Our Approach

Hobart and William Smith Senior Staff are meeting daily via Zoom to discuss developments and to make plans to open the fall semester on schedule for residential education. With the Finger Lakes Region currently in Phase 3 of New York State’s staged, 4-phase reopening plan, we believe that opening on schedule is well within our capabilities. What is emerging from our planning is a conscientious in-person learning and living community, one that adopts the latest guidelines from health care officials and that is built for maximum flexibility should our understanding of the COVID-19 virus shift.

The Colleges will submit an opening plan to the State of New York and will share full details as soon as possible on everything from academic and residential life to screening, testing, isolating and tracing protocols.

We understand that for some in our community who have preexisting health issues, the residential education model raises reasonable concerns. We are working now to determine the ways in which the Colleges can best assist in these situations and will have more information throughout the summer. Although Hobart and William Smith are located in a geographic area that has avoided significant infection, the health and wellbeing of our entire community and of Geneva is the Colleges’ top priority.

As we look forward to welcoming our students, faculty and staff back to campus, this webpage is designed to aggregate resources and communications related to COVID-19.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

GENERAL QUESTIONS

What is the Coronavirus and how do I find out more?

According to the Centers for Disease Control, Coronavirus (COVID-19) is an infectious respiratory illness. symptoms include cough, fever, chills, sore throat, muscle pain, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, and new loss of taste or smell. Headache, tiredness, and chest pain may also be symptoms. Less common symptoms include nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Those with compromised immune systems or pre-existing medical conditions appear to be at a greater risk of becoming severely ill.

More information can be found:

Are there confirmed cases in New York State or in Ontario County?

Information about cases in New York can be found on the COVID-19 site of the State of New York. Information about cases in Ontario County can be found on the county’s COVID-19 webpage.

Have the Colleges requested that anyone self-quarantine?

Based on recommendations from the CDC, we have advised students, faculty or staff returning from abroad to self-quarantine for 14 days. In addition, individuals with flu-like symptoms should stay home, limit contact with others and consult either Hubbs Health Center if they are a student or their health care provider if they are a faculty or staff member.

ARE THE COLLEGES PREPARED IF WE BEGIN TO SEE CASES OF COVID-19 ON CAMPUS?

The Colleges have contingency plans in place in the event that we may see cases of COVID-19 on campus. This includes a plan to quarantine students. Members of the Colleges’ leadership team have been meeting with health department officials to determine and implement best practices.

PREVENTION

Are there ways to prevent contracting the virus?

Yes. The CDC has a number of recommendations and public health officials recommend the following steps:

  • Wash your hands frequently and for at least 20 seconds with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing at least 60 percent alcohol.
  • Cough into your elbow or a tissue and not your hands. Dispose of the tissue.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • If you are sick, stay home.
  • Practice healthy habits by getting plenty of sleep, managing stress and drinking plenty of fluids.

I’M A STUDENT AND I’M NOT FEELING WELL. WHAT DO I DO?

Students on campus who do not feel well should immediately contact Hubbs Health Center at 315-781-3600. Students not on campus should reach out to their health care provider.

I’m worried that someone might have been exposed to Coronavirus or might be sick. Who do I call?

If you or someone you know suspects exposure or contraction of Coronavirus, you should seek immediate medical attention. Students on campus this summer can call Hubbs Health Center at 315-781-3600. Students off campus, faculty and staff should consult with their healthcare provider.

If you receive information regarding another member of the HWS Community testing positive, or if you want to report your own positive test, please contact Vice President for Campus Life Robb Flowers at flowers@hws.edu. Flowers is serving as the central point of contact for case reports and will pass along appropriately screened information as needed to other staff members, as well as follow up on all such reports.

I’ve learned that someone in the HWS community has tested positive for COVID-19. who do i inform?

If you receive information regarding another member of the HWS Community testing positive, or if you want to report your own positive test, please contact Vice President for Campus Life Robb Flowers at flowers@hws.edu. Flowers is serving as the central point of contact for case reports and will pass along appropriately screened information as needed to other staff members, as well as follow up on all such reports.

GENERAL ACADEMICS

WHAT IS REMOTE LEARNING?

Remote learning allows students to engage in learning while separated physically from other students and their professors.

Remote learning options began March 23 for all spring 2020 courses and will continue for the Maymester and Summer Sessions. Learning Resources for remote learning can be found on the website of the Center for Teaching and Learning.

What changes had to be made to courses to move them to a remote learning model?

While HWS courses will continue to be academically rigorous, supportive and intellectually stimulating, they are not likely to mimic the in-person experience. Best practices in remote learning indicate that attempting to recreate in-classroom experiences through remote means should not be the focus of course redesign. Each of our faculty were asked to examine the learning goals they have in place for the semester and consider how they might best be met in a remote environment. The remote learning courses being offered are designed to meet their established learning goals.

Each course was restructured by the individual faculty member with assistance from the Center for Teaching and Learning, Information Technology and other offices across campus, taking into consideration best practices. Collectively, a wide variety of strategies and technologies have been brought in to support learning goals.

What’s the difference between synchronous and asynchronous classes?

While on campus, courses meet at a fixed time in which all students attend. In a remote learning model, however, this kind of synchronous paradigm is not the most effective.

Asynchronous learning, in which students learn the same material at different times and in different locations, address a number of issues that students and faculty face when scattered around the world. Some in our community do not have reliable access to both a device and internet access in which to conduct a course. Even those with regular access may be in positions where they must share their devices with siblings or family members, limiting the time in which they have access to the materials. Other members of our community have returned to places in vastly different time zones making certain fixed meeting times extremely challenging. Even among those with stable internet access, asynchronous learning may increase attention to material. Best practices in online education indicate that students have difficulty focusing on Zoom or other electronic videos for longer than 10-15 minutes. This means that a 3-hour seminar, or a 1.5 hour discussion may be challenging. In the asynchronous environment, these activities can be broken up into smaller pieces to enhance overall focus.

