Information will be added here as we have it, and is subject to change. Last update: August 3, 2020
All students, staff, faculty, and visitors must wear a face covering in all indoor spaces at all times, and outside if unable to remain more than six feet away from other people. Face coverings do not need to be worn in a private room or office when alone with the door closed. Face coverings must cover the mouth and nose. If you cannot wear a face covering due to a health condition, contact the Dean of Students Office to discuss possible accommodations. In no circumstances will anyone be permitted to attend classes or other indoor gatherings in person without some form of face covering. While there is no guarantee of a campus free of COVID-19, we will engage in regular asymptomatic testing this fall. Universal masking, physical distancing, regular cleaning of surfaces, limiting close contacts and gatherings, hand hygiene, symptomatic testing, contact tracing, and isolation/quarantine of exposed individuals are other pieces of the prevention of COVID-19.
The safety of everyone on campus, staff, faculty, and students alike, depends upon a shared commitment to follow the prevention measures the College has put in place. While Hampshire emphasizes personal responsibility and community education and hopes that students will observe these guidelines because they value the safety of our community, behavior or actions that place others at risk are accountable to policies in the Hampshire College Student Handbook and the “Norms for Community Living.”
We are fortunate to have entered into an agreement with the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard to provide asymptomatic testing for COVID-19 throughout the semester. All students will be tested for COVID-19 with a RT-PCR test on the first day of arrival on campus. After the initial on-boarding testing, every resident and commuter student at Hampshire College must participate in the bi-weekly COVID-19 testing program. We will stagger testing so that students in each mod or dormitory area are tested each week. In addition, staff and faculty who are regularly interacting with students will also be tested.
Yes. Every student will be registered in our database. Through our testing app, the college will be able to see that each student has registered and is up-to-date with testing requirements.
Participating in the testing program includes registering with an application that allows scheduling of tests and reporting of results. The app can be installed on a smartphone or accessed using a web browser; if installed on a smartphone, the app does not track the location of students.
No. Regular testing of all students is part of reducing the risk of COVID-19 for our entire campus population. The testing will be self-administered and is as easy as showing up once every two weeks and putting a soft swab inside your nose for three seconds on each side.
Hampshire College has spent many months planning a campus environment with testing processes, community care standards, de-populated residential areas, take-out dining, and frequent cleaning to have a residential campus that is as safe as possible at this time. Everyone needs to make their own decision about what amount of risk is acceptable to them.
From the Broad Institute, our testing service: “When there are large numbers of positive individuals in a tested population, the main mode of test failure that we are concerned with is False Negatives (a negative test result for a person who does in fact have the virus). When the tested population has a low viral prevalence then we become more concerned with False Positives (a positive result in a person who does not have the virus). Since our validation cohorts did not show evidence of any false positives we have a high degree of confidence that false positives are not a significant source of error in our assay. Based on data from recent weeks in large cohorts where the prevalence is expected to be very low, we validate this observance. In one institution with >5000 tests run between mid-May and mid-June, we find only 3 positives. In each of the individuals who tested positive we have reason to believe that they were in fact exposed to the viral material being tested for (therefore in testing terms, we consider them True Positives). This empirical data would suggest that the assay False Positive Rate can be no higher than 1/5000 (or 0.02%) and may in fact be lower. Given the significant implications of False Positives, especially within a campus setting, we plan to routinely repeat testing of some proportion of positive results to further ensure the very high specificity of our test.”
High-touch surfaces and bathrooms in high-traffic areas will be cleaned multiple times daily. This includes the bathrooms and door handles in Merrill and Dakin. Mods remain the responsibility of student residents; spaces will be shared by many fewer students. Classrooms and other common spaces will be outfitted with cleaning kits; users are expected to clean high-touch surfaces before leaving.
Health and Counseling Services staff will be on campus Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.-noon, and 1-4:30 p.m. Professional mental health support and medical/nursing advice will be available 24/7 through on-call services.
Students who test positive for COVID-19 and are asymptomatic or mildly ill, may prefer to go home for their isolation period, and can do so if they have a safe way to get home in a private vehicle and they won’t expose anyone at home to the virus.
Any student who needs hospital-level care while at Hampshire will be sent to Cooley Dickinson Hospital in Northampton, an affiliate of Mass General Hospital.
