Housing Selection Update for Fall 2021 - 02.25.21

February 25, 2021

Dear Pitzer Students,  

With the optimistic news of increased vaccine access nationwide, we are currently planning a return to full occupancy in our campus housing for Fall 2021. We very much look forward to having our residence halls once again (safely) filled with our wonderful Pitzer students! From meeting virtual friends in-person for the first time and reconnecting with past roommates to enjoying Pasta Bar and repainting the Free Wall, we have much to look forward to as we reunite our community after these many months away from campus.  

As a reminder, these occupancy plans are in process and will respond accordingly to college-wide planning for fall, LA County guidance, and other health and safety protocols. There will be other COVID-19 related safety measures (i.e. masks, social distancing, Mindful of Each Other community agreement expectations, community health ambassadors, etc.) involved in a return to campus that we cannot fully predict at this time.  

To assist in student housing planning for the fall, in particular for those students who typically lease off-campus in the fall, we felt it was important to start painting a picture of our fall housing process. 

Changes for Fall 2021 to Housing Selection 

  • First-Year Experience (FYE) 
    • As is tradition, our Pitzer, Sanborn and Atherton (PAS) Halls will be used for the entering class.  
    • Considering the size of our incoming first-year class, some of these students will also live in Skandera Hall, which is typically within the West, East, and Skandera (WES) complex, but is located immediately adjacent to PAS.  
  • Sophomore Year Experience (SYE) 
    • We are eager to welcome the rising sophomore class to their first semester on campus!  
    • Since the sophomore class missed out on a first-year residential experience, we will be offering an opt-in “Sophomore Year Experience Community” this coming year in West, East, and Skandera halls.  
    • Sophomores looking to opt-out of the SYE can choose to live and select housing with Juniors and Seniors, or apply for Off-Campus approval.  
    • All sophomores in the SYE will be able to select their own suitemates/roommates, explore new roommates/suitemates via our software system, or sign-up to be placed with another sophomore who is also interested in the assigned roommate experience.  
  • Off-Campus Housing 
    • Typically about 40% of Seniors, 30% of Juniors, and 10% of Sophomores live off-campus. 
    • Sophomores,  Juniors, and Seniors are welcome to begin applying to live off-campus in the local Claremont area. Students must apply and be approved to live off-campus each year to be released from the live-on requirement.  
    • Seniors will be automatically approved for off-campus status upon applying. Juniors and Sophomores will be approved based upon review following our usual guidelines, more information at the Housing Selection website. 
    • Students considering applying for off-campus housing should review the Off-Campus Housing Guide
  • Campus Housing Selection 
    • Sophomores that decide to opt-out of the SYE can group with Juniors and Seniors.  
    • Individual housing selection times will be provided based on Class year, with Seniors prioritized. The best Individual Selection Time in a group becomes the Group Selection Time. The housing selection application is not yet available will be announced.  
    • Most of Mead Hall and the Claremont Collegiate Apartments (CCA) will be available for upper-class students seeking to live in campus housing. Any WES spaces still open after RADA, FYE, and SYE selection will also be available.  These halls host the majority of our singles and offer unique suite sizes: 
    • WES – Double and single rooms  
      • Any spaces still available after Room Accommodations for Disabilities, FYE and SYE housing processes.  
    • CCA – combination double and single rooms in apartment-style living  
      • 2 bed, 1 bath w/kitchen 
      • 2 bed, 2 bath w/kitchen  
      • 3 bed, 2 bath w/kitchen 
    • Mead – combination double and single rooms 
      • 8 person suites 
      • 7 person suites 
      • 4 person suites 
  • Class-Year Identity 
    • We want to acknowledge that many students may feel they aren’t sure what “class-year” they belong to this fall given defers and leave of absences from this virtual academic year. We will allow students to assist us in self-identifying if they feel they should belong to a certain class that they, by credit, don’t officially fall into.  
  • Universal Room Rate 
    • As a reminder, all campus housing rooms, whether they are a single, double, apartment, suite, etc., will be billed at a universal room rate. Main campus single rooms are only accessible to students with documented disability accommodations, as well as Seniors and Juniors.  
  • Financial Aid Cost of Attendance (COA) 
    • Students on financial aid are encouraged to review the updated Cost of Attendance (COA) calculation regarding how students’ financial aid packages change depending on their selection of campus housing, off-campus housing, or living at home with relatives.  
    • More information can be found on the Financial Aid website.   
  • Room Accommodations for Disabilities Application (RADA) 
    • Students seeking to apply for a Room Accommodation for Disabilities (RADA) will be able to complete a separate RADA form on Residence before the Sophomore and Junior/Senior selection processes (timeline TBA).  
    • Due to the potential strain on medical systems as a result of the ongoing pandemic, we highly encourage students seeking to apply for accommodations to begin communication with their medical provider to gain proper documentation. Documentation standards can be found here. More information on Housing Accommodations can be found Here.  

