Frequently Asked Questions Related to the Spring 2020 Semester

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A PDF version of these FAQs is available for download at the following link.

For More COVID-19 Information

Updates will continue to be posted regularly at the College's COVID-19 website:

Academics, Campus Life, and Student Support

What is Wells College doing to protect campus from the virus? (updated 3/23)

Because the virus is spread through human-to-human contact, the College converted all course instruction to remote learning, starting Monday, March 23, and all faculty and staff have been directed to work from home with the exception of a handful of essential staff members. The campus in Aurora is now closed. Faculty have revised instructing methods and syllabi and have communicated directly with students. Our goal is to ensure that students are able to earn academic credit for all of their current courses.

Will the College return to in-person instruction before the end of the spring semester? (updated 3/23)

Given the latest information about the spread of the coronavirus and the length of time it will impact communities across the country, the College has determined that it will not be possible to return to in-class instruction for the rest of the spring semester. Wells College began teaching via remote instruction on Monday, March 23, after an extended spring break (March 7–22). Library services have provided a guide for remote learning, which . This guide will be updated as changes are made.

What support is being provided for students? (updated 4/13)

Using remote delivery platforms, the College is making every effort to provide students with the same support and assistance as they would receive in person. Student Affairs staff are available at to consult with and advocate for students having any academic or personal concerns—with the goal of connecting students to the right person or office to address their concerns. Students are encouraged to reach out for help with any issues, including personal family, health, technology or other issues impacting their success. The Community Medical Center is also offering telemedicine options for counseling services.

Will the spring 2020 semester calendar be adjusted? (updated 3/23)

Although the semester calendar is still subject to change, Wells College is following the semester schedule as originally planned, with the exception of extending spring break by an extra week (March 16-20).

Are dining services open for students who are on campus? (updated 3/23)

As of Monday, March 23, all on-campus dining operations have ceased, as no students remain on campus. The dining hall and the Well are closed until further notice.

Are the athletic facilities accessible? (updated 3/23)

All recreational facilities in the Schwartz Athletic Center (fitness center, pools, gyms) will be closed until further notice, as the campus is officially closed by order of New York State.

Is the Campus Store open? (updated 4/13)

Although the campus store in Zabriskie Hall is closed until further notice, you may still make an order online at Currently, we have waived the shipping fee for all online orders. If you have questions, please contact store manager Rich Kloster at

Are athletic schedules changing for the remainder of the semester? (updated 3/16)

Unfortunately, the North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) has cancelled all conference and non-conference activities and championships for the remainder of the 2019–2020 academic year. There will be no further practices or games for any spring sports (baseball, men’s and women’s lacrosse, softball and men’s volleyball).

Will this year’s Commencement ceremony still take place on May 16? Will Reunion still take place the weekend of May 28–31? (updated 4/13)

On April 10, Wells College announced that Commencement will be postponed until Saturday, Aug. 8, 2020, and alumni Reunion weekend is tentatively rescheduled for Aug. 14–16, 2020. Our staff is working hard to revise the schedules for both events, so we ask that you please be patient and understanding of the unique and challenging situation we face.

How can students access their mail delivered on campus? (updated 3/23)

Students can choose to temporarily forward mail (for a minimum of 15 days and a maximum of 6 months) by filling out this form on the U.S. Postal Service’s website. • Students who have a package or mail that has already been delivered on campus should contact Tracy Barnhart at or 315.364.3371. • If students or employees are expecting a Wells paycheck, it will be mailed to individuals who did not pick it up person before departing campus. For student employees, paychecks will be mailed to the address that they provided when they were initially hired for that position.

What mental health services are available to students? (updated 3/23)

We know the transition to remote learning has created significant stress for everyone. The Community Medical Center will offer limited phone/Skype counseling sessions for the rest of the spring semester for students, wherever they may be located. Students should call the medical center at 315.364.3388 to schedule an appointment.

What if a student had a previously scheduled appointment at the Medical Center? (updated 3/23)

Please call the medical center ASAP at 315.364.3388 to indicate whether you would like to 1) keep the session via phone/Skype, or 2) cancel your appointment so that another student can use that time slot. We want to be sure these critical services continue to be available to those in need.

What library services are currently available? (updated 3/23)

Although the physical library building may be closed, the library is still virtually accessible to all members of our community, who continue to have off-campus access to all of our electronic holdings such as electronic journals, newspapers, and eBooks. For a tutorial on how to access the library from off-campus, check out this YouTube video.

Books: If you have any books checked out of the library, please hold on to them for the time being. Library staff will send out further instructions later.

Interlibrary Loans: You are still able to get interlibrary loans of electronic resources, such as journals. Continue to submit those requests as normal. Please note, however, that the library is unable to process interlibrary loan requests for books at this time. We are requesting extensions for any interlibrary loan books currently in use, and will be in contact with you about new due dates.

Course Reserves: Some of your course reserves will be available as eBooks. If your professor directs you to an eBook, you can find these resources in our eBook database. Just visit the library’s home page at and click on the “eBooks” tab, then click on the “eBook Collection” link.

Research Help: All of our librarians are working from home--and are happy to help! If you need assistance with your research, please email the library at They will do what they can.

For Library Updates: For updates on the library services this semester, and further information on the topics discussed above, please view this .


Student Housing, Transportation and Campus Jobs

Are any students still living in campus residential housing? (updated 3/23)

No. As of Sunday, March 22, all residential students have vacated campus, and nearly all employees are working from home. Locks on outer doors of all residence halls are being changed to prevent unauthorized access, and Campus Safety is in the process of making sure all residence room doors are locked.

