Frequently Asked Questions – General Topics
Q. What must I do to register for services and/or accommodations?
A. Visit the Office of AccessAbility Services (AAS) in Higgins Annex room 017 to obtain an Accommodation Intake Form. Complete this form and submit your disability documentation to AAS. You can then schedule an Intake Meeting by calling AAS at 203-837-8225, 203-837-8284 (TTY) or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. The Accommodation Intake Form is also available on the web at wcsu.edu/accessability.
Q. If I am approved for accommodations, do I have to tell my professors what my disability is?
A. The Office of AccessAbility Services at your request will email an accommodation letter to your professors. The letters list the accommodations, i.e. extended time on exams, but they do not disclose your disability. Students may decide to disclose their disability to their faculty members individually. Please remember once you are approved for accommodations you must request your accommodation letters each semester.
Q. When should I register with AccessAbility Services?
A. You may register with the Office of AccessAbility Services at any time, ideally before the semester begins, or in the case of a new disability, as soon as you are diagnosed.
Q. I have private health insurance; why is there a charge on my bill?
A. All full-time domestic students must be covered by health insurance and are automatically enrolled and billed for health insurance. If you have insurance coverage through a private policy, you may waive the insurance charge on your bill by submitting an insurance waiver. Insurance waivers may be submitted online at http://www.wcsu.edu/cashiers/forms/insurance-waiver.asp. If you submit an insurance waiver, you may deduct the health insurance charge from your balance due.
Q. When will I receive a bill?
A. For the fall semester, bills are posted online on June 20th and payment is due July 15. For the spring semester, bills are posted online on November 20th and are due December 15. Bills are no longer mailed to your house.
Q. What are my payment options?
A. Online: With EZpay you can securely pay your bill online using your debit or credit card (MasterCard, Discover or American Express) or by electronic check using your checking or savings account. Credit card payments will be subject to a 2.5% convenience fee. Login to EZpay at http://www.wcsu.edu/ezpay/.
Mail: You can mail in a check or money order to the Cashier’s Office at 181 White Street, Danbury, CT 06810. Make checks payable to Western Connecticut State University and include your student ID number on the payment. Checks returned for insufficient funds or stop payment will result in a $20 fee and you will be subject to late payment penalties.
In person: Payments by cash, check or money order can be made at the Cashier’s Office, located in Old Main, Room 106. The Cashier’s Office is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Payments are not accepted over the phone.
No mailed, faxed or in-person credit card transactions will be accepted.
Q. What do I do if I have been injured or my property has been damaged while I was on Western property?
A. If you are filing a claim to get reimbursed for doctors expenses incurred, please first file a claim through your insurance company. All full- and part-time students should either be covered through their own or the Aetna Student Health Insurance. For damages to personal property, please check with your own homeowners insurance first. If you are considering filing additional claims, please know that Western Connecticut State University is an agency of the State of Connecticut, and as such claims by individuals against the university for alleged losses and damages are barred by the Doctrine of Sovereign Immunity. A person claiming injuries or damages as a result of state action must pursue a claim through the State of Connecticut’s Office of the Claims Commissioner. For further information, please visit that office’s website at occ.ct.gov/.
Clubs and Organizations
Q. A few of my friends and I would like to form a new student organization. What do we have to do?
A. Go to the Center for Student Involvement (CSI) in SC 227 and pick up a New Student Organization Creation Packet. Or, you can find this document online at wcsu.edu/studentlife. In there you will find the “Procedures for Establishing a Recognized Organization.” Once your organization has been approved by the SGA, the organization’s officers need to complete training with the Center for Student Involvement before being fully recognized. You will be assisted by the CSI Staff and SGA Parliamentarian (SGAParliamentarian@wcsu.edu) throughout the process.
Q. I am a commuter student. How do I get involved?
A. Here are a few things you should do and need to be aware of in order to stay connected:
- If you are new to Western, attend the commuter orientation session and actively take part in everything else. You are just as much a part of Western as the residential students.
- Attend Clubs Carnival. Every fall during Welcome Week the current clubs hold a carnival to recruit new members. Find out about them and sign up.
- Make sure you sign up for your Western email account and check it regularly. The Commuter Student Organization (CSO) will probably send an e-newsletter to that address (as will some of the faculty regarding your classes).
