Student Spring 2022 Return Updates from VP for Student Affairs

Dear Pitzer Students,

First, I write to thank you for making it possible for us to be positioned to strategically plan for your return to campus this semester. Your ongoing partnership with testing, vaccination (COVID-19 and flu), Student Health Services and Dean On-Call guidance, masking and Mindful of Each Other Community Guidelines expectations have sustained our community in inspirational ways during this time. This journey together with you has been an evolving learning process and I want to also extend my gratitude to Student Senate, Identity Board, Student Clubs and Organizations, and Student Employees for their partnership, ongoing feedback, and demonstrated leadership. 

Together with this resilient growth mindset, it is imperative that we enhance our efforts as noted by President Oliver within the first two weeks of online instruction. Most importantly, I am asking for your partnership in exercising patience, empathy, flexibility and grace in community as we maximize resources, staff and services to prioritize our academic mission and student health and safety related to COVID-19 due to the high volume of cases we anticipate having upon return to campus. This will include our inability to meet special requests such as room changes due to our limited isolation and quarantine spaces, or to engage in the high volume of personalized one-on-one student follow-up check-ins, per student, that students are used to from Contact Tracers and our On-Call Deans. We ask you to lean into community Mindful of Each Other with the continued care and support I have witnessed within our Pitzer core values in action.

During the Dec. 20-Jan. 3 college closure, Pitzer has seen twelve confirmed COVID cases diagnosed locally with students living on or off-campus. Due to this continued level of transmission in our community, and worldwide, we must now further dedicate ourselves to COVID-19 prevention and public health efforts. At this time we remain at Alert Level 2: Moderate Transmission (Significant rise in cases over previous 1–2 weeks) according to our “COVID-19 Campus Alert Status” tiered structure. Understandably, when we return students back to campus we anticipate activating support during these two weeks to manage reaching up to possible Alert Level 4: High Transmission, and adjusting in the weeks ahead after careful evaluation. We want to ensure you have a sense of this awareness and that you are more likely to contract COVID-19 than you were in fall, even if you recently recovered from infection prior to December 2021 due to the new Omicron variant. We share in the goal of being able to resume as many of our cherished academic and residential life experiences as possible as we understand how important these experiences are for students and their learning. Below you will find more health and safety updates and guidance as we begin spring semester together as well as a summary of immediate student action items. 

Summary Overview of Student Action Items:

