COVID-19 – Coronavirus Updates

CARES Act Frequently Asked Questions

Updated June 1, 2020

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 about the CARES Act.

Messages to the Community

CARES Act Frequently Asked Questions - 06.01.20

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

Frequently Asked Questions for New and Returning Students - 05.28.20

We have a team of Pitzer College faculty and staff called the Coronavirus Task Force helping manage the planning and implementation of Pitzer’s path to reopening.

This is so Pitzer. Faculty, students and staff from every corner of the Pitzer Campus community come together every week to consider new information and evaluate actions in response to COVID-19, assign tasks and advise College leadership on how to proceed down unfamiliar paths.

The Task Force is vital to our preparations and planning for the eventual re-opening of campus. Each member brings their expertise to each challenge and helps us make better decisions. 

Q1: Does Pitzer make its own decisions or in collaboration with others?

That’s an important question. As a member of The Claremont Colleges consortium, we work through issues in collaboration with the 7Cs and our community peers. Representatives of all seven institutions confer daily to share information and strengthen our foundation for decision making. Together, we make more informed decisions. In the end, we take all of that input and make the right decision for Pitzer.

Q2: Will Pitzer bring students back to campus this fall? 

We will resume in-person classes on campus when the state, local and campus leadership determine that Pitzer can do so in a sufficiently safe manner. 

The reopening will also depend on whether the health care resources available in Los Angeles County can provide adequate patient care should the number of COVID-19 cases rise to a dangerous level. Will conditions be safe in the fall? We don’t have enough information to say yet.

Pitzer is planning for many contingencies due to the unpredictable end of this pandemic. Planning to enthusiastically welcome students back to campus in the fall semester is one such scenario. 

Pitzer faculty continue to do extraordinary work in their online teaching experiences for students. We believe that every Pitzer student deserves the most exceptional educational experience for which Pitzer is known around the world. Right now, it looks like we won’t know for some time, but we will be planning for several different possibilities. 

We remain confident that we will be together in person eventually.

Q3: When will Pitzer make a decision about returning students to campus?

We continue to gather information critical to making this decision in collaboration with our Claremont Colleges partners. This information includes consultations with experts in multiple areas, information that changes as the pandemic evolves. We will make a decision when we have sufficient health, safety and expert information AND time enough to provide notice to students and families to arrange their safe return to campus. 

Q4: What is Pitzer College’s plan if state or county governments order the continuation of Stay at Home restrictions?

Pitzer’s priority is the safety of our students, faculty and staff.

We will, of course, comply with any state and local health orders so that we continue to prioritize the safety of our community and that of our neighbors.

Q5: Is Pitzer considering discounting or otherwise reducing tuition?

We are evaluating ways to help students continue their Pitzer education. We don’t yet have sufficient information about what the next academic semester will look like for students and faculty to propose a specific plan.

Q5: Are students, faculty and staff going to be safe at Pitzer?

Yes, students are our top priority at Pitzer. Our facilities professionals are meticulously cleaning, disinfecting and maintaining the Pitzer campus in the best possible condition in anticipation of students’ return. Planning and preparations are underway for adapting learning, residential and dining spaces to accommodate best physical distancing practices. The reopening will require significant changes to the way we interact, learn and socialize as a community. All of us at Pitzer share this responsibility.

Los Angeles County & Higher Education Guidance Documents - 05.18.20
Safer-at-home update for staff - 05.14.20

Dear Staff Community,

In recent days, public officials have outlined conditions for relaxing some of the restrictions on workplaces in the surrounding areas and across the state. However, even if modifications to stay-at-home orders would allow for additional on campus work, the College intends to continue limiting the number of employees on campus in order to help contain the spread of the virus, do our part for the community and keep our staff safe!

Therefore, you should expect to continue in your current work arrangements for the foreseeable future until you receive different instructions from your supervisor. On campus work will not be required unless it is both necessary and capable of being performed safely according to current public health guidance.

As soon as new information arises we will communicate it with everyone. Thank you for your patience as we continue to navigate this together!!

If you have any questions, feel free to contact your HR team. 

Stay safe!!

