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A Culture of Care >> Read Smith’s plans for the summer and fall 2021 semesters.

Smith College A Culture of Care

Student Life & Academics

Student Life & Academics

Co-curricular spaces provide important enrichment and are a central component of the student experience. Adapting this experience in light of public health guidance as we respond to COVID-19 requires significant changes while maintaining Smith’s unique community strengths.

Remote Support Resources Available

For students who will continue their studies remotely, Smith is committed to providing equitable, inclusive, dynamic services. Please visit the Remote Support Resources website for information on remote academic and personal support.

Community Compliance Plan

We will respond quickly to behaviors that put the safety of the campus community at risk, with particular attention to the following:
  • Failure to wear a mask, observe physical distancing, follow hygiene practices or participate in our asymptomatic testing program
  • Violations of travel or space restrictions
  • Other high risk-behaviors that increase the potential for widespread transmission

Complaints will be managed via formal student and human resources conduct processes. Corrective action for students may include loss of privileges, quarantine, removal from housing and/or suspension, depending on the severity of the behavior and the circumstances.

Confidential Reporting

Smith College is an organization with strong values of responsibility and integrity. Professional conduct at the college is governed by the Code of Conduct. If you wish to submit a confidential report of violations of policies or standards, Smith encourages you to file an online report (service provided by EthicsPoint).

 


Academic Planning

The majority of spring 2021 classes will be delivered remotely to enable student learning from any location. Faculty members will use a variety of approaches to optimize learning in virtual communities. This remote delivery will extend to classes in the Five College system.

Some courses, designated as “enhanced remote” in the catalog, will incorporate safely-distanced in-person elements. A very small percentage of courses may be delivered in-person only. Students will be able to work in laboratories, studios and other specialized spaces.


Tuition & Aid

In recognition of the financial burdens that COVID-19 has imposed on students and families, we have taken two key actions. We have increased financial aid to help offset the impacts of the pandemic, and we have rolled back our planned tuition increase. Further, we prorated fall room and board charges to reflect a shorter fall semester on campus. We remain committed to meeting every Smith student’s full demonstrated financial need and to reviewing each student’s financial aid award if their financial circumstances have changed. For more information, please see Tuition & Aid

Quick Facts

  • The planned 2020–21 tuition increase has been rolled back.
  • The spring billing schedule has been adjusted to January 15 with a due date of February 10.
  • Room and board charges will only be charged to those students living in Smith-provided housing.
  • For students on financial aid, personal expense allowances will be increased by $2,000, and work-study expectations for first-year and sophomore students have been eliminated and replaced by grants. Work-study expectations for juniors and seniors have been reduced by 50%.
  • The additional Interterm course offerings are included in the fall tuition. 

Athletics

While athletic teams will be permitted to train in person this spring, the physical distancing required to reduce viral spread precludes our participation in varsity and club sports competition. Athletic facilities and programming will be available to students participating in the COVID-19 screening program.

Quick Facts

  • All varsity winter athletic competition has been suspended via NEWMAC. There is no decision yet on the spring season.
  • Athletic facilities will be open for students only based on the COVID-19 operating mode.
  • Club sports may operate so long as the campus is in the green operating mode and participants abide by testing and screening protocol.
  • Outdoor athletic facilities, including the tennis courts and track, are open to any member of the Smith community—but remain closed to the public. Masks must be worn at all times and physical distancing must be practiced.
  • Athletic facility access, including Olin Fitness Center, Dalton Pool and other indoor resources are only available to students; access will be limited and via reservation only.

Frequently Asked Questions

NEW Is this year’s Commencement in person?
As announced in President Kathleen McCartney’s April 2 letter to students, the college will welcome seniors and graduate students back to campus for an in-person Commencement. Families, guests and friends are invited to watch the ceremony streaming online only; they are not permitted to attend the on-campus event. For more information, visit the college’s Commencement webpage

NEW Is this year’s reunion virtual?
Yes. For more information on the Virtual Reunion 2021, please see the Alumnae Relations reunion webpage.

Will the college bookstore be open for students to shop?
The Smith College Bookstore will remain closed to in-person shopping until further notice. All orders can be placed online at the bookstore website. Orders can be shipped to students’ homes or their campus mailbox, or they can be picked up in the Campus Center. Bookstore staff members are in the store Monday through Friday. Orders can be picked up between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. by calling the store upon arrival. For additional information, email cmshea@smith.edu.

Where can students pick up their mail and packages?
Students’ letters and packages will be loaded into lockers at mail services in the Campus Center. For Items that cannot be loaded into lockers, mail services will contact students directly to coordinate a pickup time. The student pickup window will remain closed until further notice.

