Mid-Semester Updates - 10.06.20

Dear Pitzer Community,

I write to update you on several matters as we are at the mid-point of a most unusual semester at Pitzer.

It has been heartening to hear so many positive comments from members of our community regarding the virtual teaching and learning environment at Pitzer this fall. This is a testament to the thought put in by our innovative faculty as they planned their courses this summer, the care with which they are delivering them now, and the adaptability and perseverance of our students.

Nevertheless, we know that virtual teaching and learning presents many challenges, and that we are all being affected by stress from the pandemic and world events. We will gather information about faculty and student experiences this semester using multiple formats and at different levels. This information will be carefully reviewed and used to help improve our online academic environment in the future, if needed.

I know that many of you are interested in the current thinking and planning for spring 2021. Pitzer’s COVID-19 Task Force, which has active representation of faculty, staff, and students, has been meeting regularly and will continue to meet throughout the semester. Currently the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LACDPH) is not allowing higher education institutions to house students on-campus, unless it is specifically for housing insecurity reasons. LACDPH is indicating the soonest this will be reassessed is toward the end of November. 

Obviously, we need to be authorized by LACDPH in order to bring students back to campus. Recently our Task Force identified and discussed principles for re-opening in-person, which will be a basis for discussion with our Board of Trustees at their meeting later this week, to identify a path to decision. In the meantime, we are preparing to meet the existing public health protocols and safety requirements, and anticipating possible future requirements for on-campus living and in-person instruction. Returning to a residential academic experience safely is my priority. We expect to make a determination about the spring semester in early December at the soonest due to our dependence on LACDPH.

Many in our community have asked about my response to last month’s letter from Pitzer’s Black Student Union (BSU) – which included a thoughtful list of recommendations that the College can enact to “support and foster a successful and well-rounded college experience for our Black Students.” I am proud of BSU for the care and attention they put into this document, and I agree with them that Pitzer College’s record on Black student support has not been what it should be. Soon after receiving the letter I informed BSU of this and my belief that now is the time to dedicate ourselves to making significant progress in these areas.

With that in mind, last month I met with BSU leaders to learn more about the concerns and issues they raised, and subsequent to that the vice presidents for admission/financial aid, student affairs, and academic affairs had separate meetings with BSU members. While there are some issues that we can address immediately, there are several that will require institutional reflection and commitment through our shared governance structure. BSU is aware of this and our interest in working with them and the wider campus community to act on those recommendations that are feasible and financially sustainable at this time.

I will continue to update our community on progress on this important front. In the meantime, BSU representatives will meet with Pitzer’s Board later this week so our trustees can better understand and support the needs of our Black students at the highest level.

I am pleased to note that our ongoing virtual programming around important and timely issues, such as racial justice and the upcoming election, has been meet with very positive responses and high rates of participation. More than 265 individuals watched the inaugural Racial Justice Initiative (RJI) event live last month, and many more have viewed it since.

The next RJI event will be held on October 15. Associate Dean of Faculty Adrian Pantoja will lead a panel discussion on the election featuring other national political experts. The panel will be followed by group discussions facilitated by members of the RJI organizing committee.

Finally, I want to recognize the good work of our Community Engagement Center (CEC) and Office of College Advancement. CEC has developed the People’s Pitzer: Civic Engagement 2020, which offers programming around public policy and social justice issues in our communities. Advancement has introduced Pitzer@Home, a series of virtual lectures, workshops, tutorials and more, which consistently produces interesting and engaging programs featuring members of the Pitzer community.

I look forward to providing additional information and updates in the coming weeks. Until then, best wishes for continued good health.

Provida Futuri,

Melvin L. Oliver

Welcome Message from President Melvin L. Oliver - 08.24.20

August 24, 2020

Dear Pitzer Students:

Greetings and welcome to Pitzer College Fall 2020. 

Over the summer, our faculty worked with great passion and creativity to develop an enriching set of online courses that will challenge and engage you. I am excited and optimistic about how much we can collectively accomplish through our faculty’s dedication to presenting a curriculum that takes advantage of technology in the most effective and meaningful ways.

This year promises new discoveries, intellectual enrichment and personal growth for you. Let’s embrace this extraordinary moment. With a spirit of generosity and shared commitment, I know we will come together and expand our knowledge and wisdom, while growing and strengthening our community in new ways.

I urge you to take advantage of the robust opportunities and programs that are taking place in the next few weeks and throughout the fall semester. For our new students, please plan to attend Convocation on Thursday, August 27 at 3:00 p.m. Convocation serves to welcome you to Pitzer College’s academic and intellectual community. 

The following week, on September 2, please attend the Student Resource Fair where you will have the chance to learn about the many different offices and programs at Pitzer and The Claremont Colleges.

Provida Futuri – mindful of the future – is the motto for Pitzer College. It is now more urgent than ever. Please be mindful of each other, and the broader community, wherever you may be living and studying this semester. Please adhere to the safety and well-being guidelines developed by the Office of Student Affairs at Pitzer.

As well, please familiarize and avail yourself of the Student Success Support and Resources that are here to assist you both personally and academically during your time at Pitzer College.

Your opportunities for intellectual, social and ethical growth are boundless. I look forward to meeting and getting to know you as we embark on a transformative and fulfilling year at the College.

Provida Futuri,

Melvin L. Oliver

Mindful of Each Other: Safety and Well-Being Guidelines - 08.20.20

August 20, 2020

Dear Students,

As we prepare for the start of our online Fall 2020 semester, we appreciate your continued practice of “Mindful of Each Other” by following the important safety and well-being guidelines noted below:

Restricted Student Access to The Claremont Colleges & Pitzer Colleges

Due to COVID-19 related health and safety concerns, and until further notice from the College, the Pitzer College campus and all of the Claremont Colleges will be physically closed during this time to the community, including to all students. The sign above is posted at main entrances to campus. For the safety and well-being of everyone in our community, students who are living in the local Claremont area will not have access to campus and should not plan to utilize any campus resources or outdoor areas at Pitzer during this time.

The following are the only student exceptions where access will be granted:

Students can only visit the Claremont Colleges to:

Students can only visit Pitzer’s campus to:

  • Pick up items left in residential storage in March 2020 by emailing housing@pitzer.edu to receive specific instructions and written approval to come to campus to retrieve these items.

This fall semester, the Pitzer community will continue to fulfill our mission to “produce engaged, socially responsible citizens of the world” while protecting the health and safety of our students, staff and faculty. While the COVID-19 public health crisis has impacted our ability to be physically together on-campus this fall, it will not impact our ability to still build a strong Pitzer family.  We ask all students to consider how you can remotely contribute to the greater good in the multiple communities we are a part of, and continue to invest in our community values, traditions, and connections in new ways.

Students living in the local Claremont community will be critical partners in upholding our commitment to social responsibility, our Student Code of Conduct, and the greater wellbeing of our Pitzer and local communities. This includes, but is not limited to, being “Mindful of Each Other” in preventing surges of COVID-19 by doing our part to not host large gatherings (which are strictly prohibited) and limit guests and contacts within households, while complying with any directives from health officials for any student who becomes impacted by COVID-19.

Together, at home across the world, we are mindful of our communities, therefore we commit to:  

Follow CDC guidance in response to COVID-19

Face Coverings

  • Wear face coverings in accordance with CDC recommendations
  • Los Angeles County’s face-covering order requires “All persons* wear a cloth face covering over both the nose and mouth whenever they leave their place of residence and are, or can be, in contact with or walking near or past others who are non-household members in both public and private places, whether indoors or outdoors.” Guidance about exceptions can be found on the website.
  • Claremont City Council’s emergency face-covering ordinance was implemented to help slow the spread of the virus granting the ability to enforce fines ($100 first fine, $200 second in one year, and $500 for a third) for those not in compliance.
  • Students experiencing insecurity needs related to face coverings may submit a request through the student emergency fund.

Physical Distancing

  • Practice physical distancing (staying at least 6 feet apart) 
  • Do not share objects with others, when possible, to limit transmission.

Education, Updates and Proactive Guidance

  • Review important health announcements and engage in ongoing education on the issue of prevention and response to COVID-19.
  • Follow health and safety laws, orders, ordinances, regulations and health and safety guidance as it relates to public health crises, including COVID-19 

Safety Upgrades

  • In compliance with LA County, California and CDC reopening protocols, Pitzer’s Facilities staff, the COVID-19 Task Force, several intercollegiate committees, and other groups have been working diligently to develop, implement and provide necessary and required safety protocols, including: cleaning and disinfecting protocols, training of staff, purchasing of supplies and personal protective equipment, and modifications to our physical facilities.

Be “Mindful of Each Other”

  • Take care of each other, build and maintain connections, and reach out to support resources.
  • Practice “calling each other in” around these important health and safety measures, empathy, compassion and an ethos of “I am because we are”, whereby we honor the “principle of ubuntu: a concept in which being itself is a relational category of recognition, rights, and responsibilities” (Ogude, Paulson, & Srainchan, 2019)
  • Support Pitzer, and local, community members who are impacted by COVID-19 and connect them with appropriate resources.
  • Combat bias, discrimination, xenophobia and stigma related to COVID-19 by resisting any attempts to discriminate against others based on COVID-19 status or association and commit to learning from others’ experiences as part of our ever-changing global community. 

Be Mindful of Your Own Self Care

Illustrations by Natalie Ayala ’21

This can be a challenging time for many given the added stressors of the current situation. We remind you to be vigilant in your own self -awareness. If you begin to feel overwhelmed, anxious, depressed or other similar symptoms please know that you are not alone and we encourage you to reach out to any of the resources below designed to support you at any time you are struggling.

24/7 On-Call and Student Support Resources:

  • To reach our 24/7 On-Call team, please contact Campus Safety at 909-607-8000
  •  Crisis Mental Health Support can be reached by contacting Campus Safety at 909-607-8000 who will connect you with the on-call therapist.
  • To access 24/7 telehealth for students seeking mental health counseling or medical care. Pitzer students should visit the 24/7 7C TeleHealth for Students website or visit the Apple or Android stores to download the free TimelyMD app. You will need to create a profile and, at checkout, enter the customized coupon code (Pitzer 2020).
  • Your online Fall 2020 success and transition is important to us. Please visit our Fall 2020 Student Success Support Services and Resources website for more information.
  • For daily self-care inspiration, support and community subscribe to PZStrive2Thrive
  • Reach out and connect with Assistant Dean and Case Manager Stephanie Hannant at stephanie_hannant@pitzer.edu
  • Check in with a student affairs dean via virtual office hours on Google hangouts where you can connect by a call, video, or text/chat (weekly schedule and how to connect is available here)

Student Emergency & Missing Persons Contact Information

As you log onto your Pitzer student portal, you will be receiving a reminder notification to submit and/or update your current emergency and missing persons contact information. You, your safety, and well-being, matter, especially in the event of an unforeseen natural disaster or emergency. While federal compliance mandates that all students living on campus (including those at CCA) complete this information, all students living off-campus are also required to complete the information in light of health and safety measures related to COVID-19.  Below you will find step-by-step instructions on how to submit and/or update your information by logging into the Pitzer student portal:

  1. Go to the Student tab
  2. At the far left, click on Pitzer Student Info
  3. You will find Missing Persons/Emergency Contacts Information at the bottom
  4. You can click on the plus sign button to add a new contact
  5. There are two types of records: Missing Persons and Emergency; selecting Both will use one record for both types
  6. To delete a record, click on the trash can to delete it.
  7. To edit a record, click on the pencil to edit it.

Pitzer College 2020-2021 Student Handbook

The 2020-2021 Student Handbook includes easy access links to campus resources, departments, and student academic and non-academic responsibilities found within the Code of Student Conduct and campus policies.

We at Pitzer take pride in the residential liberal arts experience created by students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends of the College. It is an experience always centered on our Core Values and the health and safety of all members of our community. Even during this unprecedented time of physical separation, we are still a community of learners and together we will find innovative, effective and thoughtful ways of equipping you, our students, to live healthy and thriving lives; and be the citizens and leaders our global society needs more than ever. Mindful of Each Other, we remain committed to supporting student success and engaging students remotely, for now, and in-person in the not-too-distant future. 

This past week in preparation for engaging with you, our Community Assistants participated in training that included creating a virtual and living solidarity tree. At Pitzer the roots within our community are deep, ground us to our Core Values, our community action rises above hate, and together, we are Pitzer strong! 

Mindful of Each Other,

Mike Segawa 
Vice President for Student Affairs 

Sandra Vasquez
Assistant Vice President & Dean of Students         

An important message from Mike Segawa, Vice President for Student Affairs - 07.24.20

July 24, 2020

Dear Pitzer Students,

We tried, we really did. For the past four months, literally dozens upon dozens of staff, faculty, and students worked relentlessly to prepare for a physical return to our beautiful Pitzer campus this fall. For many of us, almost every waking hour since March was devoted to finding a safe and educationally meaningful way to re-open our classrooms, laboratories, studios, residence halls, offices, dining hall, recreational facilities, and grounds. Recently though, it became abundantly clear that in spite of the challenges and financial pain, the wisest and most responsible action was to shift our focus and devote all of our energy into creating the most robust and engaging on-line learning communities possible.

Like you, we are disappointed to not be returning to campus this fall. However, while we may be separated by miles, we all remain devoted to and part of the Pitzer community, one that is known for being innovative, flexible, and resilient. This is a remarkable opportunity for us to tap into our collective creativity and develop new and interesting ways to teach, to learn and to stay connected. This fall, Pitzer classes and co-curricular activities will cut to the heart of the issues and challenges we are facing nationally and globally – from the pandemic to the racial and social injustices that are occurring. We are witnessing an important societal awakening and experiencing cultural changes as a result of political and social action.

In the midst of all of this, Pitzer will be providing opportunities for learning and engagement like you’ve never experienced before. We are establishing new approaches to teaching, learning and student engagement that will be a model for other liberal arts colleges while honoring the core values upon which Pitzer was founded and will continue to operate. There is no doubt that we will emerge from the twin viruses of COVID-19 and systemic racism a stronger, healthier, smarter and more active learning community.

Our team in Student Affairs has developed co-curricular programs that are designed to interest all students. These programs will focus on wellness, social connections, academic support, civic engagement, mentorship, career pathways, traditions, leadership and fun! You can still participate in the student resource fair, virtual fitness classes, time management workshops and many other programs that will help us stay connected to each other. Our academic and co-curricular life will be engaging in a new way, complete with original and re-envisioned programs and a multitude of ways to get involved.

It is our hope and invitation that many of you will choose to embark on this most challenging, and in so many ways creative, journey with us, trusting that together we will find a truly Pitzer way of prevailing and thriving in spite of the current circumstances.

Our collective ability to achieve this rich Pitzer experience depends on your willingness to be a part of our virtual community this fall. We hope you join us, as we are Pitzer Now more than ever.

Please remember to review the fall 2020 student success support services and resources website for regular important updates, including academic support resources, financial aid, access to limited loaner WiFi hot spots and laptops for students who need them, well-being, housing, basic needs, and more, to assist with your planning and transition. 

Provida Futuri,
Mike Segawa

Vice President for Student Affairs

Fall 2020 Plans - 07.14.20

July 14, 2020

Dear Pitzer Community:

This is a critical time as COVID-19 continues to spread nationally and in Southern California. New infections and hospitalizations have reached alarming levels across the country and in this region over the past few weeks.

Since spring break, when students left campus and we transitioned to a remote learning environment at Pitzer, we have worked diligently across the consortium and within the College to develop comprehensive plans for a safe return to campus this fall. Our COVID-19 Task Force comprising students, faculty and staff has dedicated countless hours to information-gathering, problem-solving and action-planning as we prepared for the fall semester. The health and safety of our students and our community has always been our highest priority.

Despite our best efforts, the current public health conditions are such that the Pitzer Board of Trustees and I have determined that the responsible decision is to not bring students back to campus for the fall semester. Instead we will deliver a remote educational experience in fall 2020 and continue planning for an in-person residential experience for spring 2021.

I understand how disappointing this will be for many of you and acknowledge the difficulties we have all faced over the past four months. Please know that the College made every effort to find a way to return to campus this fall and resume normal operations with appropriate safety measures in place.

