Williams College ended in-person classes on Friday, March 13, and the spring semester was being completed remotely. On March 16, the college campus closed to the public and all events and athletics were canceled until further notice.
While the pandemic has upended "everything as usual," here are ways to sustain, and be sustained by, the Williams community.
In this video, campus leaders provide answers to student questions about expenses, work study, financial aid, course completion and other matters as a result of the campus closure.
The Williams Health Insurance Plan provides worldwide, 12-month coverage from August 15, 2019, to August 14, 2020. As long as you’re enrolled in the plan and have paid the premiums, you’ll be covered. If you’re covered under a different health insurance plan, check with your insurance provider to verify coverage.
The Williams Health Insurance Plan also will waive co-pays for student members with access to its telehealth platform, Well Connection. Telehealth, which offers convenience as well as the opportunity to avoid potential exposure to contagion, enables students to video conference with providers for medical care and behavioral health.
Students should share with a provider their insurance information and determine whether the provider is considered in-network or out-of-network. There may be out of pocket costs for out-of-network providers. For more information on the Williams plan, visit the Benefits and Plan Information website.
The Department of Homeland Security has issued guidance for institutions moving to distance learning, stating that during this exceptional time, as long as you continue to be enrolled full time and make academic progress, even if online, you will be fulfilling the enrollment requirements of your F-1 visa.
For travel, please make sure to take the following original documents with you:
Valid visa (check your expiration dates!)
Form I-20 (with updated travel authorization signature—students on OPT and Canadian citizens must update the signature every 6 months; all other students every year)
We encourage you to keep the above documents with you if you will be traveling domestically. But be careful with them and always keep them in a safe place. You may obtain an updated travel signature from the Dean’s Office. There will be limited opportunities for us to mail you your I-20, so please do not forget it!
CPT & OPT
Please continue to submit CPT requirements for summer internships to Dean Ninah Pretto. For seniors, OPT applications must be mailed prior to exiting the U.S. There will still be risks of traveling outside the U.S. while OPT is pending. No guarantees can be made on OPT approval and reentry to the U.S. For questions and more detailed information please contact Dean Ninah Pretto.
You can remain in the U.S. in valid F-1 status with an expired visa. If you exit the U.S., you will need a valid F-1 visa in your passport in order to re-enter the U.S. in F-1 status. F-1 visas can only be obtained at U.S. Consulates/Embassies, which are all located outside of the U.S.
Visitors are NOT permitted in campus housing. For public health reasons, students remaining on campus will not be allowed to travel and then return to campus during their stay.
The Dean’s Office is continuing to work with students, and the deans are available to help you with academic or personal questions as always, although unfortunately these meetings, too, have to be done remotely for now. Please schedule a virtual or phone meeting with a dean online.
The Office of Institutional Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, including the Davis Center and Office of Special Academic Programs, will continue supporting students who remain on campus. Your friends, colleagues and supporters in these offices, too, are available to meet remotely, as described below. Please do not hesitate to reach out for assistance, as you would under ordinary circumstances.
The Davis Center team is available remotely: please email them to find a time to connect! The food bank and toiletry pantry in Hardy House are available to all students remaining on campus. Hardy, Jenness and Rice currently have swipe access. Please practice proper social distancing and preventative measures in these buildings at all times.
Our Title IX, nondiscrimination and conflict resolution work continues and will be carried out remotely. Anyone who believes they have been impacted by discrimination is encouraged to contact Toya Camacho or Molly Magavern to make a report. You may also submit concerns online here.
The Chaplain’s Office: Please contact the chaplains directly to schedule a virtual meeting.
Dining is operating in Driscoll Dining Hall: Brunch/Lunch 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.; Dinner 4:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m. All other dining facilities are closed.
Menus will be updated online regularly to reflect any changes; please visit our Eats 4 Ephs Quick Menus.
All students who are authorized to be on campus and have a meal plan will be allowed to swipe as usual. Individuals who are authorized to be on campus and are not on a meal plan will be required to use cash, credit and/or points using our door pricing (tax included): Student Brunch/Lunch $11.50, Dinner $14.75. Points are available for purchase online through PeopleSoft.