Deanna Caballero
Assistant Vice President
Human Resources and Payroll Services

Updated Grading Policy & FAQs for Spring 2020 - 05.05.20

(Revised 5-5-2020)

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

The Pitzer College faculty originally changed the grading policy for this semester on April 9, 2020. However, on April 29, 2020, the Pitzer College faculty amended the previously adopted grading policy for Spring semester 2020. Here is the new policy:

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.

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 for spring semester 2020 only, 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 also considered a proposal from the Pitzer College First Generation Executive Leadership Board for a Universal A policy.

Faculty are aware that students have dramatically different levels of access to resources, and that the transition to remote learning has exacerbated already existing inequalities. Faculty sought to create a grading policy that would respond to these circumstances and be equitable to all students. Faculty also chose to incorporate a GPA boost in order to support students who must maintain a certain GPA for reasons pertaining to scholarships, financial aid, and academic probation. Faculty also considered the potential effects of different grading systems on students applying to graduate school and professional training programs. Finally, the faculty sought to ensure that the grading system clearly designated that academic practices and grades were different this semester from other semesters.

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

Pitzer student grades will either be SP (Satisfactory Pandemic) or NRP (No Record Pandemic), although only SP grades will show up on the transcript. If a student receives a grade of NRP, it will not be recorded to the official student transcript. There will be language added to the transcript legend that explains this grading system. The current expectation is that this SP/NRP grading system will be used only in spring semester 2020.

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.

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

An SP grade indicates earned credit for the course and will appear on official student transcripts. As indicated in the adopted policy, an SP grade is assigned for any traditional letter grade from A to D-. SP grades will be recorded in the GPA as equivalent to A grades.

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 not appear on official student transcripts. Courses for which students receive NRP grades have no impact on the student’s grade point average. However, they do count as courses attempted for purposes of financial aid satisfactory academic progress calculations.

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? 

NO. As stated in the policy, all Pitzer students will be graded according to the same SP/NRP system and no letter grades will be given this semester.

Q7: I understand that I will receive SP/NRP grades for my courses. Are there any implications for financial aid, and especially if I receive one or more NRP grades? 

All courses in which students were enrolled after the last day to drop/add for a tuition refund or financial aid adjustment this semester (February 3, 2020) count as attempted courses for purposes of calculating financial aid satisfactory academic progress. This includes any courses subsequently dropped and courses for which a NRP grade is assigned. If you have questions about your satisfactory academic progress and financial aid, please contact the Office of Financial Aid at

Q8: 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.

Q9: 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. Pitzer student grades will either be SP (Satisfactory Pandemic) or NRP (No Record Pandemic).

Q10: 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.

Q11: My major or minor requires some or all courses to be taken for a letter grade. Will SP courses still count?

YES, at least for Pitzer majors and minors. For spring 2020 semester, these requirements are waived at Pitzer. Courses for which students receive a SP grades count toward major, minor, or other graduation requirements. Pitzer students pursuing off campus academic programs should consult with their adviser(s) about any implications of the grading policy for their academic program.

Q12: How will SP/NRP grades impact honors?

The Pitzer College honors GPA requirement is unchanged. As noted above, each SP grade received this semester will be calculated in the GPA as equivalent to an A. Courses for which students receive NRP grades will not impact their 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 any implications of the grading policy for their academic program.

Q13: I was studying abroad this semester.  How will my courses be graded?

The grading system for all Pitzer courses this semester is SP/NRP. Students will receive either SP or NRP grades for courses in Pitzer direct-run study abroad programs; SP grades will be recorded as equivalent to A grades for purposes of calculating a student’s grade point average. Students who were on exchange or third-party study abroad programs may receive a letter grade or other grade from the partner institution depending on that institution’s grading system. As long as the student earns at least a D- letter grade or other designated passing grade from their exchange or third-party program, Pitzer will record these as SP grades and they will count as equivalent to A grades for purposes of calculating the student’s grade point average.

Questions about specific study abroad programs and grading policies can be directed to

Q14: I am an international exchange student and I am concerned that non-letter grades may not be recognized at my home institution. What can I do? 

The grading policy states that no letter grades will be given this semester. The Office of Study Abroad and International Programs (, the Office of the Registrar (, and the Dean of Faculty ( will work together to ensure that international exchange students receive credit at their home institutions for the courses they successfully complete this semester. There may be different solutions for different home institutions. More information on how international exchange student grades will be handled will be forthcoming. 

