Frequently Asked Questions

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Fairfield University Question & Answer

Whether you are a current undergraduate or graduate student, an incoming student, a parent or guardian, faculty member, staff member, or in any way involved in the Fairfield University community, we want to make sure you have all the information you need to remain an integral part of our campus life. Below you will find a host of helpful questions and answers regarding Fairfield’s plans for the fall 2020 semester and beyond, including important items on services, facilities, and events and programming.

As our community prepares to return to campus life, we will continue to update these FAQs, so please check back regularly for new and updated information.

New & Returning Students

Academic Calendar

Fairfield will resume classes on Tuesday, September 1. Students will begin moving into residence halls on Monday, August 24 to allow for a successful and safe reopening. The University is continuing to work with the State of Connecticut to ensure we are meeting all guidelines in this process. Specific details regarding the move-in process, including actual dates and class-year particulars, will be communicated in mid-July

To maximize the time and opportunity for engaged learning in the classroom, Fairfield will not have a fall semester break over Columbus Day weekend. After Thanksgiving, students will be able to finish the fall semester either on campus or from home. The semester will conclude on Monday, December 21, consistent with Fairfield’s current academic calendar.

Academics

Fairfield faculty are working to ensure a high quality of instruction to be delivered this fall through various engagement formats and unique academic opportunities that will include in-person instruction and remote modules.

Based on State of Connecticut recommendations, seat capacities in classrooms have been adjusted to adhere to proper indoor social distancing requirements. Additionally, required supplies have been added to learning spaces to ensure cleaning protocols are followed.

Campus Life

A safe on-campus experience at Fairfield is our utmost priority. Thus, all community members will be required to wear masks at all times. However, there are some instances in which masks will not be required. For instance, residence hall roommates will be treated as family units and will not be required to wear masks while in their rooms.

To help ensure that the Fairfield community is equipped for life on campus, two masks will be provided to all community members who will be responsible for following proper cleaning protocols.

Clubs and organizations will continue to meet in-person while following social distancing requirements and/or virtually.

In anticipation of reopening campus to Fairfield students, faculty, and staff, the University’s facilities department has surveyed the heating, cooling, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems of each building on campus to determine air change and ventilation rates, as HVAC systems can help mitigate the spread of viruses by ensuring the proper number of air changes in a space and by introducing the proper amounts of outside air into the space.

Newer buildings such as the Charles F. Dolan School of Business and the Marion Peckham Egan School of Nursing and Health Studies have the code required air changes and are equipped with direct outside air systems (DOAS) that introduce conditioned (heated, cooled, and dehumidified) and filtered air into the space. Renovated buildings such as renovated Quad Dorms, Canisius Hall, and Donnarumma Hall have the air changes and included the introduction of DOAS units. The remaining campus buildings have been evaluated to ensure that the HVAC systems are fully functional and achieving the required air changes as well as the outside air. On a selective basis for facilities with older HVAC systems, the University has introduced bi-polar ionization technology to further enhance the air quality. This technology has proved effective in the past on pathogen reduction, particle reduction and odor reduction.

Fairfield University will continue to offer a range of programming both in-person and virtually following all social distancing requirements.

Fairfield University has not made a final decision regarding Alumni & Family Weekend but is continuing to follow State of Connecticut mandates regarding social gatherings.

All students on special diets will dine in the Barone Campus Center Simply Servings Allergy station located in the Tully Dining Commons. Students will need to register and fill out the required form and return the form to the Student Health Center in Jogues Hall. Once completed, contact Fairfield’s campus Nutritionist Mackenzie Gordon at mgordon@fairfield.edu so she can assist with your plan. For more information, visit www.fairfield.edu/foodallergies.

Schedules for first-year students will be available at the beginning of August. Each student will be emailed her/his schedule, and then each student will have the opportunity later in August to connect with a faculty advisor to discuss the schedule. It is recommended that students purchase course materials through Follett, as they have been in direct contact with professors and will have all that you need for each course. It is strongly recommended that you have textbooks sent to your home in advance of the school year to avoid waiting in lines for pick up.

Follett also offers a Price Match program in store in which they will price match any verified price from Amazon or Barnes and Noble within 14 days on your textbooks; see store for details. www.fairfieldbookstore.com

Tel: 203.254.4262
Fax: 203.254.4252

The University recommends bringing items with you upon arrival to campus in the fall and to avoid sending packages to the University until September 1. All members of the Class of 2024 will receive a campus mailbox number in mid August.

The DiMenna-Nyselius Library is currently closed. Please refer to the DNL Report for information regarding how to access the Library’s online resources and services and to stay informed about Library operations.

Residence Life

According to the State of Connecticut guidelines, students living together in a room, suite, or apartment are considered a family unit. Therefore, we are encouraging all students to wear masks and practice social distancing of at least 6 feet when interacting with others outside of their room or unit.