1.      Submit your booster verification 

2.      Complete your “Spring 2022 Arrival Plans” form  

3.      Get your pre-arrival COVID PCR test completed  

4.      Bring surgical, KN95, N95, etc. masks with you, or pick-up masks when you get to campus 

5.      Ensure you complete your two weekly COVID tests the first two weeks of classes 

COVID-19 Health and Safety Updates

  • Updated COVID-19 Guidance
    • The most recent guidance from LA County Department of Public Health can be found here
  • Student Health Services (SHS) Updates
    • In light of the COVID-19 surge, Student Health Services (SHS) is working as swiftly as possible to evaluate new CDC guidance, protocols, to obtain enhanced access to limited national supply of antigen tests, and to enhance available staffing resources due to national staffing shortages that will allow for the transition to recently issued CDC guidance.
    • Student Health Services is hopeful to have antigen testing available for isolation release on Day 6 by the start of the semester on January 18. Further details on this process will be shared as soon as it has been finalized. Until then, the 10-day isolation period will still apply. Also, please keep in mind that if later in the semester, SHS is not able to secure additional antigen tests due to supply chain issues, the 10-day isolation period will still apply. Additionally, please note that the SHS Saliva testing is a PCR test, not an antigen test. Thus, repeat saliva testing will not release you from isolation.
    • Your ongoing patience, grace and understanding of our need to prioritize resources to support COVID-19 positive student cases, and student cooperation with self-reported information and medical guidance directives with Student Health Services Contact Tracers and Pitzer On-Call Deans, and limited Residential Life space to make requested room changes, will be imperative.
  • COVID Booster Requirement
    • Pitzer students are required to receive their COVID-19 booster and upload their record to Healthy Pitzer no later than Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2022.
    • Those not yet eligible for the booster, per CDC guidelines, by January 11 must get boosted within two weeks of becoming eligible.
      • Students unable to receive their booster by this date, due to either equitable access limitations or not having met current CDC booster access guidelines, must notify Pitzer Nurse Zephyr at nurse@pitzer.edu by January 11, 2022.
      • Student Health Services will be hosting booster clinics for these students beginning the second week of classes. Student Affairs will also continue to provide support to access boosters to students, including transportation as needed.   
    • Due to new CDC guidance, if you have not yet received the booster and are identified as a “close contact” you will need to quarantine for five days and test negative before you can exit quarantine. You will need to remain masked in your suite at all times, except when eating/drinking/sleeping, during these 5 days.  
  • Twice a Week COVID Testing:
    • As a reminder, information on COVID testing via SHS can be found here.
    • All asymptomatic students will engage in the following testing schedule upon arrival to campus, test two times each week for the first two weeks upon return:
First YearSophomoreJuniorSenior
Tues, Jan. 18 & Thurs, Jan. 20Tues, Jan. 18 & Thurs, Jan. 20Wed, Jan. 19 & Fri, Jan. 21Wed, Jan. 19 & Fri, Jan. 21
Tues, Jan. 25 & Thurs, Jan. 27Tues, Jan. 25 & Thurs, Jan. 27Wed, Jan. 26 & Fri, Jan. 28Wed, Jan. 26 & Fri, Jan. 28
  • NOTE: If you are delaying your return to campus, you will still need to test two times each week for YOUR first two weeks back on campus.
  • If you have tested positive for COVID recently, please reach out to nurse@pitzer.eduwith documentation. Students who have recently tested positive will be exempt from the testing requirement (as long as they remain asymptomatic) for up to 90 days. However, students currently exempt from routine testing that tested positive for COVID-19 prior to December 2021 and are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, must engage in COVID-19 testing given they may be impacted by Omicron.  
  • Upgraded Mask Requirement
    • Based on the latest directives from the CDPH, LACDPH, and California’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA), all individuals in the workplace, regardless of vaccination status, must wear up face covering/mask while indoors, unless a valid exception applies.
    • Based on a Public Health Order issued by the LACDPH on December 31, 2021, only well-fitting 1) medical grade mask, 2) surgical mask, 3) medical procedure masks, or 4) higher-level respirators approved by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), such as a N95 filtering face respirator, will be permitted by Pitzer. KN95 and KF94 masks are also approved for use on campus. Face masks must not have any visible holes or openings and must cover the nose and mouth.
      • Pitzer will be supplying surgical grade masks to students who may need access to them upon ResLife check-in, and they will continue to be available at the Office of Student Affairs, Gold Student Health Center, Office of Residential Life, and the Office of the Dean of Faculty. For student mask access inquiries, please contact Bryce Sternquist at Bryce_Sternquist@pitzer.edu
    • Please ensure you are masking, as we always have been this academic year, in any indoor spaces outside of your immediate suite/household unit, and when sharing transportation with other community members. We also encourage you to mask outdoors if you are in a group/crowded setting. 
  • Daily Health Screening and Self-Check
    • We encourage all students, and especially those identified as “close contacts” to continue to check in with yourself each day and promptly identify and respond to any new symptoms. You can use the Healthy Pitzer daily symptom screening tool if you would like. 
    • Please follow our symptoms protocol so we can ease your access to testing and medical guidance. 
  • Student Compliance with COVID Requirements
    • To assist us in quickly supporting impacted students we are reminding students of the following requirements:
      • Promptly answer all calls, emails, texts, and outreach from Student Health Services (SHS) and the Office of Student Affairs.
      • Ensure you complete your mandatory weekly COVID testing on time AND check your test results immediately when they are emailed/texted to you every time.
      • It is a student’s responsibility to check their test result each and every time they test, as soon as they receive notification that the result is available. If they haven’t received notification within 24 hours of testing, they should go to the testing site and ask for a supervisor to figure out why they haven’t gotten a result yet.
      • If you test positive, you must immediately check your email and follow directives from SHS/OSA to isolate. Do not attend class, do not go to the dining hall.
    • Failure to stay in compliance with the above expectations puts our community’s health at risk. Students who fail to respond promptly to outreach, fail to test, fail to regularly check results, etc. are subject to conduct referral for charges such as refusal of compliance and threatening or endangering conduct. The range of intervention and enforcement measures may include, but is not limited to:
      • Conduct Probation up to Immediate Interim Suspension
      • Revocation of any future in-person class participation privileges
      • Parental notification
      • Removal from on-campus residential housing
      • Pitzer and/or The Claremont Colleges ban
      • Intervention and response by CDC officials for community health and safety, individual and College compliance expectations

Campus Policy Updates (in effect until at least January 31, 2022)

