testing, as solid matter will interfere with the test’s accuracy. Tissues will be provided at the entrance to all testing sites; if you have not blown your nose right before coming to the testing site, you will be asked to step aside and blow your nose.

    Only people who are asymptomatic should come to a testing site.

    It is imperative that students stick to their assigned testing schedule. They may not miss their appointments. Any student who misses more than one test will not be able to remain on campus. Their enrollment status will immediately be changed from in-person to remote, and they will no longer have access to any campus buildings or resources.

    The Health Center will contact students regarding positive test results during their normal hours of operation. If you receive a notification of a positive test result after hours, a medical provider from the Health Center will call you in the morning to verify the results and provide further instructions. Until that time it is important that you isolate in your room and avoid any contact with other students, including your pod mates. You should only leave your room to use the bathroom, and you must wear a mask when you do.

In-Room Quarantine for Students Living in Residence Halls

  • Although the College will continue to raise its level of safety/security measures in accordance with local, state, and national guidelines, the College has implemented stricter guidelines than what the state is currently referencing when it comes to quarantine measures. It is important that everyone adhere to the College guidelines. Upon arrival, students will be quarantined in their dorm rooms until they have received two negative COVID-19 tests. The initial quarantine could last a minimum of five to seven days. During this time, students may only leave their rooms to use the bathroom and to go to the testing site for their second test. Linens (sheets, pillow, blanket, towel) will be provided. Meals will be delivered into a central dorm location for pickup during quarantine. Below is a list of guidelines for the initial in-room quarantine:
    • Once placed in self-quarantine, pertinent departments across campus such as CSS, Dining Services, the Dean’s office, Facilities, etc. will be notified of your quarantine status in order to provide needed services.
    • The expectation is that you will remain isolated in your room until you have received notice that you have cleared 2 negative tests.
    • Remain in your room at all times. You may leave your room to (1) use your assigned bathroom (only one student at a time), (2) pick up your meal delivery within your building once a day, and (3) go to the testing center for your second test. You may not leave your room for any other reason. You may not go outside, even if alone and in a mask during in-room quarantine unless you are walking to the test center for a scheduled appointment.
    • If you are caring for an emotional support animal, please reach out to G.L. Wallace, Director of Accessible Education, for information about how to care for your animal while maintaining quarantine guidelines.
    • You may not have any visitors in your room.
    • If you need assistance of any kind, please contact Campus Safety at (413) 597-4444 and they will direct you to the appropriate resource.
    • If you have any symptoms of COVID, please call the Health Center at 597-2206.
    • Lastly, we encourage you to remain connected remotely with friends and family on and off-campus via social media, and other technological means to ensure that you feel emotionally supported and engaged.
  • Your room has been stocked with a microwave-fridge combination, as well as a Quarantine Care Package for your first 5-7 days on campus. The Care Package includes breakfast items, various snacks, condiments, utensils, cups, and beverages (water, juices, coffee, teas, and milk)

    Our Mission Production Kitchen will be producing all Quarantine/Isolation meals and will be providing lunch and dinner meals each day during your quarantine period. There will be one delivery per day. Please note all our meals will be utilizing halal proteins and if you need vegan meals (gluten free) or have not yet reported allergies and/or dietary needs please contact Dining Services right away at dining.williams.edu.

    Students with allergies and/or dietary needs who have already consulted with Dining Services Nutritionist Allyse Weincek or Dietitian Michelle Juneau will have their meals labeled with their name and room number and dining will proactively stock your rooms with care packages based on your allergen / dietary needs before your arrival.

    Each student will have one delivery of meals each day, consisting of a cold lunch and a dinner that can be reheated. A micro-fridge has been provided for your convenience for re-heating and storage. All quarantine meals will be delivered to a table located near the main foyer of each building. There will be two scheduled drops per day. Drop #1 is between 2 pm and 3 pm for students arriving between noon and 4 pm that day, and for students who are already in their rooms. Drop #2 is between 6 pm and 7 pm for students arriving after 4 pm that day. Please be sure to pick up your meals as soon as they arrive. If you have any questions about our deliveries, please be sure to contact the Dining Liaison, Gayle Donohue, at [email protected],edu.