Q15: What happens if I cannot complete the required work for a course?  Can I receive an Incomplete grade?

YES. Course instructors have discretion to record an Incomplete grade for a student provided that several conditions are met (listed on the Explanation of Incomplete Form that must be submitted by the Instructor). Incomplete (I) grades will be resolved as SP or NRP grades. The due date by which instructors must submit the appropriate final grade (SP or NRP) is during the second week of classes in the fall semester.

Q16: 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 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.

Q17: Will there be classes over the summer?

YES. Summer school registration is currently open. All summer school classes will be taught online and they are being offered at a discounted rate. For more information, please go to: Summer school classes will return to our usual system of letter grades. 

Q18: 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. A final decision about fall classes 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 usual academic planning for the fall semester. Advising Days were April 20-21, and Pre-registration is scheduled for April 28-May 1.

Q19: 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 also can be sent to the the Registrar (, Financial Aid (, Study Abroad (, or the Dean of Faculty (  

Updated Grading Policy for Spring 2020 - 04.29.20

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

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

CARES Overview Related to 403b and Special Check from the Federal Government - 04.10.20

Dear Staff and Faculty,

I am sharing with you the attached information (English/Spanish) from The Claremont Colleges Services (TCCS) about the recent federal stimulus legislation (the CARES Act – Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act). The law provides for some flexibility around loans or distributions from qualified retirement plans like Pitzer’s Academic Retirement Plan (ARP). The message points below provide further details.

  • Generally, to be eligible for these benefits, an employee must be a person: 
  • Who is diagnosed with COVID-19 by a CDC-approved test;
  • Whose spouse or dependent is diagnosed with COVID-19 by a CDC-approved test; or

Who experiences adverse financial consequences as a result of:

  • being quarantined, furloughed or laid off, or having work hours reduced due to COVID-19;
  • being unable to work due to lack of child care due to COVID-19;
  • closing or reducing hours of a business owned or operated by the individual due to COVID-19; or
  • other factors determined by the Secretary of the Treasury.

If you need additional information please contact TIAA at or 888-842-7782.

Thank you and stay safe!

Deanna Caballero
Assistant Vice President
Human Resources and Payroll Services

LA County Extends Safer at Home to May 15 - 04.10.20

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

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

Institutional Review Board Update - 04.07.20

Dear Faculty, Students and Staff,

If you are currently conducting human subject research and/or if you are advising students who are conducting human subject research, that involves face-to-face interaction with participants, this is extremely important information.

Please read carefully and take appropriate action. To the extent possible, all face-to face interaction with human participants should cease immediately.

If you/your student are conducting face-to-face human subject research at a site other than the Pitzer campus (e.g., hospital, school, nursing home, or other venue) we will need you to consider the emergency policies and procedures governing each of those sites. For guidance and/or assistance, please contact Thomas Borowski by emailing or Cece Manoochehri


  1. If is it feasible to move face-to-face contact with participants to an online platform (e.g., Zoom/Skype) you should consider doing so to maintain the research momentum.
  2. If suspending your research has the potential to impact reporting deadlines to your Senior Thesis, independent study or a funding source, contact the IRB.

IRB procedures:

All changes to approved protocols need to be made in accordance with IRB policies and procedures.

  1. Expedited studies:
    • For changes to expedited studies, submit a statement regarding the modification to Cece Manoochehri for review and approval, be sure to include your study number, title, and suspension details.
    • If you are planning to temporarily suspend study activities on expedited studies, please notify the IIRB by emailing Cece Manoochehri and be sure to include your study number, title, and suspension details.
  1. Exempt studies:
    • For changes to exempt studies, consult with the IRB to determine whether the changes impact the level of review. This will inform which procedure is appropriate for changes to each individual study.
  1. Full Board Review studies:
    • For changes to full board reviews studies, you need to submit an abstract detailing the changes to your study for so that IRB committee can review the request.

The IRB will process modifications, and handle questions and queries as promptly as possible to facilitate your ongoing research.


