January 26, 2021
Dear Pitzer Community,
A warm welcome to the Spring 2021 semester at Pitzer College. I hope that you are well-rested and energized to take advantage of the many educational and co-curricular opportunities that will be offered this spring. In addition to our continuing students from the fall, please help me welcome our new students to the Pitzer community.
I want to update you on the current status of higher education residential, congregate living in Los Angeles County. On Friday, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LACDPH) held a briefing for institutes of higher education in the region. They announced that, due to the significant number of coronavirus cases and the strain on the healthcare system in the county, they do not anticipate permitting students to live on college campuses in the next few months. The possibility of allowing some schools to bring a limited number of students to campus later in the spring that I referenced in my message of December 10 is on hold at this time.
LACDPH has placed college and university residential programs on hold – seemingly for the entire spring semester. Given this, and our continuing concern for the health and safety of students, staff and faculty, Pitzer will remain virtual for the entire Spring 2021 semester. This is a difficult decision but we need to move beyond the uncertainty of the end stages of this pandemic and turn our attention to the fall.
We are eagerly looking forward to the Fall 2021 semester, for which we are planning to have everyone back on campus – a campus that will be fully functioning. Pitzer’s COVID-19 Task Force met last week and will convene regularly in the coming months. And, as I stated previously, we are working closely with Student Health Services and have contracted for additional on-site medical advice and support. We are all disappointed that the pandemic conditions continue to keep us physically separated, but I remain impressed and inspired by the dedication of our entire community to making the virtual environment the absolute best it can be.
We understand that an entire online semester can be challenging, so the College has offered students the option of taking three courses this spring and one in the summer to help provide some relief. And, students are encouraged to read the Dean of Students Newsletter, which includes information about support services and resources.
I know we all look forward to some sense of normalcy in the not-too-distant future as new therapies are implemented and vaccinations become more widespread, including here at the Claremont Colleges. Until then, I urge you to take care of yourself and be mindful of one another.
Be on the lookout for the many programs and opportunities available this semester, including:
I appreciate everyone’s patience and persistence as we work toward being together on our beautiful campus as soon as safely possible.
Best wishes to all for a successful spring semester.
Melvin L. Oliver President