- Consider joining the Commuter Student Advisory Board. Contact CSI at email@example.com for more information.
- Check out what events are happening on campus by reading the WOW (What’s On at Western) email and make it a point to attend. Check the Events Calendar on the home page, go to Banner and check out the announcements in WestConnduit, or set pages such as the “Coffeehouse” (wcsu.edu/stuaffairs/coffeehouse.asp) website as your favorites.
- Find out what clubs are active on campus and let them know you are interested in joining. You can also check out the Recreation webpage for information on club sports or stop by the Center for Student Involvement (CSI) in SC 227 to ask questions or to start your own club.
- Look for fliers all around campus. Clubs are always using fliers to advertise their events, many of which are free and open to all students.
- Talk to other students. Go to the Colonial Corner and hang out, strike up conversations. Western is full of commuter students, so it shouldn’t be hard to find someone who feels just like you do.
- Ask questions. Can’t find anything you are looking for? Not sure what’s out there? Check with the info desk, the CSI, or call the Student Affairs office at 203-837-9700.
- Most of all — make sure being a student at Western is the best experience it can be. We are here to help you.
Q. What is the Student Consent Form and when/why should I fill one out?
A. As a general rule, staff at the university will not discuss your grades, attendance record, bill, or financial aid information, etc. with any third party unless we have your permission to do so (certain exceptions apply). While we prefer that students handle all of their affairs relating to their life at the university themselves, there may be certain instances when you may want university staff to be able to talk to your parents (i.e. if they pay your bills, you fall ill, or study abroad). If you want to give the university permission to talk to your parents/guardians or any other third party, you need to fill out the Student Consent Form which can be found online at wcsu.edu/registrar/Family-Educational-Rights-and-Privacy-Act.pdf or at the Registrars Office, Old Main 102.
Q. How can I make an appointment?
A. Just give us a call at 203-837-8690 or visit the Counseling Center in room 222 of the Student Center. Hours of operation are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Q. If an emergency situation comes up after hours, what should I do?
A. Please call 911 or the 24 hour emergency hotline at 888-447-3339.
Q. Is there a fee for your services?
A. No, services are free to all matriculated undergraduate and graduate students.
Q. Our student organization is going to hold an event on campus. How do we promote it?
A. The first stop for promoting your event should be the Center for Student Involvement (CSI) in SC 227. They can help you with the creation and distribution of flyers. For all promotions, a publicity request form must be completed at least two to three weeks in advance of the event. You may request that your announcement gets
- Placed in WestConnduit
- Announced on WXCI
- Advertised in The Echo
- Placed in the university events calendar
- Played on the campus shuttle/WCSU Campus Informational Channel
- Released to and by local media
Be aware that all SGA-funded student organizations must state on any publicity, both printed and oral: “Funded by the SGA.”
All general use bulletin boards on campus are available for student organization use (glass and walls are not appropriate posting locations). Be respectful of others’ flyers. You may remove those that have expired but do not cover up or remove those that are still current. Preferably use four thumb tacks to prevent your flyers from curling up.
For campus shuttle flyers, please submit an electronic flyer to the CSI or directly to Virginia Diaz at firstname.lastname@example.org in Student Affairs at least two weeks prior to the event. (DVDs are created on Thursday and placed on the shuttle the following Monday). Flyers should be in landscape format with large font explaining the what, when and where of the event.
Information regarding events that are open to the entire campus community and/or the public should be sent to the Office of University Relations to be posted on the events calendar. Please contact Sherri Hill at email@example.com if you need an event posted or for help promoting an event. Press releases to local media outlets also need to be authorized through the Office of University Relations. For student-only events, send the announcement to Birte Selvaraj at firstname.lastname@example.org in Student Affairs, and she will place an announcement in WestConnduit. Email announcements are discouraged.
Webpages are another great way not only to publicize your events but also to showcase your organization. All webpages must be in accordance with CSU and WCSU computer-use policy, and Information Technology & Innovation will require an agreement signed by the webmaster (student responsible for the webpage) and the advisor. Forms are available at the CSI.
Remember: for any advertising a publicity request form must be completed and can be found on the forms webpage at wcsu.edu/studentlife.