Asynchronous, however, does not mean disconnected. Our faculty worked hard to maintain connections with our students. Many asynchronous courses had synchronous Zoom office hours where students can meet and interact. Some faculty set up small group meetings with their students. Throughout the spring semester, faculty continued to write letters of recommendation and to advise, counsel and mentor students.

The Student Remote Learning Guide is an excellent resource for how to develop a routine, from technology tips to advice on setting a schedule and organizing classwork.

WILL MAYMESTER AND THE SUMMER SESSION HAPPEN AND WHERE CAN I FIND INFORMATION ABOUT REGISTERING?

Maymester runs from May 20 to June 9, 2020. Current students and non-matriculated students will be able to take one course with an HWS faculty member for 3.5 hours, five days a week. The tuition for courses is $3,000 for current HWS students, including graduating seniors, and non-matriculated students. All 2020 Summer Program courses will be offered remotely and students will not be in residence on campus. All students will be covered under the Credit/No Credit grading policy enacted for Spring 2020, and therefore may elect to turn any or all summer 2020 courses to CR/NC after they have received their letter grade(s).

Summer Session 3-Week runs from June 22 to July 10, 2020. Summer Session 5-Week runs from June 22 to July 24, 2020. Current students and non-matriculated students may take a maximum of one course during 3-Week or two courses during 5-Week with an HWS faculty member. 3-Week session classes meet three hours a day, five days a week; 5-Week sessions meet two hours a day, five days a week. Classes are scheduled in the mornings or afternoons. The tuition for courses is $3,000 for current HWS students, including graduating seniors, and non-matriculated students. All 2020 Summer Program courses will be offered remotely and students will not be in residence on campus. All students will be covered under the Credit/No Credit grading policy enacted for Spring 2020, and therefore may elect to turn any or all summer 2020 courses to C/NC after they have received their letter grade(s).

HWS matriculated students can register through their HWS PeopleSoft account. Non-matriculated students should fill out a non-matriculated student application form and send it to Associate Dean for Curricular Initiatives and Development David J. Galloway at galloway@hws.edu.

Will the Colleges accept transfer credits from online classes?

Students taking remote learning classes (including classes offered online) are typically not accepted for transfer to Hobart and William Smith Colleges. However, in light of the current situation related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Colleges have approved a temporary policy to support students who, for various relevant reasons, have taken a course via a remote learning platform. Such courses can be approved as transfer credit as long as they meet the requirements listed in the linked policy and are approved by the relevant HWS staff and faculty.

For more information, see the Colleges’ Temporary Change to Transfer of Credit Policy.

SUMMER 2020

WILL MAYMESTER AND THE SUMMER SESSION HAPPEN AND WHERE CAN I FIND INFORMATION ABOUT REGISTERING?

Maymester ran from May 20 to June 9, 2020.

Summer Session 3-Week runs from June 22 to July 10, 2020. Summer Session 5-Week runs from June 22 to July 24, 2020. Current students and non-matriculated students may take a maximum of one course during 3-Week or two courses during 5-Week with an HWS faculty member. 3-Week session classes meet three hours a day, five days a week; 5-Week sessions meet two hours a day, five days a week. Classes are scheduled in the mornings or afternoons. The tuition for courses is $3,000 for current HWS students, including graduating seniors, and non-matriculated students. All 2020 Summer Program courses will be offered remotely and students will not be in residence on campus. All students will be covered under the Credit/No Credit grading policy enacted for Spring 2020, and therefore may elect to turn any or all summer 2020 courses to C/NC after they have received their letter grade(s).

HWS matriculated students can register through their HWS PeopleSoft account. Non-matriculated students should fill out a non-matriculated student application form and send it to Associate Dean for Curricular Initiatives and Development David J. Galloway at galloway@hws.edu.

HOW HAVE DINING SERVICES CHANGED IN RESPONSE TO THE VIRUS?

Over the summer, Sodexo is open twice a day so that students can pick up food to go. All students who have a meal plan – regardless of the plan they purchased or where they live – can take advantage of the meals being offered. All a student needs to do is swipe in to get a meal. Brunch is being served daily from 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. and dinner is served from 5 p.m. – 6 p.m.

THE FALL 2020 SEMESTER

WILL THE COLLEGES OPEN FOR RESIDENTIAL EDUCATION IN THE FALL?

The Colleges have every intention of opening for residential education and are considering all possible scenarios that may emerge so as to stay flexible as conditions develop. Members of senior staff are working on submitting a reopening plan to the State of New York for approval.

Will the semester be any different from past years?

Yes, as we envision the fall semester, there will be slight modifications, essentially tightening the semester without decreasing intellectual contact between faculty and students. The goal is to limit travel to and from campus once students have returned, and to have most students back home by Thanksgiving in case there is a late-fall resurgence of COVID-19.

We therefore expect Fall 2020 semester classes to begin as scheduled on Monday Aug. 24 and residential instruction to occur through Tuesday Nov. 24, after which Thanksgiving break will begin. Final exams will be administered using remote techniques with most students staying home until the spring semester. Campus will remain open so as to ensure that those students who need to stay will continue to have access to wireless technology and dining, among other services. Sports teams would continue on whatever league schedules are developed and would have access to the campus throughout their season schedules.

When will details about the fall semester be available?

The Colleges will submit an opening plan to the State of New York and will share full details as soon as possible on everything from academic and residential life to screening, testing, isolating and tracing protocols.

How have the Colleges considered the voices of all members of the community in the planning processes?

