2020-2021 Undergraduate Catalog 
    
    Sep 20, 2021  
2020-2021 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Spring 2021 Westfield State University Student Code of Conduct COVID-19 Addendum


Westfield State University Student Code of Conduct

Spring 2021 COVID-19 Addendum

 

Westfield State University remains committed to mitigating the risks of COVID-19 and maintaining a positive campus community and online environment for living, learning, and working.  The Student Code of Conduct supports this goal by identifying shared expectations that keep our community healthy.

The COVID-19 pandemic is ever changing.  Students should stay informed and pay close attention to the Westfield State University communications that provide updates and specific instructions.  As with all of its codes, policies, and standards, Westfield State University reserves the right to modify this code based on the current pandemic situation. 

All students are expected to abide by all federal, state, local, and Westfield State University policies and regulations implemented to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 including but not limited to wearing face coverings, washing or sanitizing hands, physical and social distancing, monitoring of symptoms, and self-reporting of symptoms or a positive COVID-19 diagnosis.  Failure to comply with these rules and precautions will be considered a violation of the Student Code of Conduct and could subject a student to sanctions up to and including expulsion from the University. 

The following addendum, in addition to the current code of conduct outlined in the 2020-2021 Student Handbook, are expectations of the University and its students with regard to behaviors and COVID-19 mitigation strategies.  Violations will be referred to and reviewed by the Student Conduct Office.

January Move-In For Students

In accordance with the CDC’s recommendations around physical distancing, a limited amount of students will register for each move-in period.  Move in for students will take place on Saturday January 23 and Sunday January 24th.  Students will register for times beginning at 9am and ending at 5pm each day.  Students will be permitted to have one guest with them in the residence hall at a time to assist with their move in process.  If additional guests accompany the student on their move-in day, they will need to wait outside or by their vehicle. 

All residential students are required to submit to the University a negative molecular PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test that is performed between January 14, 2021 - January 22, 2021 prior to gaining access to the residence halls and academic buildings on campus for the Spring 2021 semester.  Beginning January 15, negative results can be submitted online through the “Spring 2021 Negative COVID Test Confirmation” form available in students’ MyHousing account.  Please present a hard copy of your test result at the time of your onbard test also.  The University will not accept a rapid, same-day antigen test. 

Selecting a Move-In Period

All students that will be living on campus for the Spring 2021 semester will be eligible to select their move-in period.  The student will:

  1. Log into their MyHousing account
  2. Click on the section on the student’s home page that says room assignments (make sure to select Spring 2021 semester)
  3. Click on the drop down list of days/times and select an available time
  4. Once a day/time has been selected, click update my time button
  5. Once the page reloads, the student’s day/time is confirmed

Testing Participants

The following categories of students are required to participate in weekly testing:

  • All residential students
  • Students participating in an academic program who are required to test and who do not live on campus or commute to campus
  • All season student-athletes participating in competition who do not live on campus or commute to campus
  • Commuter students with a minimum of one in-person class

*Testing frequencies may change based on community testing results and guidance from public health officials.

Mandatory Testing for Students

Testing will occur on campus in the University Hall Multi-Purpose Room from 9am - 4pm at no cost to participants.  Results are expected to be received within 24-36 hours of receipt at the Broad Institute’s diagnostic center.  Testing will begin on January 23, 2021 and continue throughout the Spring 2021 semester.  All approved testing participants must participate in the mandatory testing on the dates outlined below:

Testing Group People
Group A Residential Students
Group B Commuter Students A - K with an on-ground presence
Group C Commuter Students L - Z with an on-ground presence
Group D Commuters with a Testing Requirement (internship, clinical, or practicum site
Group E Student Athletes
Group F Faculty/Staff

Onboarding and Move-In Schedule

Dates Saturday Sunday Monday

January 23, 2021           9am - 5pm

Residential Students

Commuter Students A-C

   
January 24, 2021           9am - 5pm   Residential Students  
January 24, 2021           9am - 5pm   Commuter Students D-R  
January 25, 2021           9am - 4pm     Commuter Students S-Z

*Should inclement weather cause the postponement of onboard testing for January 23rd, 24th, or 25th, testing and move-in will move to the following day. 