Thomas Borowski,
IRB Chair

Cece Manoochehri,
IRB Administrator

A Message from President Oliver to Students - 04.03.20

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

Important Deadline Updates for Spring 2020 - 03.30.20

March 30, 2020


6 – Last day to drop a class w/o recorded grade & w/o being charged semester overload fee*
6 – Fall 2020 course schedule available on the Portal
13-14 – Advising Days (Classes still in session)
28-30 – Pre-Registration for Fall 2020
30 – Independent Study Forms due for FALL 2020 (full and half credit)
30 – Independent Study Forms due for SUMMER 2020 (full and half credit)


6 – Last day of classes for the Spring semester
7-8 – Reading days for all students
8 – Final day for all students to withdraw from a class (grade recorded as ‘W’)
11-15 – Final examinations
21 – Grades for all students must be submitted by noon
Postponed –TBD – Commencement

*Please consult with your advisor and instructor before dropping a class

Please check the Academic Calendar for more important dates!

You can drop courses online via the Portal until April 6th

Have questions? Contact us!

Pitzer Registrar’s Office

Resuming Classes – Reminders and Resources - 03.29.20

March 29, 2020

Dear Colleagues:

It begins on Monday, March 30!  Pitzer College instruction resumes after an extended spring break using online technologies. I want to thank all of you for the work that you have done the past few weeks to revise your classes and fully engage in learning more about Sakai and Zoom. I wish you all the very best as you resume your classes this week.  There may be some bumps along the way, and I want to assure you that IT and my office are here to help support you now and in the weeks ahead. In addition to thanking you for all the work you have done with great professionalism, good will, and compassion, I offer here a few reminders and some resources for the resumption of classes. 

Before doing so, though, I want to express my hope that all of you are healthy and safe. If you have any needs that I can help with, please reach out to

Student Contact and Expectations

By this time, you have no doubt reached out to your students.  I hope that you have not only checked in with them, but also let them know about your plans for the rest of the semester.  Some faculty plan to utilize Sakai (and asynchronous learning) to a much greater extent going forward and, of course, Zoom will be used for real time meetings with students in classes and in office hours.  Although students may now be located in different time zones, please remember to use the class schedule that has been in effect for the entire semester and with class times based in the Pacific time zone.  You may need to remind students of class meeting times and the need to adjust for their current time zone.

The past few weeks have been confusing, chaotic, and filled with unexpected change and challenge.  Many of our students no longer have the luxury of living on the Pitzer campus and being able to focus considerable time and energy on their school work.  And, they may be experiencing increased stress.  Please be flexible and sensitive to student concerns and needs.  As with on-campus classes, failure to attend class or turn in assignments may be a sign of other problems affecting students.  Please be attentive to these signs and proactive in reaching out to students.  The Office of Student Affairs continues to work with students (now remotely) and will assist in following up with students who have new needs or concerns.  Students have received several communications from this office, including a recent post on Academic Support Services that you may find useful to peruse and that can be found on the Pitzer COVID-19 webpage.

Student Support Services

In terms of academic support services, I have been asked to remind faculty that Pitzer Academic Support Services is available to assist with any questions that might come up as you work with students to navigate the remainder of the semester.  Approved accommodations remain in place for students with the understanding that some of the processes may no longer be necessary.  For example, filling out a proctoring form for extension on exams will not be necessary, but it will be imperative for faculty to work with students to ensure that they have extended time on virtual exams (and that the administration platform accurately calculates their extended time).  Extended time on assignments still may be necessary, but it is also possible that these extensions need to be discussed and revised based on modifications faculty have made to their courses.  Note takers remain in place for classes and will continue to upload notes on Sakai.  Remember that staff in this office are available to assist you and students; they can be reached at

Furthermore, despite the extraordinary circumstances, faculty and students should remember that the Pitzer Code of Student Conduct still applies, and we continue to abide by our Discrimination, Harassment and Sexual Misconduct Policies and Procedures.

Senior Grades

Here is a recap of information that was announced last week on senior work and grades:

  • Senior finals and work will be due the same time as other student work: no later than May 15. 
  • All grades, including for graduating seniors, will be due May 21. 
  • Degrees will only be conferred for students who have been approved by faculty and trustees, and only after verification that they have successfully completed their academic work and requirements.   
  • Students who do not successfully complete their academic work and requirements will be eligible to receive their degree in fall 2020.