Three main task forces were established to consider details and ramifications:

  • The Logistics Task Force, overseen by Provost and Dean of Faculty Mary Coffey and Vice President for Campus Life Robb Flowers, was comprised of faculty, staff and students. The group considered scenario planning that takes into account a variety of requirements that may be placed on the Colleges by state or federal officials regarding social distancing, enhanced cleaning, regular medical testing and quarantine protocols. This work included planning for multiple models of instruction that can flex to respond to the health and safety of the community and any further surges in the virus.
  • The Financial Task Force, led by incoming Chair of the Board of Trustees Craig Stine ’81, P’17 and consisting of trustees and senior staff members, looked closely at the pandemic’s projected financial implications on the Colleges under various scenarios.
  • The Community Coordination Task Force, led by Vice President and General Counsel Lou Guard ’07 and Vice President for Campus Life Robb Flowers, and comprised of regional officials, health care leaders, local alumni and parents, politicians and community leaders, is working to manage the safe opening of the Colleges in the context of Geneva, Ontario County and the Finger Lakes Region as a whole.

Multiple implementation teams led by senior staff members are working on a variety of operational logistics including issues regarding baseline safety, quarantine and isolation protocols, tracing protocols, testing and health screenings, and classroom use and teaching. We continue to solicit feedback from faculty, students and staff.

The CARES Act

WHAT IS THE CARES ACT AND DID THE COLLEGES APPLY TO RECEIVE CARES ACT ASSISTANCE?

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was passed by Congress and signed into law on March 27, 2020. It is designed to provide “fast and direct economic assistance for American workers, families, and small businesses, and preserve jobs for our American industries.”

Hobart and William Smith applied for and now have access to approximately $1.57 million in federal aid through the CARES Act, an amount determined in part by the number of Pell eligible students enrolled at the Colleges. As required by law, 50% of that sum – about $785,000 – must be provided directly to eligible students who have been adversely affected by the pandemic within one year. Recipients must be eligible to receive Title IV funds. Hobart and William Smith retain the discretion of how much to give each eligible student. The second half of the CARES Act funds will be applied to the Colleges’ COVID-19 related budget deficit.

WHO IS OVERSEEING THE CARES ACT AT HWS?

In order to oversee the new program, a task force of senior staff members led by Vice President and Dean of Admissions John Young was formed to establish an application and distribution process that is as equitable as possible and complies with the strict requirements mandated by the CARES Act.

WHO IS ELIGIBLE TO RECEIVE CARES ACT FUNDING?

Only those students who are eligible to receive aid from the federal government (Title IV funds) and who have been adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic are entitled to receive funding under the CARES Act.

Students are eligible for Title IV funds if they are United States citizens, have a valid Social Security Number and, if they are males over the age of 18, they have completed their Selective Service registration.

If a student has any questions about eligibility, they should contact the Office of Financial Aid at (315) 781-3315 or finaid@hws.edu.

HOW DO ELIGIBLE STUDENTS APPLY FOR CARES ACT MONEY?

Eligible students should complete the application for funding by May 22, 2020. On this form, please indicate the nature of the expenses incurred due to the disruption of campus operations.

HOW MUCH MONEY CAN STUDENTS EXPECT TO RECEIVE?

The size of the individual grants are determined at the discretion of the Colleges, with preference given to students with the greatest need. The amount awarded to each student may also be adjusted based on the number of requests received. Pell eligible students will be prioritized for funding and will generally receive larger awards. At Hobart and William Smith, we estimate that the size of grants could range from $300 to $2,000.

WHAT EXPENSES ARE COVERED BY THE CARES ACT?

As described by Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, expenses might include but are not limited to “…food, housing, course materials, technology and child care.”

HOW CAN STUDENTS USE THE CARES ACT MONEY?

Some students have indicated a need to take summer classes, since the move to remote learning was challenging for them. Others have lost important off-campus employment opportunities that would have assisted with educational expenses. Still others have worries about their ability to pay for food or to fund books or other materials when the fall semester begins. In short, CARES Act grants will be disbursed directly to students to use how they choose.

HOW AND WHEN WILL STUDENTS RECEIVE THEIR MONEY?

Funds will be disbursed via check or electronic transfer if the student’s account information is on file with the Business Office. Payments are expected to be processed between June 15 and July 15.

WILL THE COLLEGES DISTRIBUTE ALL $785,000?

Yes, the Colleges will distribute all $785,000. The majority of funds will be distributed this summer but some funds will be reserved for distribution to students this fall to assist with unexpected expenses students may incur as they return to and adjust to campus for the Fall 2020 semester. A second application process will be announced in late summer/early fall.

CAN CARES ACT MONEY BE USED TO PAY FOR SUMMER COURSES?

Yes. Students who dropped a class after March 13, 2020 or received no credit for a Spring 2020 course, can use CARES Act money to fund a course to make up the credit and keep on track for graduation. Monies will be directly distributed to the students and after receiving them, can be used by the student to fund a course at Hobart and William Smith (possibly during the summer of 2020) or at another institution. As always, any enrolled HWS student wishing to take a course at another institution in order to address a goal must have that course approved by the chair of the appropriate department by using the Transfer Credit Request Form.

CAN CARES ACT MONEY BE USED TO PAY FOR LOST EARNINGS?

Yes. Students who experienced disruption in earnings from off-campus employment or who may have had their potential summer earnings cut can apply for CARES Act funding. CARES Act funding cannot make up for any lost wages from an on-campus job or on-campus paid research opportunity.

HWS Student Emergency Fund

Why was the Emergency Fund Created?

Rallying in support of students during the COVID-19 crisis, the Hobart and William Smith Colleges’ community generated a fund to assist students with unexpected and emerging financial needs to supplement institutional resources already being directed to assist in this crisis. The Student Emergency Fund directly helps students with financial assistance in this serious time. This fund is intended to be a supplemental financial resource when students are unable to meet immediate and essential expenses, such as travel, food and housing. This funding is not intended to replace or supplement existing financial aid and does not have to be repaid.

Requests are reviewed on a rolling basis in consultation with the committee comprised of student affairs staff, other members of the Colleges’ staff, faculty and students.

What expenses Qualify and do not qualify for Funding?