    NOTE: Once your quarantine period has ended meals will no longer be delivered by Dining Services. Explore your post-quarantine meal options in this section of the guidebook.”

  • You will not have access to the mailroom while in quarantine. You can pick up any mail or packages after you have completed two negative tests and are released from quarantine.

  • First Days will be fully virtual. Students will get access to a GLOW page on August 27th that they can begin to work through the content we would normally do in person (VOICES, CHOICES, Speak About It, EphSources, etc.). Incoming students will also receive a calendar of other events that are happening that they may choose to join that will be sponsored by our EphVentures team. Junior Advisors will be leading entry and pod meetings to foster community while students are in quarantine. Additionally, Peer Mentors will also be checking in with their MentEphs.

  • While you won’t be able to leave your room, during in-room quarantine, we encourage you to remain in close virtual contact with your friends and family, and to prepare a variety of solitary activities that can help you pass the time (books, magazines, music, puzzles, video games, yoga, journaling, meditation, dancing, making art, daydreaming, or anything else that brings you joy).

  • During quarantine, all Chaplains and the Ministry Coordinator will be available online. They are available to speak to anyone regardless of faith tradition or no faith tradition, and are happy to say hello and chat, serve as a sounding board, or to provide advice on how to access resources from other offices. Chaplains are also happy to serve as spiritual guides, teachers, coaches and mentors. Check out their website for more information on how to reach the Chaplains for appointments, office hours, essays and sermons. Special programming by Religious and Spiritual Life Groups and Williamstown area faith communities will be held between August 30 and September 6 during the peak of the initial quarantine period. The schedule of events during this period will be posted on the website. Also check the website for a calendar of the first meetings of the Religious and Spiritual Life Groups.

  • Students have access to mental health support though Integrative Wellbeing Services (IWS) and Talkspace. During the initial quarantine, students have access immediately to live video therapy sessions via Talkspace and after hours emergency support by calling 413-597-2353 and selecting Option 2. IWS will begin scheduling initial assessments the week of 8/31. Psychiatry services and IWS psychotherapy services will begin in September with the start of classes. A detailed overview of services and information on scheduling and other FAQs can be found here.

    In addition, the IWS team is creating a program that runs 8/25-9/4, A Connected Quarantine, specifically for students completing their required in room period. Each afternoon from 1-4 p.m. students are invited to connect with members of the IWS team via zoom links that will be provided on Monday 8/24. With a goal of offering students a Connected Quarantine, these live zoom sessions provide students a way to connect with IWS and each other while needing to stay in room. These will include, but not be limited to: workshops on managing this transition; healthy responses to stress; tips for sleep and healthy self care; managing loneliness; as well as creative practices like mindfulness, use of music, art and more. There will be invitations to engage and even to play, while honoring the challenges of this time. Please watch for the details to come out on the IWS website on Monday 8/24

  • Follow these videos by Williams’ physical educttion team to keep loose and limber in you dorm room.

Quarantine for Students Approved to Live Off-Campus

  • Largely the same as for students living in residence halls except:

    • Students must remain in their residence until they have cleared two negative tests
    • Students living off campus are expected to provide their own linens and enough food to last the in-house quarantine period (5-7 days)
    • Food delivery (contactless) is permitted

On-Campus Quarantine through September for Students Living in Residence Halls

  • After the initial in-room quarantine, students who are living on-campus in residential housing are required to remain on campus at least through September. This Google Map defines what is considered campus for purposes of the September campus quarantine. Students will have access to Spring Street, Taconic Golf Club, and any space within the area defined by the map. This means that going to Stop and Shop, Walmart and other off-campus destinations—even within Berkshire County—are prohibited during this time, although students may go to Spring Street or exercise or hike outdoors in the surrounding area (via walking or biking), with appropriate masking and social distancing.

    Sophomores, juniors, and seniors who’ve brought their own car to campus: please note that you must park it immediately after dropping off your belongings. You will not be able to use your car again until Oct 1 (after the “on-campus” quarantine.) You may not drive your car for any reason during the September quarantine, including driving to the testing site. If you have any accessibility issues, please reach out to G.L. Wallace to discuss.

