FAQs/Latest Updates

This page will provide

1) Late-breaking conference updates and travel advice
2) Answers to Frequently Asked Questions (“FAQs” in the American vernacular)

FAQ Topic List

  • Accessibility
  • Electrical Current and Your Devices
  • Printing
  • Safety (Amherst and UMass)
  • Safety: Emergency Telephone Numbers
  • Transportation to, from, and in town

  • Twitter
  • Visas, Customs, and Immigration
  • WiFi

Latest Updates

Weather Forecast



I have mobility issues:
Are conference venues accessible?

We have done our best to group panel presentations on most days in two modern buildings, about 400 feet/122 m apart. Distances to keynote and reception venues are somewhat longer (0.3 to 0.4 miles/482-644 meters).

The main conference venues are fully accessible.
Campus accessibility maps: pdfonline interactive.

We will provide transportation from the UMass campus to Amherst College for the opening ceremonies and keynote. The second floor of Johnson Chapel where they will take place, is accessible by elevator.

The distance between Johnson Chapel and the Emily Dickinson Museum, where the opening reception will take place, is approximately 0.6 mile/1 km.

Because we assume that many participants will wish to dine in town, SHARPists will make their own way back to their accommodations, whether on foot or in vehicles.

(see also: Transportation, below)

Will my electronic devices work here? What do I need?

Normal American consumer electrical outlets are 120 volts, whereas European are 220-240 volts. Fortunately, most devices of the sort you would need—laptops, smartphones, tablets, shavers, battery chargers etc.—are nowadays dual current. That is, the charger knows how to read the voltage and adjust automatically. Check your chargers: if they say something like “AC 100V-240V,” you should be fine. The voltage is the key.

However, even if you do not need a voltage adapter, you will need an adapter plug to fit US electrical sockets. Most US plugs and sockets are “Type A” (2 flat pins) or “Type B” (2 flat pins and 1 round). Most modern buildings will have “Type B” sockets, which fit both “Type A” and “Type B” plugs.
World electrical plug and socket types.

Are there facilities for printing my paper or other documents?

There are

printers in the Library for photocopying or printing from laptops (details, including payment and downloading printer software). 

• two commercial establishments in town within walking distance:
– Amherst Copy & Designworks , 37 East Pleasant St. (0.9 mile/1.45 km from main conference venues)
Collective Copies, 71 South Pleasant St. (about 1.4 miles/2.25 km from main conference venues)

Is Amherst/the University Safe?

Yes. Amherst is generally very safe: safer than about 60 percent of the other communities in Massachusetts, whose crime rate is in turn lower than the national average. Crime rates in both Amherst and Massachusetts as a whole continue to decline.

The pedestrian route between the University and downtown is safe, with lighted sidewalks at night.

– Federal Bureau of Investigation Crime in Massachusetts cities, 2016
– University of Massachusetts Annual Security Report for 2017

Safety: Emergency Telephone Numbers

Emergency 911
UMass Police (UMPD) Non-Emergency Dispatch (413) 545-2121
Student Security/Walking Escort Service *7pm-3am (413) 545-2123
University Health Services (413) 577-5000
*After-Hours Emergencies (413) 577-5000
Town of Amherst Police Department (413) 259-3000

Will I need a car to get around?

As noted above (Accessibility), we will provide buses to take people from UMass to the opening event at Amherst College Monday night, though SHARPists will make their own way back to their lodgings.

The Amherst downtown area is small and compact. For details on getting to and from Amherst Center (about 1.1 to 1.8 km) see our “Getting Around Here” page (under the “Travel” tab in the drop-down menu bar at the top of the web page).


The conference hashtag is #SHARP19

Useful handles and hashtags:

SHARP 2019 conference: @SHARP_2019

UMass: @UMassAmherst
Amherst College: @AmherstCollege

@TownofAmherst is the Town’s official government account
– We use #AmherstMA for general references to the town
– We use #westernma for western Massachusetts

Visas, Customs and Immigration

Massport Information on International Arrival and Departure


1) The University of Massachusetts has WiFi throughout the campus academic buildings and residence halls, and in the hotel.

Use the following instructions to log on as a guest.

  • In the WiFi settings on your phone/computer/tablet select the UMASS network
  • Open up a web browser (IT suggests using Safari or Firefox)
  • Manually type in the address bar: http://www.umass.edu
  • Either a page telling you that this site is not secure will present itself OR the UMass wireless login page will appear
  • If it is a page telling you the website is not secure, click “More Details” or “Advanced” at the bottom and click on the link to visit the page anyway 
  • You should then be on the UMass wireless network login page
  • Enter the credentials
    Guest Username:  07095138
    Guest Password:   51073322
  • IT recommends that you save the guest ID and password in your browser to shorten the process for future logins
  • The UMass home page should load and from this point you can type in any search query/website name you wish to visit
  • further guidance

2) You may also use the secure global academic WiFi network Eduroam.
Note: you first need to register by logging on with your device at your home institution.

3) The Town of Amherst also has a free public WiFi network in the downtown. Coverage map.

Additional topics:

– food at conference (both lunch: why do I have to buy? + options for catered meals