Expenses Typically Covered by the Emergency Fund (this list is not all inclusive):

  • Books and other essential academic expenses
  • Medications and other costs related to a medical emergency or medical care
  • Replacement of essential personal belongings due to fire, theft, or natural disaster
  • Safety needs (i.e. changing a lock)
  • Travel costs related to a death or illness in the immediate family or of a close friend
  • Emergency housing supplemental assistance during emergencies
  • Food expenses during emergencies

Expenses Not Covered:

  • Tuition, fees, health insurance, and study abroad costs
  • Non-essential utilities (i.e. cable), household, or furniture costs
  • Costs for entertainment, recreation, non-emergency travel or other non-essential expenses

What are the Eligibility Requirements to receive funding?

  • Applicants must have a financial hardship
  • Applicants must be currently enrolled students and in good standing (academic and conduct) with the Colleges.
  • All other resources, including emergency loans through Financial Aid, must have been considered and are insufficient, unavailable or not available in a timely manner.
  • Applicants must complete all application questions in full and submit supporting documentation.

Supporting Documentation (to include but not limited to):

  • Medical bills
  • Estimates for repairs
  • Documentary evidence (photographs or videos)
  • Letters of support (usually witnesses of your need)
  • Financial information
  • Other information as determined appropriate by the Vice President for Campus Life or their designee.

How do I Apply for Assistance?

To submit a request, click here.

How do I make a gift to the Student Emergency Fund?

You can make a gift by visiting: https://www.givecampus.com/campaigns/12812/donations/new

For an update on federal guidelines regarding philanthropic giving, go to http://myhwslegacy.org/images/pdfs/cares.pdf

If current students, parents or families would like to waive receiving your room and board credit, we will put all such donations into the HWS Student Emergency Fund to assist students with unexpected costs related to the COVID-19 situation, including assistance for continuing students next school year. To learn how to do this, contact Student Accounts at StudentAccounts@hws.edu.

EVENTS AND CAMPUS TOURS

Are the Colleges going to limit gatherings of people on campus?

Yes. In accordance with the State of New York, the Colleges are holding no events of more than 25 people.

ARE CAMPUS TOURS AVAILABLE?

We hope to resume guided tours of campus on July 1. Details about campus tours including virtual tours are available on the admissions webpage.

HAS A DATE TO CELEBRATE COMMENCEMENT FOR THE CLASSES OF 2020 BEEN ANNOUNCED?

Yes. The date for the celebration of the Classes of 2020 is June 6, 2021. This event corresponds with the last day of Reunion Weekend, which will allow our reunioning alumni and alumnae to join the Hobart and William Smith community in commending our graduates. It also serves as a marker of our 2020 graduates' first year as alumni and alumnae. We have asked Margaret “Peggy” Bokan Greenawalt ’66 and G. Peter Jemison to attend the ceremony to receive their honorary degrees, and are thrilled that the Most Rev. Bishop Michael B. Curry ’75, Presiding Bishop and Primate of the Episcopal Church, has agreed to return to campus to deliver the Commencement Address and receive his honorary degree.

The Office of Campus Life will work with the senior class presidents to plan Senior Week-type activities for the days leading up to Commencement. These will include the traditional Hobart Launch and William Smith Welcome, as well as others of the festive events that our graduates treasure and look forward to enjoying. Planning for Reunion events, which feature two sets of reunioning classes coming together for a joyous celebration, is already well underway and will include the usual popular events as well as this additional special Commencement ceremony.

Campus housing will be available for all Commencement and Reunion attendees at a reasonable rate. More details for attendees will be available leading up to the events.

WILL HWS ALUMNI AND ALUMNAE REGIONAL EVENTS STILL OCCUR?

All regional in-person alumni and alumnae events have been canceled. Over the spring and summer, the Colleges are hosting dozens of virtual events via Zoom featuring HWS faculty, staff and community members. Learn more on the Alumni House webpage.

WAS REUNION CANCELED?

Because of the pandemic, the 2020 Reunion was postponed. Our plan is to join the 2020 reunion classes ending in 0s and 5s with next year’s classes ending with 1s and 6s for a large celebration in June of 2021. More information will be sent to alums in the coming weeks.

STUDY ABROAD

Will Study Abroad happen during the Fall 2020 Semester?

The Colleges made the difficult decision to suspend all fall study abroad programs. This decision was made in consideration of the ongoing health and safety challenges around the world related to COVID-19. We considered a wide range of issues in coming to this difficult decision, including the status of viral outbreaks in the areas where we have study abroad programs, potential increased rates of infection, the framework and access to health care, as well as the travel restrictions currently in place in many countries.

Affected students, their families and advisers were sent extensive communications that detail the many variables that students must take into consideration as they plan for future abroad opportunities. In addition, Amy Teel, the Center for Global Education’s Programs Operations Manager, has set aside the week of June 22 to answer questions and work with students on a one-on-one basis.

Fortunately, we had anticipated that we may be forced to make this decision, so all students planning to go abroad in the fall also registered for classes on campus. We also set aside housing for them.

This decision does not impact upcoming J-Term or Spring 2021 study abroad programs. Preparations for those programs are underway and we will continue to monitor conditions in all of our many program locations.

Will the Colleges cancel the January 2021 and Spring 2021 Abroad Programs?

At this point, we have no plans to cancel abroad programs in January or the spring but will let students know if the pandemic changes plans.

ATHLETICS and Recreation

Is HWS considering cutting sports?

No. Athletics and the student-athlete experience are core elements of the HWS education. There are no plans to eliminate sports – and in fact we continue to look at opportunities to expand our varsity offerings.

Have there been discussions regarding the start of fall sport seasons?

Yes. Contingency planning conversations have started at the national level, conference level and at HWS. Our HWS athletics administrators are engaged in those conversations. At this time, we are planning to return to practice and competition in the fall as scheduled. First and foremost, we are going to proceed as the experts advise in the best interest of public health. We want to get back to teaching life lessons through sport; however, the reality is that we do not yet have answers about the fall.

In light of the pandemic and since the NCAA granted spring sport athletes an extra season of participation, do the Colleges have a perspective on offering a fifth year?