Students with emotional support animals (ESAs) are required to add an emergency contact to their registration form, in the event of illness. This named individual will take responsibility for the ESA should the owner be in isolation.
Hampshire Health Services staff includes two nurse practitioners with back-up medical coverage through UMass University Health Services (UHS). In the case of staff illness or medical surge, UHS will provide replacement staffing.
People with COVID-19 will need to be isolated for at least 10 days and possibly longer if symptoms linger. Once the infectious period is over, they can resume normal activities as tolerated.
Each student will be provided a digital thermometer this semester to help monitor their daily temperature. Students are expected to provide their own cloth face coverings or masks (they will be available for purchase at the Hampstore for $4. Gloves will be provided for any employee or student worker who has a job that requires disposable gloves as personal protective equipment for their work, but gloves are task-specific protection and should not be used in lieu of hand washing for typical daily activities.
Yes. When a student tests positive for COVID-19, the student, Health Services, and the UMass Contact Tracing Team (who will be working under the MA Dept of Public Health) will be notified. The UMass Contact Tracing team will provide seven days a week, 12-hour daily coverage, to reach out to anyone who tests positive, learn about close contacts during their infectious period, and then reach out to all close contacts.
Mental health staff will provide support to students in quarantine or isolation and all students through telehealth counseling and phone support. There is also after-hours professional mental health support available to extend mental health support beyond the office hours of Counseling Services.
Due to the pandemic, the popular Valley Transporter is not in service. Other options include:
We recognize that international students face continuing difficulties acquiring visas and traveling to the United States. International students who are unable to arrive at Hampshire College before classes start may begin the semester remotely. International students may arrive on campus as late as the fall drop date, September 11, 2020. Any international student who cannot arrive by September 11, 2020 may continue the semester as a remote learning student (see above).
On July 14, 2020, the federal government withdrew the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) guidance that was issued by ICE on July 6, 2020. As a result of the withdrawal, the guidance issued in March 2020 allowing international students to study remotely if a college moves to fully remote offerings, remains in effect. If SEVP guidance changes, we will contact our international students immediately.
Due to changes in policies regarding visiting the other Five College campuses, and because students will be discouraged from leaving campus, the Pioneer Valley Transport Authority (PVTA) has reduced the frequency of buses on most Five College routes. Those changes are outlined here. Details can also be found at pvta.com.
While we discourage students living in residence from traveling, we recognize that there are legitimate reasons why students need to leave campus. We support students' ability to maintain off-campus employment, shop for essential items not available on campus, access health-related referrals, tend to urgent family matters, and other needs that may arise. While traveling, students must maintain the same safety precautions expected on campus.
We will welcome new students to campus on Thursday, August 20, and continuing students on Saturday and Sunday, August 22 and 23. All students moving onto campus will be assigned staggered arrival times, to be communicated in late July. All students and guests will be required to provide and wear their own mask or facial covering for the duration of the move-in process.
The answer is based on where you are traveling from. Please see the letter, New Massachusetts Travel Order, for complete details.
The residence halls are open only to Hampshire College students in residence. No off-campus visitors are allowed. Guests who are Hampshire College students living on campus are allowed to visit other students’ rooms so long as they are following physical distancing guidelines. A maximum of one guest is allowed at a time in a student's room.
Students approved to live off campus may participate in in-person classes and access academic and public spaces on campus. Off-campus students will not be allowed in the residence halls as guests.
The Hampshire College experience is a uniquely residential one. All students are required to live on campus, unless approved by CASA for remote instruction, or granted a residency exemption. Learn more about that process. If you’re looking for an exemption to the residency requirement, you must complete our application. The deadline for this application was in April, however, we are still granting exemptions for students who meet our automatic exemption criteria or for medical accommodations, which can be filed through the Office of Accessibility Resources and Services. If you are looking to move off campus, please do not sign a lease until you have been granted a residency exemption by the Residence Life and Housing department.
If you left belongings in campus storage last spring, you will not be able to access campus storage until you have a negative COVID test result reported back. Please bring the essential items with you (bedding, clothes, toiletries, etc.) to last a few days until you’re able to access storage. You will need the storage email you received when you put your items in storage so we can easily access your belongings for you.
