Pitzer’s Community Agreement in Response to COVID

Thanks to our community efforts, we continue to evolve together along with the pandemic and medical guidance and are thrilled to begin the semester with a renewed sense of our beloved traditional student experience. This includes current masking-optional—but strongly encouraged—guidelines in effect at Pitzer, required pre-arrival and post-arrival testing, voluntary screening testing, and 5C cross-campus dining and programming. While these are our current plans for the semester, like everything with the pandemic, the situation could change, and we may have to shift pending medical and public health guidance. To enhance student testing access, we have a COVID-19 test vending machine on campus. We are truly grateful to our new incoming students who have also played an integral role in our ongoing efforts to remain Mindful of Each Other.  Please be sure to visit our Community Messages site for the latest updates, including Pitzer’s Fall 2022 Return Updates, and Frequently Asked Questions.

Fall 2022 Community Agreement

Pitzer College aims to fulfill its mission of “produc[ing] engaged, socially responsible citizens of the world” while protecting the health and safety of our students, staff, and faculty and minimizing the potential spread of disease within our community. It has taken our community to be Mindful of Each Other to get through the earlier crisis stages of the pandemic. As our community reunites this year on-campus and evolves in our life with COVID-19, we must continue to be mindful that we will need to continue to engage in necessary safety measures based on evolving health guidance from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LACDPH), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the state of California.  Similar to last year, to maximize isolation space, Student Affairs staff will work closely with students who test positive for COVID to place them in isolation with a peer or to isolate in place along with positive suite/roommates. We recognize some students prefer to exercise the option to isolate off campus at the residence of their family or a friend, and we will continue to grant waivers for students who prefer this option. While historically this close partnership with students has allowed us to maximize our isolation space capacity, in the event that we should not have isolation space immediately available, students may be instructed to isolate in place until an isolation space is available. Again, we thank you for your continued partnership, understanding, and flexibility.

The below guidelines are applicable to all community members (students, staff, and faculty), and we will endeavor to update you with timely information about specific health and safety guidance as it becomes available.

We are mindful of our community, therefore we commit to: 

1. COVID-19 Vaccination

2. Face Masks

The masking policy on campus will be subject to any local health officer orders issued by the LA County Department of Public Health. If there is a public health order requiring masking, community members must mask in accordance with that order. Students who test positive for COVID-19, are symptomatic, or are identified as “close contacts” must adhere to expectations as directed by contact tracing and as outlined in Pitzer’s COVID-19 and Close Contact Protocol and Support.

As of May 23, 2022, indoor masking generally is no longer required on campus, though still strongly recommended by public health guidance. However, Pitzer’s COVID-19 Task Force, with appropriate consultation, has determined that specific offices, classrooms, programs, and individuals will be able to determine the masking policies for their spaces on campus. Community members are expected to cooperate with any such expectations, including expectations set forth at sister campuses within The Claremont Colleges. Masking refers to masks that fit and filter well, such as surgical and KN95 masks.

More on face masks

Updates to Pitzer’s masking policy are informed by medical, CDC, and LA County Department of Public Health guidance.

We recognize that some students may choose to continue to wear a face mask regardless of vaccination status. Students are encouraged to continue to be Mindful of Each Other by supporting anyone who chooses to wear a face mask and avoid any pre-judgment or bias on their vaccination status.

Students who need a face mask can visit the Office of Student Affairs (Scott Hall), Office of the Dean of Faculty (Scott Hall 114), Gold Student Center front desk or Residence Life (E. Sanborn, C300) to request one, at no cost, during regular operating hours.

We continue to collaborate with sister campuses and, as their fall return to campus plans are confirmed, we will provide updates on policies Pitzer students should expect to follow while visiting sister campuses.

3. Physical Distancing

  • We will continue to follow evolving medical and public health guidance, and update guidelines as needed.

4. Non-Claremont College Guests and/or Visitors

  • Guest and visitors must adhere to any program host and/or coordinating office’s safety and masking guidelines as determined may be necessary
  • No non-5C guests will be allowed in the residence halls after Move-in for at least the first two weeks of classes (updates will be forthcoming).
    • Occupancy limits on residence hall rooms are twice the number of students who live there. In a 4-person suite, the occupancy limit is 8 people, for example.
  • Residential students at Pitzer (including [email protected]) are allowed to have 5C overnight guests only, must follow Residence Life’s overnight guest registration policies, and ensure guests follow Pitzer’s Code of Conduct expectations.
  • In the event of an emergency, emergency response personnel and others shall coordinate with Campus Safety in their response to The Claremont Colleges.
  • Be mindful when using any third-party rideshare or meal delivery vendors to ensure limited community interaction during their brief time on-campus.

5. Public Health & Transmission Reduction Interventions

a. Education, Updates, and Proactive Guidance

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

More on education, updates, and proactive guidance

  1. Students will be required to get a flu shot this year. Staff/faculty members are encouraged to consider getting a flu shot this year to support the wellbeing of our entire community.
  2. Informational posters and signs will be installed throughout campus to communicate prevention practices to all community members.
  3. Some websites to become familiar with are:

b. Cleaning and Disinfecting

  • Follow proper hand washing procedures, cover coughs, do not touch your face with unwashed hands.
  • Follow posted guidelines on self-cleaning, and use the provided disinfectant tools to ensure shared spaces are left clean for future users.