Q. How do we get our event advertised in the WOW (What’s On at Western email)?
A. Events in the WOW are generally events that all students and sometimes the entire community can attend. In order to have your event included, please complete the event submission form at wcsu.edu/stuaffairs/wow/event.asp.
Q. I’m going to need to apply for a student loan. What’s involved?
A. Complete the FAFSA online at fafsa.ed.gov. Western Connecticut State University’s code, 001380, is required. Once the FAFSA is received at the university, the Office of Financial Aid will notify you about your eligibility for student loans and other aid.
That’s just the first step. In order to maintain eligibility, keep these things in mind:
- You must remain a matriculated student.
- You must be registered for six credits or more per semester.
- You must familiarize yourself with all financial aid policies and ensure compliance, including but not limited to Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) and Repeat Course Policies. (wcsu.edu/financial).
Students must reapply for financial aid every year. We strongly encourage students to meet all priority dates, as awards are distributed based on available funding at the time of application completion.
For more financial aid information, visit our website at wcsu.edu/finaid or contact your financial aid counselor.
Food & Dining
Q. Where can I eat on campus?
A. The Midtown Student Center Restaurant offers an endless variety of options for dining. Einstein Bagels is available in the Haas Library, offering the range of their menu options. Meal plans will be accepted at this location.
The Westside Campus Center offers both resident and retail dining in the Westside Marketplace featuring Sandella’s, Grill 155, Ella’s Pizza and Pasta, a rotating wellness option, a soup and salad bar, and grab-n-go offerings. For evening food and drink needs, stop by The Daily Grind in the Westside Campus Center for coffee, tea, smoothies, snacks and so much more.
Q. What meal plans are available and who can get them?
A. Meal Plan options have been designed to accommodate all students, faculty, and staff. Resident students are assigned to a meal plan based on their residence hall assignment but can always upgrade to another plan. For commuters, faculty, and staff, meal plans and flex-only plans have been created with you in mind. For more information, go to wcsu.sodexomyway.com.
Q. What happens if I have a medical emergency and the Health Service office is closed?
A. Call 911 immediately for any medical emergency. The closest hospital to Western is Danbury Hospital on Hospital Avenue. It is approximately 0.5 miles from the Midtown campus. The main number is 203-739-7000. Health Service also refers seriously ill students to Danbury Hospital for evaluation, treatment and/or hospitalization.
Q. What happens if I am experiencing a mental health emergency?
A. You can call the Counseling Center at 203-837-8690, Monday- Friday during regular business hours. For after hours, the Western CT Mental Health Network has a 24-hr crisis hotline at 888-447-3339. In the event of a true psychiatric emergency, please call 911 immediately.
Q. Where can I go if I don’t have an emergency but I need to see a doctor and the Health Service office is closed?
A. There are several walk-in and urgent-care clinics in the area.
- Doctors Express
2 Main Street, Danbury, CT, 203-826-2140 and 100 Mill Plain Road, Danbury, CT, 203-826-2600
- Physician One Urgent Care
31 Old Route 7, Brookfield, CT 06804, 855-349-2828 and 900 Main Street, Monroe, CT, 203-262-1911
treats acute orthopedic injuries, no appointment necessary – 33 Hospital Avenue, Danbury, 203-731-2300
- Immediate Medical Care of Monroe
388 Main Street, Monroe, 203-459-0191
Please remember to bring your insurance and ID card to any medical appointment. This is not an endorsement of local businesses or practices.
Q. I have been out sick for so long that I don’t think I can successfully complete my classes. What do I do now?
A. Contact your academic advisor to let him or her know what’s going on and to find out about your options. You might get permission from your instruc- tor for an incomplete grade in an individual class that would allow you extra time to make up the work missed, or you may get permission from the instructor to withdraw from a course even if the withdrawal deadline has passed. If you cannot catch up in any of your classes, you may want to complete a ‘Leave of Absence’ form (LOA) to get all ‘W’ grades rather than failing grades. Filing the LOA form would allow you to return to Western after a break of one or two semesters. If you do not plan to return to Western, you complete a ‘Withdrawal’ form. All forms (accept for the “Incomplete” form) can be found online and should be submitted to the Registrar’s office. Health Service does not need to sign or authorize this process. Students who withdraw from some or all of their classes (even for medical reasons) need to be aware that this may influence their Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) which is important for financial aid, housing and athletics. Please familiarize yourself with the requirements and consider filling out a SAP waiver form found at wcsu.edu/currentstudents/ SAP_Waiver.pdf. If you participate in any intercollegiate sport, please contact the Athletics Department to see if this will affect your continuing eligibility.