  • For Division III, the NCAA has instituted an extension waiver for student-athletes to provide relief for the 10-semester limitation.
  • For Division I, this is an extension of eligibility waiver to a student-athlete’s five-year period of eligibility (“clock”).
  • The Colleges can and have had student-athletes use a fifth year of eligibility. In past situations, it has typically involved a season-ending injury or illness. It is definitely possible.
  • NCAA rules require students to make satisfactory process toward a degree; therefore, in some cases a student may slow down their progress or pursue a second major. Student-athletes may also compete as graduate students, which at HWS means they have to be accepted into the master of arts in teaching program.
  • This NCAA extension of eligibility due to the COVID-19 pandemic is in effect for all NCAA spring sport athletes (i.e., first years, sophomores, juniors, seniors).
  • Contact Associate Director of Athletics and Recreation/Director of Compliance Brian Miller (bmiller@hws.edu) for additional eligibility questions.

As a 2020 Bristol Field House external member (i.e., community walker, alumna/alumnus, household member of full time HWS employee), will I be able to use the Field House when HWS reopens?

When HWS reopens, Bristol Field House will initially be open only to faculty, staff and students. Once metrics are met with our campus community, we will then proceed with welcoming our external members back to the Field House. This date will be communicated on our HWS Recreation membership webpage.

I am a 2020 Bristol Field House external member (i.e., community walker, alumna/alumnus, household member of full time HWS employee). Since the Colleges closed the Field House in March 2020, will I receive a refund or credit of my membership fee?

We will credit 2020 external members with a full membership for 2021. Those members who don’t anticipate using a 2021 membership should contact Judy Wentzel wentzel@hws.edu or 315-781-3901 by August 2, 2020 to request a prorated refund.

For Employees

What is THE PLAN FOR employees to RETURN TO CAMPUS?

HWS will begin to bring employees back to on-campus work gradually starting June 15, 2020. We await further clearance from the State before departments can increase on-site staffing to normal staffing levels, but for planning purposes, assume that will occur between now and August 10.

To limit risk, the Colleges will initially limit the number of employees who return. This plan is subject to change, and reverting to a previous operating status is possible if circumstances in the region or on campus do not evolve as anticipated or New York State changes its guidance. Not everyone will return to campus at once. Employees who can successfully work from home should continue doing so after consulting with their supervisor. The targets for on-campus staffing levels, described in the following paragraphs, are maximums for the building occupancy. Some departments may be able to continue accomplishing their work remotely. Each department will need to evaluate its operational needs while minimizing on-campus administrative staffing. Departmental plans should be developed in consultation with the appropriate vice president who will build a plan for the division.

As of June 15, administrative and athletics departments may increase on-site staffing, up to 50% of building occupancy. The right balance will depend on the operational needs of each department, the physical layout of the department, and whether the office can rotate schedules to support social distancing.

Can faculty members return to their offices?

Faculty members with individual office space may now use them at any time but are asked to notify the Provost’s office if they plan to use their offices regularly so that we are able to accurately track campus occupancy. Faculty members with research labs may now use them at any time.

Can students return to work in research labs?

Arrangements regarding students in research labs must be made with the Provost’s office. Requests for student assistants to be housed on campus should be directed to VP for Campus Life Robb Flowers.

What are building and access hours?

Hobart and William Smith will continue to operate during normal business hours; however, some departments may have modified services:

  • All dining halls and cafés are closed for the summer; dining services are limited to meal delivery/ pick up for the few students residing on campus.
  • Limited Mail Center hours continue; service window and office mail pick up will be available daily between 9am-12pm.
  • Print Services will remain closed but will continue to accept requests using the web portal.
  • The Library remains closed as we build a reopening plan but will continue to provide online services.
  • The College Store remains closed until July 5 but continues to be available for online sales.
  • Athletics and Recreational facilities remain closed in accordance with NYS requirements.

What are the Colleges doing to keep employees safe?

Returning to work on campus will not be “business as usual.” Changes include:

  • Prior to returning to campus, employees will be required to complete a COVID-19 Safety Training.
  • Before arriving at work each day, every employee will need to complete a Daily Wellness Check.
  • Select employees will be trained and certified in COVID-19 contract tracing practices that will allow the Colleges to identify future potential exposure. This training certificate program is conducted by Johns Hopkins University’s Medical Center. Employees interested in completing this training should contact Human Resources.
  • Employees will be required to wear a face covering in buildings and on campus, when social distancing is not possible. Employees are encouraged to bring their own face covering to work with them; disposable face coverings are also available in the Campus Safety Office if needed.
  • Face shields will be provided to faculty members and staff who teach.
  • Administrative staff will have rotating work schedules to reduce the number of people in any building at one time. Some staff will be allowed to continue working remotely depending on operational need.
  • Before full access occurs, barriers will be installed at reception desks for high traffic departments.
  • Employees who do not have individual office spaces will be provided tape to mark six feet around their workspace in support of social distancing.
  • Employees are encouraged to continue meetings over Zoom or telephone.
  • Break rooms and other communal areas will have reduced seating and capacity limits.
  • Sodexo has procedures for cleaning, in accordance to OSHA guidelines, for common areas and 3 frequently touched surfaces.
  • Cleaning supplies will be available for use in campus offices and employees are encouraged to clean and disinfect personal workspaces throughout the workday.
  • In addition to the hand sanitizer stations already set up in various campus buildings, employees will be provided a bottle of hand sanitizer for their personal office use.
  • Signage will be displayed across campus and in work areas with reminders on how to prevent the spread of germs, and how to correctly wear and remove face coverings. Offices should not create their own signage; it is important that COVID-19 signage is consistent across the campus.
  • Business travel remains restricted to essential travel only and must be approved by the appropriate divisional vice president.
  • Large group in-person events over 10 people remain restricted until further notice.

What should individual employees do to prepare to return to campus?

