May 1, 2020: Campus Update

From: Michael S. Roth
Subject: Campus Update
Date: May 1, 2020

Dear students,

I hope that you are staying safe and healthy in these challenging times. I write today to share our current thinking on the fall semester and our response to COVID-19.

I want you to know that while we are planning for a number of different scenarios, we remain hopeful that we will return to the full residential experience that we treasure so much this fall. Of course, the welfare of our students, faculty and staff is paramount, and Wesleyan will not resume normal operations until all proper public health precautions have been taken. These include building capacity to test people who study or work on campus, provide supportive isolation to those who fall ill, and minimize opportunities for the spread of any illnesses.

We are working hard on this now and, rest assured, we will do our utmost to make our campus safe. That said, there are many uncertainties, some of which should be resolved in the next two months or so. For this reason, we will update you all in early June and expect to make a decision about a residential fall term in early July. We hope it will be a traditional semester, but we also expect to offer robust remote alternatives, should they be helpful for some students. When we announce our decision about fall offerings, it will be crucial for our planning to hear quickly from you—within two weeks of our announcement—if  you intend to ask for a leave for any part of the academic year.

Financial Considerations
Due to unfortunate circumstances related to COVID-19, the financial situations of some families might have changed in recent months. Wesleyan will continue to meet the full-demonstrated need of financial aid recipients for the duration of their Wesleyan careers, and our financial aid directors are available to speak with students who have questions regarding their options.

Student Summer Earnings Contributions
Because of the economic downturn, we know that some financial aid recipients may not be able to meet their summer employment expectations or that the saved resources of some students toward the summer earnings expectation may need to be reallocated to cover unanticipated expenses. In recognition of these extenuating circumstances, we will waive students’ summer earnings contributions this year.

Tuition Refund Guarantee
While we certainly hope to welcome you back to campus in the fall, we realize that during these uncertain times you and your family may not be comfortable committing financial resources to tuition, room, board, books and fees just yet.  Please know that any payments made toward the cost of attendance in the fall will be promptly refunded—or applied to a future term—as long as you request a refund before the start of classes in September.

Wesleyan is a community where people take care of one another, and that includes your health and safety. I trust you know how eager we all are to welcome you back to campus at the end of summer. In the meantime, I want to express again my pride in how students and faculty have risen to the challenge of making remote education as potent and Wesleyanish as possible. We would rather be together on campus, but I am inspired by the creative cooperation of Wesleyan faculty, staff and students. Go Wes!

With very best wishes,

Michael S. Roth