Internal - Current Students

Dean’s Message

The Student Affairs team and I are very excited to share the 2019-20 academic year with you! We hope you explore opportunities beyond the classroom this year as these experiences can be transformative personally, academically and socially.

Recently there have been several changes around campus that we think you’ll find exciting. Head over to the Holmes Sports Center and check out the upgrades to the weight room and try one of our new Peloton bikes. Also on the residence campus, upgrades have been made to our buildings that may seem unglamorous, but were necessary improvements. The roof was replaced on Morse Hall and new insulation was installed in Dix Hall. 

Our Residence Life staff, led by Interim Director of Residence Life Amelia McConnell, has six new staff members. We have an impressive group of Graduate Resident Assistants who have joined the team: Carmen Benjamin (Social Work), Justin Cancel (Social Work), Leonie Cohen (Social Work), Ellie Hinkle (Library Science), and Abby Tague (Social Work). Alison Williams has joined the staff as the Administrative Assistant as well. We’re also delighted that Shay West is now a member of the Office of Student Leadership and Activities and will serve as a Program Coordinator alongside Luci Delgado. 

The Counseling Center has been hiring and training new staff and interns. Nina Williams has returned to Simmons, her undergraduate alma mater, and is serving as the Administrative Assistant. The Center has welcomed six incredibly talented interns to the staff: Lilian Beatriz Lopes de Andrade, Siloh Cermak, Laura Gonzalez, Annie Hamilton, Noor Ibrahim and Chomba Muwele. I encourage you to read their impressive bios.  

Our dining service, Aramark, has created several additions to the Fens, Bartol, and Meyers offerings. As you recall, in the spring we increased our meal equivalency for those on a meal plan from $3 to $5 for breakfast and from $4 to $8 for lunch and dinner. This enables you to enjoy our new selections such as:

  • Customizable pizzas and bowls in the Fens
  • Increased offerings to the rice and bread bowls in Commons Grounds
  • A fully customizable sauté station in Bartol
  • Fresh berries at the breakfast bar
  • A made-to-order deli station during dinner
  • A donut machine producing fresh, hot donuts daily

For our commuter students, we’ve increased the number of meal block plans so that you can enjoy meals with your friends in our on-campus dining locations. Finally, Aramark has created a meal donation program where students can donate unused or underutilized dining points and meal swipes. To access these meals, students are encouraged to email Student Affairs

The Office of Student Affairs is committed to helping you be successful in and out of the classroom. Our Simmons Student Code of Conduct will support you in navigating your behavior and choices as a member of the Simmons community. We hope that you will take the time to read this critical document carefully. Please know that all students will be held to the standards established in the Code. If you would like a hard copy of this document, please stop by the Office of Student Affairs (Main Campus Building, second floor, room C-210).

Many students and their families may be watching the local and national news coverage of the increased risk of mosquito-borne EEE. While the Department of Public Health still considers Boston to be in the Low Risk category, please know our colleagues in the Health Center receive updates daily and will continue to advise the campus on important safety precautions. For now, we recommend that students consider wearing long-sleeved shirts and pants during evening outdoor activities. The Department of Public Health also encourages the use of insect repellent containing permethrin, picaridin, IR3535, or DEET. Although our risk is low, we believe that extra caution is wise.

Life at Simmons University, as anywhere, can be confusing and may feel overwhelming. Remember, there are many people here to help you work through these moments. You have many enthusiastic supporters, mentors, advisors, and cheerleaders if you ever need guidance navigating rocky waters. We also want to help you build your own network of peers to turn to when you need a little support or when you need a partner-in-adventure! Look out for more information about our First Friday Dinner with a Dean series. This program is an opportunity to have dinner with a member of the Student Affairs team and seven students who you may otherwise have never met. Through a great meal, fun conversation and a chance to get to know a campus resource person better, we hope to connect you with other members of our Simmons family.

Finally, the recent months have been particularly difficult across the United States and the globe. It’s hard not to turn on the news and hear stories of tragedy. It can feel unsettling and upsetting. I understand that you might feel worried about being away from home and family, while others might feel as though Simmons is your home and safe space. I encourage you to consider ways that you are positively contributing to the Simmons community—and I know there are many already! I sincerely hope that our year is filled with the same acceptance, patience, and kindness that characterize Simmons students. No matter what is happening in this world around us, I hope that our community can be a place where we tackle the tough topics, think the best of one another when we falter, and use our voices for what matters. If anyone can do that, Simmons students can.

On behalf of the Office of Student Affairs, we all wish you a happy, healthy, and successful year.

Susan Antonelli, Dean of Students