WCSU Returns to Normal, Reopening Information and Covid-19 Updates

Reopening WCSU

Student Information

COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions

Sunday, Jan. 24, 2021

  • Buildings
    • Litchfield
    • Newbury
    • Grasso
  • Move-in hours
    • 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Testing sites
    • Midtown Student Center in the former bookstore
    • Westside O’Neill Center Hall of Fame and adjacent arena


Monday, Jan. 25, 2021

  • Buildings
    • Centennial
    • Pinney
  • Move in hours
    • 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Testing site
    • Westside O’Neill Center Hall of Fame and adjacent arena

The university has developed a comprehensive plan, following guidelines by the Centers for Disease Control and approved by the Board of Regents for the Connecticut State Universities and Colleges system. Read the plan implemented for WCSU Reopening this Spring semester.

As the Spring semester begins, your schedule will likely include a mix of online and in-person classes and some courses that are a combination. Your professors will provide more information on the method of instruction for your Spring courses. You have heard many new terms that describe the way courses will be taught. Read descriptions about the various methods here.

Online courses and many in-person classes rely on our electronic management system called Blackboard. Students who would like a refresher on using Blackboard can learn more here.

Our classrooms have been reorganized to follow physical distancing rules, generally six feet between students. Because hand sanitizing (when hand washing is not possible) combined with masks are the most effective methods for containing the spread of COVID-19, students and faculty are required to wear face masks in class and hand sanitizer has been widely distributed on campus. In addition, there is surface disinfecting equipment in each classroom so that students and faculty can wipe down desks after each use. There will be a few exceptions to these rules, based on CDC guidance. These will be discussed in those classes. Only about a third of the classroom space on campus will be available because of restrictions on distancing. Larger classrooms with moveable chairs and desks are being used, and some large open rooms have been converted to classroom space. The number of students in these classes will be strictly limited and students and professors are required to wear masks.

We are requiring all students who live on campus to be tested seven days before they return. When the semester begins, all residential students and all student athletes who are part of a team playing in the spring will be tested weekly. Testing for Commuter students is also available. Read the COVID Testing FAQ page for instructions on how to sign up for a test. If you are concerned about your health, we urge you to use this resource.  See the Health and Safety page or descriptions of campus modifications to make learning and teaching as safe as possible.

If you are a commuter student and you test positive for COVID-19, you will be asked to isolate at home until your primary care provider clears you. Read these guidelines for more information and help protect others by calling university Health Services at (203) 837-8594 to let them know about your situation. For residential students, see the descriptions below under Isolation, Quarantine, and Seclusion.

We have developed protocols for performance courses, which are significantly different from pre-COVID classes. Much instruction can be done online, and practice rooms will be available, but with strict guidelines on how often they can be used. Your professors will have more information about specific courses.

Most laboratory classes for Biology and Chemistry are held in the Science Building. Students and faculty will wear masks and wipe down equipment with alcohol-based solutions between uses. Because our science labs have a one-way air flow (air is not recirculated for the protection of occupants), most lab sections will operate at their normal capacity. Most lectures will be online.

We created schedules for students to move in over a couple of days to reduce the number of students, parents and others in the halls at any one time. Residents sharing the same living space are considered a “family unit,” so you will not have to wear masks or maintain strict separation while in your room. In common areas, however, face coverings and physical distancing will be required.

Residence Life staff developed strategies for traditional residence hall activities to take place under the new restrictions required by COVID-19.

Students who test positive for Covid-19 and are unable to leave campus will be able to isolate in Fairfield Hall. Students who have come in close contact with a person infected with COVID-19 will be asked to quarantine. Westside residents will be able to do so in their own residence hall apartment as long as they maintain social distance from all roommates and wear a mask when they are in a common area. Midtown residents will quarantine in Fairfield Hall, but in a separate section from the one used for isolation.

Students who feel sick will be tested and will be asked to stay in seclusion until the results of their tests become available. Westside residents in seclusion will stay in their rooms. Their roommates will also stay in seclusion.

Students from New York and New Jersey will follow the same protocols as Connecticut residents.

The university is not adjusting fees. The cost to run the university has increased with the additional safety requirements along with new hardware and software we have put in place to address the COVID-19 outbreak. At the same time, we have also increased need-based financial aid for students, including emergency assistance.

We understand that the switch to online classes may present new or unique challenges related to a disability. Students should contact AccessAbility Services by emailing aas@wcsu.edu to request accommodations. AccessAbility Services engages in an interactive process with each student and reviews requests for accommodations on an individualized, case-by-case basis. Additional information can be found at the AccessAbility Services website.

Students who do not have a laptop/desktop or some other reasonable tool to access their courses may contact Information Technology & Innovation (requestIT@wcsu.edu) for a loaned laptop.