Hobart and William Smith will continue to operate during normal business hours; however, some departments may have modified services:

  • Employees must complete the Daily Wellness Check for any COVID-19 related symptoms and exposure, and must not come to work when sick.
  • Employees who come in contact with a person who is lab-confirmed to have COVID-19 should plan to quarantine at home for 14 days and speak with their supervisor about working from home during that period.
  • Maintain social distancing practices in the workplace.
  • Wear a face covering if you are unable to socially distance.
  • Complete the COVID-19 Safety Training before returning to campus.
  • Follow cleaning product instructions when cleaning your work areas.
  • Wash your hands frequently or use hand sanitizer.
  • Cover your nose and mouth when sneezing or coughing.
  • Avoid touching your face.
  • Replace handshakes with head nods and waves.
  • Avoid using other employees’ phones, desks, offices or other work equipment, when possible.
  • Follow institutional safety policies and practices.
  • Employees who may have special family circumstances or who are concerned about childcare should talk with their supervisor about the possibility of temporary flexible work arrangements.
  • Employees who are at higher risk for serious illness from COVID-19 according to CDC guidance and are concerned about returning to work, should talk with their physician and contact Human Resources about accommodations. Information on how to reduce your risk to COVID-19 can be found at on the CDC website.
  • HWS recognizes that these can be stressful times. Employees seeking support are encouraged to contact ENI – NexGenEAP at www.nexgeneap.com or by calling (800) 327-2255. Employees also have the option of accessing telemedicine by registering/logging in at ExcellusBCBS.com/ Member or calling 1-866-692-5045.

What should supervisors do to prepare for the return of employees to campus?

Departmental plans for staff returning to campus must be approved by the vice president for that area. The plan must be communicated to every employee in the area to ensure they understand the date they are to return to on-campus work and the new practices for working safely. Plans should address:

  • Rotating schedules to reduce the number of people in the office.
  • Continued work from home unless it is impossible to perform duties there or if there is an operational need to return to campus.
  • Flexible scheduling to allow employees to accommodate special family circumstances (in consultation with appropriate vice president and Human Resources). If there is mutual agreement for a flexible work arrangement for an ongoing period beyond August 10, 2020, then supervisors should work with Human Resources to complete a formal agreement.
  • Departments should assess their workspace and workflow to promote physical distancing. Where necessary, some departments that share space may need to coordinate planning and assessment. Offices, hallways, elevators, conference rooms, common rooms and break rooms must all be considered.

What should employees do who don’t feel well?

Employees with flu-like symptoms should alert their supervisor and stay at home. Employees should not return to work until they have been fever free for at least 24 hours. Employees are also reminded of the convenience offered through telemedicine to be treated remotely by their health care provider. Employees can initiate telemedicine services by clicking here and following the enrollment instructions.

Those experiencing flu-like symptoms who are well enough and able to do so should work from home.

More information on telemedicine.

Members of the Human Resources Department have prepared a temporary sick leave policy intended to extend sick day benefits for those employees who are ill, caring for a sick family member or who have been asked to self-quarantine.

WHAT BENEFITS DO THE COLLEGES PROVIDE IF I OR A FAMILY MEMBER BECOMES ILL WITH COVID-19?

The Colleges have implemented a temporary and enhanced sick leave policy for all employees who have either been exposed to, diagnosed with or caring for a family member who has been diagnosed with COVID-19. Additionally, NYS has expanded the Paid Family Leave (PFL) to include COViD-19 when the employee has been diagnosed or they are caring for a diagnosed family member. Additionally, if an employee requires long term recovery or treatment due to COVid-19, they would be eligible to use short term disability leave.

Grading for Spring 2020 Semester

How is grading changing for the Spring 2020 semester?

The following are temporary changes to grading policies and procedures effective Spring 2020 semester due to the COVID-19 pandemic. These policies will expire at the conclusion of the 2020 Summer Sessions.

  • Each faculty member will grade students with the grading system that each student currently has in place for the course, and submit those via PeopleSoft at the end of the Spring 2020 semester.
  • The Classes of 2021, 2022 and 2023 (i.e., current juniors, sophomores and first year students) will have until the end of the second week of Fall 2020 (September 4, 2020) to change posted letter grades to CR/DCR/NCR grades. In order to allow for the processing of degrees, the Classes of 2020 (current seniors) will have until 5 p.m. on May 18, 2020 to change the grading option for their courses from letter grades to CR/DCR/NCR, with the approval of their academic advisor. Please note that the record date for graduation will remain May 17, 2020.
  • There will be no maximum limit on how many Spring 2020 class grades any one student can change to CR/DCR/NCR.
  • Grades from the Spring 2020 semester that are changed to CR/DCR/NC will not count toward the maximum number of CR/DCR/NC grades a student can have during their time at HWS.
  • For this semester only, students who are more than two credits behind in their progress toward graduation can withdraw from a course with the approval of their Dean.
  • For this semester only, the Colleges will allow students who are repeating a course to opt for a CR/DCR/NC grade.
  • All departments and programs shall accept the grade of CR for HWS courses as satisfying any requirement that would be satisfied by a grade of C- or better. This will apply to all grades earned in class only during the Spring 2020 semester, Maymester 2020, and Summer Sessions 2020. This will temporarily override all department/program limits on CR grades.
  • DCR grades will count toward general graduation credit requirements. Departments and programs shall determine for themselves whether to accept DCR grades toward satisfying the requirements of majors and minors in the same way that a grade of C- or better would do. Please note that CoAA interprets this policy to mean that if a department/program decides to accept a DCR grade for the Spring 2020, Maymester 2020 and/or Summer Sessions 2020 that the internal logic of the policy means that those departments/programs are also willing to accept D+, D, and D- letter grades as counting toward the requirements of the major/minor. This is because any D, D+, or D- grade would be automatically converted to a DCR if the student so chose, and so the D letter grades must count in the same way as a DCR. [This will only be the case for Spring 2020, Maymester 2020, and Summer Sessions 2020 if departments/programs decide to accept DCR grades during any one, or all, of those terms.] If a department or program does not inform the Registrar’s Office by May 4 that they have determined to count DCR grades toward satisfying these major or minor requirements, then these grades will not count for this. Remember that each department/program must accept CR grades as counting towards progress for all majors and minors, as per a faculty vote on April 6, 2020. This applies for all CR grades earned during the Spring 2020, Maymester 2020, and Summer Sessions 2020.
  • NC grades shall not count toward satisfying the requirements of any majors or minors on campus nor toward general graduation credit requirements.
  • No more than four grades above F but below C- (D+, D, D-, or DCR) may be counted toward the 32 semester equivalent courses toward the degree. Grades below a C- are still counted toward the limit of four; however, grades of DCR are not.