General Housing Selection Information   The Housing Selection process is facilitated entirely online using our Residence software system. As such, the Housing Selection has three main steps: 

  1. Apply 
  2. Roommate Groups and Explore Rooms 
  3. Select Rooms 

Detailed notes and screen shots of each phase can be found on our Housing Selection Website. Students are encouraged to reach out to Housing@pitzer.edu with any questions in regards to the Housing Selection process. 

Application Timeline 

  • Off-Campus Applications – OPEN NOW on Residence 
    • Off Campus Applications are reviewed before the Campus Housing Selection process begins. If you are interested in living off campus, please review our Off Campus Housing Priority criteria, outlined on the Housing Selection Website.  
    • These applications are open on a rolling basis for now, with a deadline TBD. Applicants are prioritized according to our Off-Campus priority guide as well as the date/time they applied.  
    • Students must apply and be approved to live off-campus BEFORE they sign a lease for off-campus housing.  
  • Campus Housing Selection – DATES TBD 
    • The Housing Selection timeline will be impacted by health and safety standards dictated by local health officials. We aim to facilitate the Fall 2021 housing selection process only once. So, while the Campus Housing application typically goes live at the end of February, we will be delaying the application until more Fall 2021 details are confirmed. 
    • We aim to open the Campus Housing application during the Spring 2021 semester, but will likely delay students’ selection of rooms until Summer 2021.  

Other Fall 2021 Planning  

Much about fall semester remains to be determined including move-in dates and logistics, Orientation  program plans for incoming first-years and rising sophomores, COVID-19 related health and safety measures on-campus (I.e. social distancing, face coverings, guests, gatherings, etc.), and more. We encourage students to stay tuned to their email for updates as we have them as well as for input and open forum opportunities as we have them.  

We remain optimistic about the potential of a modified fall return to campus and will do our best to communicate updates as we have them. We appreciate everyone’s patience throughout the process. As questions emerge, please reach out!  

Our best, 
Residence Life 
Kirsten Carrier and Josh  

Kirsten Carrier, M.S. (she/her/hers)
Associate Dean of Students and Director of Residence Life and Conference Services

Josh Scacco, M.Ed. (He/Him/His)
Associate Director of Residence Life

Is off-campus housing available in Claremont and the surrounding areas? - 11.24.20

Some students may still intend to live in Claremont or the surrounding areas, even though instruction will only be online and on-campus housing will not be open. The College discourages students from moving to Claremont this spring due to the ongoing pandemic. Students living off-campus will not have physical access to campus, except for pre-scheduled medical appointments with Student Health Services (SHS).  

Pitzer will not be responsible for providing access to dining services, quarantine or isolation housing, or any medical services beyond those provided by SHS.  

Pitzer students may direct lease with the Claremont Collegiate Apartments (CCA) for the Spring 2021 semester. 

Does my financial aid package cover off-campus housing? - 11.24.20

Most financial aid packages will have a room-and-board budget based on a scenario where students are living at home with their families. The Office of Financial Aid continues to work closely with Student Affairs, Residence Life and Finance to address the needs of students who are unable to live at home with family. Students who were approved for off-campus housing in the fall semester will have an off-campus budget for the spring semester.

For any more questions or for more information, contact financial_aid@pitzer.edu

Will I receive a tuition refund if I withdraw or take a leave of absence? - 11.24.20

The last day to add/drop for a tuition or financial aid adjustment is Friday, February 5. Only students that officially withdraw or take a leave of absence before the first day of classes, Monday, January 25, are eligible for a full refund. 

Please visit the Academic Calendar for more information: https://www.pitzer.edu/registrar/academic-calendar/

For any more questions or for more information, contact student_accounts@pitzer.edu

If we remain virtual, how does this impact my financial aid package? - 11.24.20

Students who have received a financial aid notification for the spring semester with on-campus room/board charges will receive an updated financial aid package reflecting an “at home budget” due to virtual learning. Students who have not received their initial notification will receive a financial aid package based on the new cost of attendance for virtual learning. These notifications will be released by December 4.

For any more questions or for more information, contact financial_aid@pitzer.edu

Will there be campus housing in the spring? - 11.24.20

In compliance with LA County guidance, the College is not able to offer any campus housing or dining services for the spring 2021 semester. Students may choose to stay at home with family, lease elsewhere, or contact the Claremont Collegiate Apartments (CCA) to sign a direct lease with them for the spring semester (details below). At this time, students are not recommended to travel to Los Angeles to lease in the local Claremont area. 