IT Support

IT staff are available to support faculty with their online teaching.  If you would like assistance during your actual class meetings, please reach out to IT ( or my office (  We will do our best to provide in-class support to faculty members who have concerns or who would simply appreciate an assist with managing their classes.

Importantly, if an issue comes up while you are in class, please send an email to the IT help desk ( with “URGENT – IN CLASS” in the subject line.  Please do not call IT directlybecause this will interfere with their ability to learn about and respond to multiple needs at the same time.  Help Desk email is read by multiple IT staff members and so your URGENT – IN CLASS email will receive a timely response.  If you prefer a phone conversation, start by emailing the Help Desk with your issue and phone number and ask that someone call you back right away.

IT plans to respond to faculty concerns or problems on an individual basis this week.  As the need arises, they will schedule open sessions or forums.  For now, though, please send technology-related questions and concerns directly to IT. 

Zoom Security

I know that many of you have been testing Zoom and have already participated in meetings using this technology. Just in case, it would be good to be aware of some of Zoom’s capability for limiting which participants can speak (as host you can “Mute”, “Remove”, and limit screen sharing) and other meeting management options. As you are probably aware, there have been some well-publicized incidents of Zoom-bombing and interference with scheduled Zoom sessions. IT can assist you in controlling your classes and minimizing the possibility that you will be Zoom-bombed. In the meantime, here are links to a helpful article from Zoom about what you can do, and a link to an article from Inside Higher Ed about these disruptions:

Office Hours

Please do continue holding office hours and making yourself available to your students. However, please do not have in-person meetings on campus with students; instead, use Zoom or even the telephone for these meetings. You can set up recurring meetings for classes and office hours in Zoom, or, you can arrange specific meeting times with your students. You may find the waiting room function in Zoom especially useful because it allows you to sequentially move through meetings with students just like you would do in your office and with students waiting in the hall.

Shared Faculty Resources

Finally, please do not forget about the Sakai web page (“PZ Remote Instruction”) as a place to pose questions to colleagues, offer tips, and upload and retrieve resources that can assist with your online instruction. In addition, Associate Dean Phil Zuckerman will hold open forums and discussion sessions on Thursday and Friday of this week for faculty to share in real time their concerns and ideas, and also to raise new questions. The exact times and Zoom links for these meetings will be announced early in the week.

Thank you again for the work that you have done and that you will do for the remainder of the semester for Pitzer students and for the College. Working together, I trust that we can maintain academic continuity and integrity, and in the end, successfully bring this semester over the finish line.

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

Pitzer Academic Support Services - 03.28.20

To help you transition into your best online study experience, the Office of Student Affairs provides these helpful updated services. 

Virtual Study Room and Coaching

We understand that getting started on studying can be a challenge in your new setting away from school. In light of that, Connie Helland, our academic coach, will be piloting a new way to help support our students. Connie will be opening a virtual study room one hour per day Monday-Friday at 1:00-2:10 PDT via Zoom. There will be a 10-minute group academic coaching session followed by one hour of study time. The virtual study room will be limited to 15 students per session. You can contact Connie at if you would like a Zoom access code for the virtual study room. 

Support and Wellness

Case Management will continue to be available via phone, email or zoom. Strive 2 Thrivewill also be providing remote wellness programming and linkages to free wellness resources through their Instagram @pzstrive2thrive and Campuswell.

Arc Counseling and Open Path Collective both offering affordable and online therapy. Or, there are local and national resources on Pitzer’s case management page. I would also like to highlight California’s peer warmline where students can call and talk to someone if they are feeling lonely, anxious or just want to talk to someone.  

Academic Accommodations

Approved academic accommodations will remain in effect throughout the remainder of the semester for students already registered with PASS. Please work with your faculty to discuss your accommodations to determine how these will be implemented based on the new learning environment. Below are some guidelines and resources for your use:  

If you are approved for:

  • Extended time on exams/quizzes:
  • At this time, our testing center in Atherton is closed for the rest of the semester. This means that proctor forms will no longer be needed.

You need to reach out to your professor to inquire about the format of any upcoming exams/quizzes. Professors are responsible for extending your time on Sakai quizzes/exams; please feel free to remind your professors to do so.

