I-Place Update for Students

May 21, 2021

Good Morning Pitzer Students,

Congratulations on wrapping up the spring semester. We hope your summer plans are restorative, and we all look forward to welcoming you back to campus in August. We are writing today to provide an update on the information shared in September 2020, when it was announced that this current academic year would be the last year of operations for the jointly funded I-Place program.

Each College will continue to offer its own international student program and collaborate with the international student programs at the other Colleges. The Student Deans Council (SDC) has been working for the past 18 months to prepare for this shift from a shared services model of providing community programs to campus-based models to support our international student populations.

International students are incredibly important and valued members of our Claremont Colleges community. This new model will increase the support and available resources on each individual campus, while retaining a structure and funding for the continuation of collaboratively developed 5C and 7C community programs.

To carry on the coordination and traditions of cross-campus programs and events, SDC recently formed the 7C International Student Community Program Council (ISCPC), a group of professional representatives from each of the 7 Claremont Colleges. This group is charged with responsibility for meeting regularly to plan and implement 5C and 7C programs, events, and opportunities for international students across the campuses to meet each other and develop a sense of a connected international community. While each of the 7 Colleges will manage its own new international student orientation program, the ISCPC will develop events to bring together our new international students across the campuses during the first few weeks of each academic year. ISCPC will also host events on the multiple campuses, create ongoing program traditions, and continue some of the most successful events from the past. The ISCPC will develop an annual calendar of events and programs to provide students, faculty and staff opportunities to meet, gather, and learn about different cultures. They will seek input and assistance from international students to inform these opportunities. The ISCPC has already begun to meet to prepare for the fall ’21 semester. This approach is modeled after the successful operations of the 5C Student Activities Professionals, and the 7C Residential Deans – two standing committees that have been in existence for many years to coordinate plans across the Colleges.

At Pitzer, we are taking steps to strengthen support and increase resources for international students through:

Developing international student centered programming, including a Pitzer international student orientation. Additional programming will be developed in collaboration with broader ISCPC initiatives as well as Pitzer-specific events.

  • The Office of Student Affairs has increased staffing to help with this – Cortlyn Raymond was recently hired as the Coordinator of Student Engagement. This position will assist student organizations with programming and participate in the ISCPC on 7-C collaborative programming. Todd Sasaki, Director of International Programs and Alayna Sessions-Goins, Director of Campus Life have already begun working together on orientation and additional events.
  • Work has begun on identifying a space for international students on campus. With the coming absence of the I-Place physical space, this will be a welcome support and resource for our new and returning international students.
  • We look forward to continuing to work with the Pitzer International Student Association (PISA) on their projects and to partner with them in addressing international student initiatives and concerns.
  • We welcome and encourage student support and participation in working on these and other ideas. Please feel free to reach out to Todd (todd_sasaki@pitzer.edu) and Alayna (alayna_session-goins@pitzer.edu) if you are interested.

Although it is sad to see the end of International Place, we are excited about the opportunities available to offer direct support to our international community at Pitzer.

Sincerely,
Mike Segawa & Sandra Vasquez