Guide for Students Enrolled In-Person this Spring

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Preparing Your Return to Campus

  • Information on spring semester housing, pods, social gatherings, student organizations and club sports, and much more can be found at the Office of Campus Life.

    Updated: 1/13/2021

  • 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.

    We encourage you to travel with any clothing and personal items (prescription medication, toiletries, bed linens, schoolwork, entertainment, etc.) you’ll need during quarantine. Remember that you will be picking up your own meals from the dining hall, so a winter coat and boots are a must. If you were not on campus in the fall or did not store bed linens here when you left in November please bring linens with you, as well. Note that you will not have access to the mailroom until after you have cleared two negative COVID tests, so please do not mail any items that you will need during quarantine. If you have a critical need to receive a package during initial quarantine, please reach out to your class dean to explain and arrange for an accommodation.

    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.

    Updated: 2/3/2021

  • We ask every student, regardless of place of origin, to quarantine for 14 days before coming to campus. Please remember, do not travel to campus if you have any symptoms of COVID-19. 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.

    Pre-arrival testing is required for all students returning for the spring semester beginning on February 10:

    • If you are a student who is currently on campus (or has permission to return on an emergency basis prior to Feb 10th) you do not need to obtain pre-arrival testing. You will already be part of our regular testing protocol.

    • The PCR test is the gold standard for asymptomatic screening purposes. When scheduling your pre-arrival test, please arrange to get a PCR test whenever possible. Rapid tests are less accurate and should only be used as a last resort if a PCR test is not an option.

    • Many communities offer free testing: please research your options so that you know where and when to get tested in order to have the results ready in time. Make an appointment in advance, if possible, to avoid scheduling problems. If you are unable to find a local testing facility or are faced with a fee beyond your financial means, please contact Aaron Gordon for assistance.
    • Your pre-arrival test should be completed no more than 7 days prior to your arrival date. Please get your test as close to your arrival date as possible, but within a time framework that will allow you to submit your test results prior to arrival. We are intentionally providing a wider window for pre-arrival testing because we know that the turn-around time varies quite widely across the country. Please contact your testing site to learn about turn-around times in your locality, and plan accordingly

    • Once you’ve received your test results, follow these instructions for submitting them to the Health Center.

    • If your test results are negative you can then come to campus as planned.

    • If your pre-arrival test reveals a positive result for COVID, do not come to campus as scheduled. Please contact the Health Center right away after uploading your results at 413-597-2206 to discuss a later arrival plan.

    • If you have tested positive for COVID in the past, you will likely have been instructed by your medical professional not to be tested again within 90 days of your positive test. If this is the case for you, please contact Deb Flynn as soon as possible to provide documentation of your positive test. She will exempt you from pre-arrival testing, as well as from routine testing for the 90 day period starting on the date of your positive test.

    • If you have already received the COVID vaccine, you still need to provide a pre-arrival test. While the vaccine is highly effective in reducing risk of moderate to severe illness, it is not yet clear whether it prevents you from transmitting the virus to others. Thus vaccinated students will be asked to follow all of the same requirements and practices as non-vaccinated students.


    Updated: 2/4/2021

  • 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.

    Updated: 12/14/2020

  • All students who are enrolling in person for the spring, including those living in town but enrolled on-campus, must sign up in advance for a spot in a 20-minute window on campus for Check-In & Initial COVID Testing. Sign-ups can be accessed through the Housing Portal. If you have questions regarding sign up, or need to change your day/time, contact Ana Azevedo aa17​@williams​.edu.

    Updated: 2/3/2021

  • The community health commitment is core to our safety plan. All students who are enrolled “on-campus” for the spring (including those students approved to live off campus) must sign the Community Health Commitment in the Housing Portal prior to your arrival. Even if you signed one in the fall, you must sign and submit a new copy for the spring. Dean Schiazza has extended the deadline to Thursday, February 4.

    Updated: 2/3/2021

  • We encourage all students to review thoroughly all required state-mandated travel directives for returning to campus and adhere to them. Please note, many of these travel directives and mandates are changing constantly so please review them periodically for the most up-to-date information. It is important that we all adhere to the requirements fully. If you have any questions regarding travel and return to campus, please contact Matt Sheehy at [email protected].

    Per state law, you will have to certify during campus check-in that you have completed the Massachusetts travel form. Please review the instructions and form before you arrive. Please note: the college is requiring all students to complete the form, including those traveling within Massachusetts or from otherwise exempt states or regions.

