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questions and answers are available

How should I report misconduct?

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If you want to report a situation involving a possible violation of university rules, you may notify your RA (if you live on-campus) or the Office of the Dean of Student Affairs for your school. You may also submit an anonymous report online through EthicsPoint or email the Office of Community Standards CommunityStandards@tufts.edu.

Tufts has student ambassadors who walk around the Medford/Somerville campus educating their peers and reinforcing positive behaviors that will help slow the spread of the virus, including mask wearing, physical distancing, and keeping gatherings to no more than 10 people. We know that the vast majority of Tufts students are following these guidelines for their own wellbeing as well as that of their community.

Last update: Tuesday, Sep 22, 2020 - 11:08am

Is Tufts providing face masks to students? 

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All Tufts students are provided face masks or coverings should they need them, but students may also use their own. More details about how to get Tufts-issued face masks or coverings has been provided to students before their arrival on campus.

Last update: Friday, Sep 4, 2020 - 9:50am

Should I wear a cloth mask when I go outside for essential activities?

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Face masks or face coverings must be worn by all students, faculty, staff and visitors in the presence of others when on campus, in common workspaces, meeting rooms, classrooms, dormitories, dining facilities and other shared spaces. The only exception to this is when an individual is alone in an office, in your own dormitory bedroom or greater than 6 feet from anyone else when outside.

The City of Somerville requires face masks be worn whenever anyone is in any public space—indoors or outside—regardless of the person's ability to socially distance; non-compliance is subject to a $300 fine by the city. A similar order exists in the City of Medford, but violators are not subject to a fine. Tufts University police officers will take notice of anyone not following these orders on campus.

Individuals who believe it is unsafe to wear a mask or face covering due to a medical condition or disability, or other protected reason should consult with their supervisor, HR business partner or dean's office. A good option for the hearing impaired who rely on lip reading and facial queues: https://www.theclearmask.com/.

Disposable masks will be provided by Tufts in all of its buildings for use by students and employees.

Cloth face coverings may also be worn, but will not be provided by the university. Cloth face coverings should only be worn for one day at a time, and must be properly laundered before use again. The fabric design or pattern for cloth face coverings should be appropriate for the workplace and classroom. See the CDC's guidelines on the use of cloth face coverings.

Last update: Tuesday, Aug 18, 2020 - 4:22pm

Are there procedures I need to follow whenever I come on-campus?

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Yes, prior to arriving on campus each workday, faculty and staff, including postdoctoral scholars and doctoral students, must complete a Daily Health Screening Survey to attest that they are not experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19 or have recently come into contact with someone who is confirmed to have COVID-19. Upon completing the survey, individuals will immediately receive an email confirming whether they can come to campus. Those approved to come to campus may be required to show the email to a school administrator, supervisor or building security guard upon arrival. The survey can be accessed via:

Last update: Tuesday, Aug 18, 2020 - 4:07pm

Are the shuttle buses running between the SMFA and Medford/Somerville campuses? 

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Yes, the shuttle buses are running between SMFA and Medford/Somerville campuses. Shuttle capacity follows social distancing guidelines. 

Last update: Friday, Sep 4, 2020 - 10:20am

I’m mainly on the SMFA campus. Do I have to travel to Medford for regular COVID testing? 

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No. In addition to the health facilities and services on the Medford/Somerville campus, which are open by appointment, there is onsite COVID testing at SMFA at Tufts. SMFA students who have returned to campus for the fall and who are living off-campus in the Fenway area are undergoing regular surveillance testing at 230 Fenway. Health Service and Counseling and Mental Health Service (CMHS) are also available to assist students via a Telehealth platform. Up-to-date information is available on the CMHS website and Health Service website. More information about all aspects of testing is available in the Testing at Tufts resource.

Last update: Friday, Sep 4, 2020 - 9:49am

If I am studying remotely or on a leave of absence for the fall, will I be able to visit campus during the semester to see my friends?

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No. An important part of preventing the spread of infection is limiting the contact that people have with others. Students who are on campus at Tufts will be tested regularly, but students who are participating remotely will not be. Individuals who are not participating in the regular testing provided to residential students would be considered off-campus guests.

No off-campus guests will be permitted in residence halls, apartments, and other university housing; this includes other Tufts students who, again, are not participating in the regular testing.

The complete Visitor (and Meeting) Policy is available on AccessTufts.

Last update: Thursday, Aug 20, 2020 - 11:22am

Why isn’t tuition going down for the 2020-21 academic year? 
 

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Tuition is not going down for AY 20-21 for two reasons. 
 
First, despite the hardships imposed by the pandemic, we will continue to deliver the high-quality academic programs and services that our students and their families expect from a Tufts education. The School of Arts and Sciences, the School of Engineering, and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts will continue to devote their resources to delivering excellence in course instruction, student services, and extracurricular activities. Our students will continue to have access to the many services and elements that make Tufts an outstanding education and experience. The faculty and administration of our schools are deeply committed to enriching in-person, virtual, and hybrid instruction so that students receive the benefits accruing from a rigorous academic experience complemented by a compelling community experience.  

Second, the university’s costs are not going down. The costs of providing a Tufts quality educational experience have increased, not diminished, in light of the pandemic. Nor does our model of instruction this year seek to reduce costs; to the contrary, we are using technology to enhance the Tufts experience and provide as much individual engagement with students as possible. Moreover, we expect that our students will continue to experience significant benefits from all that they will learn at Tufts and the networks that they will establish as Tufts students.  

Given that we are not reducing the quality or cost of our programs, nor the value of our degree as a means to advance students’ careers, we are not lowering tuition for 2020-21.