We will continue to update you as we find out more information and learn of your needs. Our team will be available to you by email at to address any concerns and questions that come as we navigate through these changes together. 

Mike Segawa, VP for Student Affairs

Gabriella Tempestoso, Associate Dean of Students and Director of Academic Support Services 

A Message from President Oliver about Commencement - 03.27.20

March 27, 2020

Dear Pitzer Students,

I know you have been adjusting to your new surroundings as we prepare for the resumption of classes on Monday. Your faculty have been working extremely hard to transition their work to the virtual environment during these last two weeks. That hard work has been inspiring and I am so proud of our entire community for making the best of this unprecedented circumstance. I hope that this extended spring break has given you the time not only to adjust to this new environment but to recharge and refocus on the challenges that are before us.

Regrettably, I also write to inform you that we will be postponing our regular spring commencement ceremony for the Class of 2020. In light of the need for social distancing and the risks associated with large gatherings like commencement, postponement is a necessary preventative action.

Please understand that this is a postponement, not a cancellation. We intend to hold an in-person ceremony as early as this coming fall semester if the conditions allow for a safe gathering on campus. We will announce a date and time to give our graduating seniors and their families adequate time to make arrangements to return to campus for the ceremony if at all possible.

To the Class of 2020, I know this is incredibly disheartening news on top of the disruption to your studies, separation from your friends and the pressure of adjusting to a new learning environment. I hope you can find some solace in the fact that the sacrifices you are making have a significant and positive impact on the health of your family, friends and members of your community. I am proud of the maturity and spirit of cooperation that you are showing. I know that you will persevere and I look forward to the day when we can gather together to celebrate the transition of your Pitzer journey and the beginning of the next stages of your remarkable lives.

To all of our students, I thank you again. I hope that you and your families are well and healthy and I encourage you to be steadfast in following the recommended public health protocols during these difficult times. The final eight weeks of our semester will be much different than the Pitzer education we all hoped you would enjoy, but you will have the same classmates around you, the same faculty leading your studies and the same supportive staff beside you as we move forward. I wish you all the best and look forward to what lies ahead.

Provida Futuri,

Melvin L. Oliver

Notice of Pomona COVID-19 case - 03.26.20

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 Students should contact Dean of Students Avis Hinkson at

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 Students should contact Dean of Students Sandra Vasquez at 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

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

The Claremont Colleges & TimelyMD - 03.23.20

Availability of Campus.Health for The Claremont Colleges Students

The Claremont Colleges have contracted with TimelyMD, a provider of online medical and counseling services, to offer a telehealth option to all TCC students — undergraduate as well as graduate — to expand and supplement services currently available at Student Health Services and Monsour Counseling and Psychological Services. Campus.Health makes it easy for students to get quality medical and mental health care online or from their phone, anytime they need it.

Students now have access to Campus.Health, which provides 24/7 medical and mental telehealth care for all students, at no cost! To get started, visit Campus.Health. Register now and use the service when you need it.

Campus.Health offers the following unlimited free visits with student-focused, licensed physicians and counselors:

  • 24/7 access to on-demand medical care
  • 24/7 access to TalkNow emotional support
  • Accessible from any location within the United States on any smartphone or web-enabled device
  • This is a pilot project that will be available to students until mid-June 2020

To use Campus.Health services, students should:

  • Visit the Campus.Health website or
  • Visit the Apple or Android stores to download the free TimelyMD app
  • Set up profile and at checkout, enter institution’s customized coupon code: PITZER2020

Other notes and features:

  • Students will see the name, picture, location (by state) and credentials of the provider
  • An average medical visit will have a 5 minute wait to speak with a provider; the consultation will average 5-10 minutes
  • An average TalkNow counseling visit may have a 5 minute wait time; 30 minute consultation
  • Students may invite a parent or trusted advisor to participate
  • Follow up notes will be sent by the provider to the student when the visit is complete
  • All federally-protected rights to privacy will be observed. However, in the case of a life-threatening mental health crisis, a student’s dean may be notified.
  • This service is live now, and students may access it at any time.


Q. Who can use Campus.Health?

A. Any enrolled, full-time student in The Claremont Colleges.

Q. What services are available?

A. 24/7 medical or immediate therapy (talk to a mental health provider about anything, after-hours or on weekends).

Q. How much does a visit cost?

A. It’s free! There is no cost to full-time students.

Q: Can Campus.Health diagnose COVID-19?