The curriculum is being continuously updated on TheHub. It will be finalized by August 7.
August 10 (instructor must email permission to email@example.com)
Faculty are spending the summer planning their fall courses and determining the best mode of delivery for them. Hampshire staff are spending the summer trying to determine which courses can be safely held in which spaces. Once all this is determined, Central Records staff must enter this information into the database. It’s a complicated process that involves many people and takes a lot of time.
Three. New students may not register for courses with course numbers 250 and above.
Four, including Five College courses.
Check “approvals and holds” on TheHub by the end of July.
This information is available on TheHub now.
The week of August 3
Students should pre-register for courses that interest them, striving for breadth and variety. After discussion with their advisors, students will have the opportunity to add courses from August 24–September 4 and to drop courses from August 24–September 11.
The last day to add Hampshire and Five College courses is September 4. The last day to drop Hampshire and Five College courses is September 11.
Within the first year at Hampshire, students must complete seven academic courses, including two Division I seminars. The other five elective courses may be a combination of faculty-evaluated Hampshire courses and Five-College courses carrying three or more credits and graded C or better. No more than three Five-College courses may be used toward Division I course requirements. Two dance technique courses designated as half courses may fulfill one of the five electives. OPRA, EPEC and other courses labeled co-curricular on TheHub may not be used to fulfill Division I course requirements. Concurrently, students also must complete 40 hours of Campus-Engaged Learning (CEL-1).
This is still being determined. When registration begins (August 12 for first-year students, August 15 for returning students), TheHub will indicate the mode in which the course will be taught.
Students living on campus may choose courses that allow entirely remote options. Students who have health concerns about being on campus may opt not to live on campus while taking courses that support entirely remote participation. Given their health concerns, students who opt for an entirely remote semester and choose not to be in residence at Hampshire may not come to campus during the semester. Some Hampshire courses (for example, some performing arts courses, some science courses with labs, and other courses with significant in-person expectations) may not be available to remote learning students. Five College courses will continue to be available to Hampshire students in a remote format; none of the Five Colleges are permitting students from the other campuses to take courses in person. Students choosing a remote semester are not part of the College COVID-19 testing program and will not be charged the Café Card fee, EMT fee, or Health Services fee.
Students who opt for a fully remote fall semester must notify the Center for Academic Support and Advising at firstname.lastname@example.org by August 14, 2020.
Hampshire is also planning an intensive January term, during which all courses will be fully remote; this additional term is included in tuition and is available to all students.
Yes. Some Hampshire courses (for example, some performing arts courses, some science courses with labs, and other courses with significant in-person expectations) may not be available to remote learning students. Five College courses will continue to be available to Hampshire students in a remote format; none of the Five Colleges are permitting students from the other campuses to take courses in person.
Five College courses will only be available to Hampshire students in a remote mode. If Five College performing arts courses are able to accommodate remote access, Hampshire students may be able to enroll in them.
This will be indicated on TheHub by August 7. However, this information may continue to change until the beginning of the semester.
Yes. Some faculty are planning to teach in this mode, using a teaching assistant to facilitate the in-person elements.
We expect all academic spaces and facilities to be open for student use this fall, including the Art Barn, the library, computer and media labs, music and dance spaces, and other areas that support learning. There will be some restrictions on how spaces are used and by how many people at any one time. All students will be expected to observe face-covering and social distancing rules.
Most offices are too small to safely accommodate two people. Most faculty will (1) hold office hours remotely, (2) hold office hours outdoors, or (3) hold office hours in larger spaces.
Yes, through the online library catalog, but not in person.
Fall classes will begin on Tuesday, August 25, and end on Friday, November 20, the Friday before Thanksgiving. The College will observe Yom Kippur, but there will not be an extended fall break. Students who leave campus for Thanksgiving will not return until the beginning of the spring term, but students may remain on campus until the official end of the term on December 4. This schedule aligns with those of Amherst College, Mount Holyoke College, and the University of Massachusetts, and allows us to offer a full semester within a compressed time frame.
In January, we are planning an intensive 14-day term (January 4–22, 2021) with a small set of courses that will be taught remotely. This will de-densify the teaching schedule and allow flexibility for faculty and students, enabling first-year students to make further progress toward completing Division I, Division II students to add to their portfolios, and Division III students to fulfill Advanced Educational Activities. Jan Term courses are included in the tuition for the academic year.
