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Frequently Asked Questions

Who can I contact if I have questions?

Dr. Henry Parkinson
Associate Dean, Student Development & Housing
(978) 665-3160
hparkinson@fitchburgstate.edu

Shane Franzen
Associate Director, Student Development
(978) 665-3164
sfranzen@fitchburgstate.edu

Christina McCormack
Office of Student Development
(978) 665-3163
cmccormack@fitchburgstate.edu

Is Orientation mandatory?

Yes. Orientation is an integral part of your success as a student at Fitchburg State University whether you are a resident or a commuter. We ask that you make arrangements so that you can attend both summer fall orientation dates. You will be learning important information about the university and meeting other new students.

What if I plan to commute from home during the school year?

Even if you plan to commute, orientation is vital to your success at Fitchburg State University. There will be entertainment as well as informal sessions with your orientation leaders throughout the day and evening that you won't want to miss!

While commuter students will stay overnight during summer orientation, you will not be staying overnight during fall orientation.

Where do I park when I arrive on campus?

For Fall Orientation/Movie-In, resident students will go directly to the Wallace Civic Center on John Fitch Highway for check-in. The orientation leaders will direct you where you should park your car after check-in. Commuter students will park in the parking garage at the intersection of North St and Main St (MART Parking Garage) there will be a shuttle to transport you to the Hammond Campus Center for check in.

What if I am shy?

The orientation staff is here to help anyone and everyone. If you're a very outgoing person or very shy, we're here to assist in making the students comfortable with their new surroundings. Just ask us and we will be glad to make the appropriate accommodations!

Are overnight guests allowed during orientation?

No, only Fitchburg State students are allowed in the campus residence halls during orientation. All unauthorized guests will be asked to leave. The overnight guest policies will be in effect after orientation concludes.

How much money should I set aside for books?

According to the university bookstore, the average cost of books for one class can be upwards of $75-$100. Some classes have higher costs than others. Depending on the course load and major, books for a semester can average from $300 to $600. Students receive their schedules at summer orientation and advising sessions, and can view textbook information online at the University Bookstore Website.

Do I need my OneCard on the first day?

Yes, your OneCard is your key to everything on campus and you will receive it during the orientation process. You'll need it for the residence halls, the library, the dining hall and just about everything else on campus.

Who will help me with my computer?

If you are having difficulties with setting up your computer, you can call IT Help Desk at ext. 4500 from any on campus phone or off campus at (978) 665-4500.

Is it safe on campus?

It is indeed safe on campus. We operate our own police force with state trained officers to serve and protect the students and members of the university community. If a student or member of the university community has the desire to go off-campus, we suggest using a form of the buddy system to reinforce strength in numbers and promote safety. There is also a nightly Student Security Escort Service so students do not have to walk alone on or around campus. Call boxes directly connected to the Campus Police are located all throughout campus. Security cameras are in the process of being installed as well. For more information, you can visit the Campus Police site by clicking here.

What about health emergencies?

In case of emergency, there is a trained first response Student Rescue Squad on call 24 hours a day during the school year. If there is an emergency, the rescue squad is dispatched by Campus Police. You can reach them by calling ext. 3111 or (978) 665-3111. If it's not an emergency, students can go to the Health Services clinic on campus in the Anthony Building. For more information on Health Services, click here.

Fitchburg State also distributes emergency messages through the Fitchburg State Alert system through the phone and email. Fitchburg State Alert,

  • Campus and regional emergencies
  • Snow closures/delays
  • Campus opening and closing activities

When will I find out about my roommate(s)?

The information for students living on campus is scheduled to arrive at students' homes early in late July/early August.

Please refer to the Housing & Residential Services page for more information: Office of Housing & Residential Services

Do I really need a car?

No, having a car on campus is not necessary. Fitchburg State works with MART (the regional bus system) to provide free transportation throughout Fitchburg and the surrounding towns with your OneCard. Additionally there is a van service that makes trips on Monday through Thursday to destinations within the area of the university. The van stops at just about any place that a university student would need to go. Destinations consist of but are not limited to: movie theaters, The Mall at Whitney Field, local grocery stores, local banks, Walmart, Target, and more. The van service also picks up and drops off students at the Fitchburg train station on weekends. The MBTA commuter rail station is right at the end of North Street, less than a half mile from campus.

What is there to do after orientation?

Once the orientation program has ended there will be many events for students to attend on campus, as well as bus trips to events off campus. Students see an update of what's going on by checking out Student Development's website.