Q. I have a sore throat and fever. What do I do?
A. Call Health Service at 203-837-8594 for an appointment. The medical staff will triage your symptoms and try to accommodate you with a same-day appointment. Health Service is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Housing & Residence Life
Q. What if I just don’t like my roommate — no matter how hard I’ve tried? We just have different personalities and values … but I don’t want it brought up in a group discussion or with an RA. What do I do?
A. Everybody has issues. It’s normal, but if you and your roommate have not been able to resolve — or even discuss — your differences, see your Resident Assistant (RA). Each RA is prepared to hear it all, to respect your opinion and your privacy and to make sure you know your options. Your RD can also be helpful.
Q. Am I guaranteed housing?
A. If you pay your housing deposit by the published due date and fully participate in the housing selection process, we will commit to you. New students to the university must pay their housing deposit, complete an application and provide proof of having had a meningitis vaccine within the past 5 years.
Q. What happens if I turn in my housing deposit late?
A. If you turn in your housing deposit late, you will have to reapply (fill out a new application) and will be assigned to housing as space becomes available. Housing is not guaranteed.
Q. Are the residence halls co-ed?
A. At WCSU, all of our residence halls are co-ed. Our Midtown halls are co-ed by floor or section and our Westside halls are co-ed by apartment. On the Midtown campus, this means that floors or sections alternate between male and female while on our Westside campus, this means the apartment/suite could alternate between male and female. Double rooms are occupied by two students of the same gender (sex). Co-ed floors have female-designated and male-designated bathrooms. (Upperclassmen may opt to live in gender neutral suites/apartments. There is a separate application process for this housing option).
Q. Will I be placed with a first-year student?
A. In general, first year students are assigned to the Midtown campus with other first-year students, and transfers are assigned to the Westside campus in a room with other transfers or with returning students.
Q. What comes with my room?
A. Provided in your room are a bed, mattress (33” x 80”), dresser, desk, chair, closet and window blinds.
Q. Do the rooms have cable TV?
A. Every residence hall room is equipped with one cable TV outlet and the ability to connect to Western’s wired and wireless residence hall networks. Because these services are included as part of the room charge, no extra charges are accessed. TVs, cable cords and Ethernet cords are not provided in the residence hall rooms.
Q. Can part-time students participate in the Aetna Student Health Plan?
A. Yes, part-time students may purchase insurance for themselves and their dependents, but they must be matriculated and enrolled in a degree program. Information may be obtained from the Cashier’s Office (Old Main – first floor) or at Aetna Student Health.
Q. If I get injured, am I covered under the Student Accident Plan?
A. Yes. All full-time students are covered under the Student Accident Plan. If you carry your own sickness plan, this insurance will pay accident costs that are not covered by your policy.
Q. Do I have to be enrolled in the insurance plan that the university offers to be seen at Health Service?
A. No. Full-time students may be seen at Health Service, regardless of the insurance plan they carry.
Q. Who may file a complaint or report alleged misconduct?
A. Any member of the university community may file a complaint against a student or student organization for alleged violation of the Student Code of Conduct. This could be any employee, faculty member, administrator, secretary, another student. A complaint should be made in writing and submitted to the Director of Judicial Affairs. The form is available online at wcsu.edu/stuaffairs/forms.asp.
Q. A staff member said I would not get in any trouble. Why is WCSU pursuing the incident?
A. Often students allege that staff members have assured them that they will not get in trouble. The fact is that only the Office of Judicial Affairs has the authority to determine whether or not a violation of the Student Code of Conduct exits and how this incident will be pursued.
Q. What happens if a student fails to attend a disciplinary meeting or hearing?
A. It is a violation of the Student Code of Conduct not to show for a disciplinary meeting or hearing. In addition to the alleged violation for the reason for the meeting, a student will also face additional charges for not showing.