Spring classes are set to start on Tuesday, February 2, and to run through Thursday, April 29. There will be no extended Spring Break. Commencement is still scheduled for May 15, 2021.
August 20: New Student Move-In
August 20–23: New Student Orientation Programming
August 22–23: Continuing Students Move-In
August 24: Community Orientation/Advising Day
August 25: Classes Start
November 20: Classes End
At this time, we anticipate having climbing wall hours, outdoor program semester-long classes, and some weekend experiences. Details about these offerings and experience will be updated in the coming weeks and throughout the semester.
We anticipate maintaining access to many of our recreational programs and resources, including hours at the weight room and fitness center as well as tennis courts and track housed in the Multi Sport Center. We will continue to offer a variety of martial arts classes as well. Access and open hours to recreational spaces in the Robert Crown Center are still being determined (including the playing floor, cardio equipment, pool, and sauna).
All athletic competitions have been postponed until the spring semester, aligning with adjustments the USCAA and our conference (YSCC) have made. At this time we are planning for spring competition for all sports, including those typically taking place in the fall. We are still dedicated to supporting and engaging with our student athletes through fitness and strength classes, potential group workouts, and general support during their academic journey at Hampshire.
A variety of wellness promotion resources and programming will continue this year while being adapted to meet the campus-wide health guidelines due to COVID.
For returning students APPROVED for early arrival, the plan will be in effect beginning August 19. New students' meal plans begin during orientation.
The Café Card has $250 per semester, a reduction from $400 last year.
The required 75 block meal plan for all students living in mods ensures all students will have the opportunity to have a full meal every day. This supports community building around shared meals and helps alleviate food insecurity.
Students can use a meal plan or Café Card in the Dining Commons for all meal periods, in the Kern Kafé for breakfast and lunch, and in the Prescott Tavern for dinner and late night food. You will also be able to use your plan to order pizza and “family style” meals through the Dining Commons.
Please note: due to safety regulations during COVID-19, all dining operations will offer only take-out food service until further notice. We have added two tents for limited physically distanced outdoor seating.
Monday–Friday, 8 a.m.–2 p.m.
Monday–Friday, Breakfast: 7:30–9 a.m.; Lunch: 11:30 a.m.–2 p.m.; Dinner: 5–9 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday, Brunch: 10 a.m.–2 p.m.; Dinner: 5–8 p.m.
Monday–Friday, 4–10:30 p.m.
No, the college student rule is if a meal plan provides two out of three daily meals, a student would not be ineligible for SNAP. The 75 meals per semester plan provides 25% of a student’s meals, which does not impact eligibility.
Dining Services will continue the online grocery service we offered last spring, with additional items. Students will be able to order online and pick up at either the Dining Commons or the Prescott Tavern, decreasing the risk of exposure of going in to crowded grocery stores.
The groceries can be paid with Café Card, cash, credit card, and we are working on a plan to allow students to use meal plans.
Absolutely! Dining Services will continue to offer accommodations for all dietary needs. Our executive Chef is celiac and specializes in gluten-free nutrition. We are happy to discuss your dietary needs. To schedule a meeting, please contact Andrew Fleischer, dining services director, at email@example.com
For 2020–21, all student groups are encouraged to meet and host events virtually through Zoom, Facebook, Google Meet, Discord, or other free online platforms. If you require assistance in setting up virtual accounts for your student group please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
All student group meetings, virtual or in person, must be registered and approved through HampEngage.
If your student group wishes to meet in person:
All student group rosters on HampEngage need to be updated to ensure proper group member numbers.
All student group HampEngage pages should be as up to date as possible to ensure a virtual presence to campus.
Events are encouraged to happen virtually, in person events will be evaluated on a case by case basis.
Some student groups, based on the nature of their activities, may not be able to function this semester or may have restrictions based on public health and safety recommendations. Campus Leadership & Activities will be in touch with your group about ways in which you may still be able to meet and work in a different way so you can still connect and create community.
Hampfest will be a virtual event this year hosted through a combination of digital platforms.
We are waiving the once a semester event requirement for student groups this year, however we encourage student groups to reach out to different campus centers and offices to try and collaborate with them on programming and events.