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Remote Work and Volunteer Opportunities During Commencement

Note: This is dated information and may not reflect the current policies in place on campus. Please refer to We Are WPI for the latest information.

April 30, 2021

This message was sent Friday, April 30, to all WPI employees.

As WPI prepares to celebrate the Class of 2021 Commencement, we’re asking employees to help us make these days go as smoothly as possible for our graduates and their families.

To remain in compliance with Massachusetts limits on outdoor gatherings, Commencement 2021 will be held as a series of smaller events, arranged by degree program and school, over three days: Wednesday through Friday, May 19-21. These Commencement exercises culminate years of hard work for our students, and many people assist during a typical Commencement ceremony. This year’s multi-day and multi-event schedule will require even more help, and we hope you’ll consider volunteering. 

Remote Work During Commencement Days

Because these days will bring many visitors to campus, we’re asking most employees who are not volunteering at Commencement to work from home May 19–21. If you normally work on campus but will not be a Commencement volunteer or performing essential office or lab work, please make plans to work remotely on those days to help de-densify the campus.

Volunteer Information

Staff volunteers are essential to helping at Commencement. There are many ways to help, and you may sign up for one, two, or all three days. Volunteers are needed to assist with:

  • lining up graduates
  • checking in students
  • monitoring the processional/recessional route
  • assisting with guest seating on the Quad
  • checking in guests and monitoring campus access points.

More details are here.

Once you sign up, you will be assigned to one of these roles and connected with a team leader who will be your contact and will provide instructions for your specific assignment.

If you’re interested in volunteering, know that safety is our first priority and all COVID-19 guidelines will be in place. All students, guests, volunteers, and workers will be required to wear face coverings, engage in social distancing protocols, and follow other mitigation strategies.

All staff volunteers, even those who are fully vaccinated, must be in the COVID-19 testing protocol.

If you’re already working on campus and want to volunteer, you’ll remain in the normal testing routine and may sign up now as a staff volunteer and schedule your necessary COVID-19 tests.

Staff who have been working remotely and want to volunteer on campus will be required to

  • take the short back-to-campus training online and fill out testing waivers that will be assigned to you. Please email Jennifer Russell to begin the training and testing waivers.
  • schedule and begin onboard testing after your training and waivers are completed, which simply means you’ll get tested two times during the week of May 9. You must receive two negative test results from these tests before you can volunteer on campus.  
  • take one more COVID-19 routine test during the week of May 16, even if you have received a COVID-19 vaccination.
    • Testing is available May 16-18, 10 am to 6 pm, in Harrington Auditorium.

The deadline for remote workers to sign up for volunteering is May 7 so all testing can be completed as needed. Schedule your necessary COVID-19 tests and review testing details for D-term for additional details.

Contact Kim Wykes if you have questions about volunteering for any of the Commencement ceremonies. Parking for Commencement volunteers will be in the West Street Lot, the Boynton Lot, the Dean Street Lot, or East Hall Garage.

Thank you for helping WPI hold memorable and meaningful Commencement ceremonies for our graduating Class of 2021.