When can I pick up my mail or packages?
Students will be able to retrieve their letters and packages from mail lockers during the Campus Center’s open hours. Students will receive an email notification when they have items in the lockers.

Can students or employees mail out items or purchase stamps from Smith mail services?
Yes. The retail window will operate with limited services and hours starting the week of February 15. Please review the mail services webpage for updates.

Can students living on campus get mail or packages if they are in isolation or quarantine?
No. Students who are in quarantine or isolation upon arrival or during the semester cannot retrieve items from Smith mail services during that period. For extenuating circumstances, such as retrieving shipments of prescribed medications, students can call customer service at 413-585-2400 or enter a work order for assistance.

If I live locally, off-campus, will I be able to receive mail and packages at my Smith address?
No. Students living locally (off campus) should have their mail sent to their off-campus address. Students should update their address by contacting the registrar's office.

What happens to a student's mail if they are not confirmed to have residential housing for spring 2021?
Any packages received at Smith mail services for students who will not be returning to Smith residential housing during the spring 2021 semester will be returned to the sender. All first-class domestic mail will continue to be forwarded. All international mail will be returned to the sender.

Can students in residence travel outside of Northampton?
In green mode, students in residence are limited to a travel radius of 10 miles from campus for essential travel only (in yellow mode limited to 1 mile from campus). Urgent travel needs (e.g., medical appointments, family emergencies) outside this radius should be requested by completing the Request to Leave Northampton Area Form at least 72 hours prior to departure. Students will only be granted permission for emergent issues (family emergencies, medical appointments). Students who do not abide by these expectations will be referred to the College Conduct Board. If the campus moves out of the green/low-risk operating mode, further restrictions will be put in place.

Can I visit the other five colleges?
No. Students who travel from campus should do so only for essential needs including medical/personal care, work or to attend religious services. Students may not leave campus to join social gatherings or visit off-campus residences. The Five College Consortium is not having any in-person classes for students who are cross-enrolled and may not allow visitors to campus.

Can I participate in an off-campus employment or internship?
Yes, within 10 miles of campus. If the college moves to yellow mode, then students will only be allowed to travel 1 mile from campus.

If the college changes its mind before the semester starts, will the college reimburse me for travel expenses?
No. The college is unable to reimburse students for travel expenses, and encourages all students to book flexible, refundable travel in the event that pandemic conditions worsen.

NEW Will I be able to get a portion of my room and board fee refunded if I choose to leave campus before the end of the spring 2021 semester?
No refunds will be provided for students who voluntarily leave campus before the end of the semester. Should there be a documented emergency that requires you to leave campus, then you can contact the Office of Residence Life to request an exception to this policy. All requests must be received by Friday, April 30, to be considered. If your exception is approved, the room and board charge will be prorated through your last day on campus. Students receiving financial assistance from Smith will have a corresponding financial aid adjustment to account for the reduced charge.

Where can students eat their meals?
Available dining locations depend on the college's color-coded operating mode. When the campus is in green mode, dining rooms will have limited, physically distanced seating and will be open extended hours. During yellow mode, all food will be take-out only with physically distanced seating available throughout campus. During red mode, meals will be individually packaged to go and delivered to house common rooms; students must then eat in their individual rooms. 

If a student returns home mid-semester to study remotely, will they be entitled to a refund?
Yes. Any student who leaves campus early to study remotely will be issued a prorated refund.

Will students living locally or approved to be in residence have access to campus learning resources?
Yes. Students approved to live locally can participate in the same on-campus activities available to students living on campus, as long as they participate in the twice-weekly coronavirus screening.

Can students have visitors in on-campus housing?
No. Houses are open only to Smith College students in residence—no off-campus visitors are allowed under any circumstances. In green mode, guests who are Smith College students in residence are allowed in other students’ rooms so long as they are following our mask and physical distancing guidelines. A maximum of two guests are allowed in one room at a time. Please note that if the campus moves out of the green/low-risk operating mode, further restrictions will be put in place.

Can students in residence travel off campus?In green mode, students in residence are limited to a travel radius of 10 miles from campus for essential travel only (in yellow mode limited to 1 mile from campus). Urgent travel needs (e.g., medical appointments, family emergencies) outside this radius should be requested by completing the Request to Leave Northampton Area Form at least 72 hours prior to departure. Students will only be granted permission for emergent issues (family emergencies, medical appointments). Students who do not abide by these expectations will be referred to the College Conduct Board. If the campus moves out of the green/low-risk operating mode, further restrictions will be put in place.