A: Campus.Health will virtually assess symptoms and administer frontline care in a contained environment to limit the spread of illness. They will also give recommendations on need for testing vs. self-quarantine, and where to go if testing or further care is needed.

Remote Medical Support for Staff & Faculty with Medical Insurance - 03.23.20

March 23, 2020

TO: Anthem Blue Cross Advantage/Lumenos and Kaiser Permanente Members

Remote services are available to Anthem and Kaiser members for non-emergency medical, mental health, and prescription needs. We encourage you to click on the hyperlinks below to learn about these services which allow you to get support through your computer, phone or other mobile device. No driving and no waiting at an urgent care center. Get care quickly and easily!

Note About Costs: Be aware that some of these services, such as online medical appointments through the LiveHealth app (Anthem), involve a copay as would an in-person appointment. Anthem Members: Please review the COVID-19 press release below as Anthem has provided temporary waivers for most costs associated with most services related to the virus at this time.

Anthem Blue Cross LiveHealth OnlineThis app provides you a doctor 24/7. LiveHealth Online lets you talk face-to-face with a doctor through your mobile device or a computer with a webcam. Use LiveHealth Online for common health concerns like colds, the flu, fevers, rashes, infections, allergies and more. It’s faster, easier and more convenient than a visit to an urgent care center.

Frequently Asked Questions (LiveHealth)

COVID-19: Temporary Cost Waiver for Diagnositic Testing and 90-Day Waiver for LiveHealth Services (press release)

Kaiser Permanente Telehealth: Services include phone or video appointments, communicating with your doctor by email, online health assessments, and a health care hotline for advice. No matter which option you choose, your providers can see your health history, update your medical record, and give you personalized care that fits your life.

Questions and Assistance: If you have questions or need assistance accessing these services, please contact the TCCS Benefits Administration staff at or (909) 621-8151.

We hope these services provided by our medical plans provide you with the flexibility and resources you need during this time. We wish you and your loved ones good health!

Office of Human Resources and Payroll Services | Pitzer College  | (909) 621-8254

Remote Education Training Sessions for Faculty - 03.23.20

Monday, 3/23

10 – 11 a.m.
Open Faculty Forum for Questions and Concerns
Hosted by Phil Zuckerman, Associate Dean
Zoom Meeting URL:

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:
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:
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:
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:
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:

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

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

A Message from the President - 03.16.20

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

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 8:30am – 5:00 pm closed for lunch from noon-1 pm, 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 8:30am – 5:00pm Monday, March 16 through Wednesday, March 18

  • Swipe access to CLSA will be terminated on Friday, March 13, 2020 at 5:00pm.
  • It is anticipated that staff will work remotely beginning Thursday, March 19 and will be available by email at 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 5pm.
  • Staff will work remotely beginning Monday, March 16 and will be available by phone at 909- 607-3669 and email at
  • OBSA will continue to assist students with the following services: o
    • 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 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 10am – 4pm, Monday through Friday


  • Connection will maintain the same hours as the Library: 9am – 5pm, Monday through Friday.
  • Mail services will continue as normal 9am – 5pm, Monday through Friday.
Update from The Claremont Colleges Library - 03.14.20

Dear Faculty, Staff and Students of The Claremont Colleges,

In response to the decision of The Claremont Colleges to move their courses online, the Claremont Colleges Library is identifying and taking necessary precautions to protect our community, while still continuing to provide critical library services in support of the research, teaching and learning activities of our Colleges. In this effort, we are working closely with The Claremont Colleges Services (TCCS) and the Academic Deans Committee.   

Unfortunately, starting Monday, March 16, the Library will be closed to all visitors other than Library staff critical to on-site operations.  Please understand that this was a very difficult decision that was not made lightly–but one we felt was important, given the evolving situation with COVID-19 and our concern for the health and wellbeing of our staff. While the Library proper will be closed to all visitors, Connection, the Office of Consortial Academic Collaboration (OCAC), and the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) will still be open and accessible. Please use the South entrance of the Honnold/Mudd building to reach them.

