Office of Campus Life (OCL)

Important Updates for Spring 2021 Semester

Updated January 12, 2021

  • Based on the Intent-to-Enroll form submissions, we expect 300-350 more students on campus for the spring, as compared to the fall. This is a significant increase, requiring some changes to how we’re approaching some aspects of housing.

    After careful consideration of several options, Senior Staff has approved a recommendation made by the COVID Operations Working Group. The following buildings will be added into regular upperclass housing availability:  Hubbell (19 rooms), Parsons (7 rooms), Sewall (9 rooms), and Tyler Annex (40 rooms). We will also use Dennett Ground (11 rooms), Williams Ground (6 rooms), and Perry Ground (2 rooms) for regular housing for the spring. With these additions to our available rooms from the fall, each spring semester student should be able to have their own room. (Please note, up to 30 upperclass students will need to live in first-year housing for the spring semester for this to work out.)

    Dodd & CDE will continue to be used for quarantine & isolation housing, as well as a handful of smaller college-owned units not typically used for student housing.

  • Firstly, we expect fall semester on-campus students who are returning for the spring semester, to return to the same room they had in the fall.

    Members of the Class of ’24 who are coming to campus for the first time for the spring: you will be assigned housing by Dean Sewell.

    The Pod-Share Process has now concluded.

    Lottery & Room Draw. Sophomores, Juniors, & Seniors who have not secured a housing assignment for the spring will enter a lottery, through which the remaining rooms will be available. This process will take place starting on Friday, January 15, 2021.

  • As Patty Leahey-Hays indicated via Daily Messages, newly-returning students who believed they have a housing situation that could not be accommodated through the processes above, could submit a Housing Appeal via the Housing Portal, and follow the process for review & consideration.

    Deadline was Monday, December 21, 2020 @ 11:59pm ET – the process has now concluded.

  • Spring semester check-in will take place from 12noon-8pm ET, daily from Wednesday, February 10, through Sunday, February 14, 2021. Check-in will take place at Towne Fieldhouse, in conjunction with initial COVID testing located at the same site.

    ALL spring semester on-campus students MUST check-in during these days/times, as the COVID testing protocol and initial quarantine will also begin upon your check-in. Please make/adjust your travel plans accordingly. That said – if you anticipate arrival to campus outside of the dates & times listed above, you must make your own accommodations elsewhere until the next day/time that check-in is taking place. Students will not be allowed into their spring semester rooms until they have officially checked-in and have had their initial COVID test from the college.

    Check-In sign-ups are now open, via the Housing Portal.

    Williams Motorcoach Transport will be operating shuttles. Urgent questions about transportation to campus should be directed to Matt Sheehy.

  • Q: If I want to change my housing assignment, how do I do so? Will there be housing mini-lotteries this semester?

    A: Sadly, there won’t be mini-lotteries this semester. However, students may request a housing change through the Housing Appeals (HART) process. The bar for changes will be rather high this year, as housing moves are complicated due to COVID issues.

    Q: Where can I find more info on Housing Appeals?

    A: Follow this link.

  • Q: What buildings will be used for quarantine & isolation?

    A: Dodd & CDE, plus a handful of smaller college-owned buildings. These buildings will not be available for general housing selection.

  • Q: I’ve heard of this “pod” thing. What is it?

    A: Because of social distancing, face covering, & other COVID-related parameters, we wanted to give on-campus students the ability to have a residential space (a “pod” or “cohort”) where they can be with a small number of other students to provide a flexibility similar to being with members of the same shared household, and within each pod to know that only those students are using a shared designated bathroom.

    Q: What are the pod sizes?

    A: They range from 2 to 14. It varies due to building architecture & available bathrooms.

    Q: What are the specific pods across campus?

    A: A full listing of the designated upperclass pods can be found at this link. a full listing of the designated first-year pods can be found at this link. (These listings will be updated for spring 2021 soon.)

  • Q: Can my student organization meet in person?

    A: The foundational expectation is that student orgs will meet online, rather than in person. Groups that believe they must meet in person and want to use campus space to do so, will need to request approval to do so in advance through a form on the OCL website; in applying for this, students will need to describe in detail how they will ensure that their in-person meeting will be planned & executed in such ways to stay fully within federal, state, local, and college COVID guidelines.

    Q: Where can I find the guidelines and form for my student organization to meet in person?

    A: The information can be found at the following link https://student-life.williams.edu/events/

    Q: Will student events be allowed to take place in residence halls?

    A: No. Because of state guidelines regarding indoor gathering limitations as well as best practices regarding COVID, student events will not be allowed to take place in residence halls.

    Q: Will Club Sports be able to practice or compete during the spring semester?

    A: We continue to work to develop protocols that will allow students to practice safely. For the fall, Club Sports did not compete or travel off campus to events. We anticipate the same for the spring.