    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). 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. All tickets must be purchased by February 3 at 11:59pm. Ticket sales will close and refunds will NOT be given after this date.

    If you arrange for your own ground transportation, make sure to follow specific social-distancing guidelines (particularly limiting the number of passengers per hired vehicle).

    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.

    Updated: 2/5/2021

  • Details about personal items left in your rooms or in Williams storage can be found here.

    If you have items stored independently at a commercial storage facility, we advise you retrieve your items (at your own expense) before arriving on campus. Otherwise, you will need to wait until you complete your campus quarantine and seek permission from the Dean of the College to travel for retrieval of those items.

    Updated: 2/4/2021

Arrival on Campus and Initial Testing

  • All students who are enrolling in person for the spring, including those living in town but enrolled on-campus, must sign up in advance for a spot in a 20-minute window on campus for Check-In & Initial COVID Testing. Sign-ups can be accessed through the Housing Portal. If you have questions regarding sign up, or need to change your day/time, contact Ana Azevedo aa17​​@williams​​.edu.

    All student arrivals and check-ins will occur at Towne Fieldhouse. There will be signage to direct you, but you should access this location by vehicle via Spring Street or Latham Street. You must arrive during your chosen time window. If you show up outside of testing center operating hours you will not be allowed to access your room or any other area of campus. You will instead have to make overnight accommodations off-campus and return during the next available testing time. If you encounter a problem with arrival and need assistance, please contact CSS at 413-597-4444 and ask to speak to the Dean on Call.

    If you are arriving on campus by car, after check-in you will be allowed to drive to your dorm to drop off your belongings, and then will be instructed to park your car.

    If you have luggage and arrive without a personal vehicle, there will be transportation assistance available at the testing site to help you get your belongings to your dorm. And if you require support or accommodations for move-in, please reach out to the Office of Accessible Education ASAP to discuss your needs and options.

    Students transported to campus by family members will walk from Towne Fieldhouse, upon completion of check-in and testing, to their residence hall. Family members are welcome to drive their vehicle to the student’s residence hall for unloading but must remain in the vehicle. Family members must also comply with Massachusetts travel orders. Family members will not be able to accompany students into their residence hall or dorm rooms, so 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.

    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, 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 March 1 at the earliest (after the “on-campus” quarantine.) You may not drive your car for any reason during quarantine, including driving to the testing site.

    Once you have completed your test, your initial in-room quarantine will begin immediately, without exception. This means that after bringing your belongings to your room (and parking your car if you have one) you must head straight to your room. You may not go to any other campus building or space first. During quarantine, you will only be allowed in your room and assigned bathroom, the dining hall, and the testing site. If you have any accessibility issues, please reach out to G​.L. Wallace.

    The college is committed to serving the needs of students who may be uniquely impacted by the 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.

    Updated: 2/3/2021

  • 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 Towne 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.

    Updated: 12/16/2020

Initial Quarantine

  • After your initial COVID test you’ll begin your in-room quarantine. You must quarantine until you clear 2 consecutive negative COVID tests spaced 72 hours apart.

    • When you get your first test, you’ll be assigned a date for your second test, which you’ll need to schedule yourself using CoVerified. To ensure meaningful results we have to allow at least 72 hours between your first and second tests, so you should prepare to be quarantined for approximately five days. During this time you’ll be restricted to your room and your assigned residential bathroom, and will be able to leave only to pick up to-go meals at the dining hall and get your scheduled COVID tests.
    • Please remain in your room with your door closed during quarantine and wear a mask when using your shared residential bathroom, until all podmates have cleared initial quarantine. Guests are not permitted in residential spaces during this time. You can find more details by scrolling down to “Initial Quarantine” on the Spring Student Guide.
    • If you are newly arriving to an approved off-campus location in town, you are also required to quarantine in your apartment until you clear 2 consecutive negative COVID tests spaced 72 hours apart. Please plan accordingly, and make sure that you have enough food in your apartment to tide you over during the initial 5-6 day period.
    • If you’re already on campus (or spent the interim period between breaks in an approved off-campus house in town) and have been participating in our regular testing protocol for at least two weeks, you will not need to participate in the in-room quarantine. You will, however, need to join the twice-weekly testing protocol. Please use CoVerified to schedule your testing appointments.
    • 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.

    Updated: 2/2/2021

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

    • Students must remain in their residence until they have cleared two negative tests (72 hours in between 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

    Updated: 12/16/2020

  • 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).