What happens if I get sick with COVID-19? Will I be able to stay in my own room?
In keeping with CDC guidelines, the college will follow a special protocol for ill students requiring isolation or quarantine in dedicated housing.

Which houses will be used for isolation and quarantine?
Baldwin House, Haven House and the Friedmans will serve as quarantine or isolation spaces.

I have an Office of Disability Services (ODS) accommodation. Will I be guaranteed to return to my previous assignment?
While we can guarantee that all ODS accommodations will be met, we cannot guarantee that students will be able to return to their last assigned room. If we are unable to reassign students to their last assigned room, we will contact the student to identify a new assignment that meets the current accommodation on file.

How can I apply to live off campus?
Students interested in living off campus may apply via the Petition to Live Off Campus form, which will be available on your Residence Life Self-Service on November 23. The priority deadline is December 15. Petitions received after this date will only be reviewed on a case-by-case basis with final decision made at the end of January.

Can I store items in the trunk room? Can I get my belongings from the trunk room?
You may retrieve items from trunk rooms upon returning to campus. Please note that trunk rooms will not be available to store items at the end of the spring semester. Students should bring to campus only what they absolutely need for the spring semester.

Is the college adjusting its pricing structure for 2020–21 in response to COVID-19?
In all decisions related to planning around the pandemic, Smith is prioritizing the health and safety of community members. The college has taken steps to address cost and pricing issues. Specifically, in recognition of the financial burdens that COVID-19 has imposed on students and families, we have taken two key actions: We have increased financial aid to help offset the impacts of the pandemic, and we have rolled back our planned tuition increase.

We remain committed to meeting every Smith student’s full demonstrated financial need and to reviewing each student’s award if their financial circumstances have changed. Students with questions about financial aid are encouraged to contact sfs@smith.edu.

Throughout 2020–21, whether working in person or remotely, our faculty and staff will continue to teach and support students with the dedication and individual attention that has long been a hallmark of the Smith experience. Our students will continue to graduate with a degree that retains its value and with the capacities and skills for lifelong success.

How much will room and board cost for the spring? How much will tuition cost?
Our tuition, room and board costs are available via Student Financial Services.

How are work-study expectations affected by the move to remote learning for the spring semester?
Work-study expectations for first-year and sophomore students have been eliminated and replaced by grants. Work-study expectations for juniors and seniors have been reduced by 50 percent.

What adjustments will be made to financial aid packages to reflect the change in the college’s operations?
For students on financial aid, we have made two important adjustments for 2020–21. We have increased the allowance for personal expenses by $2,000 per year, regardless of whether the student is residing on or near campus or at home, and we have reduced the work-study earnings expectation by 50 percent.

Where can I find details about Smith’s participation in the CARES Act?
Detailed reporting is available here.


Residence Life Operating Modes

  Green   Yellow   Red
 
Traditional Housing On-campus resident students may host another on-campus resident in their houses or rooms (limited to two guests in a residential room). These visitors must be accompanied by the host at all times. House kitchens available via sign-up, common spaces available during designated hours. Food and grocery drivers may not enter building; recipient must meet driver outside.   Students may not visit other houses or rooms. Kitchens and common spaces are closed. Food and grocery drivers may not enter buildings; recipient must meet driver outside.   Students asked to remain in their own rooms (except for testing and meal pick-up). No food and grocery delivery services.
 
Ada Comstock Scholars and Graduate Students in On-Campus Apartments On-campus students may visit other on-campus students’ rooms, houses and apartments. Common spaces available during designated hours. Food and grocery drivers may not enter buildings; recipient must meet driver outside.   Students may not visit other residences. Common spaces closed. Food and grocery drivers may not enter building; recipient must meet driver outside.   Students asked to remain in their own apartments (except for testing or essential trips). Food and grocery drivers may not enter building; recipient must meet driver outside.
 
Off-Campus Undergraduates, Ada Comstock and Graduate Students in Testing Program Students may access academic and administrative buildings including classrooms, laboratories, studios, Campus Center, library and Schacht Health Center. Off-campus students do not have access to Smith residential houses.   Students may only access testing site or Schacht Health Center.   Students may only access testing site. Off-campus students are asked to stay in their residences to the extent possible and follow state and local guidance.

Student Life Operating Modes

  Green   Yellow   Red
 
Off-Campus Travel Students may travel up to 10 miles from campus for essential services (e.g., personal care, groceries, religious services). Students may not visit any off-campus residence or participate in off-campus social gatherings of any kind.   Students must remain on campus. They may travel up to 1 mile from campus for work or to purchase essential commodities like groceries and medicine. Students may not visit any off-campus residence or participate in off-campus social gatherings of any kind.   On-campus students must remain on campus and primarily in their own rooms. Off-campus students are asked to stay in their residences to the extent possible and follow state and local guidance.
 