Although we will be closed to all visitors, our Library staff will continue to work to support you in the following ways:

  • Borrowing materials: We are developing a plan for mailing physical copies of books we own or need to purchase, and we will implement a scan-on-demand service for Special Collections, course readings, and the general collection, within fair use guidelines.
    • Items that are currently checked out: Loan periods for current loans will be extended until September 30, 2020.  With this in mind, and to conserve space in our book bins, please try to hold on to your materials if you expect to be back on campus for the 2020-2021 academic year.  
    • Students who will have graduated or faculty who will have moved to other institutions by the 2020-2021 academic year may return their books by mail at the Library’s expense via the mailing address below. More information on how to do so will be provided in the coming days.
      • The Claremont Colleges Library, Attention Library Circulation, 800 N. Dartmouth Ave, Claremont, CA 91711
  • Databases and access to e-resources: Please note that over half of our collections are accessible electronically.  All of our online resources will still be accessible.  Many publishers are also announcing that they are opening access to their online materials; some materials we did not previously have access to may now be available. 
  • Course readings: Library staff will work closely with faculty to provide students electronic access to course readings in their entirety or in part.  We will be reaching out to faculty in the coming two weeks to share access options.  Please note that, effective immediately, students will not be able to check out print course readings. 
  • Resource Sharing (ILL): We will aim to acquire resources requested electronically and obtain articles and book chapters for titles we do not own.  For the foreseeable future, the library will not borrow books or media from other libraries.
    • If you have an ILL book checked out please hold onto it and the Library will request renewals from the lending library on your behalf.
  • Remote Research Assistance: Faculty, staff and students may meet with librarians virtually using Zoom, email, or chat. You can contact or schedule an online appointment with a subject librarian at
  • Remote Online Library instruction: Faculty may still arrange for their classes to meet with librarians virtually via Zoom.  You can request an instruction session via the Library website at
  • Retrieving items from Library lockers: Faculty and students may contact to arrange a time to retrieve their items from our Library lockers. 

Again, please understand that the decision to close access to the Library was a very difficult one to make.  For additional information about our Library services, I encourage you to refer to our special FAQ website at

Many thanks for your patience in these ever-changing times.

Take care and stay well,

Janet Bishop
A.J. McFadden Dean of the Claremont Colleges Library

Study Abroad and International Programs - 03.13.20

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

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.

Academic Regulation Updates for Spring 2020 - 03.13.20

March 13, 2020

In light of the unanticipated transition to online instruction for the remainder of the semester, the Academic Deans of the undergraduate colleges have agreed to modify the policies below for the spring 2020 semester. 

Deadline to Drop a Class without a Recorded Grade

The deadline to drop courses without record via the MyCampus portal has been extended until 11:59 pm Pacific on Monday, April 6th. Please note that students must remain enrolled in at least 3 total course credits to maintain full-time status. Students should consult with their academic adviser and course instructor before dropping a course.

Students and advisers should be aware that a decision to drop or withdraw from a course, or to drop below full-time status, may have serious adverse consequences. Dropping courses may delay progress toward graduation and/or affect financial aid. For these reasons, students are encouraged to confer with the appropriate offices and their academic adviser(s) before taking action to drop or withdraw from a course or courses. After a course is dropped, it will not be added back.

Questions regarding financial aid should be directed to, questions about student accounts should go to, and questions about degree process can be directed to All of these offices are fully staffed and ready to help answer questions.

There will be bumps as we transition to online instruction for the remainder of the semester. Updates and guidance will be disseminated as decisions are made that impact faculty and student academic work. We hope that this extension of the drop deadline will ease some of the concerns students have about completing coursework this semester, and offer time and space to make important decisions in what is a confusing and stressful set of circumstances. 

Please know our offices are fully staffed and ready to help answer questions. Please continue to monitor your Pitzer email for important communications and updates.

Be well,
Pitzer College Office of the Registrar

Federal Work Study - 03.13.20

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

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
  • 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.  
  • 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  

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


Note to Staff - 03.11.20

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

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
Campus Safety 909.607.2000
Student Health Services 909.621.8222
Monsour Counseling and Psychological Services
CDC COVID-19 web page
LA County Department of County Health

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

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 U.S. 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 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

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

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
VP of Student Affairs Message to Students - 03.02.20

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 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

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