However, under the current conditions, we believe that we can provide a better learning opportunity and better experience for our students remotely than we would be able to deliver on campus. The on-campus experience would be radically altered, without many of the activities we consider a normal part of college life, and would include significant safety restrictions, strictly enforced, not only on our students but on our faculty and staff. We would need to be prepared for the possibility of quarantining and isolating many students, as well as an outbreak, which could interfere dramatically with our goal of bringing the best possible Pitzer experience to our students.  

Rather than constantly worrying about, and reacting to, the pandemic, we chose to bring the best possible Pitzer experience directly to our students. In this way we can focus on the educational experience rather than the virus and the environment. Accordingly, this fall, Pitzer is committed to providing 1) a robust, enriching and meaningful learning environment; 2) academic, personal and financial support to help our students succeed; and 3) continued planning and preparations for a safe return to campus – hopefully in the spring.

I know this announcement will engender many questions about the fall semester, and we will be sharing more information about our plans as they continue to solidify. In the meantime, I want to address as many subjects as I can below.

Teaching and Learning

In contrast to last semester, when we go online this fall, it will be after several months of intense pedagogical preparation. We are fortunate to have experienced, highly motivated faculty who taught online this spring and many again during our summer session. They want our students’ experience to be as rich and engaging as possible, and have spent the past several months re-envisioning and redesigning their courses, with an appropriate mix of synchronous and asynchronous material that will facilitate student learning and involvement.

I have no doubt that, this fall, Pitzer faculty will continue to be innovative, accessible and committed to the success of our students. And, I am confident they will be more creative and flexible than ever, and with a clear commitment to:

  • provide students with the highest quality educational experiences
  • offer personalized approaches to teaching and advising students
  • support students by being available through office hours, consultations, tutorials and meetings
  • ensure that all students can make academic progress toward graduation
  • work collaboratively to coordinate academic plans and curricular offerings for our students

Many faculty members have received glowing feedback from students on their thoughtful delivery and dynamic approach to remote teaching recently and are actively sharing ideas and collaborating with their faculty colleagues. We plan to hold information sessions over the next several weeks in which students can learn first-hand about some of the innovations and plans that our faculty have for their courses.    

Beyond individual courses, some initiatives and themes will be highlighted this fall and facilitated by our online format. For example, I have announced a special initiative on racial violence and injustice that will be rooted primarily in the curriculum and include co-curricular programming. Our community engagement work, and also activities connected to the fall election, will have broader and deeper reach using online tools and pedagogies. 

In short, although we will not have our traditional in-person classes, Pitzer faculty and the College as a whole are redoubling our efforts to ensure what you have come to expect and deserve: a rigorous academic experience that is distinctive and that addresses the most pressing issues of the day.

Juice will be featuring many interesting academic programs and is one example of the new ways the College will be engaging with you.

Supporting Students

We will support our students academically, personally, emotionally, and in some cases financially, while helping them navigate the remote environment and their course work with confidence and a sense of accomplishment. We will address the needs of low-income students to the best of our ability by providing the appropriate technology and access to other resources as needed.

Even during this unprecedented time of physical separation, we are still a community of learners and together we will find innovative, effective and thoughtful ways of equipping our students to live healthy and thriving lives; and be the citizens and leaders our global society needs more than ever. We remain committed to supporting student success and engaging students remotely, for now, and in-person when it becomes possible. Additional information related to student success support services and resources is available here.

In addition, we will provide co-curricular programs that generate a sense of connection to Pitzer and our core values. A faculty-led working group has been focusing on eliminating barriers to planning activities in a physically distant or remote environment, and developing avenues for student groups, clubs and organizations to thrive. Fostering community and creating opportunities for student engagement are fundamental to student success, wherever students gather – in Claremont or in the virtual world. More information about co-curricular plans and programming is forthcoming.

International Students/ICE Guidance

Last week, I wrote to the community about the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency’s regrettable directive for international students who are pursuing their degrees at institutions like Pitzer. This short-sighted and divisive action was at odds with Pitzer’s core values, and threatened the future of our international students.

Thankfully there is positive news. Yesterday, Pitzer and 19 other colleges and universities in the western region filed a lawsuit against the federal government to block ICE from implementing this policy. Our alumna and former trustee, Debra Wong Yang ’81, is a lead counsel for the case. And today, at a hearing in a suit filed by Harvard and MIT, the government agreed to rescind the new rule, forgo any related enforcement action and continue to follow the guidance issued in March that accommodated international students whose institutions transitioned to online learning. We are delighted by this development and relieved for our international students who are so important to our community.

Tuition and Financial Aid

On June 25, Pitzer announced a modest 2.2% tuition increase for the 2020-2021 academic year. Based on the decision to pivot to a fully online fall semester, the Pitzer Board of Trustees has decided to roll back that tuition increase and hold it constant at the 2019-2020 level. There will be no increase to tuition and fees for the coming year. Nor will there be any room and board charges in the fall.

I know that you have many questions about how Pitzer will respond to the financial needs of our students and I can assure you that Pitzer staff members in financial aid and student affairs are meeting daily to determine how best to package financial aid in these unusual circumstances. Your patience is appreciated as we finalize the details of our financial aid awards for the coming year.

Financial Impact

An online semester could result in significant loss of revenue for the College if enrollment numbers decline. Pitzer is tuition dependent, with almost 90% of our operating costs covered by tuition and fee revenue, 70% of which is compensation for our employees. If we are faced with a significant budget shortfall, we are prepared to utilize some savings to cover a portion of the deficit, savings that we had planned to use for capital reinvestment. While we are prepared to sacrifice these funds, it will be important that we consider measures to address the deficit without risking the long-term financial viability of the College.

Every student who remains enrolled with us online will have a direct impact on the cost reductions we need to make, our ability to provide financial support to students in need and our ability to retain our employees. Pitzer will make every effort to protect the most vulnerable in our community while addressing the significant financial challenges we face.

We are providing our initial FAQs to begin to answer many of the questions not covered here. We will continue developing and refining these FAQs in the days and weeks to come.

Final Thoughts

When I accepted the offer to become Pitzer College’s sixth president in 2016, it was the proudest moment of my career. I could not have imagined that four short years later, I would be writing this letter to you. Together with the Board of Trustees, the COVID-19 Task Force and my leadership team, I have agonized over this decision and its impact on our students, staff and faculty. While I am concerned about how an online semester will disrupt the Pitzer experience for so many of us, I am also inspired by the tireless efforts of our community and our collective resolve to make this transition smoothly and effectively.

In making this decision, I thought carefully about our core values, especially social responsibility, which includes the responsibility to elevate the interests of those among us who are most vulnerable to the virus and its effects. I am convinced that an in-person fall semester at Pitzer compromises those interests to an extent that we cannot abide. But I am also convinced that in these times of crisis, liberal arts colleges like Pitzer must look forward and engage the immense challenges before us.

In the words of one of Pitzer’s longest-tenured faculty members, “In the midst of this pandemic, a liberal arts education will be essential to addressing our most daunting future challenges: racial injustice, mass incarceration, health inequality, environmental degradation. A Pitzer education is much more than 32 courses of 45 contact hours. It is a community, nested in a consortium of such communities, in which students have the space and support to figure out what social problems they want to address, what tools they need to address them, and how to convert passion and skills into action.”

Despite the challenges we face, I view the future with optimism and hope because I know that Pitzer will embrace the problems before us in a way that is thoughtful, inclusive, compassionate and mindful of the future. I encourage all of you to join us as we move forward at a distance, but always together.

We will be sharing additional information and regular updates with you via email and on our website at: Pitzer Fall 2020. A town hall meeting for Pitzer faculty and staff will be held on Tuesday, July 21, at 1 p.m. followed by other forums for students and families later in the week. More details are forthcoming.

Provida Futuri,

Melvin L. Oliver

Traducción – Translation



14 de julio, 2020

Estimada Comunidad de Pitzer,

Este es un momento crítico ya que el coronavirus continúa extendiéndose a nivel nacional y en el sur de California. Nuevas infecciones y hospitalizaciones han alcanzado niveles alarmantes en todo el país y en esta región en las últimas semanas.

Desde las vacaciones de primavera, cuando los estudiantes salieron del campus y pasamos a un entorno de aprendizaje remoto en Pitzer, hemos trabajado diligentemente en todo el consorcio y dentro del Colegio para desarrollar planes integrales para un regreso seguro al campus este otoño. Nuestra Fuerza Especial de Coronavirus compuesto por estudiantes, profesores y personal ha dedicado innumerables horas a la recopilación de información, la resolución de problemas, y la planificación de la acción mientras nos preparamos para el semestre de otoño. La salud y la seguridad de nuestros estudiantes y de nuestra comunidad siempre ha sido nuestra máxima prioridad.

A pesar de nuestros mejores esfuerzos, las condiciones de salud pública actuales son tales que el Consejo Directivo de Pitzer y yo hemos determinado que la decisión responsable es no traer a los estudiantes de vuelta al campus para el semestre de otoño. En su lugar, ofreceremos una experiencia educativa remota en el otoño de 2020 y continuaremos planeando una experiencia residencial en persona para la primavera de 2021.

Entiendo lo decepcionante que será esto para muchos de ustedes y reconozco las dificultades que todos hemos enfrentado en los últimos cuatro meses. Por favor, sepa que el Colegio hizo todo lo posible para encontrar una manera de regresar al campus este otoño y reanudar las operaciones normales con las medidas de seguridad apropiadas en su lugar.

Sin embargo, bajo las condiciones actuales, creemos que podemos proporcionar una mejor oportunidad de aprendizaje y una mejor experiencia para nuestros estudiantes de forma remota de lo que podríamos ofrecer en el campus. La experiencia en el campus se alteraría radicalmente, sin muchas de las actividades que consideramos una parte normal de la vida universitaria, e incluiría restricciones de seguridad significativas, estrictamente aplicadas, no sólo en nuestros estudiantes, sino en nuestra facultad y personal. Tendríamos que estar preparados para la posibilidad de poner en cuarentena y aislar a muchos estudiantes, así como un brote, que podría interferir dramáticamente con nuestro objetivo de llevar la mejor experiencia de Pitzer posible a nuestros estudiantes.

En lugar de preocuparnos constantemente y reaccionar a la pandemia, elegimos llevar la mejor experiencia de Pitzer posible directamente a nuestros estudiantes. De esta manera podemos centrarnos en la experiencia educativa en lugar del virus y el medio ambiente. En consecuencia, este otoño, Pitzer se compromete a proporcionar 1) un entorno de aprendizaje sólido, enriquecedor y significativo; 2) apoyo académico, personal y financiero para ayudar a nuestros estudiantes a tener éxito; y 3) la planificación y los preparativos continuos para un regreso seguro al campus, con suerte en la primavera.

Sé que este anuncio engendrará muchas preguntas sobre el semestre de otoño, y compartiremos más información sobre nuestros planes a medida que continúen solidificándose. Mientras tanto, quiero abordar tantos temas como pueda a continuación.

Enseñanza y Aprendizaje

A diferencia del semestre pasado, cuando nos pongamos en línea este otoño, será después de varios meses de intensa preparación pedagógica. Tenemos la suerte de tener profesores experimentados y altamente motivados que enseñaron en línea esta primavera y muchos lo hicieron de nuevo durante nuestra sesión de verano. Quieren que la experiencia de nuestros estudiantes sea lo más rica y atractiva posible, y han pasado los últimos meses re-concibiendo y rediseñando sus cursos, con una mezcla adecuada de material síncrono y asincrónico que facilitará el aprendizaje y la participación de los estudiantes.

No tengo ninguna duda de que, este otoño, la facultad de Pitzer seguirá siendo innovadora, accesible y comprometida con el éxito de nuestros estudiantes. Y, estoy seguro de que serán más creativos y flexibles que nunca, y con un compromiso claro de:

  • proporcionar a los estudiantes experiencias educativas de la más alta calidad
  • ofrecer enfoques personalizados para enseñar y asesorar a los estudiantes
  • apoyar a los estudiantes estando disponibles a través de horas de oficina, consultas, tutoriales y reuniones
  • asegurar que todos los estudiantes pueden hacer progreso académico hacia la graduación
  • trabajar colaborativamente para coordinar planes académicos y ofertas para nuestros estudiantes

Muchos miembros de la facultad han recibido comentarios brillantes de los estudiantes sobre su entrega reflexiva y método dinámico a la enseñanza remota recientemente y están compartiendo activamente ideas y colaborando con sus colegas de la facultad. Planeamos realizar sesiones de información durante las próximas semanas en las que los estudiantes puedan conocer de primera mano algunas de las innovaciones y los planes que nuestros profesores tienen para sus cursos.

Más allá de los cursos individuales, algunas iniciativas y temas serán destacados este otoño y facilitados por nuestro formato en línea. Por ejemplo, he anunciado una iniciativa especial sobre la violencia racial y la injusticia que se enraizará principalmente en el plan de estudios e incluirá la programación cocurricular. Nuestro trabajo de involucramiento de la comunidad, y también las actividades relacionadas con la elección de otoño, tendrán un alcance más amplio y profundo utilizando herramientas y pedagogías en línea.

En resumen, aunque no tendremos nuestras clases tradicionales en persona, los profesores de Pitzer y el Colegio en su conjunto están redoblendo nuestros esfuerzos para asegurar lo que usted ha llegado a esperar y merecer: una experiencia académica rigurosa que es distintiva y que aborde los temas más apremiantes del día.

Juice presentará muchos programas académicos interesantes y es un ejemplo de las nuevas maneras en que el Colegio participará con usted.

Apoyando a los Estudiantes
Apoyaremos a nuestros estudiantes académicamente, personalmente, emocionalmente y, en algunos casos, financieramente, mientras les ayudamos a navegar el entorno remoto y su trabajo académico con confianza y un sentido de logro. Abordaremos las necesidades de los estudiantes de bajos ingresos lo mejor que podamos proporcionando la tecnología adecuada y el acceso a otros recursos según sea necesario.

Incluso durante este tiempo sin precedentes de separación física, seguimos siendo una comunidad de estudiantes y juntos encontraremos formas innovadoras, eficaces y reflexivas de equipar a nuestros estudiantes para vivir vidas saludables y prósperas; y ser los ciudadanos y líderes que nuestra sociedad global necesita más que nunca. Seguimos comprometidos a apoyar el éxito de los estudiantes e involucrar a los estudiantes de forma remota, por ahora y en persona cuando sea posible. Aquí encontrará información adicional relacionada con los servicios y recursos de apoyo al éxito de los estudiantes.

Además, proporcionaremos programas co-curriculares que generan una sensación de conexión con Pitzer y nuestros valores fundamentales. Un grupo de trabajo dirigido por profesores se ha centrado en eliminar las barreras a la planificación de actividades en un entorno físicamente distante o remoto, y en desarrollar vías para que los grupos de estudiantes, los clubes y las organizaciones prosperen. Fomentar la comunidad y crear oportunidades para la participación de los estudiantes son fundamentales para el éxito de los estudiantes, dondequiera que los estudiantes se reúnan, en Claremont o en el mundo virtual. Se ofrecerá más información sobre los planes y la programación cocurriculares próximamente.

Estudiantes Internacionales/Dirección de ICE

La semana pasada, escribí a la comunidad sobre la lamentable directiva de la agencia de Inmigración y Control de Aduanas de los Estados Unidos (ICE, por sus siglas en ingles) para estudiantes internacionales que cursan sus títulos en instituciones como PItzer. Esta acción miope y divisiva estaba en desacuerdo con los valores fundamentales de Pitzer, y amenazó el futuro de nuestros estudiantes internacionales.

Afortunadamente hay noticias positivas. Ayer, Pitzer y otros 19 colegios y universidades de la región occidental presentaron una demanda contra el gobierno federal para impedir que ICE implementara esta política. Nuestra alumna y ex miembro de nuestro Consejo Directivo, Debra Wong Yang ’81, es un abogado principal del caso. Y hoy, en una audiencia en una demanda presentada por Harvard y el MIT, el gobierno acordó rescindir la nueva regla, renunciar a cualquier acción de aplicación relacionada, y seguir las directrices emitidas en marzo que acomodaron a estudiantes internacionales cuyas instituciones pasaron al aprendizaje en línea. Estamos encantados con este desarrollo y aliviados por nuestros estudiantes internacionales que son tan importantes para nuestra comunidad.