Last update: Wednesday, Aug 19, 2020 - 4:19pm

Can you give me information to share with my family that will make them more comfortable about my decision to return to campus?  

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We encourage students to reflect both individually and with their loved ones on the best option for them. Every circumstance is different, which is why we have strived to provide as many options for students as we could.  

You may encourage your family to review the Fall 2020 Campus Guide for AS&E Students, which provides detailed information about our campus preparations.  

Of course, while we know that we will never be able to eliminate all risk, the university’s goal has been to reduce risk as much as possible by introducing multiple layers of protection. Examples include implementing physical distancing guidelines, mask-wearing requirements, strict hygiene practices, health screenings, COVID testing, and contact tracing protocols, and healthy behaviors on campus. (More information about all aspects of testing is available in the Testing at Tufts resource.) We will also be reducing the density of classrooms and some residence halls and setting space aside for students who need to be in quarantine or isolation. You as an individual will remain personally responsible for following these guidelines in the interest of your health and that of the community.  

Students with disabilities that might require additional accommodation should reach out to the StAAR Center (The StAAR Center was formerly Student Accessibility Services and the Academic Resource Center.)

Last update: Wednesday, Aug 19, 2020 - 2:26pm

I am planning on living in a double (or triple) and I will take a few classes virtually. How do I tell my roommate to respect my need for quiet time when the class occurs?

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This is an important conversation to have in the beginning of the semester when completing your room or suite agreement. Resident assistants will be living on campus and can help students navigate these conversations. It is our suggestion that students share their course schedules and discuss expectations for attending virtual courses as well as studying.

Last update: Wednesday, Aug 19, 2020 - 2:21pm

Do I have to wear my mask all the time when I am at work?

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Tufts' COVID-19 policy requires everyone to wear a mask or face covering in the workplace with few exceptions outlined under the university's accommodation policy.

We encourage you to work with the Tufts Office of Equal Opportunity (OEO) if you have questions or concerns about wearing a mask or cloth face covering in your Tufts workplace. In many situations, OEO has already found acceptable and safe adaptations, alternatives and accommodations for those individuals who are unable to wear a mask or cloth face covering because of a physical or mental impairment or sincerely held religious belief. OEO will engage in an interactive dialogue with you in order to increase your feasibility of wearing a mask or cloth face covering safely in your workplace with the goal of reducing the risk of spreading COVID-19 across Tufts University.

Last update: Tuesday, Aug 18, 2020 - 4:03pm

What is a residential cohort?

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Students living on campus will be organized into residential cohorts. Residential cohorts are small groups, usually housing six to 12 students each. The residential cohort provides students the opportunity for very close personal and social contact with others—including the ability to have a roommate and share meals with others.  

Face coverings are not required when (1) students are in their bedroom and the only other people present are their assigned roommate(s), (2) when eating, and (3) when doing personal grooming. Any time students leave their bedroom and are or may be within six feet of others, including going to common spaces or bathrooms, face coverings are required. (Students will be assigned to use specific bathrooms and limited occupancy in the bathroom spaces will be implemented.) 

When interacting only with members of their residential cohort in residence hall areas, physical distancing should be maintained where possible, but may be relaxed where needed as long as masks are worn. 

Students living in off-campus apartments will be considered assigned to a residential cohort with those people who they share an apartment or house with, as long as the group is no more than 12 people and all people in the apartment or house consent to this model.  

Students are accountable to themselves and the other members of their residential cohort. If a student becomes infected but is asymptomatic or becomes symptomatic with COVID-19, the people most at risk are likely their roommate(s) and others in their residential cohort. Accordingly, students should carefully observe the university’s physical distancing and face-covering guidelines. If one student in a residential cohort is symptomatic and/or tests positive for COVID-19, all members of the residential cohort will likely be required to self-quarantine in their current housing assignment. However, if masks were worn frequently during close interactions with the other members of the residential cohort, it will help minimize spread from the infected person. We will test the other members of the cohort frequently for COVID-related symptoms and presence of virus to identify any infected individuals to prevent further spread. 

New students will be placed into residential cohorts based on living compatibility (as determined by the housing questionnaire). Continuing students will re-engage in the modified housing confirmation and reselection process to determine the best space for them and, if they wish, they will be able to form groups for the purposes of cohorting. In the event that a student does not have a larger group to join, they will be able to select into a residential area and still have the benefits of a cohort experience, as well as the opportunity to meet new people in the process.  

The residential cohort model has benefits and risks. The most significant benefit is the opportunity for close social interaction with a small group of trusted others. An important component of the personal development that students receive from their Tufts education arises from the close connection with other students. This option facilitates those connections while reducing the risk of the spread of COVID-19 in the community by limiting the number of people with whom students have such close contact. Additionally, the residential cohort model allows students to share meals with others. Since eating requires the removal of a face covering, without a residential cohort model, eating would require people to stay physically distanced at all times during meals.  
 
The residential cohort model also provides a mechanism for collective responsibility and peer accountability, which is necessary to safely operate during a pandemic. The residential cohort model also has drawbacks. Spending time with people without physical distancing increases the risk that one could get COVID-19 from them if they are infected, even when wearing a face covering. However, wearing a mask is an important measure to reduce spread of infection. Additionally, being in frequent close contact with a small group of people may tend to increase conflict and emotional challenges. Also, moving to a different housing assignment will be far more challenging than usual this semester, given the very limited space on campus and the residential cohort model. 

Last update: Tuesday, Aug 18, 2020 - 3:50pm

These FAQs are subject to change. Please check back here for the latest guidance. If you do not  find the information you are looking for, please send an email to COVID19@tufts.edu.