    On-campus students may not visit any off-campus houses for any reason until after they have cleared both “in-room” and “on campus” quarantines (Oct 1st at the earliest). Note that this includes off-campus houses that technically fall within the campus map (e.g., Spring Street and others).

    Once the on-campus quarantine ends (if the health conditions permit), students will be able to move freely within Berkshire County, and will have access to their cars if they brought one to campus. Students will not be permitted to travel outside of Berkshire County for the duration of the fall semester. The only exceptions to this policy are medical or family emergencies. All travel outside the county must be cleared in advance by the Dean of the College and will likely require some level of quarantine upon return to campus. Students who travel without advanced permission will not be permitted to return to campus.

    Students who are living off campus are free to use their cars and travel within Berkshire County as soon as they clear their initial in-room quarantine. Students who are living off campus may not travel outside Berkshire County without advance permission from the Dean of the College.

Interacting with Your Peers on Campus after Quarantine

  • After students clear their initial in-room quarantine, they will have flexibility to move around the campus. This Google Map defines what is considered campus for purposes of the September campus quarantine. Students will have access to Spring Street, Taconic Golf Club, and any space within the area defined by the map. On campus students may not visit any off-campus houses for any reason until after they have cleared both “in-room” and “on campus” quarantines (Oct 1st at the earliest). Note that this includes off-campus houses that technically fall within the campus map (e.g., Spring Street and others).

    Students within the same pod may socialize within their residential space without masks or social distance.

    Beginning on September 14th, students who are not in the same pod are allowed to go inside other students’ spaces and spend time with each other as long as they are wearing masks, engaging in social distancing, and not exceeding the limits of the number of students that can safely be in the space (6 feet apart). As long as any group contains at least 1 member who is not part of the same pod, all participants at indoor gatherings must wear masks.

    Note that prior to September 14th, students must restrict themselves to their own pod’s residential space; they may not visit with other pods in their building, or enter other buildings. This ensures that everyone has moved through the initial arrival quarantine phase prior to interacting.

    All students should wear masks during outdoor gatherings, regardless of whether the participants are podmates or not, unless they are able to maintain 6 feet of distance from others.

    Our size limit for all informal student gatherings is 10 or fewer students (students who have pods that are larger than 10 may gather with all of their pod members, but in this case, no additional guests are permitted). This includes on-campus residence halls, off-campus residences (see below), and any other gathering places — both indoors and outdoors. Please note that while the upward limit is 10 students, this largely applies to outdoor spaces. When gathering in indoor spaces with anyone other than one’s own podmates, you must ensure a minimum 6 foot distance between people at all times, and everyone present at the gathering must wear a mask. Keep in mind that, because of their square footage and furnishings, most residential rooms can only safely accommodate 1-2 guests maximum. Students are responsible for keeping this in mind and honoring the rules in all cases—with no exceptions. Note that pod members are included in the total count of students participating in a gathering.

    All students are assigned to one specific residential bathroom, and only one occupant can use the bathroom at a time. Students may not use residential bathrooms other than their own. They can, of course, use public bathrooms on campus (in libraries, classroom buildings, Paresky, etc).

Interacting with Your Peers Off-Campus after Quarantine

  • Students living off campus must follow the same rules regarding social interactions and gatherings. The only difference is that off campus houses might have larger indoor gathering spaces that can accommodate more than 1-2 non-pod guests. Whether students live on or off campus, the upward limit for gatherings remains a total of 10 individuals (or the number of students who officially live in the house, whichever is higher), assuming that the space allows for 6 feet of separation between students. Students who live in the house count toward the total number in a gathering. Whenever non-pod members are present in a gathering, all participants must wear masks and engage in social distancing.

    Off campus students (including those that live in houses that technically fall within the campus map) may not host any on-campus students in their residence for any reason until students have cleared both “in-room” and “on campus” quarantines (Oct 1st at the earliest).