Matrícula y Ayuda Financiera

El 25 de junio, Pitzer anunció un modesto aumento de matrícula del 2,2% para el año académico 2020-2021. Sobre la base de la decisión de girar hacia un semestre de otoño totalmente en línea, el Consejo Directivo de Pitzer ha decidido revertir ese aumento de matrícula y mantenerlo constante en el nivel de 2019-2020. No habrá aumento en la matrícula y las tarifas para el próximo año. Tampoco habrá cargos de alojamiento y comida en el otoño.

Sé que tiene muchas preguntas sobre cómo Pitzer responderá a las necesidades financieras de nuestros estudiantes y puedo asegurarles que los miembros del personal de Pitzer en los departamentos de ayuda financiera y asuntos estudiantiles se reúnen diariamente para determinar la mejor manera de empaquetar la ayuda financiera en estas circunstancias inusuales. Su paciencia es apreciada al finalizar los detalles de nuestros premios de ayuda financiera para el próximo año.

Impacto Financiero

Un semestre en línea podría resultar en una pérdida significativa de ingresos para el Colegio si el número de inscritos disminuye. Pitzer depende de la matrícula, con casi el 90% de nuestros costos de operación cubiertos por los ingresos por matrícula y tarifas, el 70% de los cuales es una compensación para nuestros empleados. Si nos enfrentamos a un déficit presupuestario significativo, estamos preparados para utilizar algunos ahorros para cubrir una parte del déficit, ahorros que habíamos planeado utilizar para la reinversión de capital. Si bien estamos dispuestos a sacrificar estos fondos, será importante que consideremos medidas para hacer frente al déficit sin arriesgar la viabilidad financiera a largo plazo del Colegio.

Cada estudiante que permanezca inscrito con nosotros en línea tendrá un impacto directo en las reducciones de costos que necesitamos hacer, nuestra capacidad de proporcionar apoyo financiero a los estudiantes necesitados, y nuestra capacidad para retener a nuestros empleados. Pitzer hará todo lo posible para proteger a los más vulnerables de nuestra comunidad mientras aborda los importantes desafíos financieros que enfrentamos.

Estamos proporcionando nuestras preguntas frecuentes iniciales para comenzar a responder a muchas de las preguntas no cubiertas aquí. Continuaremos desarrollando y perfeccionando estas preguntas frecuentes en los días y semanas venideros.

Últimos Comentarios

Cuando acepté la oferta de convertirme en el sexto presidente de Pitzer College en 2016, fue el momento más orgulloso de mi carrera. No podría haber imaginado que cuatro años después, les escribiría esta carta. Junto con el Consejo Directivo, la Fuerza Especial de Coronavirus, y mi equipo de liderazgo, he agonizado por esta decisión y su impacto en nuestros estudiantes, personal y facultad. Si bien me preocupa cómo un semestre en línea interrumpirá la experiencia de Pitzer para muchos de nosotros, también me inspiran los esfuerzos incansables de nuestra comunidad y nuestra determinación colectiva de hacer esta transición fluidamente y de manera efectiva.

Al tomar esta decisión, pensé cuidadosamente en nuestros valores fundamentales, especialmente en la responsabilidad social, que incluye la responsabilidad de elevar los intereses de aquellos entre nosotros que son más vulnerables al virus y sus efectos. Estoy convencido de que un semestre de otoño en persona en Pitzer compromete esos intereses hasta un punto al que no podemos atenernos. Pero también estoy convencido de que en estos tiempos de crisis, los colegios de artes liberales como Pitzer deben mirar hacia adelante y enfrentar los inmensos desafíos que tenemos ante nosotros.

En palabras de uno de los profesores con la más larga titularidad de Pitzer, “En medio de esta pandemia, una educación en artes liberales será esencial para abordar nuestros desafíos futuros más desalentadores: injusticia racial, encarcelamiento masivo, desigualdad de salud, degradación ambiental. Una educación de Pitzer es mucho más que 32 cursos de 45 horas de contacto. Es una comunidad, anidada en un consorcio de tales comunidades, en la que los estudiantes tienen el espacio y el apoyo para averiguar qué problemas sociales quieren abordar, qué herramientas necesitan para abordarlos, y cómo convertir la pasión y las habilidades en acción”.

A pesar de los desafíos a los que nos enfrentamos, veo el futuro con optimismo y esperanza porque sé que Pitzer abrazará los problemas que tenemos ante nosotros de una manera reflexiva, inclusiva, compasiva, y consciente del futuro. Los animo a todos a que se unan a nosotros a medida que avanzamos a distancia, pero siempre juntos.

Compartiremos información adicional y actualizaciones periódicas con usted por correo electrónico y en nuestro sitio web en: Pitzer Fall 2020. El martes 21 de julio, a la 1 p.m. se llevará a cabo una reunión para los profesores y el personal de Pitzer, seguida de otros foros para estudiantes y familias más adelante en la semana. Más detalles están por llegar.

Provida Futuri,

Melvin L. Oliver

New International Student Guidelines - 07.08.20

July 8, 2020

Dear Pitzer Community,

On July 6, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) issued new guidance that affects the Student and Exchange Visitor Program. Implementing such a directive during a global health crisis is a travesty that creates tremendous barriers for international students pursuing their education in the US. This guidance is at direct odds with our core values, and Pitzer College is committed to supporting our international students through this unfortunate and challenging situation.

International students enrich the college experience on campuses and classrooms across the country. This new ICE guidance concerning international student visas is onerous and blatantly unfair to millions of students striving to achieve their educational goals. It also serves to divide our country and the world even further.

Over the last several days, Pitzer’s International Programs staff have been in contact with our new and returning international students to provide support and counsel. The College’s chief legal counsel, dean of faculty, international programs staff and an outside immigration attorney are actively evaluating options for our students.

I am also working with the other presidents of The Claremont Colleges on a collaborative solution for our international students. Additionally, we hope that the entire higher education community and the public can provide needed pressure on ICE to revise the rules to provide greater flexibility to allow our international students the rich educational experience they deserve to advance towards their degrees.

Provida Futuri,

Melvin L. Oliver

A Message From President Oliver: Fall Planning Update - 07.01.20

This post has been archived. The information below may be outdated.

July 1, 2020

Dear Pitzer Community,

Originally, we intended to share a decision today about our plans for the fall semester. However, with the recent surge in COVID-19 infections nationally, and here in Los Angeles County and the Inland Empire, we are delaying our decision.

We will continue to closely monitor the public health situation and gather as much information as possible as we continue to develop in-person, online and other contingency plans for the fall semester. We intend to make this decision in the next few weeks and will share an update with you by July 17. This additional time will help the College make a decision that is as informed and as responsible as possible.

In the meantime, our faculty are planning fall course offerings with the goal of ensuring that all of our students can succeed regardless of whether they will be on campus or taking classes remotely. To this end, flexibility and attention to the potential use of online tools in course design are critical. Pitzer’s technological infrastructure has already been expanded and faculty training has been ongoing since early this summer. Our goal is to ensure high quality educational experiences for all students.

We understand that this complicates planning for our students and their families, as well as faculty and staff, and we apologize for this disruption and uncertainty. Students and families are encouraged to be as flexible in your travel arrangements and other commitments as the circumstances allow.

COVID-19 has presented challenges and uncertainties for us all, and the faculty, staff and students working on Pitzer’s various plans for the fall semester continue to keep the health and safety of our community at the forefront as we follow and respond to ongoing developments. 

Please know that our decision for the fall semester will be informed by the progression of the virus in the region, and the guidance and directives issued by state and county health officials.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Be well and stay safe.

Provida Futuri,

Melvin L. Oliver

Traducción – Translation



1o de julio, 2020

Estimada Comunidad de Pitzer,

Originalmente, teníamos la intención de compartir una decisión hoy sobre nuestros planes para el semestre de otoño. Sin embargo, con el reciente aumento de las infecciones de COVID-19 a nivel nacional, y aquí en el condado de Los Ángeles y el Inland Empire, estamos retrasando nuestra decisión.

Seguiremos vigilando de cerca la situación de salud pública y recopilando tanta información como sea posible a medida que continuamos desarrollando planes de contingencia en persona, en línea y otros planes de contingencia para el semestre de otoño. Tenemos la intención de tomar esta decisión en las próximas semanas y compartiremos una actualización con usted antes del 17 de julio. Este tiempo adicional ayudará al Colegio a tomar una decisión lo más informada y responsable posible.

Mientras tanto, nuestros profesores están planeando ofertas de cursos de otoño con el objetivo de asegurar que todos nuestros estudiantes puedan tener éxito independientemente de si estarán en el campus o tomando clases de forma remota. Con este fin, la flexibilidad y la atención al uso potencial de las herramientas en línea en el diseño de cursos son fundamentales. La infraestructura tecnológica de Pitzer ya se ha ampliado y en entrenamiento de nuestros profesores ha estado en curso desde principios de este verano. Nuestro objetivo es garantizar experiencias educativas de alta calidad para todos nuestros estudiantes.

Entendemos que esto complica la planificación para nuestros estudiantes y sus familias, así como los profesores y el personal, y nos disculpamos por esta interrupción e incertidumbre. Se alienta a los estudiantes y a las familias a ser tan flexibles en sus arreglos de viaje y otros compromisos como las circunstancias lo permitan.

COVID-19 ha presentado desafíos e incertidumbres para todos nosotros, y la facultad, el personal y los estudiantes que trabajan en los diversos planes de Pitzer para el semestre de otoño continúan manteniendo la salud y la seguridad de nuestra comunidad a la vanguardia a medida que seguimos y respondemos a los desarrollos en curso.

Por favor, sepa que nuestra decisión para el semestre de otoño será informada por la progresión del virus en la región, y la dirección y directivas emitidas por funcionarios de salud estatales y del condado.

Gracias por su paciencia y comprensión.

Estén bien y manténganse seguros.

Provida Futuri,

Melvin L. Oliver

CARES Act Required Reports and Disclosures - 06.26.20

Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) Required Reports and Disclosures

This website serves as public disclosure required under Section 18004(e) of the CARES Act for Pitzer College regarding the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF). This website will be updated every 45 days with any required changes.

  1. Pitzer College signed and returned to the Department the Certification and Agreement and the assurance that the institution has used, or intends to use, no less than 50 percent of the funds received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students.
  2. Pitzer College will receive $312,931 from the Department pursuant to the institution’s Certification and Agreement [for] Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students.
  3. As of June 12, 2020, Pitzer College had not disbursed any funds to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.
  4. Pitzer College estimates that 391 students at the college are eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 and thus eligible to receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.
  5. Pitzer College will determine student eligibility based on guidelines provided by the Department of Education.  Students who met Title IV eligibility requirements for the 2019-20 academic year and received need-based aid will be considered eligible for funds.

REPORT UPDATES – July 10, 2020

Update 4. Pitzer College estimated 971 students were potentially eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 and thus eligible to receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.

Update 5. Effective June 18, 2020 Pitzer College processed check disbursements to 391 students who were determined eligible to receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants.  The total amount disbursed was $309,850.

Update 6. Pitzer College included students who meet the following criteria as eligible to receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants under Section 18004(a)(1):

  • Students enrolled in a degree granting program of study as of March 13, 2020, the date of the President’s Proclamation, “Declaring a National Emergency Concerning the Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)”
  • Students who are making Satisfactory Academic Progress toward their degree
  • Students who had completed a 2019-20 FAFSA to confirm their Title IV eligibility requirements of Higher Education Act.

Pitzer College excluded from the larger population of potentially eligible students:

  • those individuals it knew to be foreign nationals who were not US permanent residents or other eligible non-citizens under Title IV of HEA;
  • those students in the US without a lawful immigration status; and
  • those students whose Title IV eligibility requirements could not be confirmed due to a missing or incomplete FASFA application.

Grant amounts of $200 – $1,000 were issued to students based on an evaluation of the student’s demonstrated level of financial need. Larger grants were provided to students with the higher demonstrated levels of financial need.  Funds were distributed as broadly as possible to eligible students.

Update 7. More information can be found at https://www.pitzer.edu/emergency/2020/06/01/cares-frequently-asked-questions/

REPORT UPDATES – August 12, 2020

No additional disbursements have been made since June 2020. 


No additional disbursements have been made since June 2020.

A Message from the Vice President for Administration and Finance: Pitzer College Tuition and Fees 2020-21 - 06.25.20

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June 25, 2020

Dear Pitzer Students and Families:

After months of thoughtful consideration about the current situation and the financial impact of COVID-19 on the College, the Pitzer Board of Trustees has approved a 2.2% tuition increase for the 2020-21 academic year. This increase is significantly less than what was planned before the world was struck by the pandemic, but it is necessary for the College to help mitigate additional expenses that will be incurred, as well as expected revenue shortfalls, due to the current circumstances.

We understand that even a small increase may add to the financial challenges that many of our students and their families are facing. Therefore, the College is investing additional institutional funds to help support those with demonstrated need. As an example, Pitzer is contributing $560,000 to replace the normally expected contribution from summer employment income for students receiving financial aid.

The College also decided to institute a universal room rate for students living on Pitzer’s main campus and in the Claremont Collegiate Apartments (CCA). Instead of charging different rates for single and double rooms as in the past, going forward there will be one rate regardless of room type. This new universal rate is lower than the previous single room rate and is more equitable for all students, regardless of financial need or accommodations.

It is also important to note that with a compressed fall semester, room and board charges for students living on Pitzer’s main campus have been proportionally reduced. Board charges will also be reduced for CCA residents this fall.* 

And, Pitzer’s Student Senate has elected to significantly lower the annual student activities fee for 2020-21 from last year due to the anticipated limitations on in-person activities and events during the fall semester. 

Therefore, the total cost of attendance for 2020-21 for students living on Pitzer’s main campus will only be 1.0% higher than in 2019-20.

Pitzer is committed to the health, safety and well-being of all of our community members. Despite the fact that the pandemic has forced the closure of our campus and effectively prevented some employees from working, the College has retained its employees, both in Claremont and abroad, and all employees continue to be paid their full wages with no reduction in health care coverage or retirement contributions.

More details on tuition and fees for the 2020-21 academic year at Pitzer are located on the Student Accounts webpage.

Additionally, students receiving financial aid will be sent information regarding their financial aid packages reflecting these changes in the coming weeks. The Office of Financial Aid will also communicate about the next steps for student loan processing in early July.

I want to extend my sincere appreciation and gratitude to our students and their families for their cooperation and support as we respond to this unprecedented challenge.


Laura Troendle
Vice President for Administration and Finance

Information and questions about Student Accounts: www.pitzer.edu/student-accounts/ or email student_accounts@pitzer.edu

Information and questions about Financial Aid: www.pitzer.edu/financial-aid/ or email financial_aid@pitzer.edu

*Students living at CCA who are continuing their housing assignment from fall to spring may stay in their apartment after the main campus closes at Thanksgiving Break (through December and January), therefore the room rate will not be prorated this year. 

A Message from President Oliver - 06.19.20

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June 19, 2020

Dear Pitzer Community,

I hope this message finds you and your family healthy and safe. Each of us has experienced unprecedented and challenging circumstances brought on by the global pandemic and the uncertainties that it brings to our daily lives. In nearly every corner of the world, everyone has had to learn as we go and reimagine how we co-exist in our communities. Higher education institutions are no exception and I would like to take this opportunity to provide an update on Pitzer’s current plans for the fall.

Based on guidance and projections from federal, state and county health officials, and in close consultation with our sister colleges in Claremont, Pitzer is actively planning for our campus to be open for in-person instruction for the fall semester. A final decision on this will be made in the next few weeks.

Our planning for a modified educational and residential life program continues to be an enormous and complex undertaking. I thank everyone for their contributions and support in our planning efforts. You will see new measures and protocols, some that you have become familiar with in the last several months.  These include social or physical distancing, “family unit” style-living in our residence halls, monitoring and tracing, face-covering requirements, hybrid and HyFlex teaching/learning, dining plan and policy changes, disinfection, isolation and quarantine.