WHAT IS CR/DCR/NCR?

CR means Credit, DCR means D Credit, and NCR means no credit. "CR/DCR/NC" are not calculated in the GPA. For the purpose of review, a grade of CR indicates course work was C- or better. A grade of DCR indicates course work sufficient for credit for the degree, but lower than a C-. A grade of NCR indicates work lower than a D- and is not sufficient for credit towards the degree.

Do CR/DCR/NCR courses count toward a major or minor?

CR grades will count toward all majors and minors for the Spring 2020, Maymester 2020, and Summer Sessions 2020. There is no limit to the number of CR grades from these three terms that students can apply to their majors and minors

Departments and programs have until May 4th to let the Registrar know whether DCR grades will count toward that program’s major/minor. As soon as we have that information, we will make it available to students.

NCR grades do not count toward graduation requirements nor toward any major/minor requirements.

I’m more than two credits behind to graduate and want to withdraw from a class. Does the Spring 2020 Policy affect me?

Current policy at HWS states that students who are more than two credits behind in their progress toward graduation cannot withdraw from a course. For the Spring 2020 semester only, the Colleges will waive this policy so that students who are more than two credits behind can withdraw from a course this semester with approval from their Dean.

I’m repeating a course this semester. Does the Spring 2020 Policy affect me?

Current policy at HWS states that students who are repeating a course that they have previously taken, and for which they received a grade lower than a C-, must take the repeated course for a letter grade and cannot take the repeated course for CR/DCR/NCR. For the Spring 2020 semester only, the Colleges will waive this policy in order to allow students who are repeating a course to take a CR/DCR/NCR grade for repeated courses taken during the Spring 2020 semester.

If I don’t want to change how I want my grades determined, do I need to do anything?

No.

I’m not sure if declaring CD/DCR/NCR or withdrawing from a class is the right thing for me. Who should I consult?

Students should consult with the faculty member teaching the course, their academic advisor, their dean, or all three. Determining the right plan of action is a personal decision that may be affected by any number of issues and should be considered carefully.

HOW DO I CHANGE COURSE GRADING OPTION FROM GRADED TO CR/DCR/NCR?

Who do I contact if I have questions about the Spring 2020 grading policy?

Questions can be directed to the Office of Academic and Faculty Affairs at OAFA@hws.edu.

Will the Colleges institute a different withdrawal policy for the Spring 2020 semester?

The faculty Committee on Standards (COS) has developed a withdrawal policy for the spring 2020 semester. The Special Authorized Withdrawal (SAW) provides a different withdraw option for students who are not likely to pass a course and who would normally use a Voluntary Withdrawal (VW) or a No Credit (NC). The SAW will not count against the four Voluntary Withdrawals allowed to each student. The Registrar will include a transcript note explaining the unusual circumstances of this policy. This withdrawal will not adversely affect financial aid this semester. The SAW is in effect for the Spring 2020 semester only.

Students must apply for the Special Authorized Withdrawal through their class Deans and must explain the circumstances of their application for withdrawal. The Deans will explain to students the possible ramifications of their decision (for example delayed graduation, possible additional costs to make up the credit and other financial implications, or for international student visa status). Students have until the last day of classes to request a SAW from their class Dean.

SPRING SEMESTER ROOM AND BOARD PARTIAL CREDIT

What is the Spring Semester Partial Credit?

The Colleges will be crediting 50% of Room and Board charged for the Spring 2020 semester, less the proration of any financial aid received directly from the Colleges. We hope this action by the Colleges is helpful for students and families as we all navigate this challenging time.

For students who are not graduating this spring, your non-refundable credit will be applied to your account to be used toward current or future charges. Graduates will receive a payment from the Colleges for any credit balances after graduation. We will send a notice once credits have been posted later in the semester.

Questions about the credit should be directed to StudentAccounts@hws.edu.

I am staying on campus. Will I still get a credit?

Yes. All students who paid for room and board will receive a credit. Note that the only students allowed to stay on campus are those with special circumstances. Students who need to stay due to special circumstances must contact the Office of Residential Education at (315) 781-3880 before the end of business on Friday, March 20, 2020

I live off campus. Will I still get a credit?

Off-campus students will have 50% of their board credited, less any prorated financial aid from the Colleges.

I receive financial aid in the form of a grant from the Colleges. Will I still get a credit?

Grant aid will be prorated across tuition vs. room and board in proportion to their relative sizes, thus reducing your non-refundable credit. If you are fully grant-funded, you will not receive a credit. This has been our policy at all times, as aid is granted for your whole package, not solely for tuition.

I lived abroad this semester. Will I still receive a credit for Room and Board?

For students who lived abroad in the Spring 2020 semester, getting a credit for room and board depends on the type of program you were enrolled in:

  • Students who were directly billed by the Colleges for room and/or board, will be credited 50% of your Spring 2020 semester room/board billed, less any prorated financial aid from the Colleges. Grant aid will be prorated across tuition vs. room and board in proportion to their relative sizes, thus reducing your credit. If you are fully grant-funded, you will not receive a credit. This has been our policy at all times, as aid is granted for your whole package, not solely for tuition. Questions should be directed to StudentAccounts@hws.edu
  • Students who paid a third party American-based organization or foreign university directly for their room and/or board should contact that organization or university for more information on any credits they may be providing. If you do not receive a response from the organization or university you paid, please contact Amy Teel at teel@hws.edu for assistance.