Can a student briefly return to gather personal belongings? (updated 4/13)

Students may not return to campus at this time. Due to Gov. Cuomo’s March 20 executive order closing all non-essential businesses, the campus is officially closed at this time. Dean of Students Charles Kenyon and his staff are also working to find a way for all students to return to campus later in the spring or in early summer to retrieve their belongings, once we receive clearance from the governor to reopen the campus. If you have an urgent need for items (for items such as medications or prescription eyewear), please contact Emily Burt, director of residence life and student conduct, at

What if I left perishable food behind in my room? (updated 3/23)

We know that some students may have left perishable food items in their rooms and/or in their personal refrigerator units. For the health, safety and sanitation of our campus, we are obligated to check all student rooms for perishable items and dispose of them. Starting Tuesday, March 24, staff will be entering all student rooms to check any refrigerator units and dispose of any perishable items that are found. Staff will not empty freezers and will leave refrigerators plugged in for any non-perishable items left behind. Staff will not be going through drawers, dressers or wardrobes/closets; they are not looking for conduct violations or anything else. This is only for the health, safety and sanitation of our community.

What happens if a student has a campus job? (updated 3/23)

If you have a work-study position or other campus job, please contact your supervisor and/or the Office of Academic and Career Advising as soon as possible. Work-study students who have not exceeded their maximum allowable stipend may still be eligible to work remotely, at the supervisor’s discretion.


Tuition, Billing and Other Financial Questions

Will students be getting a refund for room and board for the spring semester? (updated 4/13)

Yes. On April 9, President Gibralter emailed all students and families announcing that students with room and board plans will receive a partial refund of room and board charges for the spring term. Any credit or refund will be determined after taking into consideration a student’s outstanding balance and financial aid award. Students will receive a refund or credit for housing and meal plan charges, if applicable, based on the proportionate time between when they moved out of campus housing and the end of the spring term.

Because of the complexities of the calculations (which must be done individually for each student); the number of refunds that have to be processed; and the fact that our employees are working remotely with limited access to the information necessary to complete these tasks, we anticipate this refund process will take a minimum of 6 to 8 weeks.

We understand this is a top concern for many families, and we ask for everyone’s patience during this extremely fluid and unprecedented situation.

Do students still need to make payments on current tuition bills? (updated 3/23)

Yes, although if the current crisis has affected a student’s/family’s financial situation, please contact the Business Office to discuss alternatives. The best way to contact us is by sending an email to

Is the re-enrollment deposit still due for the 2020-2021 academic year? (updated 3/23)

For currently enrolled students, Wells College has waived the deadline for the $200 re-enrollment deposit for next year. If you have already paid the deposit, it will be applied to your fall bill without any further action necessary on your part.


Campus Contact Information

With campus being closed, what is the best way to contact campus departments? (updated 3/23)

Below is a list of campus departments and the best method of contacting them during this time.

Academics – Cindy Speaker, Provost & Dean of the College,, 315.364.3311

Admissions –, 315.364.3266 or 800.952.9355

Alumni/Donors –, 315.364.3200

Athletics and Physical Education – Michael Lindberg, Director of Athletics,, 315.364.3409

Business Office/Payroll/Student Billing –

Communications & Marketing – Christopher Pollock, Director of Communications & Marketing, 315.364.3350

Employee Concerns/Human Resources – Kit Van Orman, Director of Human Resources & Business Services (, 315.364.3317) or Lisa Secor, HR Payroll & Benefits Specialist (, 315.364.3370)

Facilities/Buildings & Grounds –, 315.364.3207

Financial Aid – Laura Burns, Director of Financial Aid, 315.364.3289,

Information Technology – Dan Wentworth, Director of Information Technology,, 315.364.3327 – or make a HelpDesk Support request at or 315.364.3417

Library – Tiffany Raymond,, 315.364.3352

President’s Office – Sharon Darling, 315.364.3265,

Residence Life/Campus Housing – Emily Burt,, 315.364.3426

Student Advising and Internships/Student Employment – Linda Galbato,, 315.364.3225

Student Affairs – Charles Kenyon,, 315.364.3311

Transportation – Ray Lupo,

Tuition/Billing Questions –


Basic Information and Precautions for COVID-19

What are the primary symptoms of COVID-19 and should I go to the doctor? (updated 3/16)

Individuals with COVID-19 frequently have a mild to severe respiratory illness with fever, cough and shortness of breath. If you have been in close contact with someone who has or likely has COVID-19 or if you live in or have traveled to an area with confirmed cases, you should contact your doctor for medical advice. Do not go to a doctor’s office, urgent care or an emergency room without calling ahead so they can prepare for your arrival.

How long can someone have the virus before they show symptoms? (updated 3/23)

Someone can have the virus without showing symptoms for anywhere between 1 to 14 days after contact. Infected individuals can be contagious even if they have not started showing symptoms and may never show symptoms at all.

How can I protect myself and my family from COVID-19? (updated 3/23)

Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

Practice “social distancing.” Please see these tips from the World Health Organization to learn more. Avoid going out unnecessarily, do not gather in groups, and do your best to keep at least 3 to 6 feet from other people at all times.

Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.

Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.

Clean and disinfect frequently-touched surfaces often. See these CDC guidelines for some helpful tips on which cleaning products are recommended.

Our mission is for every student to think critically, reason wisely and act humanely as they cultivate meaningful lives. On our beautiful lakeside campus, students gain the knowledge, skills and experience to create their own unique path.

170 Main Street, Aurora, NY 13026
Admissions: 800.952.9355 |
General Information: 315.364.3266
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