Students currently living at CCA are encouraged to reach out to CCA staff to confirm continuation of their lease through Spring semester | Email: claremontapts@peakcampus.com 

We recognize that not having on-campus housing to offer, and the continuation of a remote mode of instruction, may continue additional hardships for students. Students who are housing insecure and do not have housing options for the spring as a result, should reach out to TreasurersOffice@pitzer.edu by December 7 to initiate connecting with the Housing Insecurity Working Group to explore circumstances and options available. More information on Financial Aid can be found on this website. 

I am a first-year, new transfer, or new New Resources student who decided to defer, but I have now changed my mind and would like to enroll. What do I do? - 11.04.20

We welcome any first-year students who wish to enroll this spring semester. All currently deferred students who now wish to enroll should contact the Office of Admission to reverse your deferral decision by mid-December. Please email santiago_ybarra@pitzer.edu or applicant@pitzer.edu to start the enrollment process. We may be able to accommodate new enrollments after this date, but we cannot guarantee the same access to courses, including first-year seminar choices if available. If you are still having trouble deciding what is the best decision for you, contact the Dean of Faculty’s Office at DOFcore@pitzer.edu. We are excited about next semester and welcome the conversation with you.

Information About Spring Semester 2021 - 10.28.20

October 28, 2020

Dear Pitzer Community:

I have read the letter from the 5C Student Body Presidents, the recent Pitzer Student Senate Resolution (57-R-7), the Change the Academic Calendar petition, the Pitzer FEC resolution, and email messages from students, parents, and faculty about the Spring 2021 academic calendar.  I also have talked first-hand with Pitzer community members and discussed the concerns and feelings that were raised at last week’s College Council meeting presided over by Dean Omoto.   

Please know that I hear you and understand you. It is clear that many in our community are not just working hard, but are tired, stressed, and spread thin, and there is considerable frustration, anger, and uncertainty about the pandemic and other world events. On top of that, many of us are missing the support and energy we typically receive from friends and colleagues, and also may be feeling the weight of assistance we are providing to others. We all want and need time for restoration. Based on experiences this semester, students and faculty have plainly stated that they desire days free of classes and other school-related responsibilities during the upcoming spring semester.

In developing the spring academic calendar, the Academic Deans Committee weighed the benefits and consequences of many scenarios, and with recognition that no calendar could accommodate all possible scenarios. They considered input from faculty and students from their home campuses as well as the Student Affairs Deans, and prioritized the health and safety of students, staff, and faculty, as well as the surrounding community. In addition to COVID-19 health risks, potential stress and mental health impact influenced the development of the calendar. Furthermore, Pitzer remains fully committed to preserving 5C class cross-registration, which requires that all of the undergraduate colleges adopt the same spring academic calendar.

Many of you have indicated that you understand the reasons for modifying the spring academic calendar in order to have students on campus. As a reminder, the spring semester starts later. This later start means that we will have longer recuperative time between semesters, but importantly, it provides additional time for any potential post-holiday spikes in COVID-19 infections to dissipate and more transition time for bringing students back to campus. In contrast to fall, the spring calendar preserves all weekends; that is, there are no Saturday class days. 

Although not a full week, there are four intermittent days off during the semester (including Cesar Chavez day). Our expectation is that these break days will be true days off without meetings or assignments or exams. The intermittent days off are intended to build in rest and recuperation while also reducing opportunities for travel to and from campus. Due to the delayed start, the spring semester has been reduced by four days. Changing the traditional five-day spring break to three intermittent days off ensures sufficient instructional days and weeks to meet pedagogical and curricular requirements as well as provisions for federal financial aid. Finally, the semester will end “on time,” thereby allowing students to take advantage of internship and work opportunities or simply have time off during the summer. It will also allow for faculty and staff to pursue their usual activities and typical time away from Pitzer.

As you know, the Presidents of The Claremont Colleges adopted this spring semester calendar.  We are all hoping to bring students back to campus next semester, and the calendar was developed to hold out the possibility that one or more of the Colleges will have students in residence. At this point, however, we are prohibited from operating residential campuses. As much as we would like to have students on campus, we await word from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LACDPH) if this is even a possibility, let alone the health and safety requirements that will be necessary to have students in residence. Pitzer hopes to learn more from LACDPH in mid to late November. If we find out at that time that we cannot have students on campus during spring semester, I commit to lobbying for a change to the spring semester academic calendar. Regardless, I pledge to continue to work together with the Pitzer Community and consortium partners to explore alternate ways to effectively address the concerns that have been brought forward. 

I thank you for your input and ask for your patience and consideration. Like you, I long for the days when we can all be together on campus and to return to some sense of “normal” in our lives. I hope that you understand and trust that these decisions are made solemnly, after careful, deliberate consideration of the information at hand, and with earnest commitment to do what is best for our entire community.

Provida Futuri,
Melvin L. Oliver President