Our close-knit residential campus community has always been central to the educational experience at Pitzer. However, during a pandemic, we need to recognize that this fall semester will look different from what we are used to on campus. With that in mind, these are key elements of our plan as Pitzer works toward an in-person fall semester:

  • Academic Calendar:  The five undergraduate Claremont Colleges will start classes on Monday, August 24 and conclude instruction by the start of Thanksgiving break to limit the amount of travel that could contribute to public health risks. The fall break has been eliminated to ensure additional instructional days. Final exams and assessments will be conducted remotely and completed by Friday, December 4.
  • Classes:Pitzer plans to offer a range of classes, including those that are in-person, online and various hybrid modalities. Each classroom on campus has been reviewed and modified to accommodate physical distancing and time will be added in between courses to allow for cleaning and disinfecting. We are also in the process of installing tents in various campus locations to serve as outdoor classrooms and spaces for dining and other activities.
  • Residence Halls:  Following current state and county guidance for residential campuses, we are currently planning for no more than two students to be housed in one room, and a maximum of four students sharing one bathroom. Double rooms in Mead Hall will become single occupancy to limit the number of people using a bathroom and common space.
  • Meal Service:  Pitzer will continue to offer healthy, fresh and delicious food with modified and expanded pick up locations to limit potential health risks and allow for physical distancing.  Dietary needs will continue to be accommodated as requested. Several outdoor seating areas are planned across the campus to allow for physical distancing dining.

We realize that you still have many questions and many details are being finalized as we go forward, including move-in, new student orientation, academic and campus life activities. Please know that we will be sharing additional information as our planning efforts continue.

In the meantime, we hope this information helps our students, families, faculty and staff as they engage in their planning in the weeks ahead.

For the latest information related to Pitzer’s plans for the fall semester, please visit the COVID-19 Information Page. I invite you to participate in one or more of the many virtual programs we are providing this summer, including Pitzer@Home and Juice: a Pitzer Summer Series. All of our online programs are free of charge and a great way to connect with and learn about the Pitzer Community.

I sincerely appreciate your understanding and flexibility. The Pitzer community is looking forward to a fall semester where we are together again. 

Provida Futuri,

Melvin L. OIiver

Pitzer New Student Orientation Update - 06.15.20

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June 15, 2020

Following the Presidents’ Council of The Claremont Colleges recent message about the fall academic calendar changes (https://www.pitzer.edu/emergency/covid-19), we want to provide updated information regarding New Student Orientation. While Pitzer is currently planning for and working towards welcoming as many students to campus for the fall semester as safely as possible, in the next few weeks the Presidents’ Council, with guidance from state and county public health officials, is scheduled to make a determination about whether students will be living and learning on campus or remotely this fall. If students are able to live on campus in the fall, we do not yet have confirmed move-in dates for new and returning students. We commit to communicating this information to you as soon as these decisions are made.

Regardless of whether or not students are able to return for in-person instruction in the fall, we can confirm that this year’s New Student Orientation will be different from previous years. First, we will not be operating the Orientation Adventure (OA) trips in August as we had planned and are a long-standing tradition at Pitzer. While we know that the OA trips are an important formative experience for new students in our community, our top priority remains the health and safety of our students. Therefore, conducting OA trips during the current COVID-19 pandemic is not feasible at this time. However, we hope that we will be able to plan an alternative to OA trips at a future date when it is safe to do so.

Second, New Student Orientation sessions and processes will include several new online components (e.g. advising, registration, and educational sessions). These sessions and processes normally take place during Orientation in August – we are simply having to pivot to how the content will be delivered in light of COVID-19. The schedule for these sessions and processes will be communicated later in the summer.

Looking ahead, we encourage you to complete the items on your SageDen Checklist. As a reminder, all items on the Checklist have different start and due dates. Additionally, don’t forget to follow @pz_orientation on Instagram for on-going summer engagement opportunities for new students. 

Despite the uncertainty that we are all facing, we look forward to welcoming you to the Pitzer community!

Fall Academic Calendar Announcement - 06.11.20

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Thursday, June 11, 2020

Dear Pitzer Community,

Today, I share the decision by the Presidents’ Council of The Claremont Colleges for the 2020 fall semester academic calendar. The Academic Deans Committee and the Registrars are now working on a 5-C course schedule based on this calendar. As we continue to monitor the developing situation relating to COVID-19, Pitzer is working towards bringing back as many students to campus as safely as possible based on guidance and best practices established by our state, county and local health officials.

Approval of Fall Academic Calendar

Thursday, June 11, 2020

The Claremont Colleges would like to update our community on the planning efforts for the fall. Although many important decisions have not been finalized, the overall structure for the fall is taking shape, and we would like to share one important element of our plans with you in an effort to provide as much notice as possible.

The Presidents’ Council of The Claremont Colleges has approved a fall academic calendar for the five undergraduate institutions. This schedule attempts to minimize the impact of COVID-19 and the flu season on our community during the winter months.

Under the new schedule, the first day of instruction will begin August 24, one week before the traditional start date. Undergraduates will complete all coursework by Tuesday, November 24, 2020. Final exams and assessments will be conducted remotely and completed by Friday, December 4, 2020. This early start and early end by Thanksgiving will allow students to travel home for Thanksgiving and remain there, rather than traveling back and forth for Thanksgiving and increasing the potential for virus spread.

G. Gabrielle Starr
Pomona College
Len Jessup
Claremont Graduate University
Lara Tiedens
Scripps College
Hiram E. Chodosh
Claremont McKenna College
Maria Klawe
Harvey Mudd College
Melvin L. Oliver
Pitzer College
Sheldon Schuster
Keck Graduate Institute
Stig Lanesskog
Chief Executive Officer
The Claremont Colleges, Inc.

In the coming days, I will be sharing additional information about the work of Pitzer’s COVID-19 Task Force and the protocols that have been created to ensure the safe return of our students, faculty and staff to campus. In the meantime, please stay up to date on the news by visiting our webpage: www.pitzer.edu/covid-19

Provida Futuri,
Melvin L. OIiver

CARES Act Message to the Pitzer Community - 06.05.20

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June 5, 2020

Dear Pitzer Community,

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the US Congress passed the CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act on March 27, 2020. The CARES Act includes funds for emergency grants to institutions and students due to the disruption of the spring 2020 semester by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Consistent with the intent of the new law and in consultation with student and faculty representatives on the COVID Task Force, Pitzer determined that CARES Act funds should be distributed to students according to financial need. In partnership with the Task Force, the College developed a tiered system where the higher-need students will receive higher value grants. To be considered eligible, students had to have been enrolled as of March 13, 2020, and receiving need-based financial aid.

Students receiving CARES Act funds will soon receive an email notifying them of their award and checks will be mailed to students by mid- to late June. All CARES Act student awards are grants. There is no repayment obligation.

For questions regarding the CARES Act, please visit our FAQs found on our COVID 19 webpage.

CARES Act Frequently Asked Questions - 06.01.20

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Q1: What is the CARES Act?

The CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act: Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF)-IHE/Student Aid Act provides funding to institutions to provide emergency financial aid grants to students whose lives were disrupted during the spring 2020 semester due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

CARES Act/HEERF is temporary, short-term, emergency financial assistance for eligible students who were enrolled in the spring 2020 semester on or after March 13, 2020 and experienced unforeseen hardship that adversely affected their educational success.

Guidelines for the CARES Act/HEERF and the distribution of funds comes from the US Department of Education. More information is available on the Department of Education’s website.

Q2: How is Pitzer College handling CARES Act funds?

Pitzer College has received emergency funds of $312,930 from the Department of Education to distribute directly to students as emergency grants.

The College will distribute funds to eligible students (see questions 4 – 6 below for eligible student criteria) based on their financial aid eligibility. Grant assistance will range from $200 – $1000 and will be tiered based on the student’s financial need; the highest need students will receive the most grant assistance.

Q3: When will I know my eligibility and receive funding?

This is a top priority for the College, and we are currently working to finalize all information. Anyone who was enrolled in the spring 2020 semester on or after March 13, 2020 are eligible for funding. We are working to notify and disburse funds to all eligible students before June 15.

Q4: How is Pitzer determining who should receive CARES Act grants?

Pitzer is distributing these funds according to financial need. Students with the highest need will receive the largest grants.

Q5: Do undocumented and international students qualify for the CARES Act Grant?

Although undocumented and international students do not qualify for federal funding, Pitzer College has committed institutional student emergency COVID-19 relief funding for undocumented and low-income international students who applied for and received need-based aid during the spring 2020 semester (on or after March 13, 2020). This grant assistance will match the grant levels and payment timeline as domestic students.

Q6: I am a graduating senior this semester, will I still receive assistance?

Yes. We will be offering CARES Act Grants to graduating seniors whose studies were also interrupted this spring.

Q7: Do I have to apply for the CARES Act Grant?

No. Students who are eligible will automatically receive assistance and will not need to apply for funding.

Q8: If eligible, how will I receive this money? 

Funds will be distributed by check made payable to the student.  Checks will be mailed to the address the college has on file.  

Q9: How can this relief fund help students? 

This relief grant is available for students to use at their discretion for any expenses they incurred due to the interruption in their studies as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic in spring 2020. This can include, but is not limited to food, housing, technology, health care and course related materials.

Q10: Does the CARES Act Grant have to be repaid?

No. The CARES Act Grant does not have to be repaid.

Q11: I have a balance on my Student Account, will my CARES Act Grant be applied to my account?

No. CARES Act Grants will be paid directly to eligible students regardless of financial holds or campus bills, fees or fines. Funds will not pass through your Pitzer student account.

Q12: Does the CARES Act Grant affect my financial aid?

No. The CARES Act Grant does not affect other aid students are receiving this year or the aid they may receive next year.

Q13: Do I have to report the CARES Act Grant to the IRS as income? 

No. Emergency financial aid grants under the CARES Act are qualified disaster relief payments under section 139 of the Internal Revenue Code and do not have to be included as part of your gross income or reported on your taxes.

Q14: Who do I contact if I have questions about the CARES Act?

At this time, all information available has been published in this FAQ. If you have questions that were not addressed, you may email the Office of the Treasurer at treasurersoffice@pitzer.edu.

Updated Grading Policy for Spring 2020 - 04.29.20

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April 29, 2020

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,

I write to you as Chair of Pitzer’s Faculty Executive Committee (FEC). After careful consideration and extensive deliberation, the faculty voted today to amend the previously adopted temporary grading policy for spring 2020. The new policy is below:

Pitzer College will implement a grading system of Satisfactory Pandemic/No Record Pandemic with a GPA boost for Spring 2020. Under this policy, no letter grades will be given. A Satisfactory Pandemic (SP) is defined as a minimum passing grade of D-. For each course that a student passes, an SP will appear on the transcript, but each SP will be recorded in the GPA as equivalent to an A. A grade of No Record Pandemic (NRP) will not appear on a student’s transcript. All courses graded SP this semester will qualify toward completion of requirements for majors, minors, and graduation. Letter grades will not be necessary this semester to qualify for honors. 

The Pitzer website is not yet updated with the new policy and frequently asked questions; this update is being worked on now. If you are a student and have questions, please wait for the updated FAQs or contact your academic advisor.

Wishing you and yours well during these difficult times.

Paul Faulstich

President Oliver’s Message to the Community - 04.27.20

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April 27, 2020

Dear Pitzer Community,
As we settle into the new reality of Pitzer’s spring semester, I write to share with you some information about our current thinking for the fall semester and the excellent work that is being carried on in the virtual environment by our faculty and staff. 
Pitzer remains committed to its distinctive in-person educational curriculum and residential experience. As we have said previously, our goal is to resume Pitzer’s in-person classes on campus as soon as it is safe to do so. The timing and circumstances of our return remain uncertain. Still, in the interim, we are adapting to the emergency circumstances to keep our community together, engaged and focused productively on ever better ways to fight the effects of the virus, maintain our educational momentum and strengthen our remarkable college community. 
We are modeling multiple approaches to achieving this goal based on the best available information from government and public health officials. While the timing of our return to a face-to-face environment will depend on the state of the pandemic, it is becoming clear that testing and social distancing could be necessary for some time. We continue to explore what life at Pitzer may look like in different scenarios and we anticipate updated guidance from experts in the field. I know that this uncertainty is frustrating for all of us, but Pitzer’s priority is the health and safety of our students. We will continue to update you and seek your input on fall semester plans.
One promising sign of Pitzer’s vibrant online presence was showcased recently during Admitted Student Day. The Office of Admission transformed its popular and informative in-person campus encounter into an engaging and memorable virtual experience enjoyed by 242 students and 185 family members. Student panelists, faculty and staff demonstrated Pitzer care and compassion in their hosting of newly admitted students. They answered questions, shared personal insights and offered authentic advice on subjects including Orientation Adventure, access to professors, Pitzer social life, academic rigor, career prospects, planning for graduate school and more. Visitors to Pitzer online during the five and half hour event came from as far as Paraguay, Vietnam and Nepal. I am looking forward with optimism about the quality of these admitted students and eagerly anticipate them joining the Pitzer community in the Fall. 
For our worldwide community of Pitzer College Alumni, the Office of Advancement has launched an information-rich online presence titled: Pitzer@Home. Stop by to see what is happening at Pitzer online – there are community events, career services events, exercise classes and much, much more.
You will also be interested to know that many students and their families elected to gift back approximately $150,000 of their pro-rated room and board reimbursements to the College’s Covid-19 Relief Fund. These compassionate acts are shining examples of the vision, spirit and generosity that defines our Pitzer community. 
I hope you have been able to participate in one of our virtual Town Hall briefings and question and answer sessions with Pitzer faculty, staff, student and parent groups. Senior leadership panelists have shared the latest facts about the College’s thinking and approach to the COVID-19 emergency. We have discussed the community’s questions and continue to consider what COVID means to our community and our future.
I am more proud of our community than ever. Pitzer never rests in its exploration of innovative ways to build connections and engagement with each other while ensuring that students meet their learning objectives. I am confident that you will embrace the opportunities for growth and togetherness online that the virtual classroom and the online campus provide. 
I wish you all the best and look forward to meeting and overcoming this great challenge with you. 

Provida Futuri

Melvin L. Oliver

Stay Safe, Stay Home. Stay Healthy

Pitzer College’s Spring 2020 Grading Policy Frequently Asked Questions & Answers - 04.15.20

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April 15, 2020

Q1: What is Pitzer’s grading policy for Spring semester 2020?

On April 9, 2020, the Pitzer College faculty adopted the following grading policy for Spring semester 2020:

Pitzer will use a default grading system of Satisfactory Pandemic (SP)/No Record Pandemic (NRP) for Spring 2020. Students may, in lieu of an SP/NRP grade, elect to be assigned a letter grade by their course instructor. The deadline for electing to be assigned a letter grade is May 15, 2020. No paperwork or petition will be necessary for students to receive letter grades. Students interested in this option should discuss it with their instructors. Courses graded SP/NRP this semester will qualify toward completion of requirements for majors, minors, and graduation, provided students earn a grade of SP. Letter grades will not be necessary this semester to qualify for honors.

A Satisfactory Pandemic (SP) is defined as given for any grade that would earn a course credit. In other words, anything from A to D-.

Q2: Why was the grading policy changed for Spring 2020?

Like many colleges and universities, Pitzer College has transitioned all classes to online formats. This change was sudden and accompanied by moving most students out of campus housing and returning students from study abroad sites around the globe. As a consequence, faculty and students are facing numerous challenges to effective teaching and learning, not the least of which are new living situations, uneven or unstable internet connections, caretaking and family support obligations, illness and hampered access to usual academic support services and resources.

The Pitzer College faculty changed the usual grading policy in recognition of these challenges and to help reduce associated pressure and stress. In changing the grading policy, the faculty considered a number of different grading systems and tried to be responsive to student preferences expressed in surveys conducted by the Pitzer Student Senate and also by the 5C Students for Grade Equity for a universal grading system and one that offered a “safety net” for student grades. The faculty were also cognizant of the fact that letter grades are important for some students for a number of reasons. Finally, the faculty sought to ensure that the grading system clearly designated that academic practices and grades were different this semester from other semesters, and that students had agency to make decisions in their own best interests and after appropriate consultation with advisers and instructors.