Dining Open to those on the meal plan, limited internal seating.   Grab and Go only, for those on the meal plan.   Phased delivery to house common rooms.
 
Visitors No external visitors allowed in campus buildings.   No external visitors allowed in campus buildings.   No external visitors allowed in campus buildings.
 
Campus Center Open to the Smith community in testing protocol. The Student Kitchen and Resource Room will be open only when the college's operating mode is Green. Students will be able to access these spaces by making a reservation in the Office of Student Engagement.   Limited hours and services available.   Closed except for the testing center.
 
Campus Center Café Open to the Smith Community in the testing program.   Closed.   Closed.
 
Meetings, Gatherings, Student Activities & Affinity Groups With Student Affairs approval: Indoor (limit based on room capacity of 125 sq.ft./ person and not to exceed 10 people) and outdoor (limit of 25 people). Student-initiated activities allowed up to 5 people indoors and 10 people outdoors. No food at gatherings.   Remote activities only, except for one-on-one emergency meetings with a college official.   Remote activities only, except for one-on-one emergency meetings with a college official.
 
Testing Center Open to those in the testing program.   Open to those in the testing program.   Open to those in the testing program.
 
Medical Services from the Schacht Center Open for remote care for students residing in Mass. Open for in-person care for students living on and off campus within a 10-mile radius.   Open for remote care for students residing in Mass. Open for in-person care for students living on and off campus within a 10-mile radius.   Open for remote care for students residing in Mass. Open for in-person care for sick appointments ONLY for students living on and off campus within a 10-mile radius.
 
Counseling Services from the Schacht Center Mostly remote, in-person as needed and in crisis.   Remote with exceptions for crises.   Remote only.
 
Disability Services Open for some face-to-face appointments with the majority of services remote.   Remote with exceptions for crises.   Remote only.
 
Olin Fitness Center and Athletic Facilities Available for on-campus and local off-campus students in the testing program by reservation only. Available facilities: Olin Fitness Center, restrooms, Ainsworth locker rooms for changing only—no shower use. Boathouse programs will be offered. Get Fit Smith classes will be offered to the Smith community remotely. Low-exertion classes offered in person to students.   Available to on-campus students by reservation at low capacity. Get Fit Smith classes will be offered remotely.   Closed.
 
Athletics (Varsity) NO COMPETITION
Team practices will be permitted. Masks must be worn at all times, including during practice sessions. Lockers available, no showers available. Specialized equipment will be moved to the ITT and outside. The squash courts will be converted into athletic training space. Appointment system will be used.

Club sports may begin practice sessions and are required to abide by the testing and screening protocols outlined above for varsity teams.
  On-campus varsity athletes will have access to Olin and specialized equipment by a reservation system. Teams may have group outdoor work-outs with a maximum of 10.   All athletics activity will be virtual. No in-person practices, meetings or competitions.
Outdoor Athletic Facilities Outdoor tennis courts and track are available to anyone who carries a current Smith OneCard. Priority given to athletics program use. No community passes available.   Outdoor tennis courts and track are available to anyone who carries a current Smith OneCard. Priority given to athletics program use. No community passes available.   Closed.
 
 
On-Campus Employment In-person student employment permitted for roles that require it. Approval by Cabinet member.   Limited in-person student employment for essential functions.   Remote employment only.
 
Off-Campus Employment and Internships Students in-residence on-campus with an off-campus job or internship may work up to ten miles from campus.   Students in-residence on-campus with an off-campus job or internship may work up to one mile from campus.   Remote employment or internships only.
 
Campus Van Use (Access Van and Off-Campus Program Transportation) Smith’s access van services will be on pause for the spring semester. Individual students’ needs will be managed by the Office of Disability Services with the support of Campus Safety.
Campus vehicles will not be available for student use at this time. College-sponsored and employee-sponsored activities requiring vehicle travel are not permitted at this time.
  Smith’s access van services will be on pause for the spring semester. Individual students’ needs will be managed by the Office of Disability Services with the support of Campus Safety.
Campus vehicles will not be available for student use at this time. College-sponsored and employee-sponsored activities requiring vehicle travel are not permitted at this time.
  Smith’s access van services will be on pause for the spring semester. Individual students’ needs will be managed by the Office of Disability Services with the support of Campus Safety.
Campus vehicles will not be available for student use at this time. College-sponsored and employee-sponsored activities requiring vehicle travel are not permitted at this time.