Q. I’ve been told that I’ve had a hold placed on my account by Judicial Affairs: What does this mean? How do I get it removed?
A. The Office of Judicial Affairs places holds on a student’s account when that student has failed to complete a required judicial sanction by the mandated deadline. Both the sanction and its deadline are clearly listed in the meeting outcome/hearing outcome letter. This hold can only be removed with the completion of the sanction. Please contact the Office of Judicial Affairs if you have questions regarding the hold on your student account.
Q. I’ve received a sanction requiring me to complete Judicial Educators. How do I complete them?
A. To complete your required Judicial Educator, complete the follow steps:
- Use Internet Explorer (other Internet Browsers may not function correctly, causing you to have to start the whole process over again from the start).
- Log on to www.reslife.net.
- Click on the link below the four pictures that says “The Judicial Educator.”
- Enter the following username and password information into the login area:
a. Username: WCSU
b. Password: judicial
- Find the correct module(s), listed in your meeting/hearing outcome letter.
- Read the directions, then begin the training module.
- After you have successfully completed the module, an e-mail notification form will appear. Place the following e-mail address into the notification form, and the Office of Judicial Affairs will be notified that you have fulfilled your module obligation: email@example.com.
Q. My Judicial Outcome Letter says that I will be removed from the residence halls. Can I still attend class? What are my options?
A. Unless the meeting/hearing outcome letter states otherwise, a student who has been removed from the residence halls, regardless of the duration of that sanction, is not only allowed to attend classes, but strongly encouraged to do so. For short-term residence hall separations, it is recommended that the student commute, arrange temporary lodging with a close friend/family member, or take advantage of the local hotels in Danbury. For long-term residence hall separations, it is recommended that the student explore finding alternative lodging in the Greater Danbury area.
Q. I’ve been suspended/expelled from the university. What does this mean? What are my options?
A. Suspension – A student who has received suspension as a judicial sanction has been temporarily separated from all universities within the Connecticut State University System. The hearing outcome notice will always prescribe the date and conditions upon which the student may petition for readmission to the CSU system. A suspended student is restricted from taking online and normal university classes, and must contact either the Director of Judicial Affairs or the Dean of Students to receive permission for coming on campus for any reason whatsoever.
Expulsion – A student who has received expulsion as a judicial sanction has been permanently separated from all universities within the Connecticut State University System. An expelled student is restricted from taking online and normal university classes, and must contact either the Director of Judicial Affairs or the Dean of Students to receive permission for coming on campus for any reason whatsoever.
Q. I’ve committed a violation and am concerned about my Judicial Record. How long does it exist? Can anyone view my record? Can my judicial records be shared?
A. Your Judicial Record will exist for five years after the date of your last incident (except for expulsion, which is permanent). Only you, those you’ve given permission to (FERPA Form), and university staff with an “educational interest” may view your judicial record. Judicial Records cannot be shared with outside agencies without your permission.
Q. I have heard that companies and organizations are looking to hire employees with experience in leadership. What opportunities are there at Western to gain leadership experience?
A. There are several ways in which students can gain experience in leadership. First, a student can join one of the many student organizations on campus and run for one of the executive board positions, president, vice president, secretary or treasurer. Some organizations, like the Student Government Association, have even more positions, such as senators, parliamentarian, and others. Find out more by contacting the Center for Student Involvement at wcsu.edu/studentlife. Another way is to apply to and be accepted into the Hancock Student Leadership Program (HSLP) or sign up and complete all segments of the Leadership, Compassion, and Creativity Certificate (LCCC). For more information on the HSLP contact Dr. R. Averell Manes, Program Coordinator or visit their website, www.wcsu.edu/hslp, visit the LCCC website at wcsu.edu/leadership.
Q. What is the difference between the HSLP and the LCCC?
A. Students have to apply for the HSLP, are interviewed, and have to be accepted. Once accepted, students receive a cash award of up to $1,500, participate in a three-credit semester-long leadership-shadowing field experience tailored to their academic major and career aspirations and, as participants in seminars framed by works about the challenges of being a leader, develop their personal leadership styles. Also, students gain valuable contacts off-campus and important experience for their resumes. Most students apply for the HSLP program in the spring of their sophomore or junior year.