The Office of Residence Life is working closely with the Student Health Center and Facilities Management to ensure that all the amenities and high touch surfaces are cleaned regularly throughout the day.

If students are considering not to reside on campus during the 2020-2021 academic year, they should notify the Office of Residence Life. Instructions will be sent to students in early August on the notification process.

Students are required to go through the Office of Accessibility for all housing accommodation needs. The Office of Accessibility works closely with the Office of Residence Life to provide reasonable accommodations for students.

For information regarding roommate requests, please email the Office of Residence Life at residencelife@fairfield.edu.

Campus Services

All first-year students for fall 2020 have been assigned to dine in the Barone Campus Center. Upper-class students will eat in the Dolan School of Business events hall, the Conference Center Dining Room, and the Faber Hall Dining Room. We’ve reduced the dining capacity by over 50 percent to achieve social distancing. Students will have the option to grab a meal and sit in their dining hall or take a meal to take back to their room. All five dining locations on campus will close for one hour after breakfast and one hour after lunch for a through cleaning and sanitizing. All food service workers will be required to have a temperature reading arriving for their daily shift. Food service workers also will wash their hands and change gloves every 30 minutes.

The University offers a shuttle that travels into downtown Fairfield every 30 minutes, making periodic stops at the Fairfield Center train station, the Fairfield University downtown bookstore, Super Stop & Shop, the CVS drugstore/Marshalls plaza, and then back to campus. The campus shuttle departs from the front of the John A. Barone Campus Center traffic circle on weekdays beginning at 7 a.m. The last run of the campus shuttle is for drop off only, concluding at 10 p.m. On weekdays and holidays, shuttle service begins at 12 p.m.

For more information on campus shuttle service, as well as schedules and routes, please visit www.fairfield.edu/transportation.

Students will have access to the RecPlex, but will be required to follow all building policies and guidelines related to Covid-19. The Recreation Department is currently monitoring State guidelines, which include the following regulations: members are required to wear masks when entering and exiting the facility, moving about the facility, and while conversing at a close distance with others in the facility. However, based on State guidelines, users will not be required to wear masks while exercising or recreating. In order for this to occur, the RecPlex will be spacing out equipment at a distance of 12 feet. Students will be required to bring their own water bottles, as fountains will be turned off, and are encouraged to bring their own yoga mat or blanket for stretching between workouts.

The Recreation Department is currently planning to proceed with its fall programming, as the State of Connecticut has not put in place any restrictions for these types of programs. However, strict social distancing measures will be enforced, and the Recreation Department is actively determining what types of modifications will be enacted to safely administer these programs.

Fitness and group exercise classes will be moved to the fieldhouse in order to accommodate a maximum of 25 participants, which will need to observe 12 feet of social distance. Club sports (practice and competition), will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis, given the level of physical contact present in each sport.

Club teams will not be permitted to travel on buses or use campus vans. Club sport practices will be limited to small groups of 10 individuals or less, and participants will be required to wear masks while not on the field/court. Intramural sports will also be reviewed on a case-by-case basis, given the level of physical content present in each sport.

In accordance with recommendations from the State of Connecticut, individualized offerings, such as tennis, badminton, or Pickleball, be considered. Further modifications to sports such as basketball, football, or soccer may focus on skills challenges instead of full competition. The Recreation Department will also continue to offer fitness and group exercise classes remotely, as well as a wide variety of e-sports competitions for students who are uncomfortable entering the RecPlex.

Information regarding faculty, staff, and access for the greater community will be forthcoming.

The Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts has moved their Summer Intensives to online platforms, while their Missoula Children’s Theatre summer camps are canceled. The Quick Center will have further updates regarding future events, performances, and programming coming soon.

The Fairfield University Arts Museum will provide updates on future programming and events throughout the summer.

Athletics

Fairfield University is working closely with the MAAC, NEC, CAA and NCAA regarding all Division I sports.

Health Concerns

The CDC defines ‘immunocompromised’ persons are those considered to have the greatest risk of infection caused by airborne or waterborne microorganisms. Those students who identify as immunocompromised are highly recommended to live at home and pursue remote learning options if possible.

While we recognize the value of in-person instruction, those students who identify as immunocompromised are highly recommended to live at home and pursue remote learning options if possible.

Deferring Admission / Financial Aid

Yes, students may apply to defer their enrollment for the period of a semester or a year. Students looking to defer their enrollment should email Alison Hildenbrand, director of Admission, at ahildenbrand@fairfield.edu.

Their email request should include information about their plans during the period of deferral. During the deferral period, students may not enroll at another institution, though if they wish to pursue some academic work during the deferral this time, they may not earn any more than 11 credits. If more than 11 credits are earned, the student will need to reapply as a transfer student. If a student has earned a merit scholarship, their merit award will be honored when they do enroll at Fairfield University.