    If you’re spending your first semester on campus since the pandemic, the Davis Center Community Engagement Fellows have created a series of peer-to-peer public health advocacy videos to help you make the transition. The series addresses everything from COVID-19 and safe practices to caring for yourselves and each other; racialized interpretations and impacts of COVID-19; and why social identities matter in dealing with the virus and other humans.

    Updated: 2/5/2021

  • Your room has been stocked with a case of water and has a microwave-fridge combination for storing and heating items you bring back from the dining halls.

    When you arrive on campus for your initial in-room quarantine, you will be allowed to leave your room to pick up take-away meals from the dining hall. Note that these will not be pre-packaged meals; you will be able to make selections based on your specific preferences and dietary restrictions. Dining will have our retail spaces open for mobile ordering only through the Get app as well. Please visit Dining Services’ website or initial quarantine venues and hours.

    Updated: 2/5/2021

  • Students won’t have access to the mailroom during quarantine. If you have a critical need to retrieve a package, please reach out to the appropriate dean to explain and arrange for an accommodation.

    Updated: 1/31/2021

  • 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

    Updated: 12/14/2020

  • 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.

    Updated: 12/14/2020

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

    Updated: 12/16/2020

Ongoing/Routine Testing

  • Routine COVID Testing

    Testing takes place by appointment only at Towne Field House between 9 am and 4 pm on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays unless otherwise specified.

    Students are required to take two tests per week. You should book appointments through the CoVerified app based on the following schedule:

    • Last names starting with A-L: Mondays & Thursdays
    • Last names starting with M-Z: Tuesdays & Fridays

    If you have symptoms, please call the Health Center 413.597.2206.

    If You Miss Your Scheduled Test…
    For everyone’s health and safety, including your own, please make absolutely every effort to make it to your scheduled testing appointment on the day and at the time you’ve reserved through CoVerified. If for some entirely unavoidable reason, you miss your appointment, make a CoVerified appointment for the next available testing day: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, or Friday. If you miss a test on Friday, schedule one for Monday.

    Email [email protected] for scheduling-related questions.


    Updated: 2/24/2021

If You Test Positive After the Initial Quarantine Period...

  • Any student who tests positive for COVID will be moved temporarily to ‘isolation housing.’ 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 classwork remotely. Contact your dean to request access to course packets, textbook orders, or potentially critical mail deliveries.

    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.’ Once again, you will have meals delivered to your residence, and you will be in daily contact with the health center.

    Updated: 2/1/2021

On-Campus Quarantine & Social Distancing Protocols

    • 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).
    • Due to ongoing concerns regarding the pandemic and social distancing, we will begin the spring with all residential kitchens closed, like the fall. See Campus Life for more details.
    • Everyone will have to wear masks and engage in social distancing, and social gatherings will be limited to a maximum of 10 people in most cases.
    • During on-campus quarantine, students will be allowed to interact with non-podmates in indoor residential spaces, but will still be expected to remain on campus (including Spring Street) and won’t have access to personal vehicles. Students will be allowed to walk/bike/hike off-campus for exercise only (and must be properly masked and engaged in social distancing). This Google Map defines what is considered campus for purposes of 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. We tentatively plan to remain in this phase until the end of March and will be in touch with more details as we get closer to that time.
    • Indoor pod interaction: After the initial quarantine, students can interact outdoors with with non-podmates, as long as everyone’s properly masked and engaging in social distancing. Students will also be permitted to move around campus, which for this purpose includes Spring Street. Students won’t be able to visit other residential spaces besides their own or interact indoors with non-podmates. We’ll review this policy around March 1 and determine an appropriate time to transition to the next phase, once we’ve had a chance to review COVID rates and our ability to contain transmission on campus.
    • Hosting students on- and off-campus: Students living in campus dorms will not be able to visit off-campus apartments or houses at any time during the semester, including houses on Spring Street and other streets that were considered on-campus in the fall. And students living in approved off-campus housing will not be allowed to host in those spaces guests who are living in dorms.
    • 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 at least March 1 (after the “on-campus” quarantine.) You may not drive your car for any reason during quarantine, including driving to the testing site. If you have any accessibility issues, please reach out to G.L. Wallace to discuss.
    • Students will not be permitted to travel outside of Berkshire County for the duration of the spring 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.

    Updated: 2/4/2021

  • After initial quarantine, students in this category will be required to adhere to the campus quarantine, except that you’ll be allowed to use your personal vehicle to buy groceries or travel to the campus test site if you do not live within walking distance. Travel for other purposes will not be permitted. Students living off-campus will not be allowed to travel outside of those areas until the campus quarantine is lifted for all students (estimated for the end of March).