  • To-Go Dining Only
    • January 11-17: McConnell Dining only with service to-go (Pit Stop and Shakedown will be closed during this time)
    • January 18-30: All three venues will reopen with to-go or grab-and-go service only
    • January 25: Re-evaluation will be conducted and adjustments, including related guidelines, will be communicated to the community as soon as possible
    • We encourage students to continue use of the outdoor dining areas on campus.
    • During this time, we strongly discourage eating with others unmasked, even if outdoors.
    • Again, as previously shared with students, crossover dining to the other colleges  will be re-evaluated on February 7, 2022. 
  • Spring 2022 New Student Orientation
    • Individual outreach to new spring students will been made directly by Campus Life and program updates can be found on the New Student Orientation website linked here.
  • No Non-Suitemates in Residential Suites
    • Only students who live in each residential suite/apartment will be allowed into the suite/apartment at this time. No guests of any kind will be allowed in the suite/apartment, this includes during move-in days as well.
    • All Claremont Colleges are invoking a “no 5C guests policy” in their residential facilities as well, including CCA and OASIS. 
  • Student Campus Life & No Non-Academic Student Gatherings: 
    • We will not be registering student events (those over 30 people outdoors or indoors over 20 people) and any pre-registered events are canceled. 
    • Student club and organization meetings will be conducted virtually.
    • We encourage students to only gather outdoors in small groups or indoors only if essential college business. Students are encouraged to check out outdoor lawn games from Campus Life.
    • We strongly encourage you to limit off-campus interactions, including non-academic interactions at sister campuses.
    • Upon return to campus for spring, consistent with current crossover dining guidelines, no in-person 5C events will be held from the beginning of the semester through February 7, pending evaluation of our COVID-19 case trends and student compliance with flu and booster vaccination, testing and masking requirements.
    • Consistent with Fall 2021, no non-5C community guests will be allowed to attend Pitzer events and programs until further notice.
    • A shared Spring 2022 5C Community Agreement is forthcoming that will include expectations for resuming cross-campus student life engagement in-person.
    • Updates regarding campus student employment are forthcoming.
  • GSC Fitness Center:
    • The fitness center will be operating at limited capacity during the start of the spring 2022 semester. Only ten Pitzer community members will be allowed to use the fitness center at a time, limited to one hour a day.  Community members will have to reserve an appointment to use the fitness center to ensure maximum capacity limits, allow for social distancing and cleaning between use. 
    • Pitzer community members using the GSC fitness center will be required to wear well-fitting 1) medical grade mask, 2) surgical mask, 3) medical procedure masks, or 4) higher-level respirators approved by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), such as a N95 filtering face respirator, when working out in the GSC. If community members do not have an appropriate mask to wear indoors, the GSC staff will be able to provide one.
    • All community members will be required to sign-in, limit their visit to one hour, and clean all equipment and machines after use. If time limit, cleaning, or masking protocols are not followed, guest will be asked to leave.
    • All GSC fitness classes and personal training will be scheduled online and will be hosted virtually, outdoors or individually.
  • Pomona-Pitzer Athletics
    • There are no current change to student athlete participation. Updated spectator guidance can be found here. The College will continue to monitor and adhere to NCAA and conference protocols with risk mitigation being a top priority.
  • The Claremont College Services
    • The Office of Black Student Affairs, Chicano Latino Student Affairs, and Office of the Chaplains will be available to serve students virtually until further notice.
    • Monsour Counseling and Student Health Services are available by appointment only until further notice. Updates regarding The Claremont Colleges Library are forthcoming.
  • Pitzer Sagehen Shuttle
    • Based on student voice feedback and usage data, the Pitzer Sagehen Shuttle will resume with updated service operations, effective January 17, as noted below (masks are required at all times):
      • Monday – Thursday: 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 a.m.
      • Friday – Saturday 5:00 p.m. – 1:00 a.m.
      • To assist with student transitions back to campus, the Sagehen Shuttle will also be operating on Sunday, January 16 from 9AM-1AM