If a family has been affected by Covid-19 and has not yet appealed their need based financial aid award, they are encouraged to contact the Office of Financial Aid to determine their eligibility to appeal their financial aid award.

The Office of Financial Aid can be reached at 203-254-4000 x4125 or at finaid@fairfield.edu.

Study Abroad

Due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, Fairfield has made the decision to suspend the fall 2020 study abroad term. Global Fairfield will be in touch with students who were committed to a fall abroad experience individually in the coming weeks, at which time details about deposit, academic needs, application deferment and next steps will be discussed.

Global Fairfield and our partners abroad are working to assess the spring 2021 term options and placement availability. Our priority is to provide you with an optimal global experience. We know how much a term abroad means to our students and greatly appreciate your understanding and patience during this process. We look forward to being in touch with you soon to discuss your spring 2021 plan.

Prospective Students

For updated visit information, please review our Campus Visit Information page. We also offer virtual options. Take a Fairfield Virtual Tour, schedule a virtual information session, or schedule a meeting with an Admission Counselor.

Employees

With the safety of our faculty and staff our highest priority, we will be returning employees to Fairfield University in phases according to state guidelines.

The University will continue to permit telecommuting where possible, except for those whose presence is required on campus to perform their jobs.

When employees return to campus, they will find a number of changes that are designed and implemented to ensure the safest possible work environment and protect against the spread of COVID-19:

  • The University will communicate which gates are to be used for access to campus, and for the time being, entry to campus may be limited to employees and authorized visitors. All cars will be subject to stop upon entry, employees may be asked for identification and confirmation of a face mask or covering.
  • All employees will also be requested to self-monitor for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 if they suspect exposure. Employees who are home when they feel unwell should not report to campus to work; they should notify their manager and consult with their healthcare provider. Employees who feel unwell while at work should notify their manager, return home, and consult with their healthcare provider.
  • Employee health checks, as well as contact tracing, may be used in order to detect and minimize the spread of COVID-19.

To best protect the health and safety of our employees, Fairfield has made several changes to campus facilities to ensure proper hygiene, education, and workspace well-being:

  • Signage has been installed throughout campus to remind employees of the importance of personal hygiene, social distancing protocols, cleaning and disinfecting protocols, and personal protection requirements, as well as resource numbers to call for assistance (e.g., 211 State COVID-19 phone line).
  • Where necessary, we have reconfigured work areas to align with social distancing requirements.
  • Hand sanitizer dispensing stations have been installed throughout all campus buildings to encourage proper personal hygiene.

In order to address the increased need for cleaning and sanitization, Fairfield is providing cleaning sprays and disinfecting wipes near common areas and equipment such as printers, copiers, and coffee machines, so that shared equipment can be wiped down before and after use. We have also increased the frequency of cleaning on campus, with special attention given to shared spaces such as restrooms.

We also ask that employees refrain from using their colleagues’ desks, phones, and computers when possible. If such use occurs, please disinfect the shared item after.

Employees working on campus must wear a face mask or other cloth face covering that completely covers their nose and mouth. Masks must be worn from the time employees enter the building until the time they arrive at their cubicle/workstation, and any time they are leaving their work station and moving around common areas (e.g., in hallways and stairwells, going to the restroom, etc.). Employees working in congregate settings — areas open to the public, shared offices, or similar settings — must wear a face mask or covering.

If an employee works with cleaning chemicals, they are also required to wear gloves and eye protections. Employees may choose to wear their own face mask or face covering, if desired. If an employee cannot wear a face mask due to personal health or medical concerns, they are asked to contact HR to discuss options. If an employee works alone in a segregated space (e.g., a cubicle with walls, private offices, etc.), they may remove their mask while at work.

For any questions regarding the proper use of PPE, please contact Joe Bouchard, Director of Environmental Health & Safety/Fire Marshall, at jmbouchard@fairfield.edu.

Visitors are required to bring and wear face masks or face coverings, unless doing so would be contrary to their health and safety due to a medical condition. If an employee has a visitor on campus, they are responsible for ensuring their visitor’s compliance with PPE requirements.

For any questions regarding the proper use of PPE, please contact Joe Bouchard, Director of Environmental Health & Safety/Fire Marshall, at jmbouchard@fairfield.edu.

With the health and safety of our employees in mind, Fairfield will continue with use of Zoom, Skype, and other remote meeting tools to reduce the number of in-person meetings where possible. When in-person meetings are held, the number of participants will be reduced.

Additionally, there will be a reduction in nonessential travel, both domestically and internationally.

The CDC defines ‘immunocompromised’ persons as those considered to have the greatest risk of infection caused by airborne or waterborne microorganisms. If an employee believes they are an immunocompromised individual or at high risk for severe illness from COVID-19, please contact COVIDHR@fairfield.edu to request accommodation now or in the future.

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