Q3: How will my Spring 2020 classes be graded? What will appear on my transcript?

Unless students specifically request otherwise, Pitzer student grades will either be SP (Satisfactory Pandemic) or NRP (No Record Pandemic). This is the default grading system. There will be language added to the transcript legend that explains this grading system and the meaning of SP and NRP grades.

Any courses for which Pitzer students previously elected to receive a P/NC grade this semester will be changed to the SP/NRP grading system.

Students may elect to receive letter grades for any or all of their classes as long as the request for letter grades is made to course instructors by May 15, 2020.

Q4: How does the SP grade work? Does it affect my GPA?

A SP grade indicates earned credit for the course and will appear on student transcripts. As indicated in the adopted policy, a SP grade is assigned for any traditional letter grade from A to D-. SP grades have no impact on the student’s grade point average.

Q5: How does the NRP grade work? Does it affect my GPA?

Students will not receive academic credit for any course for which they receive a NRP grade, and the NRP grade will appear on student transcripts. Courses for which students receive NRP grades have no impact on the student’s grade point average.

Q6: I understand that I will receive SP/NRP grades for my courses, but what if I want one or more letter grades? Can I get a letter grade in a course?

YES. As stated in the policy, students can elect to receive a letter grade for any or all of their classes. To do so, students should make a request to the course instructor for any course in which they want to receive a letter grade by May 15, 2020. No paperwork or petition is required, but unless their instructor directs otherwise, students should follow up their request for a grade with an email from their official Pitzer email account to their course instructor’s official account reiterating their request for a grade. Students must make separate requests to instructors for each class for which they want to receive a letter grade. The policy makes clear that the student elects to be assigned a letter grade. That is, the decision about using a letter grade scale instead of the default SP/NRP system rests with the student.

Any courses for which students have previously elected to receive a P/NC grade automatically will be changed to the SP/NRP grading system.

Q7: Will the Pitzer grading policy apply to classes I am taking at other Claremont Colleges?

YES. The grading policy follows the student, not the professor or the college. This means that the adopted grading policy applies to all Pitzer students — and only Pitzer students — regardless of which college is offering the course. Likewise, students from other Claremont Colleges who are enrolled in Pitzer classes will be graded according to the policies determined by their home institution.

Q8: Are the other colleges using the same grading policy as Pitzer?

NO. The colleges are using different grading policies this semester. This means that grade options will differ between students in the same classes. Students should not worry about other grading systems. The grading system for Pitzer students is a default SP/NRP grade or a letter grade if the student specifically requests a letter grade.

Q9: How will faculty know my grading policy?

Faculty members will receive guidance from their Academic Dean and Registrar about the different grading policies and how to record grades for their students at the end of the semester. The different grading systems will be part of the grade input process, so faculty across all of the colleges will be aware of the system to use for Pitzer students.

Q10: My major or minor requires some or all courses to be taken for a letter grade. Does that mean I have to elect a letter grade for those courses?

NO, at least not for Pitzer majors and minors. For Spring 2020 semester, these requirements are waived at Pitzer. Students must receive a SP grade for courses to count toward major, minor or other graduation requirements. Pitzer students pursuing off-campus academic programs should consult with their adviser(s) about the grading policy being used by the college of their off-campus major and any requirements for graded courses.

Q11: How will SP/NRP grades impact honors?

The Pitzer College honors GPA requirement is unchanged. As noted above, courses for which students receive SP/NRP grades do not impact the student’s grade point average. Field Groups have different requirements for honors in a major, but letter grades are not required this semester for any work (i.e., courses, senior project, thesis) to count toward honors requirements. Students are encouraged to contact their field group adviser(s) with specific questions about honors in their major. Pitzer students pursuing off-campus academic programs should consult with their adviser(s) about the grading policy being used by the college of their off-campus major and any requirements for graded courses.

Q12: I was studying abroad this semester. How will my courses be graded?

The default grading system for all Pitzer courses this semester is SP/NRP. Students can elect to be assigned letter grades for courses in Pitzer direct-run study abroad programs; these letter grades will count in the calculation of the student’s grade point average. Students who were on exchange or third-party study abroad programs can also elect to receive a letter grade as long as the partner institution is using a letter grading system. However, consistent with long-standing Pitzer practice, letter grades for study abroad courses from exchange or third-party programs will be recorded but will not count toward the student’s grade point average. Students will simply earn academic credit for the courses they successfully complete.

A student who wishes to receive a letter grade in Pitzer direct-run study abroad courses should make a request to the course instructor for any course in which they want to receive a letter grade by May 15, 2020. Although no paperwork or petition is required, students are encouraged to follow up their request for a letter grade with an email from their official Pitzer email account to their course instructor’s official account reiterating their request for a grade. Students must make separate requests to instructors for each class for which they want to receive a letter grade. Students are advised to copy the Office of Study Abroad (studyabroad@pitzer.edu) on any requests for letter grades.

Questions about specific study abroad programs and grading policies can be directed to studyabroad@pitzer.edu.

Q13: Can I still withdraw from a course?

YES. The last day for withdrawing from a class is May 8, 2020. Completed Withdraw from Course forms should be emailed to registrar@pitzer.edu. The forms are available in the Forms section of the Registrar’s Office website. Students should consult with their adviser and instructor before withdrawing from a class because it may delay progress toward graduation and/or affect financial aid. Withdrawing from a class will result in a “W” grade on the student’s transcript for the withdrawn course.

Q14: Will there be classes over the summer?

YES. Summer Session registration is currently open. All Summer Session classes will be taught online and they are being offered at a discounted rate. For more information, please go to: www.pitzer.edu/summer/

Q15: What are the plans for fall classes?

The situation is fluid and we do not definitively know one way or the other if we will be back on campus and able to conduct face-to-face classes in the fall. Currently, we are assuming that we will return to campus in the fall, although a final decision will be made later this summer and in conjunction with the other Claremont Colleges. You will be informed of that decision as soon as it is made.

In the meantime, students are encouraged to engage in the usual academic planning for the fall semester. Advising days are scheduled for April 20-21, and pre-registration is scheduled for April 28-30.

Q16: What if I still have questions?  Who can I contact for more information?

Students are encouraged to talk to their adviser and course instructors about their courses and grading policies for this semester. Questions can also be sent to the Office of the Registrar (registrar@pitzer.edu), Financial Aid (financial_aid@pitzer.edu) or the Dean of Faculty (dean_faculty@pitzer.edu).  

LA County Extends Safer at Home to May 15 - 04.10.20

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April 10, 2020

Dear Pitzer Community,

On Friday, April 10, Los Angeles County Public Health extended the Safer at Home order, which was set to expire on April 19, to May 15. 

Health officials explained, “This is *not* because our efforts are not helping. The data shows that physical distancing is working and will continue to work if we stick with it. Our 10 million residents make our County the best in the nation. While staying home, know that you’re doing it for all of us. We’ll come out of this stronger, smarter and most important of all, together.”

We hope you and your family are staying safe and healthy and we look forward to the time we will reunite on campus again.

Claremont Cash Accounts - 04.08.20

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April 8, 2020

If you have a remaining balance on your Claremont Cash and you will be graduating or not returning to campus, then you will be issued a check from TCCS (The Claremont Colleges Services) for the full amount. If you returning to the campus, then this money will roll over into the next academic year. Use this form to help with that process. The refund will take place in May after graduation and after a list is provided by the registrar’s office. If you have any questions or concerns, then please feel free to call the Connections office at The Claremont Colleges at 909-607-1671 or email copy.center@claremont.edu.

Grading Policy Update - 04.05.20

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April 5, 2020

Dear Pitzer community,

I write to you as Chair of the Faculty Executive Committee (FEC) to provide an update on the status of Pitzer’s grading policy for spring semester 2020.

Pitzer faculty, staff, and students have been working diligently to revise the current policy, and last week the faculty approved the essentials of a revised policy and assigned a task force to clarify its language. The task force has now delivered a draft policy to the Faculty Executive Committee, along with a set of issues for FEC to resolve. With attention to the issues raised in faculty meetings and discussions among 5C students and academic deans, the FEC will finalize specific details. As soon as FEC’s deliberations are complete and the policy is finalized, it will be distributed to the community. FEC understands the time sensitivity around completing work on this revised grading policy. Please know that we are working to finalize the policy as quickly as possible.

Wishing you and yours well during these difficult times.

Paul Faulstich
Professor of Environmental Analysis

A Message from President Oliver to Students - 04.03.20

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April 3, 2020

Dear Pitzer Students,

As we conclude our first week of online classes, I want to write a brief note of encouragement and support. I remain very proud of Pitzer’s commitment to exploring innovative ways to build connection and engagement with each other while ensuring that students meet their learning objectives. While this is a stressful time, I know that you will embrace the opportunities for growth and togetherness online that the virtual classroom provides.

Our faculty, staff and administration are dedicated to your success. The consortium services of Student Health, Monsour and Campus Safety continue to provide services during this time, including some services available by remote access. Do not hesitate to reach out with questions, concerns or requests.

I wish you all the best and look forward to meeting this great challenge with you. 

Provida Futuri,

Melvin L. Oliver

Notice of Pomona COVID-19 case - 03.26.20

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March 26, 2020

Dear Pitzer Community,

We share news from Pomona College regarding a confirmed case of COVID-19. Pitzer College has no reported cases of COVID-19 to date.

Community Update: Coronavirus Case and Our Community

Dear Pomona College Community,

We are writing to let you know that a Pomona College student who left campus March 13, and has not returned since, notified the College yesterday that they tested positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19) on March 24. 

With the global pandemic and community transmission of the virus in Los Angeles County, we will likely see more cases in our wider College community, and we are conveying our support to those affected during this time. In these cases, the College, when dictated by the available information, will work to notify those who have worked or lived on campus in close proximity with the person without identifying them by name.

Consistent with federal and state laws governing patient confidentiality, we will not provide any information on the patients other than to confirm that they are a Pomona College student or employee.

Staff or faculty members diagnosed with coronavirus or told by a medical professional they may have it should contact Human Resources Assistant Vice President Brenda Rushforth at brenda.rushforth@pomona.edu. Students should contact Dean of Students Avis Hinkson at avis.hinkson@pomona.edu.

We remind the Pitzer community of resources and information available to you: It bears saying again: Anyone who is ill should not come to work. Any student who is ill and still on campus should stay away from others. If you have a fever together with a cough and/or respiratory trouble please treat the situation as though you have the virus, contact your healthcare provider and self-quarantine.

Most Pomona College students have moved off campus for the semester and most College employees are working from home. Any students remaining on campus as well as employees working on campus due to the requirements of their job need to practice physical distancing, maintaining the minimum six feet between people. Faculty members using their classrooms and labs for academic purposes should follow these distancing rules as well, and not work in those spaces with students or meet in-person with students.

We recognize that this is a challenging time for many people in our community. We are coordinating efforts across the College to help ensure our community’s continued health and safety, and in this ongoing emergency, we will continue to provide updates at our coronavirus website

Thank you to all of our extended family and friends who are providing care to those affected by this crisis. We are very proud of those on the front lines of this pandemic and we offer our gratitude, once more.

G. Gabrielle Starr, president
Robert Gaines, vice president for academic affairs and dean of the college
Avis Hinkson, vice president for student affairs and dean of students

Pitzer College has taken — and will continue to take — all necessary cautionary measures, following the advice of public health officials, as we prioritize everyone’s health and safety.

Faculty and staff members diagnosed with the novel coronavirus should contact Deanna Caballero, assistant vice president of human resources at deanna_caballero@pitzer.edu. Students should contact Dean of Students Sandra Vasquez at sandra_vasquez@pitzer.edu. In the event that Pitzer learns of a confirmed case at the College, we will work with public health officials and contact individuals from our campus community who are at risk of exposure.

We remind the Pitzer community of resources and information available to you:

For students:

For staff & faculty:

Stay well and practice social distancing.

Office of Communications
Pitzer College

For Students – Preparation for Resumption of Classes - 03.24.20

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March 24, 2020

Greetings Pitzer Students:

I know that it has been a chaotic and confusing few weeks. I hope that you are safe and healthy, and that you are now in a secure place with access to food and essential resources. As you know, this week is an extended spring break week.  Although you are not expected to engage in academic coursework until March 30, Pitzer faculty and staff are hard at work revising courses and preparing to transition courses to online and remote formats.

To prepare for the resumption of classes, all students are encouraged to explore the Student’s Guide to Online Learning. From that web page, students can (re)familiarize themselves with Sakai and Zoom. In addition to email, these are the main tools that will be utilized for online instruction during the remainder of spring semester. Students should test their devices to be sure that they are ready to join their classes on Zoom. There is a link to a test site on which students can click “Join” to do a test run of a Zoom meeting. The web page also provides links to additional online resources that may be helpful for communications and academic work. 

All classes have a Sakai site even if it has not been used up to this point of the semester. After faculty have finished revising their courses and assignments, they have been encouraged to post announcements and materials on course Sakai sites. In addition, some faculty may directly contact students via email with course information and instructions.

As an additional reminder, Pitzer College has a COVID-19 web page. Community announcements are being archived on this web page and other useful information and links are also posted. This is a good resource to check regularly so that you are aware of the Pitzer’s latest news and policy changes.

Members of the Pitzer community are now spread far and wide, and we will join most other colleges and universities in finishing out the academic year virtually rather than face-to-face. It will take concerted effort, patience and support from all of us to meet the academic challenges we are facing, but also to surmount the broader-scale social, economic and health challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. That said, I hope that you will take a few minutes to regularly reach out and check in with fellow students, faculty members and staff. We are in this together, and simple hellos and expressions of care and support are powerful reminders of our shared connections to each other and to Pitzer College.  

With my best wishes for a successful transition to remote education,

Allen M. Omoto, Ph.D.
Vice President for Academic Affairs
Dean of Faculty
Pitzer College

Email – Changes Regarding IT Support - 03.23.20

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March 23, 2020

Pitzer Faculty,

I hope all are well. I am writing to let you all know of a few things that have changed regarding IT support, I will do my best to keep this short:

  • Our IT Staff will be exclusively working remotely; this includes Audio-Visual and Duplicating. Even though we are not on campus, we are absolutely geared up and ready to assist you remotely.
  • The best way to get assistance is to email our help desk (help@pitzer.edu). Please do not call directly. We have access to the Help Desk phone line, but it will easily get bottle-necked if everyone calls at once. There can only be ONE IT staff member answering a call, whereas you have 16 people looking at your email when you email help@pitzer.edu. If you prefer a phone conversation, email our Help Desk with your issue and phone number and someone will call you back right away.
  • On the same note, please do not email IT staff members individually. We are all inundated and the best way to expedite your issue is for it to reach all of us and spread the workload.
  • Classes begin on March 30; our IT staff are here for you! We encourage all our faculty members to contact us next week (March 23 through March 27) if you need to. We can be your “pretend student” and attend a Zoom meeting or we can test that quiz out on Sakai. 
  • Speaking of Sakai: Your IT office made some changes over spring break and you will be happy to know that videos in Sakai no longer require the students to VPN in to see them off campus. If you have told your students to use VPN to watch videos, please send them another communication letting them know that it’s no longer necessary. 

Additional Resources on our Pitzer Website:

For faculty information on Technology Enhanced Teaching:  https://www.pitzer.edu/information-technology/tech-enhanced-teaching/

For information about Working Remotely/WFH (Working from Home):   https://www.pitzer.edu/information-technology/services/remotework/

Information for students about Online Learning:   https://www.pitzer.edu/information-technology/services/onlinelearning/

Please see this link for IT-hosted training and workshops for March 23 – 26.

