A message to the WPI residential community
The rapidly evolving global COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way WPI and other higher education institutions are operating, and that disruption has been deeply felt by our students, faculty, and staff. We greatly appreciate your patience and understanding as WPI works to mitigate the impact of local, state, national, and global conditions on campus operations and access to residence halls.
Update on move-out process
The residence halls are now closed and secured. Unfortunately, we do not have a specific date and time when students may return to campus to retrieve their belongings.
The governor of Massachusetts has issued an emergency order requiring all non-essential businesses and organizations to close from noon March 24 through noon April 7. The order also prohibits gatherings of more than 10 people. WPI has moved into severely limited on-campus operations. Faculty and staff are working remotely, and office functions are being performed remotely.
We understand that not having access to your personal belongings can be stressful and frustrating. However, WPI must limit access to the campus as a matter of public health and safety.
We will implement our move-out process at a time and manner that is safe and appropriate, following guidance from local, state, and federal authorities. We will make every effort to give you reasonable notice regarding the date when you can return to campus to retrieve your belongings.
We know that students may have personal belongings in club lockers, Alden Memorial Hall, and the Sports and Recreation Center, as well as their rooms, and we will work with you to access those items at the appropriate time. We are also exploring services that could pack, ship or store your belongings.
What you should do
- We ask that ALL residential students please fill out this FORM to indicate the status of your residential room. Your input will help us plan appropriately for move-out procedures.
- If you have already completely moved out but still possess your room keys, check this FORM for instructions on mailing them back.
Spring semester room charges and unused residential meal plans will be pro-rated to the date of Wednesday, March 11, 2020. We will issue refunds as soon as possible. Refunds will first be credited to any outstanding charges owed to the university. Any remaining balance will either be reimbursed to the student or posted to the student’s account as a credit toward future tuition and fees at WPI.
How to reach us
We know that you may have questions, and we want to address your concerns. We have set up an online communication center using a platform called Brazen that will be staffed by representatives of the Division of Student Affairs.
The communication center will operate:
- Today, Monday March 23, until 5 p.m. EDT
- Tuesday, March 24, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. EDT
- Wednesday, March 25, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. EDT
If you are unavailable to connect during the times listed above, email your specific questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please know that we are experiencing heavy email volume, so responses may be delayed. Please check the FAQs first, as your question may have been answered there.
How to stay informed
We know this is a confusing and stressful time, and again, we ask for your patience as we manage the impact on campus. We will keep you informed as new information becomes available, and we encourage you to visit our central hub for COVID-19 information, located here.
Residential Services & the Coronavirus Emergency Response Team
ADDENDUM: 2020 CENSUS
Please see below a letter and FAQ document from the Census Bureau providing guidance on how to complete the mandatory 2020 Census relative to student residences. Visit https://2020census.gov/ for more details.
2020 Census FAQ for Colleges and Universities
- Should we put our school address even if we won’t be here April 1?
- YES. We’ve received written confirmation from a Census Bureau spokesperson that college students should use their college addresses that they would have used, had the shutdowns not occurred.
- What if I recently moved out of my room and checked out of my building due to COVID-19?
- You should still fill out your form using the college address that you would have used had the COVID shutdowns not occurred.
- What if my college campus ends up closing for the rest of the semester or for an indefinite period of time?
- Even in this case, you should still fill out your form using the college address that you would have used had the COVID-19 shutdowns not occurred.
- Do I need a Census Response ID number to fill out my Census form online?
- If your Census ID was mailed to your college address after you left campus, you can still respond online without an ID. Visit the online form and select “Start Questionnaire.” Below the ID field, click the link that says, “If you do not have a Census ID, click here.” You can start here.
- What if my family already counted me on their form since I moved back home?
- We believe it’s best to fill out the form of what was your previous situation, before classes were suspended – so, fill it out as you would have on April 1st had these shutdowns not occurred, even if your parents have already include you on their form. The Census Bureau will verify and remove any double-counts when they are processing all responses.
- What if I was living off-campus and have returned to my hometown because of the COVID closures? Do the same rules apply to me?
- YES. You should still fill out your Census Form using the address that you would have been staying at most of the time for school if the COVID closures had not occurred. If you had housemates, fill out the form as if they were still living with you in that usual off-campus address.
- I was filling out the Census form and it's asking me how many people will be living in my current dorm or address as of April 1st. What number should I use?
- We believe it’s best to fill out the form of what was your previous situation, before classes were suspended – so, fill it out as you would have on April 1st had these shutdowns not occurred.
- Do international students need to fill the form?
- YES. International students should fill out the form where they would have been on April 1st (i.e. their university). The Census aims to count everyone in the U.S. and serves as a snapshot of the decade and all international students should be included in the count.
- I am currently doing a co-op outside of the United States. Is it correct for me to respond to the census? I lived in Boston until December 2019, and will be returning to continue my studies in September 2020.
- If you are out of the country but are enrolled in a U.S. school, the residency rules from the Census Bureau state you are not to be counted “in the state-side census.”
- If I lived off-campus, should all of my roommates fill out the Census for our apartment?
- We believe that it’s best for students who lived off-campus to have one person respond for everyone living at that address. However, if that is not feasible, we advise every single resident of the address to fill out their information and let the Census Bureau’s deduplication process sort out any double counts that may have occurred. Just to be on the safe side to have everyone counted, it’s better to have everyone fill out individually than someone be missed. Remember, be sure to include those who were living at the address that would have been there on April 1st and before any shutdowns changed the living arrangements.
- If we were living on-campus, a "group quarters administrator” will make sure we are accounted for, right? What if I recently moved out of my room and checked out of my building due to COVID-19?
- We believe that it’s best for students who lived on campus but had to leave to manually self-respond and let the Census Bureau’s deduplication process sort out any double counts that may have occurred. Just to be on the safe side to have everyone counted, it’s best to complete your own response.
- This census asks where I’ll be living on April 1, 2020. Does it negatively affect the university’s funding to say that I will not be living here?
- Federal funding to communities (which include schools) will be affected depending on population counts. We’ve received written confirmation from a Census Bureau spokesperson that college students should use their college addresses that they would have used, had the shutdowns not occurred.
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