    Updated: 2/3/2021

  • Masks should cover both your mouth and your nose. No bandanas, neck buffs or masks with exhalation valves are acceptable. Students, faculty, and staff are expected to wear masks in all indoor spaces (with the exception of students’ own residential space — dorm and common room — when they are alone or with only pod members).

    A Williams community members 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.).

    Mask availability:

    • Williams will provide each returning student with three reusable fabric face coverings during your initial check-in.
    • Faculty and staff, additional fabric face coverings will be available during testing hours beginning Monday, February 15, if you need a resupply.
    • Disposable paper coverings will also be available starting on that day for everyone at the testing site, too.
    • We’re arranging to put supplies of paper masks in classrooms for emergency use.
    • As most of us have started to hear, the simultaneous use of two face coverings can provide additional protection from airborne droplets. You’re welcome to pick up extras for this purpose, including paper masks for doubling up. Please grab as many you’ll use in a reasonable period of time while leaving enough for others.
    • The college is not purchasing or providing N95 or KN95 masks. Use of these masks isn’t a current CDC requirement (if that changes, we’ll reconsider). While they’re valuable in certain circumstances, expert guidance doesn’t indicate their use for a setting like ours, where all community members are being tested regularly and safely managing their interactions. Since N95 and KN95 masks aren’t recommended for campus use, they shouldn’t be purchased with college funds. You can of course use your own N95s or KN95s if you have them. Just know that they’re only fully effective if you get them fit-tested. There are widespread problems with counterfeiting, so check the CDC list of approved manufacturers before you buy. Finally, know that such masks can sometimes be problematic for people with respiratory issues because they make breathing more difficult.

    Updated: 2/8/2021

  • Students looking to access spaces for in-person events, meetings, or programs—indoors or outdoors—can find social-distancing guidelines and request form on the Campus Life website.

    Updated: 2/8/2021

Health and Wellness

  • Williams will continue to work with local, regional, and state authorities to support our student, faculty, and staff access to COVID vaccines as they become available.

    Updated: 2/8/2021

Public Health Guidelines and Sanctions

  • 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)

    Updated: 2/4/2021

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

    Updated: 12/14/2020

  • 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.

    Updated: 12/14/2020

  • 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.

    Updated: 12/14/2020


  • Continually updated information on everything from facilities access to recreational tips and opportunities can be found on the Athletics Department website.

    Updated: 1/14/2021

  • Williams varsity sports teams are not traveling or competing during the winter season.

    There has not yet been a decision from NESCAC about the spring athletics season and competition. We will announce their decision as soon as it becomes available. In any event, coaches will work closely with athletes to continue training and practice during the spring.

    Students will also have limited access to indoor fitness facilities and classes (including those you might need in order to fulfill PE requirements). Please keep an eye on the Athletics website for updates about fitness facility, class, and activity options.

    Updated: 1/17/2021

  • Information about on-campus and remote offerings and attaining PE credits during COVID can be found on the Athletics website.

    Updated: 1/13/2021

  • Club sports will not compete or be able to travel off campus to events. We continue to work to develop protocols that will allow us to practice safely.

    Updated: 1/13/2021

  • Access to athletics facilities is strictly limited during the pandemic. All students living on campus will have controlled access to indoor facilities such as the fitness center and swimming pool via a pre-registration system. More details are available on the Athletics website.

    Updated: 2/4/2021

Access to Campus Facilities

    • All Williams College buildings are closed to the public.
    • For the campus community, buildings are restricted to card access only.
    • Buildings without card access have protocols in place that are clearly publicized at their locations and on their websites.

    Updated: 2/22/2021

    • Sawyer and Schow libraries are open to current Williams faculty, students and staff.
    • New hours and services are in place for January through the start of the spring semester.
    • In addition to in-person access, non-contact services are available and recommended whenever possible. Read on for details.

    Updated: 1/8/2021

  • Access to athletics facilities is strictly limited during the pandemic. All students living on campus will have controlled access to indoor facilities such as the fitness center and swimming pool via a pre-registration system. More details are available on the Athletics website.

    Updated: 2/4/2021

Ongoing Services

  • The Health and Wellness Center will be open this spring. 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.



    Updated: 1/17/2021

  • 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 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.

    Updated: 1/17/2021

  • 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.

    Updated: 1/17/2021