Mask Wearing

  • Masks should cover both your mouth and your nose. No bandanas, neck buffs or masks with exhalation valves are acceptable. Students are expected to wear masks in all indoor spaces (with the exception of their own residential space — dorm and common room — when they are alone or with only pod members). Students are also expected to wear masks outdoors whenever they are not able to maintain 6 feet of separation from others (this includes being less than 6 feet from both pod members and non-pod members). As a general rule, you should plan to wear a mask outside unless you are far removed from others (e.g., on a solo walk, run, etc)


  • You’ll be able to pick up your stored items after you are out of your initial quarantine. Please review this document for a comprehensive overview of how to retrieve stored personal items that have remained on campus in Towne Fieldhouse or items stored with a private moving company. Please reach out to Matt Sheehy with any questions.

Ongoing/Routine Testing

  • As of September 10, 2020, please schedule testing appointments through the CoVerified app or CoVerified web portal. See details following the scheduling information immediately below, and learn more in our CoVerified onboarding instructions.

    This message applies only to local and on-campus students who will be participating in COVID-19 testing at Williams.

    Below you will find a schedule of testing dates that will tell you, based on the date of your initial test, what dates you will be required to get your testing done during the fall semester. Students will be required to be tested twice weekly for the first 2 weeks out of quarantine and then weekly thereafter.

    On-Campus Students

    Arrival Date/ First Test Second Test End Initial Quarantine Third Test Required Fourth Test Required Subsequent Testing
    8/24 8/27 8/29 8/31 9/3 Every following Thursday starting 9/10
    8/27 8/31 9/3 9/3 9/6 Every following Monday starting 9/14
    8/28 8/31 9/3 9/3 9/6 Every following Monday starting 9/14
    8/29 9/1 9/3 9/4 9/7 Every following Monday starting 9/14
    8/31 9/3 9/5 9/6 9/9 Every following Wednesday starting 9/16
    9/1 9/4 9/6 9/7 9/10 Every following Thursday starting 9/17
    9/2 9/5 9/7 9/8 9/11 Every following Friday starting 9/18
    9/3 9/7 9/10 9/10 9/14 Every following Monday starting 9/21
    9/4 9/7 9/10 9/10 9/14 Every following Monday starting 9/21
    9/5 9/8 9/10 9/11 9/14 Every following Monday starting 9/21
    9/6 9/9 9/11 9/11 9/14 Every following Monday starting 9/21
    9/7 9/10 9/12 9/14 9/17 Every following Wednesday starting 9/23

    Local Off-Campus Students

    8/31* 9/3 9/5 9/6 9/9 Every following Wednesday starting 9/16

    NOTE: As of September 10, 2020, all students will schedule testing through CoVerified, an easy-to-use application that integrates test scheduling, delivery of test results, and symptom tracking.

    You can access CoVerified via this website or download the app. Here’s a comprehensive guide to setting up and using the CoVerified platform. Please read it carefully and follow the instructions. Note that you will be required to monitor and report symptoms daily on the app or web portal.

    Thank you for your patience while we transition to this new system, and for your compliance with testing protocols that keep us all safe on-campus.

Isolation and Quarantine During the Semester

  • Any student who tests positive for COVID will be moved temporarily to ‘isolation housing.’ We will be using Tyler Annex and the CDE residence hall for this purpose. If you are placed in isolation, you will have your meals delivered, and you will be in regular contact with our Health Center staff. If you are feeling well enough, you can continue your class work remotely.

    Any student who is identified as a “close contact” of a student who tests positive will shelter in place or moved temporarily to ‘quarantine housing.’ We will be using Dodd, Hubbell, Parsons, & Sewall for this purpose. Once again, you will have meals delivered to your residence, and you will be in daily contact with the health center.

Implementation of Our Public Health Guidelines

  • It is our intention for all members of the community to hold themselves and each other accountable to these guidelines. Please do your part by behaving responsibly. The health commitment is being put in place to create an environment that keeps us all healthy so that we can complete a full semester on campus and protect those of us at risk in the community. If you see someone else behaving in ways that violate these guidelines, we encourage you to remind them — civilly and respectfully — that public health is a collective endeavor. Friendly reminders expressed between peers, colleagues, and community members will go a long way. Indeed, it is our hope that community members will serve as the primary corrective mechanism for addressing situations in which individuals make mistakes or ill-advised choices. Having honest conversations about safety can feel uncomfortable, but when those conversations are initiated with respect, generosity, and genuine concern for the community, they can have an outsized impact. It is this community-based orientation toward public health — rather than a disciplinary one — that will give us our best chance for success. This includes, but is not limited to: faculty and staff addressing concerns in their classrooms and other campus spaces; RSO advisors addressing concerns with their student groups and individual student members; athletic coaches addressing concerns with their athletes; and students responding to each other in the moment. These corrective actions need not involve contacting the Dean’s Office, Campus Safety, or other administrative offices.