Spring 2021 Testing Schedule

Spring 2021 Testing Dates Tuesday Wednesday Thursday
February 2, 3, and 4 Group A Groups B and D Group C
February 9, 10, and 11 Group A Groups B and D Group C
February 16, 17, and 18 Group A Groups B and D Group C
February 23, 24, and 25 Group A Groups B and D Group C
March 2, 3, and 4 Group A Groups B and D Group C
March 9, 10, and 11 Group A Groups B and D Group C
March 16, 17, and 18 Group A Groups B and D Group C
March 23, 24, and 25 Group A Groups B and D Group C
March 30, 31 and April 1 Group A Groups B and D Group C
April 6, 7, and 8 Group A Groups B and D Group C
April 13, 14, and 15 Group A Groups B and D Group C
April 20, 21, and 22 Group A Groups B and D Group C
April 27, 28, and 29 Group A Groups B and D Group C
May 4, 5, and 6 Group A Groups B and D Group C

*If it becomes necessary to cancel or delay the University due to weather or other emergency, the University will notify the campus community when testing will occur.  If your scheduled testing day is canceled due to weather, your “make up” testing date will be that Friday unless otherwise announced. 

Failure to participate in testing may result in an interim suspension from the University pending the completion and submission of a negative antigen test result to the University’s Health Services Department.  The student may be processed through the Student Conduct System, and if found responsible, receive sanctions up to and including a removal from the University. 

Should students not be available on the dates provided, they must contact the Dean of Students to verify their absence and develop a plan to complete testing without penalty. 

Flu Shot Documentation

Flu Vaccine Requirement Update: The Massachusetts Department of Public Health has lifted its requirement that all students attending public state universities in Massachusetts need to provide proof of a flu vaccination. However, DPH continues to strongly recommend that everyone age six months and older receive their seasonal flu vaccine each year. For more information, visit https://www.mass.gov/doc/immunization-requirements-for-school-entry-0/download.

University Notification of Positive COVID-19 Test Policy

The University requires that all students-whether you are living and studying remotely or an approved residential student to notify the University Health Services Office immediately (no later than 24 hours after you receive the positive test result) if you test positive for COVID-19 by any health care provider in any jurisdiction. 

You can contact the Health Services Department by calling 413-572-5415 or emailing healthservices@westfield.ma.edu. 

After the University Health Services Department has learned that a student has tested positive for COVID-19, staff may conduct additional contact tracing to determine if there was exposure to other members of our community so that they can take the appropriate next steps to mitigate further spread of the virus. Consistent with federal and state laws governing patient confidentiality, the University will not share any patient’s private medical information other than to confirm that they are a residential or commuter student of the University.  

Failure of any student to notify the University Health Services Department of a positive test will result in an immediate interim suspension from the University.  The student will be processed through the Student Conduct System, and if found responsible, receive sanctions up to and including a removal from the University. 

Academic Notification of Positive COVID-19 Test

Students are responsible for notifying their faculty and site supervisor, including but not limited to, clinicals, internships, student teaching placements, field study placements, etc. of any positive test results.  The student is responsible for working with their designated faculty and site supervisor to develop a plan to make up any missed assignments, exams, or hours. The faculty and site supervisor have final decisions in matters related to academics. 

Isolation and Quarantine

A student must go through the proper protocols of notifying and being in communication with the University’s Health Services Office if they have tested positive for COVID-19 or are symptomatic and awaiting test results.

The responsibilities of that student are to:

  • Follow all instructions given by all medical personnel and the Isolation and Quarantine Manager;
  • Share those instructions with the appropriate University personnel, including the University’s Health Services Office at healthservices@westfield.ma.edu.  

Students testing positive for COVID-19 will be required to isolate in designated campus housing (unless other arrangements are made for a student to isolate off campus) for a minimum of 10 days.  Symptoms must be declining for 24 hours prior to being released from isolation. 

That student must abide by all policies in the Student Code of Conduct and the Spring 2021 COVID-19 Student Conduct Addendum while in isolation and quarantine.  In addition, the student must also:

  • Remain in direct communication with the University Health Services Staff;
  • Respond to all phone calls, voicemails, emails, and texts from Westfield State University staff members including but not limited to Campus Safety, Dean of Students Office, Health Services, Housing, Residential Engagement, and the Contact Tracing Team within 24 hours or within the time specified in that communication;    
  • Remain in the specified isolation and quarantine location for the total number of days that the student is instructed by medical professionals, unless directed by a medical professional or approved in advance in writing by a Westfield State University staff member. 
  • Clearance must be given from University Health Services or the local Department of Health in order to return to on-campus participation.