When and how will I get the credit?

For students who are not graduating this spring, your non-refundable credit will be applied to your account to be used toward current or future charges. Graduates will receive a payment from the Colleges for any remaining credit balances after graduation. We will send a notice once credits have been posted later in the semester.

What happens to my work-study job?

In some cases, students may be able to perform work tasks remotely and should contact their supervisors for information and directions. They may also be able to be reassigned to a remote duty option under a different supervisor. For more information about the possibility of being reassigned to a remote duty option, contact Human Resources at 315-781-3312.

Why isn't tuition being partially credited?

The Colleges continue to incur the same expenses to support our academic mission as we move into remote learning. Academic credits will still be granted and courses completed. We realize that remote learning is a different experience from in-person learning, but we are working to continue teaching courses in this difficult situation for all parties involved.

Are fees being partially credited?

No. The remainder of the technology fee is helping to cover the Colleges' continuing costs of providing remote learning. The remainder of the health and wellness fee is helping to cover the Colleges' continuing costs of providing telemedicine and telecounseling as well as running the on-campus health and counseling services. The remainder of the student activities fee will be used for the HWS Student Emergency Fund to assist with unexpected costs related to the COVID-19 situation, including assistance for continuing students next school year.

WILL THERE BE A CREDIT FOR THE PARKING PERMIT FEE?

Credits for parking permits will be issued on a prorated basis. Any students currently enrolled who paid for (1) an annual parking permit in the fall 2019 term will receive a 25% credit of the amount paid; or (2) a spring 2020 parking permit will receive a 50% non-refundable credit of the amount paid. For students who are not graduating this spring, your credit will be applied to your account for use toward current or future charges. Graduates will receive a payment from the Colleges for any remaining credit balances after graduation. We will send a notice once credits have been posted later in the semester.

Is Community Cash included in the Room and Board credit?

No, Community Cash is not included in the Room and Board credit. As is our current policy, students who have graduated or withdrawn must submit a OneCard Refund Request Form to the OneCard Office (hwsonecard@hws.edu) in order to receive a refund of Community Cash. Community Cash refunds are not issued for amounts less than $5.00 and all refund checks will be mailed to the permanent/home address on file. Questions should be sent to hwsonecard@hws.edu.

Is Snack Money included in the Room and Board credit?

Yes, Snack Money is included in the Room and Board credit. However, since Snack Money is a component of your overall board charge, the amount of your credit will not be based on unused Snack Money. Your Board credit will be 50% of your Spring 2020 semester board billed, less any prorated financial aid from the Colleges. Questions should be directed to StudentAccounts@hws.edu.

If I want to help others by donating my room and board credit, what would happen to the money?

If you would like to waive receiving your room and board credit, we will put all such donations into the HWS Student Emergency Fund to assist students with unexpected costs related to the COVID-19 situation, including assistance for continuing students next school year. To learn how to do this, contact Student Accounts at StudentAccounts@hws.edu.

Can I use my room and board credit toward Maymester or Summer Session?

Yes. The credit on your account can be used toward these optional programs, as well as to pay off any outstanding account balances, or it can be applied toward the next academic year's tuition.

Website Last Updated on June 24, 2020

COVID-19 Safety Training Employee Daily Wellness Assessment Application for CARES Act Funding July HEERF Student Aid Report HEERF Student Aid Report Stories about the Pandemic

Messages to the Community

Update on Fall Reopening by President Joyce P. Jacobsen - June 24, 2020

HWS Return to Campus Update for Employees Sonya Williams - June 11, 2020

Fall 2020 Study Abroad by Mary Coffey and Thomas D’Agostino - June 5, 2020

Planning Underway for our Fall Opening by President Joyce P. Jacobsen - May 28, 2020

Forward, Together by President Joyce P. Jacobsen - May 12, 2020

Using the CARES Act to Stay on Track for Graduation by John Young - May 12, 2020

Updates from Campus by President Joyce P. Jacobsen - April 27, 2020

An Update to Parents and Family Members of Admitted Students by President Joyce P. Jacobsen - April 27, 2020

Greetings from Human Resources by Sonya Williams - April 15, 2020

Grading for Spring 2020 Semester by Mary Coffey - March 30, 2020

Timeliness and Timelessness of an HWS Education by President Joyce P. Jacobsen - March 27, 2020

Introducing the HWS Student Emergency Fund by Julie Bazan ’93 and Rick Solomon ’75, P’10 - March 24, 2020

Staff Telework Resources by Sonya Williams - March 24, 2020

Message Regarding Commencement by President Joyce P. Jacobsen - March 20, 2020

Postponed: HWS Reunion by Bob O’Connor P’22 - March 19, 2020

Updates Regarding On-Campus Housing by Robb Flowers - March 19, 2020

Updates Regarding On-Campus Housing and Services by Robb Flowers - March 17, 2020

A Massive Natural Experiment by President Joyce P. Jacobsen - March 16, 2020

With Gratitude by President Joyce P. Jacobsen - March 13, 2020

COVID-19 Update: Face-to-Face Instruction Canceled by Mary Coffey and Robb Flowers - March 13, 2020

Follow-Up Note on Colleges’ Response to Coronavirus by Mary Coffey and Robb Flowers - March 11, 2020

From the Dean of Spiritual Engagement by The Reverend Nita C. Johnson Byrd - March 12, 2020

Coronavirus Information and Contingency Planning by President Joyce P. Jacobsen - March 10, 2020

An Update on the Coronavirus by Mary Coffey and Robb Flowers - March 5, 2020

Information on the Coronavirus by Mary Coffey and Robb Flowers - February 28, 2020

CONTACT

General questions and comments should be directed to:

Hobart and William Smith Colleges
Geneva, NY 14456
(315) 781-3000

Questions regarding health issues should be directed to:

Hubbs Health Center
119 St. Clair Street
Geneva, NY 14456
Phone: 315-781-3600
Appt. Phone: 315-781-4530
Fax: 315-781-3802