    While we do not intend to frame our health initiatives around discipline, we recognize that some students are concerned about how the college will respond when students violate the guidelines and behave in ways that put the broader community at risk — even after being provided with peer-feedback, reminders, and conversations. We will implement a progressive model of corrective action.

    What happens when students continue to violate the health guidelines after the steps taken above?

    For the behaviors described below, continued incidents in which students do not respond to the corrective mechanisms described above will result in an educational meeting with a dean and/or residential life staff member. While these meetings are considered non-disciplinary, it is important to note that any subsequent violations will likely result in removal from campus and a requirement that the student transition into a remote learning model (for more information, see below). Repeated violations could also lead to a formal disciplinary process, which could result in probation, suspension, or expulsion.

    • Not wearing a mask as required
      • Masks should cover both your mouth and your nose. No bandanas, neck buffs or masks with exhalation valves are acceptable.
      • All students will be provided with 3 masks. Students are also welcome to wear their won masks as long as they meet the criteria described above
      • Masks must be worn in all indoor spaces (except in your dorm or common room with pod members)]
      • Masks should be worn In all outdoor spaces in which you are in close contact (less than 6 feet) with others — including podmates and non-podmates.
    • Not adhering to social distancing rules (at least 6 feet between you and all others except those in your pod)
    • First incidence of not adhering to the virus testing protocol in a timely manner
    • Minor violation of size/space limits for group gatherings outside your pod:
      • Note that we have set an upward limit for all informal student gatherings at 10 or fewer students.
      • This includes on-campus residence halls, off-campus residences, and any other gathering places. Face coverings or masks must be worn at all times at any such gatherings that include non-pod members.
      • Please note that while the upward limit is 10 students, this largely applies to outdoor spaces. When gathering in indoor spaces with anyone other than one’s own pod mates, you must ensure a minimum 6-foot distance between people at all times, and everyone present must wear a mask. Keep in mind that, because of their square footage and furnishings, most residential rooms can only safely accommodate 1-2 guests maximum. Students are responsible for keeping this in mind and honoring the rules in all cases—with no exceptions.
      • Please note that pod members count in the total tally of people within a space when non-pod members are present.
      • An initial violation that involves 3 or fewer additional people beyond what the guidelines allow will result in a dean’s meeting. Any subsequent violation, and any initial violation involving more than 3 additional people, will be treated as an egregious violation (see below)

    There are some situations where one egregious act can lead to immediate removal from campus (i.e., transition to remote learning mode) and a referral to the formal student discipline system, which can result in probation, suspension, or expulsion. Egregious violations include, but are not limited to:

    • not following all rules of quarantine or isolation when required to do so by health professionals
    • not adhering to travel restrictions
    • Missing more than 1 testing session
    • hosting or attending a gathering that exceeds guidelines (see above)
    • inviting/hosting individuals who are not members of the Williams community onto campus (this includes friends, relatives, Williams students who are not currently enrolled for the semester, and anybody else who is not a current Williams student)
    • purposefully exposing others to or threatening others with the fear of contagion (e.g., deliberately touching, coughing or sneezing on another with the clear purpose of transmitting germs or creating fear of transmission)
  • Students who engage in violations of the public health guidelines that are egregious or repeated will lose the privilege to continue the academic year as an on-campus student. This will be considered a non-disciplinary response (it will not be noted on students’ disciplinary record), and students will be able to continue their coursework remotely. Decisions about removal from campus will be made jointly by the Senior Associate Dean of Students and the Senior Associate Dean of Campus Life after gathering the relevant information, including providing the student with notice of and an opportunity to respond to the alleged violation. Students will have the opportunity to appeal this decision to the Dean of the College. Appeal decisions will be final.

