Summer 2021 Semester Information

April 22, 2021

Dear Members of the Brown Community,

We hope you’re all doing well as we reach the conclusion of the Spring 2021 term, and we’re writing with updates and further details for the summer term. We recognize that this year and semester have been unparalleled on many dimensions, and we appreciate the substantial contributions of staff, students and faculty in supporting one another as a community while also ensuring critical educational progress, research advancements and continued engagement and service beyond the campus. We look forward to celebrating graduates during Commencement activities on May 1 and 2, and to a well-deserved and welcome break before the Summer 2021 term begins in May.

This communication is a follow-up to the letter of March 1, which we encourage all members of the community to review as it remains relevant to the details in this letter about the summer semester. 

The summer term will complete and conclude the 2020-21 academic year. We look forward to welcoming the approximately 2,000 undergraduates enrolled this summer - most of whom are returning first year students, as well as graduate and medical students and two groups of pre-college summer program students who will join the community in June and July. Key dates for the term can be found on the academic calendar.

The University continues to be guided by national, state and campus public health experts in our planning. Throughout the summer, students will live in single-occupancy rooms in residence halls and classrooms will be de-densified. We will follow Campus Activity Level requirements to promote continued health and safety, making appropriate adjustments to health protocols and permitted activities as the health situation evolves.

COVID-19 Testing:
The University will continue to require all students, faculty and staff authorized to be on campus to participate in the COVID-19 testing program. This includes students who are not enrolled in courses but may be on campus for research, employment, athletics, housing or other authorized University activities. The community will be notified if health conditions permit a reduction in the frequency of testing.

Impact of Vaccines on Health Protocols:
The University strongly encourages all members of the community who can be vaccinated to get the vaccine. Starting in the Fall 2021 semester, Brown will require COVID-19 vaccines for all undergraduate, graduate and medical students who will be on campus or engage in any level of in-person instruction. Medical and religious exemptions from vaccination will be granted to students, and reasonable accommodations will be provided (as determined by applicable law). Brown’s COVID-19 Vaccine Working Group continues to assess whether vaccination should be required for employees, and a decision will be communicated to the community once it is made. 

We recognize that many students, faculty and staff who will be on campus this summer will have been vaccinated against COVID-19 by the time the term begins. This is good news, and we look forward to wider access to the vaccine in the coming weeks and months, and increased rates of vaccination among members of the Brown community.

It is important to note that this summer, regardless of individual vaccination status, all members of the community must continue to follow established health and safety policies and protocols for preventing the spread of COVID-19, including mask-wearing, social distancing, regular asymptomatic testing, and recording of contacts for contact tracing purposes. These actions are essential for overall health and wellness, and will be required until it is evident that it is safe to relax protocols.

Members of the Brown community age 16 or older who live, work or go to school in Rhode Island and would like to be vaccinated but are unable to do so before coming to campus this summer are currently eligible to be vaccinated at one of the state-run vaccination sites. Please visit the state’s vaccination site to learn more:

Once vaccinated, we ask employees to upload completed vaccination cards directly to Workday or email a pdf or jpeg to [email protected]. If submitting via email, please use Virtru to email it securely. All vaccination records will be stored confidentially in Workday and can be loaded via the Vaccine Management link in the Benefits app on the Workday landing page.

Eligible employees who have submitted proof of COVID-19 vaccination in Workday can earn $50 toward 2021 Wellness Rewards. In addition, for those needing sick time to support their vaccine recovery, Brown will credit up to two sick days (up to one per each vaccination day), as needed. Credit for time off will be updated once per month upon updating your vaccine status in Workday.

We also encourage students to also upload their final vaccination cards directly to the Health and Wellness Patient Portal. For more information, please visit the "Verify Your Vaccination" information section on the Healthy Brown site:

Workplace/RTC Plans:
Throughout the summer, we anticipate that there may be a gradual increase in employees working on-site as needed for University operations, and in preparation for fall. Departments will need to update their Return to Campus (RTC) plans as changes in staffing occur to ensure staff who will work on-site enroll in the COVID-19 testing program and are in compliance with the COVID-19 Campus Safety Policy. Please see the Return to Campus guidelines for guidance.

Move-in and Quiet Period: 
Move-in for students residing in Brown housing for the summer will be on May 9, 10 and 11. Students will receive a message from Residential Life about protocols for moving to ensure health and safety during the process.

All students who live on campus or in Brown-owned or Brown-leased off-campus housing in Summer 2021 will be required to observe a Quiet Period upon arrival for study at Brown, which has been reduced from 14 to seven days, per guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This includes a period of time when students will be expected to remain in their residence halls or Brown-owned or -leased off-campus property except to get COVID-19 tests, receive care from Health Services by appointment or to pick up grab-and-go dining hall meals. This requirement applies whether or not students have received their COVID-19 vaccination. While we know this can be difficult, these practices have been central to our efforts to limit the spread of the virus in our community. 