Failure to follow these policies and rules will result in a charge(s) of the appropriate policies contained in the Student Code of Conduct. The student will be processed through the Student Conduct System and if found responsible, receive sanctions up to and removal from the University. Please know that students’ health, wellness, and safety is the University’s top priority and all student conduct procedures will occur following the student’s full recovery.  

Post-Quarantine, Confirmed Negative Results Policy

No approved residential student will be allowed to leave their specified, university-approved isolation and/or quarantine location and participate in campus activities until they have received the proper discharge and clearance information from the University’s Health Services Office.

Failure to follow these policies and rules will result in a charge(s) of the appropriate policies contained in the Student Code of Conduct. The student will be processed through the Student Conduct System and if found responsible, receive sanctions up to and removal from the University.

Contact Tracing

Contact Tracing is a critical component of the University’s efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19.  All students are mandated to respond to any communications from Westfield State or the state and local health department around next steps.  For students who repeatedly fail to comply, whether intentionally or unintentionally (unless it can be shown that the student was genuinely not reached by contact tracers through no failure on their part), with COVID-19 contact tracing efforts conducted by the institution or the State or local Department of Health, the student will be processed through the Student Conduct System and if found responsible, receive sanctions ranging from a suspension up to a removal from the University. 

*Close contacts may be required to quarantine for 10 days as directed by public health officials. 

Guest Policy

The Westfield State University Campus will only be accessible and open to previously approved essential staff, approved residential students, and commuting students who have an on-ground academic presence. Therefore, no other individuals will be permitted to visit campus without proper authorization from University Officials. 

Current students who are not approved residential students or do not have an on-ground academic presence fall under this policy and will not be permitted on campus. 

All students will be assigned to single rooms.  Students living in the traditional halls are allowed to have, one individual other than themselves in a room at a time.  The student who is visiting must be assigned to the same residence hall as the student they are visiting.   Students living in suites or apartment style living are allowed to have a total of four people in a suite or apartment at one time.  Any student(s) who is visiting must be assigned to the same suite or apartment residence hall as the student they are visiting.  All students must be masked when visiting other students in their room, apartment, or suite. 

Any approved residential student who is found to be hosting an unapproved guest(s) will result in a charge(s) of the appropriate policies contained in the Student Code of Conduct. The student will be processed through the Student Conduct System and if found responsible, receive sanctions up to and removal from the University. Please know that students’ health, wellness, and safety is the University’s top priority and all student conduct procedures will occur following the student’s full recovery.  

Face Masks and Coverings

Approved residential students, commuting students with an on-ground academic presence, as well as employees approved to work on campus must wear a face mask, that covers both their nose and mouth, while on the Westfield State University campus. This includes but is not limited to:

  • When outside and 6ft or closer to another person; 
  • When walking around campus and 6ft or closer to another person; 
  • When playing recreational sports; 
  • When walking throughout residence hall common spaces; 
  • If one was permitted to enter a classroom, department, or campus office

The following are exceptions to when/where one is not required to wear a mask (unless it is requested by another individual)

  • Approved residential student in their designated bedroom on campus.  If an approved residential student is visiting the student space, both students must be masked;
  • Approved residential students when showering or washing their face on the floor/communal bathrooms; 
  • When eating a meal or drinking.

All Westfield State University students, faculty, and staff permitted to be on campus, reserve the right to kindly ask that any community member wear a face mask if they are not wearing one in a required setting. It is recommended to carry an extra face mask while on campus. If a student does not have a face mask to put on in that moment, they can be directed to visit the Dean of Students Office in the Ely Campus Center, room 209.   

ID Policy for Approved Residential Students

All students and employees approved to be on campus are required to display their University ID in a visual location that allows them to be identified. For that reason, it is required that students keep their University Student ID on their person at all times and present it upon entry to the Residence Halls to verify their status as a resident of that designated building. 

As the health and safety of all Westfield State University students, faculty and staff is our highest priority, it is vital that the University knows who is on the campus at all times, and for that reason no guests will be permitted on campus as outlined above in the Guest Policy. If contact tracing would need to occur, this policy allows for proper notification.

Physical and Social Distancing Recommendations for Approved Residential Students

Physical distancing is designed to limit the spread of a disease by reducing the opportunities for close contact between people. It is asked that everyone do their best to maintain a safe physical distance of 6 feet or more in all settings - this equals two arms lengths away from individuals. 