Jessica Levy
Assistant Director, User Services
Information Technology

Remote Education Training Sessions for Faculty - 03.23.20

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Monday, 3/23

10 – 11 a.m.
Open Faculty Forum for Questions and Concerns
Hosted by Phil Zuckerman, Associate Dean
Zoom Meeting URL: https://pitzer.zoom.us/j/184446981

1:30 – 2:30 p.m.
Introduction to Zoom (click here to sign up)

3 – 4 p.m.
Introduction to Zoom (click here to sign up)

Tuesday, 3/24

9 – 11 a.m.
Practice sessions with IT support (click here to sign up)

10:30 – 11:30 a.m.
Suddenly Online: Tips for Assigning and Responding to Student Writing
Hosted by Andrea Scott, Writing Center Director & Stephanie Liu-Rojas, Writing Center Assistant Director
Zoom Meeting URL: https://pitzer.zoom.us/j/257475574
Meeting ID: 257 475 574

1:30 – 2:30 p.m.
Suddenly Online: Tips for Assigning and Responding to Student Writing
Hosted by Andrea Scott, Writing Center Director & Stephanie Liu-Rojas, Writing Center Assistant Director
Zoom Meeting URL: https://pitzer.zoom.us/j/401974177
Meeting ID: 401-974-177

2 – 4 p.m.
Practice sessions with IT support (click here to sign up)

3 – 4 p.m.
Continuing Community Engagement in an Online Environment
Hosted by Tricia Morgan, CEC Managing Director & Tessa Hicks-Peterson, CASA Director
Zoom Meeting URL: https://pitzer.zoom.us/j/802179948?pwd=Y3JBR0x1L0N6dXBBaW9BQjJ4NGpkdz09
Meeting ID: 802 179 948

Wednesday, 3/25

9 – 11 a.m.
Practice sessions with IT support (click here to sign up)

10 – 11 a.m.
Continuing Community Engagement in an Online Environment
Hosted by Tricia Morgan, CEC Managing Director & Tessa Hicks-Peterson, CASA Director
Zoom Meeting URL: https://pitzer.zoom.us/j/691683087?pwd=cWJnVWlyWEE2clpPcnp6eDljY2sxQT09
Meeting ID: 691 683 087

2 – 4 p.m.
Practice sessions with IT support (click here to sign up)

Thursday, 3/26

9 – 11 a.m.
Practice sessions with IT support (click here to sign up)

1:30 – 2:30 p.m.
Open Faculty Forum for Questions and Concerns
Hosted by Phil Zuckerman, Associate Dean
Zoom Meeting URL: https://pitzer.zoom.us/j/931806304

2 – 4 p.m.
Practice sessions with IT support (click here to sign up)

Friday, 3/27

Holiday: Cesar Chavez Day

A Message from the President - 03.20.20

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March 20, 2020

Pitzer College COVID-19 Update

On Thursday, March 19, 2020, the County of Los Angeles and State of California issued similar orders calling for all residents to stay at home with certain qualified exceptions. The County of Los Angeles Public Health Officer’s “Safer at Home” public order to increase social distancing in L.A. County went into effect at midnight Thursday and ends April 19, 2020. This Order requires that most people stay home, unless they are engaged in certain “essential activities.”

In this message from the Pitzer College campus, President Oliver provides updates from the Office of Student Affairs on recent milestones accomplished in providing for the travel of departing students as well as the care (and room and board) of a small contingent of students who have remained on campus. We also hear from the Dean of Faculty about preparations to resume classes online on March 30.


Here are a few updates about Pitzer students’ departure from campus and some behind the scenes insights about those who received approval based on their exceptional need to remain on campus, at least temporarily.

  • As of Wednesday, March 18, Pitzer’s residence halls were closed as all but 49 students had completed their move out. The remaining students are now housed with meals being delivered daily to their doorsteps. Because of these unique circumstances, Student Affairs is storing an unusually high number of personal belongings left behind by students when they departed for spring break. We look forward to the day residents return to retrieve their belongs and move back into their rooms. Thanks to the extraordinary work of Residence Life and Facilities staff and the residents, the transition went thoughtfully, smoothly and efficiently.
  • Forty-four students were assisted in their travel arrangements to return home by Student Affairs staff who booked their flights, provided ground transportation to the airport and covered baggage fees. Financial support as needed was provided from students’ financial aid packages, the Dean of Students Emergency Fund and donations from a handful of student organizations. Nine laptop computers, many provided by admission and prepped by IT, were distributed to students who needed these tools to complete their academic work.
  • Career Services staff will continue to be available to students on-line.

– Mike Segawa, Vice President for Student Affairs


As outlined below, faculty and staff in academic affairs are modifying courses and gearing up to teach classes using online and remote formats. There have also been some changes in select academic policies for this semester only; these changes are to help minimize disruptions from the abrupt change to online courses and to facilitate student progress.

  • Faculty members have been participating in training sessions led by Pitzer’s IT team on how to use Zoom as well as Sakai for the resumption of their classes in online formats beginning March 30. Individual faculty members have been collaborating with each other and within field groups during spring break to modify current courses, develop plans for completion of major requirements, and consider different ways of helping to ensure fulfilling student experiences in the new online learning environment.
  • In addition to training sessions this week, new training workshops and online forums will be offered to faculty next week. A schedule for those sessions will be released separately to faculty members.     

Students are not expected to be engaged in academic coursework until March 30. In advance of that date, however, they are encouraged to explore the Student’s Guide to Online Learning. From that webpage, students will be able to familiarize themselves with Zoom and other online resources that will be used to complete their spring semester courses. Students are encouraged to test their devices to be sure that they are ready to join their classes on Zoom. From this test site, students can click “Join” to do a test run of a Zoom meeting.

  • A few academic policies have been modified for this semester in order to create greater flexibility for students and faculty; these modifications have been adopted by all of the Claremont undergraduate colleges and can be found here. For example, the Drop deadline for classes has been extended. In addition, faculty can now elect credit/no credit grading for students who request it and if appropriate for their course. Changes to other academic policies are under consideration and will be announced after they are finalized. Many of these policy modifications are being developed in coordination with the other Claremont undergraduate colleges as well as Pitzer’s existing governance committees.
  • Nearly all Pitzer students who were studying abroad are now home or on their way home. For students in Pitzer-run programs, we are working to ensure that students will be able to complete scheduled coursework using remote learning technologies (just as is being done for on-campus classes). For students enrolled in study abroad programs sponsored by other institutions, many of them will complete their programs from their homes and through online coursework. Some specific academic work is also being developed when needed to ensure that students are able to make progress even though their study abroad experiences were cut short. We hope to have plans in place for all study abroad students by the time on-campus classes resume.

– Allen Omoto, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty

Please see updates available at Pitzer College’s COVID-19 Emergency web page, including CA Governor Gavin Newsom’s “Stay At Home” Executive Order N-33-20 and the County of Los Angeles Safer At Home Order for Control of COVID-19.

When a crisis is upon us, it takes incredible effort to meet its challenges. I believe that Pitzer College has clearly shown its mettle. All of you have stepped up to meet those challenges with conviction and grace. The residential transition took the cooperation of students and staff. Mike Segawa and his superb professionals in Student Affairs worked seamlessly with Mark Crawbuck and his fantastic team of facilities members to support over 700 students in an all too quick move out of their dorm rooms and on their way home. Our faculty is approaching the challenge of remote teaching with determination and the same commitment that they bring to their outstanding face-to-face instruction. I am humbled by the dedication you have demonstrated to make this semester work out for our students, faculty and staff. Stay safe and practice “social distancing” as we all look forward to the time we will be together again.

Provida Futuri,

Melvin L. Oliver

Mail Center – Adjusted Hours - 03.20.20

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Friday, March 20, 2020

Dear Pitzer Community, 

Yesterday, LA County and city health officials ordered new restrictions asking nonessential businesses to close and residents to stay at home to help contain the COVID-19 virus. Only essential staff will have a limited presence on campus.

Effective Monday, March 23 through April 19, mailroom hours will be: 
Monday: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Thursday 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday: Closed 

If you have an emergency regarding package delivery, please feel free to contact the mailroom supervisor at kathleen_kile@pitzer.edu between the hours of 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Thank you for your understanding and patience as we navigate through this process supporting our mailroom staff and keeping them safe. 

Thank you,

Deanna Caballero
Assistant Vice President, Human Resources and Payroll Services

A Message from the President - 03.16.20

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March 16, 2020

Dear Pitzer College Community,

Pitzer College has officially begun the extended Spring Break 2020 (March 16 – 27). Although most students, faculty and many staff will be away from campus during this time, I want to take this opportunity to share information with you about some of the work that is being done to respond to the many challenges presented by the COVID-19 public health threat. Please continue to refer to Pitzer’s COVID-19 webpage for resources and updates.


As we announced last week, Pitzer, along with other Claremont undergraduate colleges, is directing students to leave campus as a prudent measure of social distancing. Since that time, our Student Affairs professionals have been working tirelessly to facilitate this transition. Pitzer students with extenuating circumstances could apply to remain in campus housing for the remainder of the semester and a number of exceptions were granted by Student Affairs, primarily based on potential health risks if students returned home or faced housing insecurity circumstances.

Student Affairs is also assisting students with many other move-out details, making travel arrangements, providing or arranging for shuttle service to airports, storing students’ belongings and responding to dozens of individual requests for assistance. This has been an incredible disruption for our students and I want to commend Student Affairs for their dedication, compassion and creativity in responding to this unprecedented circumstance.

Going forward, students who remain on campus should expect to receive information about their residential experience and the College’s expectations of them in this new environment. However, the level of services will almost certainly be minimal.  Although dining services are available at Pomona and Harvey Mudd, the McConnell dining hall will remain closed. Residence Directors will be on call, yet there will be no RA coverage and social events are not scheduled. The Gold Student Center (including the swimming pool and fitness center) will be closed until further notice. This will be a somewhat spartan existence, but as we are seeing all around us, social distancing is the best strategy to “smooth the curve” of infections and keep our health care facilities from being overrun with cases.

Around the Claremont Colleges, services will be available on a limited basis during our extended spring break and beyond. Refer to Student Service Hours and Operations with any questions you have for:  Student Health Services, Monsour Counseling and Psychological Services (MCAPS), Campus Safety, Chaplains, Chicano Latino Student Affairs (CLSA), Office of Black Student Affairs (OBSA), Student Disability Resource Center (SDRC), Health Education Outreach (HEO), Huntley Bookstore and Connections.


Faculty are actively engaging in the transition to the virtual classroom. Workshops last week focused on technology and unique pedagogical considerations associated with remote course instruction were very well attended. Additional training sessions will be announced later today. Similarly, students should expect to receive information next week (the week of extended break) about using Zoom or other remote tools.

Governance work also continues. We successfully navigated our first virtual College Council meeting on Thursday with over 80 attendees and other committees are devising strategies to carry on their important work as well. 

Thank you to our faculty (and our outstanding IT staff) for embracing this work with such enthusiasm. I encourage you to continue sharing resources and working directly with our students in ways that are responsible and consistent with social distancing recommendations. 


Last week, Pitzer made the difficult decision to suspend all Study Abroad programs. Dean of Faculty Allen Omoto’s announcement explains the reasoning for this decision and the complex logistics involved. The Office of International Programs and Study Abroad has also been working around the clock to assist students with travel arrangements and, together with Student Affairs, assisting our international students who face uncertainty about their ability to return home either during this semester or at its conclusion. I want to thank the Study Abroad staff for their timely work in attending to our students’ needs abroad and here on campus.


Pitzer is moving to a telework arrangement for staff as the circumstances allow and IT has posted a Work from Home Toolkit to assist the campus. We anticipate maintaining minimum operations for remaining residential students and some in-person support as we transition to online instruction. More information will be forthcoming as our specific needs take shape in this new environment.

Yesterday, Governor Newsom issued several social distancing recommendations, including self-isolation for California residents over age 65. Pitzer will be working with affected staff to observe that recommendation and others as the situation develops. 

Please join me in thanking our Facilities staff members who have worked this past week to help move students out while maintaining an enhanced cleaning regimen that aligns with CDC guidance.

Finally, we know that schools and child-care facilities have or will be closing for an extended period. This will create new challenges for many of us as we respond to the needs of our families. I assure you that Pitzer will be compassionate and flexible in responding to these circumstances and is committed to paying our staff their regular wages through the semester regardless of whether the conditions allow them to work.


Community members have raised several questions about how Pitzer will handle student employment. Information is posted in a Questions and Answers format here. We are still working through some of the regulatory complexities associated with student employment and will update this information as additional decisions are finalized.
This has been an extraordinarily difficult week for all of us and much work lies ahead. Every day brings new information, new guidance, new concerns and new challenges. I have recognized several offices here for their inspiring work, but I know that all of you are doing everything you can. Thank you for your dedication and unwavering support. Let’s all continue to work together with our consortial partners, students, faculty and staff in protecting the community, ensuring the continuation of the College’s mission and keeping each student’s educational experience positive and on track. 
Provida Futuri,

Melvin L. Oliver

Hours of Operation and Modes of Operation Effective Monday, March 16, 2020 - 03.15.20

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REVISED – Sunday, March 15, 2020

Spring break is officially underway beginning Monday, March 16, 2020; however, many students will likely be leaving campus given the transition to online/remote instruction. Please share hours of operation and mode of operations for the following services.

Student Health Services

  • Open 8 am – 5 pm closed for lunch from noon to 1 pm, Monday through Friday.
  • SHS will see urgent visits and medication refills, no routine appointments during spring break (March 16, 2020 – March 27, 2020).
  • Our RN advice line is available 24/7; please call 909-621-8222 and follow the prompts to speak to an RN.
  • For SHIP (Aetna student health) here is the link to 24/7 RN advice line.
  • For SHIP (Aetna student health) here is the link to Teledoc; Aetna is offering zero copayments for these services for the next 90 days-for any reason.
  • SHS can be reached at 909-621-8222.

Monsour Counseling and Psychological Services (MCAPS)

  • Open 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.; closed for lunch from noon-1 p.m., Monday through Friday.
  • MCAPS will have crisis appointments available for students, as well as scheduled urgent care appointments with therapists who are here that week.
  • In addition, Monsour will continue to offer crisis support via telephone to all students, whether on or off campus, 24 hours/day. To access this service, please call us at 909-621- 8202, and either request to be transferred to an on-call therapist for a phone assessment, or after hours press “1” to be connected to an on-call therapist.
  • MCAPS in-person therapists will remain available to consult with Deans and other 7C students/staff /faculty during regular business hours.
  • Psychiatry services for students remaining in the local area and who can come to campus will remain available.
  • Referral services to assist clients in finding appropriate off-campus mental health care for local students with routine concerns, as well as for those who have returned home will be provided.
  • Regular (non-crisis) on-going therapy will not be available for the remainder of this semester.

For both SHS and MCAPS or in an emergency, after hours or weekends, call Campus Safety at 909-607-2000.

McAlister Center for Religious Activities

Open 8am – 5pm Monday, March 16 through Wednesday, March 18.

  • Swipe access to McAlister will be terminated on Friday, March 13, 2020 at 5pm.
  • Staff will work remotely beginning Monday, March 16 and is available as follows:

Please contact Ariel Gachupin, Office Coordinator:

To reach a Chaplain directly

Rabbi Danny
Schedule an online meeting

Father Joe

Imam Adeel
Schedule an online meeting

The Chaplains will continue to provide support to students with support, education and online meetings.

Through these uncertain times, feelings of isolation and worry may occur. Please know that the Chaplains are available and eager to support you. Please don’t hesitate to reach out for help, questions, or suggestions of ways we can better serve you. The Chaplains are exploring opportunities to connect with students in a virtual environment. Any updates on this availability will be posted to the Chaplains website.

Chicano Latino Student Affairs (CLSA)

Open 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday, March 16 through Wednesday, March 18

  • Swipe access to CLSA will be terminated on Friday, March 13, 2020 at 5 p.m.
  • It is anticipated that staff will work remotely beginning Thursday, March 19 and will be available by email at clsa@claremont.edu. Students can contact CLSA staff via phone, email and Zoom teleconferencing.
  • CLSA will continue to assist students with the following services:
    • Advising students
    • Reviewing personal statements for graduate/research programs, internships, jobs, etc.
    • Conducting interviews with students who want to be CLSA sponsors (peer mentors). The format for interviews will be confirmed by CLSA.
  • CLSA staff are exploring opportunities to connect with students in a virtual environment. Any updates on this availability will be posted to the CLSA website.