The LCCC program is an opportunity for students to earn a certificate in leadership, creativity and compassion by exploring these values across all Student Affairs disciplines and with people of all communities. The program is self-paced and therefore flexible in the amount of time required. It is recommended that students apply as freshmen or sophomores, but with prior experience credited toward some LCCC programs (if applicable), students can apply in their junior or senior year.
Missing Classes Due to Illness or Accident
Q. What do I do when I know I will be out sick for more than a couple of days due to an illness or because I have been in an accident?
A. Send an email to your professors explaining your situation and find out what you need to do to stay on track with your course work. If you cannot contact your professors yourself, call the Office of Student Affairs at 203-837-9700 to explain your situation. A confidential email will be sent to your professors on your behalf, informing them of the amount of time you will be absent. If you are out for more than five days, it is your responsibility to submit a doctor’s note to Health Service, which will follow up the initial, unofficial email with an official notification. Be aware that not all professors excuse absences even if they were due to an illness or accident. If you are going to miss too many classes, it might be hard for you to catch up with your work. In that case, you should find out whether it is possible to get an incomplete grade for the course or if you can withdraw from one or more courses and continue with others. You could also consider taking a medical leave of absence for the semester which needs to be completed before the start of finals. Leave of Absence forms are available online and should be submitted to the Registrar’s Office.
Q. When and how do I get a parking permit?
A. As of July 1, 2016 students are no longer required to register a vehicle and receive a parking permit. Students may park anywhere in the designated student parking areas.
Q. What do I do if I or someone I know has been sexually assaulted?
Q. Where can I buy stamps?
A. The information desks located in the Midtown Student Center and Westside Campus Center sell US stamps. For international stamps you could go to the US Postal Service Office on 265 Main Street, Backus Avenue (near the mall) or the Route 6 Mail Room at 60 Newtown Road.
Substance Abuse and Prevention Program (CHOICES)
Q. What can I do if I am concerned about myself or someone else’s drinking behavior?
A. The CHOICES office can provide support, education and counseling services for individuals who are worried about their own or others’ drinking or drugging behavior. Counselors are available for evaluation, consultation and on-going sessions.
Q. Will this information remain private?
A. All sessions at the CHOICES office are private and confidential. The only exception to this rule is: if a student is seen for policy violations and sessions are mandated. In this situation there may be some communication with the judicial department to confirm student obligations have been met. Only pertinent and necessary information will be shared and discussed with students first.
Q. How do I make an appointment with a counselor?
A. You can call the office at 203-837-8899 or stop by Student Center 211.
Q. I need a ride! What are my options?
A. To get between campuses, use the Campus Shuttle. The shuttle is free of charge for the use of Western students traveling between the Midtown and Westside campuses. There are stops on both campuses, on Lake Avenue near Stop and Shop and the Danbury Fair Mall (weekends only). Please note there is no shuttle service in the summer, during intersession, over Presidents Weekend, and during Spring Break. For more information go to wcsu.edu/shuttle.
The City of Danbury also offers the HART bus service. Of course, there’s always the option of a taxicab although that can get expensive. Below are some numbers to keep on hand.
|HART/Housatonic Area Regional Transit||203-748-2034|
|Maffei’s Taxi Service||203-792-0029|
|Connecticut Limousine (to airports)||800-472-5466|
Q. How do I know which HART bus to take?
A. HART bus schedules are available on the HART webpage at hartransit.com.
Q. Can I get to the mall or AMC Loews Movie Theatre using the HART bus?
A. Yes. Check out the Hart webpage at hartransit.com or call 203-748-2034 for details.
Q. What’s the best way to get to New York City (short of driving)?
A. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) railroad line has a train departing from Danbury train station to Grand Central, but the ride is fairly long. MTA’s Brewster and Southeast stations (just over the border in New York, exits 20 and 19 off Interstate 84 West) are better options if you can get a ride to either station. For information for the MTA, call 212-532-4900, or visit http://mta.info. There is also bus and limousine service to the city. See below for more details on other long-distance travel:
Also, check out the “How to get to” webpage at wcsu.edu/orientation/helpfulhints.asp.