Announcements and Updates 2020-2021

Here is important information for students studying in person this academic year.

Thanksgiving break meal program

This year, many Tufts students are staying in the area over Thanksgiving break because the CDC strongly discourages travel over break. Tufts is providing a limited meal service for those students who are staying in the area. This will include a special dinner on Thanksgiving day. The meals will be prepared by outside, local vendors to give Tufts Dining staff the holiday break off; many university staff are volunteering their time over the holiday to distribute the meals. Using local vendors provides support to our neighboring communities.

All regular Dining facilities will be closed from Wednesday night to Sunday afternoon; the only meal service provided by Tufts during the break will be through the special Thanksgiving meal program.

Participating in the Thanksgiving meal program requires advance reservations. Reservations are now closed, and the final order has been placed with participating vendors. Over the last several weeks, all students who informed Tufts that they were staying for the Thanksgiving break were invited to participate in the Thanksgiving break meal program.

Students who travel over the Thanksgiving break are required to complete the semester remotely unless they have received an exemption from the Dean of Student Affairs. Those students must also register their departure date by filling out the Fall 2020 Campus Departure Date form through the Housing Portal in SIS  to not be considered out of compliance with testing.

Pickup Instructions

All students who registered for the Thanksgiving break meal program had the opportunity to order meals by November 19. Those students have received a subsequent message with instructions on how to collect their meals. Each registered student has been assigned a specific half-hour window for meal pickup to allow for physical distancing and to avoid the creation of long lines. Students are required to wear face masks, maintain physical distancing, and observe the pickup times they have been given.

Quarantine and Isolation

If you are in isolation or in quarantine due to COVID safety protocols, place your meal order as usual through the Tufts Dining app. Your meal will be delivered to your room or apartment twice daily throughout the Thanksgiving break as usual. Do not come to the Gantcher Center, and do not have a friend pick up your meal at Gantcher Center for you.

Requesting Meals without a Reservation

Students who did not order meals by the deadline cannot be guaranteed service. Those students are welcome to make their own meal arrangements. Several establishments that accept JumboCash are open over Thanksgiving break, but many have reduced hours. You were also welcome to stock up on snacks and other items when you pick up your meal at Carmichael or Dewick-MacPhie before Wednesday evening.  Hotung Café and Commons Marketplace also have snacks you could have ordered through Wednesday evening.

Students who do not have a confirmed reservation but would like to check for the availability of extra meals during Thanksgiving break are welcome to come to the Gantcher Family Sports and Convocation Center, 161 College Ave (next to Tisch Fitness Center), between 2:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Our staff will do their best to accommodate you. Please bring your Tufts student ID.

SMFA Meal Pickup

If you are an SMFA student and requested a meal pickup in Boston, come to the SMFA Atrium, 230 Fenway, Boston, between noon and 2 p.m. If you ordered meals on multiple days, your pickup time will be the same for each day. Please arrive within the scheduled time and be prepared to wait in a physically distanced line. You must have your Tufts ID to enter.

General travel policy

All travel (both in-region and out-of-region) during the pandemic is strongly discouraged, except under exceptional circumstances. In general, exceptional circumstances are those in which your physical presence is essential (e.g., the death or life-threatening illness of a close family member). While we understand that travel for other important life events (e.g., family reunions, vacations, holidays, weddings) may be very important to you, it is not truly essential during a pandemic. All AS&E (including SMFA) undergraduate and graduate students are asked to register in advance of any such exceptional travel during the semester with the Dean of Student Affairs office.

Thanksgiving travel policy

Beginning with the Thanksgiving break, if you choose to travel, you cannot return to campus and instead must finish the semester remotely. This applies to all AS&E undergraduate and graduate students traveling in-region or out-of-region and to those living on-campus as well as those living off-campus but attending courses and/or using campus facilities in person.

If students elect to leave campus at Thanksgiving and therefore decide to finish the semester remotely, Tufts will not reimburse or pro-rate housing or dining fees. Students who believe they have a situation that meets the exceptional circumstance definition may request approval from the Office of the Dean of Student Affairs to travel over the break and return by submitting a request. Such requests will be granted rarely, and returning students will be required to meet quarantine and testing requirements upon their return.

In addition, this policy also applies to local travel such as attending off-campus gatherings of any kind during the break, such as Thanksgiving dinner. The policy's public health rationale is not how far a student will be traveling but their exposure to individuals who have not participated in our community's routine testing and protocols. We recognize that this may be an unusual Thanksgiving for many, but limiting travel is vital to our plan to maintain the health of the community. Students and their families, friends, and loved ones are encouraged to celebrate the holiday remotely in creative and meaningful ways.

Change of status

You can change your status from in person to remote for the Fall 2020 semester or inform us of your intent for the Spring 2021 semester by completing a form created by the Registrar. The Registrar also has a website that provides access to all of the forms and petitions currently available to undergraduate and graduate students.