Office of Black Student Affairs (OBSA)

  • Swipe access to OBSA will be terminated on Friday, March 13, 2020 at 5 p.m.
  • Staff will work remotely beginning Monday, March 16 and will be available by phone at 909- 607-3669 and email at obsa@claremont.edu
  • OBSA will continue to assist students with the following services:
    • Advising students
    • Reviewing personal statements for graduate/research programs, internships, jobs, etc.
  • OBSA staff are exploring opportunities to connect with students in a virtual environment. Any updates on this availability will be posted to the OBSA website.

Student Disability Resource Center (SDRC

  • Staff will work remotely beginning Monday, March 16 and will be available by email at sdrc@cuc.claremont.edu or 909-607-7419. Please leave a voicemail message and your call will be returned.
  • SDRC will continue to provide services for assistive technology support, student accommodation support, faculty support and other services. We will have limited ability to proctor in person exams and this can be arranged on a case by case basis. Faculty who are interested in how to ensure accommodations are made using the new online platforms can call or email for assistance. Meeting or training requests that can be filled by phone or Zoom will be accepted but no in person meetings, trainings or events will be held for the remainder of the Spring semester.
  • Disability Coordinator meetings will continue to be held but will be moving to a conference call platform.

Health Education Outreach (HEO)

Huntley Bookstore

  • The bookstore will remain open. Hours of operation will be 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Monday through Friday


  • Connection will maintain the same hours as the Library: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
  • Mail services will continue as normal 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Study Abroad and International Programs - 03.13.20

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March 13, 2020

Dear Colleagues,

I write to inform you that, in consultation with the staff from the Office of Study Abroad and International Programs as well as Pitzer leadership, I made the difficult decision on Thursday, March 12, to bring home all of our students who are currently studying abroad. We are prioritizing bringing home the students who are currently in Europe, but all students will be returned home and not to the Pitzer campus. The Pitzer Office of Student Affairs will work with students who cannot return home to determine a safe alternative for them and using the same procedures that they are using with on-campus students who cannot return home at this time. No decisions have been made about summer or fall study abroad programs. We will continue to monitor the global situation and to communicate decisions about these programs as we make them.

Several factors contributed to the decision to bring students home, including recently issued public health and travel advisories. For one, the US Department of State has issued a Global Level 3 Health Advisory; this advisory states that all global travel should be reconsidered and includes the warning that “even countries, jurisdictions, or areas where cases have not been reported may restrict travel without notice:” see travel advisory. Fulbright scholars across the globe also have been advised to return home. Another factor was the recently announced suspension of travel to the US from most of Europe for non-US citizens. This ban covers the next 30 days, but it could be extended or expanded to include more countries and other groups of people. Finally, new travel restrictions are being announced across the world seemingly every hour, making it increasingly difficult to predict if or when we would be able to safely return our students.

As of this writing, all students studying abroad have been notified of this decision, some are already on their way home, and we are working on finalizing travel arrangements for others. Staff in the Office of Study Abroad and International Programs are working with members of the team in the Dean of Faculty Office to develop academic plans for each of the students who returns. As it turns out, many of the international programs that were supporting our students are themselves going to online course delivery just as Pitzer has done. This will mean that the students in these programs can continue their academic programs even after they return home.

As I hope is clear, the decision to bring students home was not made lightly or arbitrarily. Pitzer has a long history of international engagement, including through our study abroad programs, and intercultural understanding is a core value in a Pitzer education. It is disheartening to have to withdraw students who are studying away from campus, and especially because many of them did not perceive imminent threat. Pitzer’s priority, first and foremost, is to student and community health, wellbeing, and safety. Further, we strive to provide students with high quality and rigorous educational experiences, including opportunities to study abroad in well-planned and consistent academic programs. The continuing deterioration of the global health and travel situation was creating an ever more precarious set of circumstances for our students. Bringing the students home now simply seemed to be the best, albeit difficult, decision.

This is a very challenging time for all of us for many and different reasons. I thank you for the work you are doing to support students, staff, and each other.

Allen M. Omoto, PhD
Vice President for Academic Affairs
Dean of Faculty

Student Employment & Work Study: Questions & Answers - 03.13.20

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Updated March 16, 2020

Question: Will I continue to be paid for non-work study student employment?

Answer: Non-federal work study student employees will be paid by the College based on projected earnings for the remainder of the semester. It is the College’s plan to process a one-time payment based on a student’s average earnings during the spring semester pay periods multiplied by the remaining bi-weekly pay periods in the academic year. We will be review each pay period to determine the typical work hours to ensure the most accurate average payroll. Projected earnings (inclusive of work study and non-work study) will be capped at the equivalent of 20 hours per week. We anticipate the lump sum payment to be released April 3rd.

Students who have not already done so should sign up for Payroll Direct Deposit and/or update their permanent address in Workday so that their payment reaches them in a timely manner.

Question: Will I be able to continue working? Will I be able to work remotely in a work-study or non-work-study job?

Answer: Students should not work for the remainder of the semester. The one-time payment you will receive is being made in lieu of any future wages that you could have earned. You may voluntarily choose to engage in research or other activities on your own time and for your own benefit during the remainder of the semester, but there is no expectation that you should be working. In any case, please observe all federal and state guidance about safety, social distancing and self-isolation.

Q.  Will I be able to receive my remaining work-study allocation?

Answer:  For students enrolled and actively working in a federal work-study position through Pitzer, the College will continue to pay federal work-study wages that you would have earned in an amount not to exceed your federal work-study allocation in your financial aid package. Please note that all colleges must adhere to US Department of Education (DOE) requirements regarding payment of such wages. The DOE is currently reviewing these requirements in light of the fact that, like Pitzer, many institutions are transitioning to a virtual environment for delivery of instruction for the remainder of the semester and students will be attending classes remotely. 

Students should have correctly submitted and approved all electronic time sheets by Friday, March 13, 2020. Students will receive their paycheck for hours worked on March 20, 2020.

It is the College’s plan to process a one-time payment based on a student’s average earnings during the spring semester pay periods multiplied by the remaining bi-weekly pay periods in the academic year. We will review each pay period to determine the typical work hours to ensure the most accurate average payroll. Projected earnings (inclusive of work study and non-work study) will be capped at the equivalent of 20 hours per week. The amount of the payment will not exceed your remaining unearned federal work-study allocation. We anticipate the lump sum payment to be released April 3rd.

Students who have not already done so should sign up for Payroll Direct Deposit and/or update their permanent address in Workday so that their payment reaches them in a timely manner.

Federal Work Study - 03.13.20

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March 13, 2020

Dear Students,

Those of you who are enrolled and actively working in a Federal Work-Study position through Pitzer, the college will continue to pay Federal Work-Study wages that you would have earned in an amount not to exceed your Federal Work-Study award in your financial aid package.

Please ensure that you have correctly submitted and approved all electronic time sheets by Friday, March 13, 2020. You will receive your paycheck on March 20, 2020 for all hours worked between February 29th – March 13th. The College will also process a one-time payment based on your average earnings in the Spring Semester pay periods multiplied by the remaining bi-weekly pay periods in the academic year. The amount of the payment will not exceed your remaining unearned Federal Work-Study award.

If you have not already done so, please sign up for payroll Direct Deposit and/or update your permanent address in Workday so that your payment reaches you in a timely manner. You may also fill out the attached direct deposit form and return to Human Resources. We anticipate the lump sum payment to be released April 3rd.

More communication to come for those students who do not receive federal work study wages, but do have an on-campus paying job.

Thank you,

Human Resources and Payroll Services
Fax: 909.621.8415

President’s Update for COVID-19 - 03.11.20

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Dear Pitzer College Community,

In my March 10 message, I shared with you Pitzer College’s efforts to address the growing public health threat from COVID-19 to our entire community – the colleges and our close Claremont neighbors.

While there are no confirmed cases in The Claremont Colleges, it is clear that this situation is changing rapidly; we are faced with trying to mitigate the possible effects of COVID-19, not only on Pitzer’s campus, but in The Claremont Colleges and the broader Claremont community.

Students traveling during spring break may travel to areas already impacted by the virus and unknowingly on their return to campus, significantly increase the potential of infection.

Since Saturday, the presidents of The Claremont Colleges have been meeting daily, and with input from the student deans, the treasurers, IT and the academic deans, have determined that spring break is both a potential danger to our campuses and an opportunity for us to institute some clear mitigation strategies that will enhance our health and safety. The best way to mitigate this risk, according to public health experts, is to abide by careful social distancing practices.

In collaboration with our 5C undergraduate colleges, I am announcing the following proactive measures:

Transition to Remote Learning

  • All of The Claremont Colleges have agreed to extend spring break by an additional week. This means that classes are cancelled the week of March 22-28.
  • During this additional spring break week, faculty at all of the colleges will be reworking their courses and accessing trainings in order to transition to a remote learning environment for the remainder of the semester, beginning Monday, March 30.
  • For a number of our curricular offerings, this transition will be especially challenging and I understand that online education is not the experience that you sought when you chose Pitzer as the place to pursue your studies or your career. We will all have to be patient and understanding as we work through the challenges in this transition and make the best of these difficult circumstances.
  • The Dean of Faculty’s office and IT are assisting with online course delivery, including instructional strategies, available tools and recommended best practices. Relevant information will be regularly updated at the following link:  guidance and recommendations. Specific faculty questions and concerns can be directed to Dean_Faculty@pitzer.edu.
  • Students will receive further communication prior to the resumption of online classes. Our expectation is that this information will be provided through the Sakai site for each course.

Residence Halls

  • Given the likelihood of significant disruptions to life on campus, students are asked to make plans to move out of their main campus and Claremont Collegiate Apartments (CCA).  All students should complete their “COVID-19 Checkout/Emergency Housing” application on their Residence homepage in order to communicate your plans with Residence Life staff. https://pitzer-residence.symplicity.com/.  
  • Moving Out of the Residence Halls, Claremont Collegiate Apartments (CCA) & the Grove House
    • Students should plan to depart campus no later than Wednesday, March 18, 2020 at 5pm. 
  • Requesting Emergency Housing to Stay On-Campus
    • We understand that some students may need to remain in Claremont due to international travel restrictions, medical considerations that would be impacted by travel, and/or housing insecurity issues.  
    • The deadline to apply to remain on campus is Friday, March 13, 2020 at noon.
  • Visit Student Housing & Dining page for more detailed information.

Dining Services

  • Pitzer’s McConnell Dining Hall will cease regular hours and operations on Friday, March 13 after dinner service.
  • All students with a meal plan will be able to access limited consortium dining services starting Saturday, March 14 until Wednesday, March 18 for dinner. 
  • More information regarding dining services after March 18 will be shared with those approved for Emergency Housing.

Event Cancellations

  • On-campus events such as Kohoutek Music & Arts Festival and the Rockabilly Festival have been canceled to avoid increased risk of transmission in the crowds these events typically draw to campus. Other public campus events scheduled for this semester should be canceled, postponed or transitioned to a virtual environment if at all possible.
  • Beginning Monday, March 16, Admission and Financial Aid Office events (Admitted Students Day, the Diversity Program, Day and Overnight visits, student-guided tours and group visits) are cancelled through mid-April or will be remade as virtual events, including live feeds with faculty and staff. The office will remain open and counselors will be available to answer questions, schedule phone appointments and visit with admitted students at designated times. The office will share specific information with the appropriate constituents as plans solidify.
  • Alumni Weekend will be postponed.
  • We recognize that commencement is an especially cherished tradition at Pitzer College. Please be patient as we evaluate our options.

Ongoing Campus Operations

  • Campus will remain open through spring break and beyond. All staff should expect to continue work on site until they receive instructions about remote or other work arrangements from their vice president in the coming days.
  • As mentioned above, the Dean of Faculty’s office has announced training sessions for distance learning technology and best practices. Faculty should feel free to work on or off campus as their particular circumstances suggest is appropriate. Please consult the Dean’s office for further guidance as plans take shape.
  • The Offices of Human Resources, Financial Aid and Student Affairs are working together to bring you and supervisors all the information necessary. Updates will be made available on this COVID-19 page

Study Abroad

  • The Office of Study Abroad and International Programs (SAIP) continues to monitor the conditions at all of Pitzer’s study abroad sites on a daily basis by reviewing health advisories and communicating with program partners and on-site staff. SAIP has been meeting regularly with other campus offices to discuss potential issues and is responding to any concerns raised by participating students or their families.
  • At this point, spring semester study abroad programming will continue, subject to any new concerns that develop.
  • SAIP is also evaluating the viability of summer and fall study abroad programs. Expect to receive additional information about these programs as we approach key decision dates. If you have questions, please contact SAIP at 909.621.8104 or StudyAbroad@pitzer.edu.  

College-Sponsored Travel

  • Given the public health risks, we are only approving essential College-sponsored staff travel, either international or domestic. For staff, please consult with your vice president about your business travel plans.
  • Faculty were previously asked to share information about business travel plans with the Dean of Faculty’s office. We ask that you please cooperate with that request. At this time, we are not approving new business travel requests. If you choose to cancel a planned business trip, please work with the Dean of Faculty’s office on reimbursement.
  • Personal travel – please check CDC and State Department advisories before making new travel plans.

To our students, we encourage you to rededicate yourselves to your studies. As you work remotely, please approach your courses with new energy and creativity. We are working to find ways to make the most of your Pitzer experience this semester.

To our parents, I rededicate myself, our staff and faculty to the health, safety and continued growth of your student. We cherish your trust and will do everything in our power to advance your student’s transformative education at Pitzer.

To our faculty, thank you for your commitment to your students and your sense of adventure in tackling the challenge of remote instruction. Pitzer is committed to your success this semester and we are going to support you in every way we can.

I thank Pitzer’s staff for their unceasing dedication to our students and faculty. We will keep you informed in the coming days and weeks about Pitzer’s remote work policy for eligible employees.

Thank you all for your understanding and partnering with Pitzer during this challenging time. Going forward, I expect to continue to work with the recently appointed Pitzer COVID-19 Task Force and our consortial partners in making decisions and leading the College response to this public health threat. I am confident that with your help and support we will meet these extraordinary challenges in the coming days and months.

Provida Futuri,
Melvin L. Oliver


Health Precautions - 03.11.20

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March 11, 2020

Health Precautions
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicates the main COVID-19 symptoms are: fever, cough and shortness of breath. Everyday preventive actions can help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases:

  • Avoid contact with others who are sick
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
  • Do not travel while sick
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.

Medical Assistance for Students
If you are symptomatic or feeling ill, call Student Health Services at 909.621.8222 to speak with a registered nurse to access your symptoms and consult via telephone. During after-hours or weekends, call Campus Safety at 909.607.2000. Campus Safety can also connect you with Pitzer’s 24/7 On-Call Student Affairs Team.

Additional Resources

Note to Staff - 03.11.20

This post has been archived. The information below may be outdated.

March 11, 2020

Dear Staff,

Today there will be an unprecedented move for Pitzer in moving to an online platform mid semester in light on concern for the safety of the community. There will be a message going out to the community momentarily.

We have all been watching in the media as cases continue to build, individuals are stocking their homes with supplies, and other peer institutions are taking similar measures to proactively respond to the virus threat. President Oliver and the other Claremont Presidents have been meeting daily among themselves, their leadership teams and their boards to assess the best path forward. Late yesterday on the advice of two epidemic experts, and with weighing all other factors, the decision was made to move forward in encouraging students to go home and to switch fully to an online platform.

At this time there is no known cases on any of the Claremont campuses, however we would not take this action if we didn’t see appropriate.  Many staff have already been engaged in preparing for this as a possibility, but today it is our reality.  We are not shutting down campus.  We have students that will have nowhere to go and we will be here for them; we have faculty researchers that will need access to labs and tools to get classes online, we will accommodate; we have staff that are relying on their paycheck and we will process that. There will need to be a presence on campus to accommodate a very limited operation. You are to adhere to your normal schedule and report to work until another arrangement is made with your supervisor and the Vice President of your area. Alternative work arrangements are being explored, and will be more aggressively sought after the majority of students have left. 