    As noted above, in some cases removal from campus and transition to remote learning may be accompanied by a formal disciplinary process.

  • Students’ whose violations of the public health guidelines result in a formal disciplinary process can learn more about the process here.

Our Amnesty Policy

  • While we take our public health guidelines seriously, we also want to ensure that students don’t sacrifice their personal safety to avoid consequences of a potential health guideline violation. Please note that any student who seeks medical attention or crisis support for themselves or for another due to a medical or personal emergency (e.g., alcohol or drug overuse, health crisis, sexual assault, interpersonal violence, or other emergency situation where amnesty applies) in the context of a situation that violates our public health guidelines will not be referred to the student conduct process. Additionally, no information that is acquired through the contact tracing process will be shared with the Dean’s Office for the purpose of referring a student to the student conduct system for any violation.

The Beginning of Classes

  • Classes begin on Thursday, September 10th. Keep in mind that all classes on September 10th and 11th will be held remotely, even if the class is scheduled to meet in person. Those first 2 classes will be remote in order to accommodate students who remain in initial in-room quarantine.

    Faculty have been encouraged to provide digital copies of reading material for the first few classes to accommodate students who are in quarantine and have not yet had the opportunity to pick up their books at the Bookstore. Get in touch with faculty if you are having difficulty accessing reading materials during quarantine.

    If you want to “shop” for or sit on a class that you are not registered for, you must contact the professor in advance and ask for permission. Do not show up to a class (either remotely or in person) without explicit permission from the instructor. This is important because we cannot exceed the physical capacity of our classrooms, which are reduced to meet COVID guidelines.

Ordering Books

  • Whether you’re attending on-campus or remotely, we recommend shopping for your books on the Bookstore website once you’ve registered for classes. Click here for information about ordering, payment, accessing the book grant, and more.

Ongoing Campus Services

  • After quarantine, Driscoll and Whitman’s dining halls will offer a served buffet, as well as prepackaged meals for students to grab on the go. New hot and cold air screens installed will allow a variety of prepackaged meal items such as Fruit Cups, Yogurt Cups, Breakfast Sandwiches, Grain Bowls, Pasta Bowls, Deli Sandwiches, Garden Salads with and without protein & vegan options, etc.

    The Snack Bar, 82 Grill, and Fresh-N-Go will be mobile ordering only through the new GET App. There will be designated pick up locations, using hot and cold air screens to keep food at the proper temp with the students’ names on the item for pick up.

    Eco will serve lunch only from 11:30 am till 2:00 pm.

    Whitman’s Late-Night will be closed for the semester so that staff members can assist with the new served vs. self-serve model in the dining halls.

    Snack Bar will be providing food for lunch and mid-day only.

    The ’82 Grill will offer lunch and extended dinner.

    Mission Park will be closed for student dining and become our production kitchen, this will allow for the new service style, fresh production, and social distancing amongst staff.

  • The Health and Wellness center will be open this fall. One important change is that rather than walking in, you need to make an appointment in advance. For the safety of all students and staff, the Health Center requires students to call the Health Center at 413-597-2206, to be pre-screened by a Registered Nurse (RN) for the appropriate care. Many appointments are available the same or next day.

    The Health Center will be relying heavily on telemedicine this semester. If a provider feels that a student needs to be seen face to face and feels it is safe to do so, the student will be scheduled an appointment. Students requiring more significant care will be transported to a local urgent care or emergency room.



  • All mental health services (both IWS and Talkspace) are being offered via distance methods. IWS will offer therapy via video or phone. Talkspace will provide live video, as well as video/audio/text messaging. (telehealth video and phone – IWS; live video and video, audio and text messaging – Talkspace.)

    State laws require that for psychotherapy services clinicians are licensed in the state in which the client is residing. For the 2020-2021 academic year, all students returning to campus can access psychotherapy services through IWS or Talkspace, while students studying remotely who pursue psychotherapy will access Talkspace. All students (whether on campus or remote) can participate in IWS psychoeducation groups, workshops and supportive offerings.