All scholarships will be honored whether you are enrolled in face-to-face, hybrid or fully remote learning options. Federal financial aid should not be affected. Please contact the Office of Financial Aid if you have questions about your situation.

Students will be employed on campus through the Office of Financial Aid as long as their work can be performed on campus. Available jobs are listed here.

Computer labs will be open starting Feb. 1, although you may have to wait for a seat due to distancing requirements. The staffed computer centers are in the following locations (please check for hours of operation):

  • Ruth Haas Library, main level
  • Student Center Room 225
  • Westside Classroom Building Room 117
  • Westside Campus Center 125
  • Visual & Performing Arts Center Room 147
  • Visual & Performing Arts Center Room 039

The 24-hour unstaffed computer labs are at these locations, beginning Feb. 1:

  • Midtown Student Center Room 214
  • Science Building Room 127
  • Westside Classroom Building Room 247c (Outside Access Only)

The Haas Library will be accessible only with your ID card. The first floor will be open for use of the computer labs and study areas. Items on the upper floors can be requested at the loan desk or through WestSearch, and visits to staff offices may be made by appointment. Research services will be offered virtually by chat, text, email and videoconferencing. For more information or to reach a librarian, please visit http://library.wcsu.edu. The Robert S. Young Library in the Westside Classroom Building is closed, but materials are available upon request and services are integrated into the virtual environment.

Our recreational facilities are open and operate under the same guidelines that apply to public gyms. Social distancing must be observed and masks must be worn. Once you are done using a piece of equipment, you are responsible for wiping it down to disinfect it for the next user. Visit https://westconnathletics.com/sports/2020/4/28/general-RECREATION-Recreation-and-Club-Sports.aspx for more information.

The Student Services/Student Life pages gives information about the many offices and staff that provide support to students. Below is a sampling. Visit the Student Services/Student Life pages for complete information.

All required textbooks and supplies are available through our campus bookstore. Orders should be placed in advance on the bookstore website, https://www.bkstr.com/wcsustore/home. It is easy, convenient and your order will be shipped directly to your home or will be available at the store for pickup. Students are encouraged to check often if your books are not listed, since faculty continue to update their textbook information.

WCSU Counseling Services continues to provide support to students and collaborate with the university to promote wellness. Services include free confidential tele-counseling sessions for matriculated students, as well as virtual outreach activities for the campus community. Students, faculty and staff can also request guidance from Counseling Services if they have concerns about a student or a specific situation.

For more information about counseling, consultation or educational programming, please call the Counseling Services’ main number at (203) 837-8690 during business hours, M-F, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. (closed noon – 1 p.m.). Additional information about WCSU Counseling Services can be found at www.wcsu.edu/counseling and on Instagram: @wcsu_counselingservices.

Dining Services are open on both campuses providing a variety of options. From Jan 24 to Feb. 1, grab-and-go options will be available. On Feb. 1, dining areas will re-open with COVID-19 compliant practices. Seating has been reduced by half with tables at least six feet apart in accordance with the Re-Open CT restaurant guidelines. No more than six customers will be permitted at the same table. Additional outdoor seating space has been added at the Westside Campus Center and additional indoor seating is available adjacent to both dining halls. Tables and chairs will be cleaned after each customer to prepare for the next diner. Self-serve food (shared condiments, buffet, salad bars etc.) will not be available and will be replaced by individual portions or single use items. Additionally, dishes, drinkware and utensils will all be single use.

Customers order items on their own devices through the new GET app. If a customer does not have a device, the order may be placed with a food service cashier. Customers must wear masks at all times while in the dining area except when seated and eating and/or drinking. Staff will wear masks while in the kitchen, serving and dining areas.

Visit WCSU Dining Services for more information.

Health Services remains committed to promoting a healthy lifestyle for our students as we safely return to campus.  We will be offering both telehealth and office visits for the fall semester. Call (203) 837-8594 if you would like to schedule an appointment. Please go to wcsu.edu/healthservices for further information about the office and our services. More information regarding Health & Safety Guidelines can be found here.

The WCSU shuttle operates seven days a week during the semester beginning Feb. 1. Social distancing, as required by law, will be followed on the shuttle and drivers and all passengers will be required to wear their masks. All surfaces will be wiped down after each run. After riders disembark, new riders will not be permitted on the shuttle until all surfaces are wiped down. If the shuttle is full, the next shuttle will arrive within 15 minutes. At the conclusion of the day’s service, and before the next day’s service, each shuttle will receive a deep cleaning, including wiping down all seats and touchable surfaces. For updated schedule information, visit www.wcsu.edu/auxiliary-services/. Check the site often since information is subject to change.

Visit the Student Services/Student Life pages for complete information about all the offices that offer support to WCSU students.

Send an email here and we will get back to you with additional information.