The College intends to pay staff employees based on the regular work schedule even if their job responsibilities are curtailed through the end of the 2020 spring semester. This was endorsed and approved by the board late last night.  Vacation and sick time will be accrued during this time and only reduced when an individual is sick or taking vacation. We hope to be back to regular operations at the end of the semester, but if not, please know I will be communicating that as soon as possible. It would be very helpful if we do not need to cut checks so if you have not already gone to direct deposit please consider coming to HR and doing so ASAP.

As we move through these next few days, I am very mindful of the safety of all of you. If you are sick, you should go home.  If you are scared, you should talk to your area leaders for guidance. I’ve been funneling information from HR through the area Vice Presidents for the past few days about alternative work arrangements and staff options.  You can go to them or you can go to Deanna in HR with questions and concerns. 

There are few things we know for sure about the virus, but what we are aware of we can consider in how we proceed.  Keep this in mind:

  • Social distancing is recommended. Think about what you can do. Limit in-person meetings. Keep 3-6 feet away from folks as you are talking to them if possible. Use Zoom and phone and other IT resources as you can.
  • Be mindful of touching your face. Even with handwashing, if you are touching surfaces and then touching your mouth, nose and eyes than you are creating a path to transmit.

In the past three days, I’ve been brought to tears by the remarkable dedication of many of our staff to supporting the health and safety of our community. Folks all around you are carrying burdens that you are not seeing on their face as they are pushing the limits of their abilities to respond the best they know.  I’m reaching out to ask you all to be supportive, be kind, be thoughtful and be calm. Check on one another, offer to help, and be a leader.

On behalf of the President, the Board and the Cabinet we are truly grateful for your contributions and commitment through this challenging time. 

Laura Troendle,
Vice President for Finance, Administration and Treasurer

President’s Update for COVID-19 - 03.10.20

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Dear Pitzer students, faculty and staff,

I write to update you about the activity underway by the College to protect and support our community and on the development of our emergency plans. I encourage you to bookmark Pitzer’s COVID-19 Information page for status updates and announcements relating to COVID-19. You should also visit the LA County Department of Public Health (LA DPH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) websites for the most up-to-date information on COVID-19 (novel coronavirus). 

At this time, there are no suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 at The Claremont Colleges.  

Our Pitzer area teams are examining every contingency as they work on your behalf. Here are some updates on near-term changes that are designed to limit your exposure to COVID-19 among our community.

Campus Events and Distance Learning

The President’s Council of The Claremont Colleges is considering whether the Colleges should transition to distance learning technology. More information will be forthcoming on this decision as soon as we can give you specific direction, likely within the next 24 hours.

In the meantime, the Dean of Faculty’s office is scheduling training courses to prepare for a transition to virtual instruction in the event that decision is made.

Similarly, campus events such as Admitted Students Day, Alumni Weekend, Rockabilly and Commencement are being evaluated and staff are consulting all parties. An announcement is expected within 24 hours.

COVID-19 Task Force

On March 4, I asked the Faculty Executive Committee to approve a special Task Force on responses to COVID-19. This Task Force will serve as a key advisory group to me as we implement any changes required to respond to the threat of COVID-19. The Task Force will be chaired by Chief of Staff Jamie Jorgensen, who has spearheaded our efforts in this regard thus far. The members of the Task Force include:

  • Paul Faulstich, Chair, Faculty Executive Committee (FEC)
  • Mita Banerjee, Interim Director, Institute of Global/Local Action and Study (IGLAS)
  • Allen Omoto, VP for Academic Affairs/Dean of Faculty
  • Caroline Joseph, Student Member of Faculty Executive Committee
  • Clint Isom, President, Student Senate  
  • Mike Segawa, VP for Student Affairs
  • Laura Troendle, Treasurer and VP for Finance and Administration
  • Mark Bailey, VP for Communications
  • Michael Ballagh, AVP for Study Abroad & International Programs
  • Kirsten Carrier, Associate Dean of Students and Director of Residence Life and Conference Services
  • Mark Crawbuck, Director of Facilities for Custodial, Grounds and Event Services
  • Jamie Jorgensen, Chief of Staff/Chief Legal Counsel

Pitzer’s Emergency Preparedness Committee led by Jamie Jorgensen, is adapting plans to accommodate existing and evolving risks, while also creating plans for response to unexpected developments.

Campus Planning & Preventative Efforts

  • Planning efforts are ongoing, both on Pitzer’s campus and in collaboration with our consortium and community peers. Representatives of all 7C colleges are conferring daily to keep each other informed of new developments and planning efforts, including decisions about implementation of distance learning.
  • Pitzer staff and faculty continue to monitor conditions at our study abroad sites, evaluate international travel issues and prepare for potential disruption of operations in our classrooms, residence halls and dining halls.
  • Over the past month, campus facilities staff have enhanced their cleaning routine with special attention to all public spaces and common areas. The College is stockpiling important sanitary and health supplies to add to the existing inventory of emergency supplies.
  • Student Affairs has made free soap available to all students and is encouraging good hygiene practices based on CDC recommendations. Also, the Office of Student Affairs shared pertinent information about spring break with students, including residence hall and dining options during the break.

Study Abroad & International Travel

  • Students returning from Italy and the Nepal program are back in the United States and working with the Study Abroad and Dean of Faculty’s offices to continue their course work remotely. 
  • Pitzer’s Institute for Global/Local Action & Study (IGLAS) trip to Palestine/Israel scheduled for March 13-22, 2020 has been canceled. 
  • The College continues to monitor conditions at our study abroad sites, communicate with our program partners and make thoughtful decisions on a case-to-case basis.
  • The US State Department and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have issued COVID-19 travel advisories for: China, Iran, South Korea, Japan and Hong Kong.
  • We strongly encourage all students, faculty and staff to postpone international travel due to uncertainty about changing foreign and airline restrictions that may affect your ability to return to the US at the conclusion of your trip.

Information Links

Pitzer Emergency Preparedness for regular information updates https://www.pitzer.edu/emergency/
Campus Safety 909.607.2000
Student Health Services 909.621.8222
Monsour Counseling and Psychological Serviceshttps://services.claremont.edu/mcaps/
CDC COVID-19 web page https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
LA County Department of County Health http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/

We must protect those among us who may be vulnerable to this virus. Expect regular communication from the College regarding updates on this issue.

Take care of yourself, wash your hands frequently and stay healthy.

Melvin L. Oliver

COVID-19 Update for Faculty - 03.06.20

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March 6, 2020

Dear Colleagues:

With FEC’s endorsement, we write to ask for your assistance in helping shape the College’s response to the COVID-19 crisis and our preparation for issues we may confront in the future. Our academic programs have been affected already; for example, we have suspended our study abroad programs in Italy and Nepal, and the IGLAS spring break trip to Palestine/Israel has been cancelled. We do not know what the future holds, and it is possible that our on-campus activities, including instruction and academic programs, will be affected.

At this time, we seek your assistance on the following:

  1. Please be prepared to assist community members in finding reliable and up-to-date health and travel information. Pitzer College will continue to compile and make available information from US Department of State and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as community notices and information on the COVID-19 page of Pitzer’s Emergency Information on this website.
  2. We ask that you consider your own travel plans, and especially if they include travel to regions or countries for which travel advisories have been issued. Please carefully consider your potential for exposure and the action you can take to minimize risk to yourself and others. You are invited to inform the DoF of your upcoming travel plans by sending a note to Dean_Faculty@pitzer.edu. Sharing this information could be beneficial to you and the College should you need assistance returning home, for instance.
  3. Prepare for and be flexible in working with students to complete coursework. Currently, the DoF is developing academic plans for students whose study abroad experiences have been cut short, while also working with Pitzer IT to assess our capacity to offer alternative methods of instruction across our academic programs. In the event that in-person class meetings are interrupted, we will likely draw on Sakai and Zoom video conferencing for instruction. We are developing a schedule for Zoom training workshops now and will be sending additional information about them when it is available.      

At minimum, these are trying circumstances that require adaptability and cooperation. We reach out to you in that spirit, and with the goal of drawing on Pitzer community strengths to address current and future challenges associated with this health crisis. Thank you for assistance and for all that you do for the College. 


Allen M. Omoto, Dean of Faculty

Paul Faulstich, FEC Chair

VP of Student Affairs Message to Students - 03.06.20

This post has been archived. The information below may be outdated.

March 6, 2020

Dear Pitzer Students,

As we look forward to spring break, we fully support and encourage you to make time to rest, connect with friends and loved ones, and engage in experiences that bring joy and meaning to your life.

To date, we have followed up on a handful of concerns and determined no members within The Claremont Colleges have been exposed to or diagnosed with COVID-19. In the event there is confirmation of a specific concern, you will receive notice directly from the College on the steps taken in response and guidance for the health and safety of the community. 

We also ask that you take proactive measures by reviewing the information provided below to ensure safe and healthy travels amid a global outbreak of COVID-19:

  • As a reminder, we encourage you to complete the Spring Break Travel, Housing and Meal Informational Survey by going to your Residence homepage. Spring break dining hall hours can also be found on the survey.
  • We strongly encourage all students, faculty and staff to postpone international travel due to uncertainty about changing foreign and airline restrictions that may affect your ability to return to the US at the conclusion of your trip.
  • As travel advisories continue to change, students traveling over spring break may receive precautionary or symptomatic related instructions by airlines or public health officials such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. You will be expected to cooperate with their guidance and work with Pitzer’s Office of Student Affairs to access student support services and accommodations.
  • We encourage you to carry your medical insurance card with you, especially if you plan to travel over spring break.
  • For students who will be enjoying spring break locally, please expect to receive updates soon on spring break activities, events and opportunities our team is actively working on preparing.
  • For all students, as always, be mindful of hosting off-campus guests especially as we want to ensure their health and safety, as well as the health and safety of our campus community.
  • You are encouraged to take precautions and be sure to wash your hands and follow preventative guidelines such as:
    • Avoid contact with people who are sick
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
    • Stay home if you are sick and do not travel
    • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect your living area regularly, particularly frequently-touched objects.
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  • The Office of Residence Life will be notifying residents of the availability of cleaning supplies and hand soap, at no cost.
  • If you are ill and believe you are symptomatic, do not attempt to drive yourself or present in person to Student Health Services to seek medical care. Call Campus Safety at 909.607.2000 to be connected to Student Health Services, a nurse on call or local emergency providers as needed. In addition, Campus Safety will also partner with Pitzer’s 24/7 on-call Student Affairs team.

Additional Resources

Pitzer’s Office of Student Affairs will be open during spring break and will operate with normal business hours. Our Student Affairs 24/7 On-Call Team will also be available by calling Campus Safety at 909.607.2000.

Your wellness, safety, success and that of our community continues to be a shared priority and we thank you for being partners in this process. We wish you a most enjoyable spring break! 

Be well,
Mike Segawa

President’s Message to the Community - 03.03.20

This post has been archived. The information below may be outdated.

March 3, 2020

Dear Pitzer College Students, Faculty and Staff:

The Pitzer College Student Affairs staff, the Dean of Faculty’s office, Human Resources, Study Abroad, the President’s office and other staff are carefully monitoring the COVID-19 Novel Coronavirus and its impacts abroad and at home. To date, no students, faculty or staff have been diagnosed with the virus at The Claremont Colleges. However, there is some specific information to share at this time.

Study Abroad

Last week, the College suspended its study abroad program in Parma, Italy. The Nepal program will also be suspended this week. Students will return to their homes while we transition their course of study to account for this disruption. These decisions were made after careful consideration of the potential health risks and travel complications. In Parma, restrictions imposed by the Italian government made it unfeasible for the academic program to continue. We continue to evaluate the circumstances in all of our study abroad locations and remain in constant contact with program directors, partners and students in those locations. Our priority has and will continue to be the safety and well-being of our students and colleagues abroad. 

In addition, we are closely monitoring the viability of our summer and fall study abroad programs. We have not made any decisions about those programs at this point but please understand that we may need to alter plans depending on the circumstances.

International Travel

The State Department and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have issued COVID-19 travel advisories for

China(Level 3 – Widespread sustained transmission and restrictions on entry to US)
Iran(Level 3 – Widespread sustained transmission and restrictions on entry to US)
South Korea(Level 3 – Widespread sustained transmission)
Italy(Level 3 – Widespread sustained transmission)
Japan(Level 2 – Sustained community transmission)
Hong Kong(Level 1 – Limited community transmission)

In light of the rapid spread of COVID-19, we recommend that all students, faculty and staff exercise extreme caution regarding international travel due to uncertainty about changing foreign and airline restrictions that may affect your ability to return to the US at the conclusion of your trip.

Campus Planning Efforts

On campus, contingency planning continues on many fronts:

This situation is very fluid with new information surfacing rapidly. I encourage all members of our community to think ahead and be prepared to adapt to disruptions in their regular routines as we respond to these challenges in the coming weeks and months.

Thank you for following recommended precautions to protect your health and the health of the Pitzer community during this period of risk. We are focused upon your safety and well-being.

Melvin L. Oliver

Information Links

Campus Safety  909.607.2000
Student Health Services 909.621.8222
CDC COVID-19 web page https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/
VP of Student Affairs Message to Students - 03.02.20

This post has been archived. The information below may be outdated.

March 2, 2020

Dear Pitzer Students,

The College continues to carefully monitor the COVID-19 (previously known as “2019 novel coronavirus”) and its impacts abroad and at home. To date, no students, faculty or staff members have been diagnosed with the COVID-19 at The Claremont Colleges. While there remains much about the virus that remains unknown, we are planning precautions and adaptations to this evolving public health situation. With this in mind, we are asking you to respond to questions about your upcoming spring break travel plans. To complete the Spring Break Travel, Housing and Meal Informational Survey, please go to your Residence homepage and complete the “Spring Break Survey – Spring 2020” application.

Please be aware of the current US Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs and CDC travel advisories regarding COVID-19.

In light of a rapidly changing landscape, the College strongly discourages you from traveling internationally during spring break. We urge you to reconsider and make alternate travel plans due to the uncertainty about your ability to return to the US at the conclusion of your trip.

All residence halls and the student apartments at Claremont Collegiate Apartments remain open over spring break. The Pitzer meal plan will continue through the spring break, at Frary Dining Hall, for all students currently on a meal plan.  

Pitzer is preparing for a number of scenarios and your responses will help us do that in the coming weeks and months. As this work continues, our priority is the safety of our students, faculty, staff and visitors. Pitzer’s Emergency Preparedness website is another resource for timely updates about the outbreak, resources and medical assistance from Student Health Services at The Claremont Colleges. 

Information for Pitzer Students Currently Studying Abroad or On Exchange

For students currently participating in study abroad or exchange, we are closely monitoring events and staying in close contact with programs.

In the event of an emergency while abroad, contact your local program director or other support staff. They are in the best position to provide immediate local assistance in a crisis. You may also contact the Office of Study Abroad at studyabroad@pitzer.edu or 909.621.8214.

In an emergency, call Campus Safety at 909.607.2000 for help in connecting to an on-call staff when the office is closed. 

 Community Health Precautions
The CDC has noted that the COVID-19 is likely to start spreading in communities in the US at some point and have identified preventive actions individuals can take. Knowing the facts about the disease is also important to help work against discrimination and rumors. The CDC indicates the main COVID-19 symptoms are: fever, cough and shortness of breath.

If you are feeling ill and symptomatic:

  • Avoid contact with others
  • Do not travel while sick
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.    

After-hours (Weekend) Medical Assistance:

If you are symptomatic or feeling ill, call 909.621.8222 and press option 5 to speak with a registered nurse to access consultation via telephone.

For urgent medical assistance call Campus Safety at 909.607.2000 or 9-1-1.

Students can also seek medical care at:

  • Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center
    1798 N. Garey Avenue, Pomona, CA 91767
  • San Antonio Community Hospital
    999 San Bernardino Road, Upland, CA 91786

If you are ill, do not attempt to drive yourself to seek medical care, call an ambulance or Campus Safety at 909.607.2000. Campus Safety can also connect you with Pitzer’s 24/7 On-Call Student Affairs Team.

Additional Resources

In the coming days, let’s work together as a community to share accurate information and take appropriate health precautions.

Mike Segawa
VP for Student Affairs