The University recognizes that maintaining 6 feet of physical distancing may not be possible in all unforeseen and informal situations. However, all students are expected to make every effort to abide by this recommendation. For everyone’s health and safety, the Face Mask Policy will be enforced in an effort to maintain physical distancing.  

Common Spaces Policy for Approved Residential Students

All residence hall lounges, commons areas, and study room access will be determined by the Residential Engagement staff.   Areas designated for use will be posted in the Residence Hall with limitations related to occupancy and use in accordance with the Governor’s Orders. 

Student Activities, Student Clubs and Organization Gatherings

Student Clubs and Organizations are permitted to host events both in person and virtual that has been pre-approved by the Student Government Association, S.A.I.L. and the Residential Engagement Staff.  Events and meetings may take place virtually (preferred) or in identified designated spaces on campus with limitations related to occupancy in accordance with the Governor’s Orders.  Students should contact the Student Government Office, S.A.I.L., and Residential Engagement to reserve these spaces. 

Off-Campus Housing - All Commuter Students

Students living in off-campus housing need to adhere to all federal, state, and local guidelines limiting the number of individuals who may gather together at one time.  Additionally, students are to wear face coverings when interacting with individuals who do not live at their designated address. 

Violations will be addressed by the City of Westfield Police Department and the Westfield Board of Health and may result in a referral to the Student Conduct Office, fines, and arrests by the local police department.  Students found responsible for alleged violation(s) through the Student Conduct Office will receive sanctions up to and including a removal from the University. 

As a reminder the University’s off campus jurisdiction is as follows:

Off-Campus Jurisdiction - When a criminal violation is committed off campus and a court conviction ensues, the violator may be subject to the Board’s disciplinary jurisdiction if the University President/designee determines that the criminal violation interferes with the integrity of the University’s rightful responsibilities and activities. Further, an off-campus criminal violation, regardless of any court status, may subject the alleged violator to the Student Conduct Board’s disciplinary jurisdiction if the University President/designee at his/her discretion determines that the alleged violator constitutes a danger to persons or property on or off campus or has engaged in off-campus conduct that affects the welfare of the campus community. Such behaviors that may be subject to University disciplinary action include, but are not limited to, physical assault and battery, sexual assault, harassing or intimidating behavior, damage to other’s property, unlawful alcohol gatherings, disruptive behavior, selling or distributing drugs, and any drug possession where the evidence indicates intent to sell or distribute controlled substances. Also, any student who exhibits chronic behavioral issues off campus may be subject to University disciplinary action under these guidelines.

Online Behavior Policy

The University reaffirms its commitment to protect the privacy of students, faculty, and staff on Zoom or any other remote video platforms. 

In order to protect community members’ privacy, students are not permitted to post photos, screenshots, or videos on any social media sites. Also, students are prohibited from distributing the image(s) and/or video(s) of classmates, presenters, or instructors without their signed consent. Particularly, as many video platforms contain individual’s identifiable information, such as their name on the screen, this poses an additional violation of one’s privacy. 

If a student is alleged to have posted or distributed photos, screenshots, or videos of a classroom or academic remote setting without the individual(s) signed consent, the Dean of Students Office in collaboration with Academic Affairs and the professor will consult in order to determine next steps. 

Student(s) who are alleged to have violated this policy will be charged with the appropriate alleged violation(s).  The student will go through the Student Conduct Process and if found responsible, receive sanctions up to and including a removal from the University.

Helpful Definitions for Students

Close Contact:  Criteria for determining whether the contact with an infected individual warrants quarantine, based on proximity, length of time in contact, environment context (e.g., large room, outside), active symptoms of the infected person with whom contact is made. 

Contact Tracing:  A program to reach out to individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19, and contacts of these individuals.  This will help reduce the spread of the disease and ensure the individuals have the support they need to isolate or quarantine.  The names of individuals who have tested positive are not released to their contacts.  Information provided will be kept confidential. 

Isolation:  The physical separation of people who test positive or have a contagious disease from people who do not have the disease.

Molecular (PCR) COVID test:  A diagnostic test that uses polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to detect virus’ genetic material from a nasal or throat swab or saliva.  PCR must be completed in a lab setting, so it takes a few days to get results, but those results have a high level of accuracy.