For the health and safety of students, faculty and staff, all meals will be served by dining staff. We recommend that people not eat in the dining hall, but you may do so if you choose. We strongly advise everyone to practice good hand-washing and other hygiene techniques.
Health and Wellness Services
The Health Center is accepting telephone calls at 413-597-2206, Monday-Friday from 9-5. See full details for accessing health services.
To contact Integrative Wellbeing Services in an emergency, call 413-597-2353. See full details on accessing Integrative Wellbeing Services.
If you think I’ve been exposed to COVID-19: Practice social distancing. If you develop a fever, dry cough or shortness of breath, please contact the Health Center immediately at 413-597-2206. Learn more.
The Walgreens Pharmacy shuttle is running by appointment only. No more than two students are allowed per shuttle, and all riders are required to satisfy Northern Berkshire EMS COVID-19 screening protocols before being allowed to take the shuttle. The pharmacy shuttle departs from and returns to Hopkins Hall Drive (outside the entrance for Campus Safety & Security). Students should call 413.597.4545 to request a ride. Be prepared to provide your name and a call-back number. These additional precautions will likely increase wait times to get the pharmacy, so please only use the service if it is imperative you pick up a prescription. Plan appropriately and allot as much time as possible when you call to make an appointment.
All college buildings are now secured, card access is required for building entry. Carry your ID card with you at all times. List as of July 1, 2020:
- Davis Center (Jenness, Rice & Hardy): 24/7 card access required.
- Paresky: Card access 9 a.m. - 1 p.m, M-F only.
- Sawyer Library: Closed. 24/7 card access to study space
- Schow Library: Closed. No card access.
- Sciences (Morley, South Science): 24/7 card access required
- Thompson Memorial Chapel: Closed. No student access.
- Driscoll Dining: Card access during meal times only.
- ’62 Center: Closed. No student access.
- Jesup: Closed.
- Spencer Art: Closed.
Student items that were left behind when campus was vacated in March have been moved to the Towne Fieldhouse and stored. All belongings of graduating seniors that could be postal mailed were returned in May and June. If there are items that a recently graduated student would like to retrieve in person because they could not be postal mailed, please contact Kim Brown to schedule a pickup.
Returning students’ belongings will continue to be stored in the Towne Fieldhouse until the resumption of on-campus activities, at which time those students returning to campus may retrieve their items. Alternatively, items can be shipped to students who choose to study remotely and need their items for the fall 2020 semester. Details of retrieval will be communicated to students.
If there are items that are of immediate need and require postal shipping, please submit your request to Doug Schiazza.
For Faculty & Staff
With the exception of essential personnel, employees are encouraged to work from home until further notice. Review the college's comprehensive guide to working remotely.
The college moved to an essential personnel model starting March 24, in conjunction with the order issued by Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker. Read the full details. To effectively maintain basic operations at the college, essential staff are defined as those who provide services related directly to people’s health and safety, continuity of critical operations, and the maintenance and protection of college property.
All college buildings are secured, card access is required for building entry. Please carry your ID card with you at all times. Entry will be limited to those with offices or workspaces in a given building. Athletic facilities are closed to all users.
- Davis Center (Jenness, Rice & Hardy): Card access required
- Paresky: Card access required
- Sawyer Library: 24/7 spaces and offices are card access for faculty and staff. Othwerwise, Sawyer Library is closed. All services are provided remotely.
- Schow Library: Closed- All services are provided remotely
- Hollander & Schapiro: Card access required
- Thompson Memorial Chapel lower level basement: 24/7 card access for faculty and staff; access to upstairs from lower level.
- Jewish Religious Center: Card access Required.
- Driscoll Dining: Card access during meal times only
- ’62 Center: Card access required
- Bernhard Music Center: Card access required
- Jesup: 24/7 card access required.
- ’66 Environmental Center (Kellogg House): Card access required. Kitchen appliances not available for use
- Spencer Art: Card access required
The Children's Center is currently closed and working on reopening procedures in accordance with Gov. Charlie Baker’s phased approach.
The school and Children's Center closures will pose challenges for anyone with school-age children, and the college wants to help. Williams will be flexible about allowing time off for anyone needing to take care of children during the closure, without utilizing leave time. Staff are expected to work remotely when possible. Please communicate your scheduling needs directly to your supervisor.