Students living off-campus in non-Brown housing who are enrolled in coursework with an in-person component, employed on-campus, or otherwise authorized to be on campus this summer should not come to campus during the Quiet Period (May 11-18), and should follow RIDOH quarantine guidance as appropriate if they have traveled between the spring and summer semesters. Students living off-campus who do not meet the criteria for inclusion in routine COVID testing should not be on-campus or in campus facilities at any time before August 15, 2021, except to attend appointments at Health Services or utilize Brown Libraries’ contactless pick-up service. 

Academic Life: Courses, Research and the Library:
During Quiet Period and through May 18, courses will be offered online only, with in-person courses of 19 or fewer students beginning on May 19 as public health conditions allow.

Students, faculty and teaching assistants will continue to have the option to engage in teaching and learning remotely for the Summer 2021 semester. International students in nonimmigrant status should continue to consult with OISSS and the Global Brown Frequently Asked Questions page regarding relevant requirements for entry and enrollment. To schedule an advising appointment, please visit this site.

Course materials will once again be available to be ordered online through the Brown Bookstore for delivery through Mail Services. The University Library will also have many course materials available online, and while closed to in-person activities during Quiet Period, University libraries will continue to meet critical student and faculty needs following the same policies and practices of the Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 terms. Following Quiet Period, undergraduate, graduate and medical students will be able to reserve study space seating using the LibCal Seat Booking tool

In terms of research, current density limits, COVID-19 safety protocols, and other general parameters will continue in research labs during the summer until further notice, as described on the Resuming Research web page

Financial Support and Undergraduate Summer Earnings:  
The University has taken a number of actions and allocated funds to support students impacted by the pandemic. In terms of undergraduate financial aid, because students enrolled full time at Brown this summer are unable to devote the same number of hours to employment that they might have otherwise, these students will have their summer earning expectation for 2021-22 waived and replaced with University scholarship. As was the case last summer, we will also provide enhanced summer support for doctoral and MFA students.

Undergraduate students receiving University need-based scholarship in 2021-22 will have a summer earning expectation as part of their financial aid eligibility determination as we return to normal, pre-pandemic operations for the next academic year. As in previous years, students may reduce or eliminate their summer earning expectation with outside scholarships or tuition benefits.  

Student Employment:
Brown values the many contributions of students who engage in work opportunities across campus. This summer, we expect departments will continue to hire students to work remotely, and that some undergraduate students will work onsite. All onsite student positions must be approved through a Return to Campus Plan. For any students who will be working remotely outside of the U.S., we ask that the hiring department contact Student Employment for guidance. Students who need to complete the federal Form I-9 should contact the HR Service Center for assistance.

Campus Life and Athletics:
Summer in Rhode Island offers the opportunity for more outdoor time and activities, which will allow for more community engagement options. There will be tents around campus for use by students, faculty and staff. Signage will designate terms of use, including capacity/density limits and other public health requirements.

All community members who are able to are strongly encouraged to exercise individually outdoors, on and off campus, and to take advantage of getting outdoors as much as possible. The Nelson Fitness Center, Katherine Moran Coleman Aquatics Center, and some outdoor recreational athletic facilities will be open by reservation for use by students enrolled in COVID-19 testing. More information can be found on the Brown Recreation Bfit booking portal.

Intercollegiate student-athletes enrolled in the summer term are permitted to participate in sport-specific practice activity, pursuant to the Ivy League Phases, and as permitted by campus policies. Team practices may be held outdoors, inclusive of enrolled team members, coaches and support staff. The number of athletes permitted in indoor practices is limited to social distancing by square footage, and masks will be required.

All student organization events will remain virtual through the summer. And while most academic programming, business meetings and events will take place virtually during the summer term, outdoor options will provide greater opportunities for some gatherings following essential public health and safety protocols. Faculty and staff can submit requests to host in-person events using the Spring 2021 In-Person Event Request Form. In-person events for the summer term can take place any time after May 19th.

As noted in the March 1 letter, visitor restrictions currently in place will extend through the summer term (see visitor policy webpage). Current restrictions regarding University-sponsored domestic and international travel will continue until further notice. Any changes to these restrictions will be communicated to the campus community when public health conditions allow and those decisions are made. Faculty, staff and graduate students can request exemptions for essential travel (see the travel policy webpage).

Summer Hours and Time Off:
Finally, while the summer brings another full semester, we hope and expect that employees will take advantage of well-deserved vacation time. As the University shared in an earlier Today@Brown message, all employees will be offered a paid day off on Friday, May 7, 2021, and a second paid day off will be offered in August (date to be determined). In addition, Summer Hours have been approved to begin on Tuesday, June 1, 2021, and continue through Friday, August 13, 2021. (Departments and offices implement summer hours based on operational needs.)

We have accomplished a great deal in the last year, under the most fluid and unpredictable of conditions and circumstances. We continue to be deeply grateful for the generosity of spirit and commitment that members of the extended Brown community have devoted during this time. We extend very best wishes as the spring term concludes, and for a healthy and enjoyable summer.

Warm regards,

Richard M. Locke

Barbara Chernow
Executive Vice President of Finance and Administration