Spring Semester Start Date Pushed Back to Feb. 8

January 8, 2021
See below for details on arrival dates, COVID-19 testing and more.

With New Year's celebrations now in the rearview mirror, I wanted to share with you some important updates regarding the spring 2021 semester. I urge you to review the information below carefully.

Semester Start Date Rescheduled

After extensive consultation and discussion, we have made the decision to push back the first day of classes by one week. Spring classes are now slated to begin on Monday, Feb. 8. While news of the vaccines has increased our optimism about an in-person spring semester, we know that the surge in COVID-19 cases happening around the country likely will not peak for at least another week or two. We believe that starting on Feb. 8 will enhance the likelihood that the semester can begin in-person and on campus.

Student Arrival Dates

Students: your assigned date to return to campus will depend on the location you'll be arriving from. Many of those arriving from outside of New York State must return earlier to comply with New York's revised COVID-19 travel protocols.

Please look at the two groups below to determine which one applies to you. The group you belong in will depend on which state you will physically be traveling from – which may not necessarily be the same as your permanent home address.

Group A: Students returning from any state or foreign country except those listed in Group B

Group B: Students returning from within New York State or from any of the following border states: Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania or Vermont

Resident Assistants (RAs):
Group A: Tuesday, Jan. 26
Group B: Friday, Jan. 29

All other students:
Group A: Tuesday, Feb. 2
Group B: Friday, Feb. 5 or Saturday, Feb. 6

The Office of Residence Life will be sending additional information about the process for returning to campus, including an online sign-up form. If you foresee any scheduling conflicts with the arrival dates listed above, or have any questions in the meantime, please contact Sarah Kazmierczak, residence hall director, at skazmierczak@wells.edu or Vanessa Tackman, director of residence life and student conduct, at vtackman@wells.edu.

A Note about COVID-19 Testing

As with your arrival date, the rules about whether you need a COVID-19 test prior to your arrival on campus will depend on which group you fall into.

Those in Group A need to do the following:

  1. Obtain a COVID test before you travel, within three days of departure. You do not need to wait to travel before receiving your test results.
  2. Self-quarantine for three days upon arrival in New York State. This can occur on campus or at another in-state location of your choosing.

Students in Group B are exempt from these pre-travel testing and quarantine requirements.

All students in both groups will then be tested on campus within 24 hours after arrival. We'll be sharing more details about on-campus testing soon.

If you have questions about testing or other COVID-19 protocols, please contact Jonathan Rowe, COVID-19 / Title IX coordinator, at jrowe@wells.edu.

Reminder about Textbooks

Even though classes don't begin until Feb. 8, the campus store is now open its regular hours: Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. A list of textbooks can be found at the bookstore website (scroll down to the bottom and click "Spring Textbook List").

We Can't Wait to See All of You

As always, the safety and health of everyone on campus continues to be the primary driver of all decisions regarding the College's operations. We are greatly looking forward to seeing many of you back on campus next month. Until then, best wishes and safe travels.

Jonathan Gibralter

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.

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