Campus Spring Semester Arrival Updates

  • Campus Arrival
    • Sunday, January 16, 2022 has traditionally been the preferred return date for students. We are asking students that are not housing insecure, impacted by a living environment that is not conducive to remote learning, and living locally or are within driving distance to campus, to partner with OSA to please identify an alternative date after Sunday, January 16, to return to campus in order to allow our team the ability to dedicate our support and resources to students traveling domestically or internationally to campus.
    • Please complete the “Spring 2022 Arrival Plans” form on your Residence homepage by Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2022 to let us know if you plan to arrive to campus on Jan. 16/17 or if you plan to delay your arrival, as well as to indicate whether you will have access to a PCR test, or if due to equity access barriers, you are requesting testing access upon return to campus so our team can coordinate support ahead of your arrival.
    • If you would like to discuss changing travel arrangements, and need financial support to do so, please complete a HEERF funding application and we will review it promptly. Student Emergency Relief Grant
  • COVID Concerns Reporting Form
    • Students, staff, and faculty may use this form to report a COVID-19 concern involving you, another individual, or a group. These concerns may involve issues related to: monitoring symptoms, face covering guidance/access, cleaning, COVID-19 disclosure, or other concerns. 
  • Pre-Arrival COVID-19 Impact on Return to Campus
    • Academic Accommodations & Strive2Thrive Program
      • We recognize some students may need to delay their return to campus due to their current COVID-19 positive and isolation status. Please isolate for 10 days and email nurse@pitzer.edu and osastudent@pitzer.edu with documentation of your results for support and next steps.
      • Students in need of financial support for travel related implications is available through HEERF funding. Please the application and we will review it promptly. Student Emergency Relief Grant
      • Pitzer Academic Support Services will work collaboratively with faculty to coordinate support for academic accommodations for students who may be directly, or indirectly, impacted by COVID-19. Students and faculty may contact Associate Dean Gabriella Tempestoso at gabriella_tempestoso@pitzer.edu for support. 
      • Pitzer Academic Support Services and Strive2Thrive team is coordinating efforts to enhance mental health support access to students, including BIPOC expertise, and programmatic updates are forthcoming.
      • Monsour Counseling is also enhancing psychiatry services available via 7C.Health.
  • Pre-Arrival COVID PCR Test Requirement
    • All Pitzer students will be required to complete a COVID-19 PCR test no more than 3 days prior to move-in arrival and produce a negative test upon move-in arrival OR, for off-campus students, email proof of the test to osastudent@pitzer.edu (or any testing access support needs) no later than Tuesday, Jan. 18.
      • If you don’t have your test results upon arrival, you will be expected to submit proof of having completed a test, and upon arrival, mask at all times, practice social distancing and not engage in any social gatherings or in person meetings of any kind until you are able to provide your test results or be tested at SHS instead.  
      • We understand that access to PCR tests may be more difficult now, and equity barriers may impact access in some areas. Students needing testing access that are able to arrange their arrival date to align with normal Student Health Services testing hours Monday – Friday, are strongly encouraged to do so (should students need financial support re-arranging travel, please promptly complete the Student Emergency Relief Grant form). Students needing testing access upon return, will be expected to mask at all times, practice social distancing and not engage in any social gatherings of any kind or in person meetings until they are able to test and obtain their results.  
      • If you test positive on this pre-arrival test, please isolate for 10 days and emailnurse@pitzer.edu and osastudent@pitzer.edu with documentation of your results for support and next steps.
    • International Travel Requirements: Starting December 6, all air passengers traveling into the US, regardless of vaccination status, must show a negative COVID-19 test taken no more than 1 day before travel to the United States.
  • Residential Check-In
    • The residence halls will re-open for check-in on Sunday, Jan. 16, 2022 from 9am-5pm. Again, students that are not housing insecure and living locally or are within driving distance to campus should plan to arrive after Sunday if possible.
      • Arrivals after 5pm should check-in the next day and use Campus Safety for a lockout to access their room for the night.
    • Check-in will be outside the Admission Office for all main campus residents and at CCA Building B, for CCA residents. ALL residential students need to check-in to reactivate access for the semester.
      • Sunday, Jan. 16 & Monday, Jan. 17: Please check-in according to the first letter of your last name (or at a later date)
        • 9am-10am: W-Z
        • 10am-11am: S-V
        • 11am-12pm: N-R
        • 1pm-2pm: J-M 
        • 2pm-3pm: E-I
        • 3pm-4pm: A-D
    • More information on Spring Move-In can be found here:https://www.pitzer.edu/student-life/spring-move-in-guide/

As always, resources and support activation for students experiencing COVID-19 symptoms are available on Pathway Forward, 24/7 access to providers via 7C.Health continues to be available, and our on-call deans are available 24/7 by contacting Campus Safety at 909-607-2000. Your ongoing commitment to Mindful of Each Other in action is appreciated. We are all part of ensuring a safe start to our spring semester and prioritizing our academic mission, so please increase your vigilance and continue to engage in COVID safety precautions.

Sincerely,

Sandra Vasquez
Vice President for Students