    Williams expanded the Talkspace offerings to include 4 live video sessions with the student’s licensed therapist per month (weekly sessions) in addition to unlimited messaging services. All students, whether studying on campus or remotely, will have access to IWS practice and psychoeducational group offerings, workshops and supportive offerings (a schedule of these groups and offerings will be posted on the IWS website as the semester begins). Beginning August 1, 2020, students can register for Talkspace and begin services immediately. You need only your Williams email to register.

    For students on campus, IWS will provide crisis response, individual and group psychotherapy, psychoeducational and practice groups (all students), psychiatric evaluation and treatment. All of these offerings will be provided remotely via videoconferencing or phone. IWS will also continue to provide psychiatric services to students on campus. Dr. Aillon-Sohl is a Diplomat of the Board of Psychiatry and Neurology and certified in Adult Psychiatry. Dr. Aillon-Sohl has provided psychiatric services to Williams College students since 2014 and she will continue to provide this service via telemedicine until the current public health circumstances allow for a return to in-person assessments. State licensing laws prohibit Dr. Aillon-Sohl from providing services to students outside of Massachusetts, however, Dr. Aillon-Sohl and the IWS team can assist students in locating a psychiatrist in the student’s home state via student health insurance as needed. Dr. Aillon-Sohl can provide adult psychiatric assessment and medication treatment management for most psychiatric conditions, including: Depression, Anxiety & Panic Disorders, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Social Anxiety, Bipolar Disorder, and Psychotic Disorders. While Dr. Aillon-Sohl does provide some basic supportive therapy and can teach some basic Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) techniques during appointments, the primary focus is on psychiatric medication management. During your course of treatment with Dr. Aillon-Sohl, she may recommend individual psychotherapy with your own dedicated therapist.

    Dr. Aillon-Sohl will not be able to provide new treatment with a controlled substance via telepsychiatry given the constraints of federal law. Federal law (Ryan Haight Act) prohibits prescribing of any controlled medications (benzodiazepines, ADHD stimulants, and some sleep medications) over telemedicine without an in-person yearly assessment. If Dr. Aillon-Sohl had previously prescribed one of these medications to an established patient, and the current public health circumstances allow for an annual in-person assessment, then it may be possible for this treatment to continue. If this is not possible, Dr. Aillon-Sohl will work with you to identify a new provider. Additionally, some conditions require a higher level of care than can be safely provided via telepsychiatry, such as: actively having thoughts or urges to self-harm or attempt suicide, actively having thoughts or urges to harm someone else, eating disorders (anorexia, binging/purging), alcohol or drug addiction/abuse and any other condition or set of symptoms deemed by Dr. Aillon-Sohl at any point to be severe enough to need a higher level of care.

    For on-campus students seeking to make an appointment with an IWS therapist, email [email protected] subject line – “Appointment Request” to Kim Tremblay or Jessica Russell. If you have a preference about which IWS therapist you are placed with, please let IWS know and they will do their best to accommodate your requests. The IWS staff is a multidisciplinary, diverse group of clinicians with broad experiences and training treating a wide range of issues. Students can also self-schedule their own appointments via the patient portal at health.williams.edu. Once you log in, look for IWS Self Schedule sessions and you can select a time and clinician based on availability. In addition to scheduled appointments, on-call crisis services are available to students 24/7 throughout the semester by calling 413-597-2353 and selecting option 2 or calling campus safety at 4444 and requesting the therapist on call.

    Students enrolled on campus and students enrolled remotely are eligible to meet with a therapist for live sessions (4 times per month), or engage in unlimited messaging, via Talkspace. If you are interested in being matched with a therapist of a specific identity, language or other factor, you can speak with a Talkspace support representative who will assist you in finding a therapist to suit your needs.

    If you are unsure of what kind of support you need, whether on campus or off, please email iws​@williams​.edu and request an appointment for a meeting with a therapist so we can help you assess your needs and select appropriate options.

  • Please note that all campus resources remain open remotely. This includes the Dean’s Office, the Chaplains’ Office, OSL, the Davis Center, Academic Resources, the Career Center, Accessible Education, Study Away, Fellowships, the Registrar’s Office, Special Academic Programs, OIDEI and more Please reach out to individual offices to learn more about how to connect and access resources.