More on cleaning and disinfecting

Follow related CDC and campus guidelines to help keep our community safe by engaging in the following practices:

  1. Wash hands frequently for at least 20 seconds.
  2. Be mindful of others when sneezing or coughing, including covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue or your elbow or a tissue. Wash hands afterward. (https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/Immunization/ncov2019.aspx)
  3. Use hand sanitizing stations available across the College.
  4. Some spaces on campus may provide disinfectant wipes to allow community members to do their part in keeping the campus clean and safe for others. For example, students may be asked to wipe down their desks before they leave the classroom to ensure a hygienic space for the next student.
  5. Be proactive: If you recognize a need on campus regarding cleaning supplies or hand sanitation, please submit your recommendations to Facilities and Campus Services.

c. Symptoms Monitoring and Reporting

  1. Notify Student Health Services promptly if you have tested positive or been diagnosed with COVID-19.
  2. OPTIONAL: Engage in symptom monitoring and reporting if you should feel symptomatic, using the guidelines and tools established by Pitzer and Student Health Services (SHS).
  3. Stay home or in your residence room if you feel unwell, follow up with your healthcare provider to get medical care, and report your symptoms to Student Health Services.
    • Academic Support and wellness resources will be available for students who need to stay home if they feel unwell or are experiencing any symptoms. Students may proactively contact Associate Dean of Students [email protected] for help accessing these resources.

More on symptoms monitoring and reporting

d. Testing

  • ALL Students: Complete a pre-arrival PCR COVID test 3-5 days before coming to campus for the first time (students with access barriers should notify [email protected] prior for access support), AND all students are required to complete a PCR test post-arrival to campus within 2-3 days at Student Health Services, AND to test once a week upon their return to campus through the second week of classes based on the schedule below [insert table below from FAQ section]. All students must cooperate with COVID-19 Symptoms and Close Contacts Protocols and Support for Students [insert link], including complying with isolation directives if they test positive. Students will also complete return to campus testing upon return from Winter Break, Spring Break, and other breaks as determined necessary by the College. All symptomatic and students identified as ”close contacts” are required to comply with Student Health Services directives to participate in testing; Symptomatic students MUST test by no later than 48 hours from the onset of symptoms; Students instructed to test by a medical provider, MUST test immediately (or contact SHS or On-Call Dean at 909-607-2000 for support);
  • Who are up-to-date on COVID-19 vaccination: Students are required to be up to date on their vaccines before coming to campus. Students are considered up to date when they have received all doses of the primary vaccine series and all recommended boosters.
    • Participate in voluntary screening testing as part of our College’s 10-15% student voluntary weekly participation threshold. Upon request, due to necessary randomized screening testing, focused group based on identified COVID-19 trends (i.e. residence hall floor), and as necessary on a weekly basis based on positive COVID-19 trends, medical or public health guidance.
  • Students who are not up to date on COVID-19 vaccination: Are required to participate in College-directed mandatory once-a-week COVID-19 testing.

Where are COVID testing sites for students?

Student Health Services (SHS) will be coordinating on-campus testing and vaccine access.

Testing Schedule

Students who may have missed their assigned weekly testing dayFriday
Students with an approved exemption (unvaccinated)Tuesday and Friday

e. Contact Tracing

  • Promptly cooperate with outreach from College officials as follow-up is conducted to determine “Close Contacts” of someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19.
  • Willingly participate in tracing efforts by communicating with College officials and providing truthful and accurate information.

f. Maintaining Up-to-Date Contact Information & Emergency Contact Information

  • Students are required to keep their contact information current and promptly cooperate with outreach and directives from College officials and Student Health Services representatives.
  • Students are required to submit and annually update their missing persons and emergency contact information via the Student Portal.
  • Employees returning to work on campus will be asked to confirm and/or submit their emergency contact information via Workday.

g. Isolation

h. Resources for Mental and Physical Health

  • Support community members who are impacted by COVID-19 and connect them with appropriate resources.
  • Continue to be Mindful of Each Other in community.
  • Normalize the need for community support for mental health and well-being. Understand that everyone is reacting and responding to the evolution of the pandemic’s effects in many different ways.

More on resources for mental and physical health

  • Engage in Community building and wellness workshops through signature Strive2Thrive Wellness Wednesday programming and events. PZSTRIVE2THRIVE Instagram
  • Access 24/7 health and well-being resources through Sakai, Campuswell, Sagehen Financial Support Center and monthly self-care newsletter

More information on Mental Health & Well-Being Support for all Pitzer students can be found here

6. Off-Campus Interactions, Transportation Guidelines, and Travel

  • Be mindful of where you go and how you interact off-campus as your choices may impact the well-being of the entire Pitzer community.
  • Consistent with CDC guidance, we strongly recommend those who have off-campus interactions and travel get tested 3-5 days after travel.
  • Los Angeles County Department of Public Health also currently requires masking in indoor public transportation settings. This includes all Pitzer transportation including the Sagehen Shuttle and Pitzer Van Program.

7. Combating Bias, Discrimination, Xenophobia and Stigma Related to COVID-19

More on combating bias, discrimination, xenophobia and stigma

  • Actively work to understand: What are your own biases and stereotypes? Where did you learn them? How those beliefs impact your actions that discriminate against others?
  • Actively learn how bias, discrimination, xenophobia and stigma related to COVID-19 impacting historically marginalized racial groups.
  • Actively resist any attempts to discriminate against others based on COVID-19, including the choice to wear a mask, and commit to learning from others’ experiences as part of our ever-changing global community.
  • Learn and implement skills to intervene safely when you are a bystander to an incident
  • Commit to continuous learning and implementing what you learned in your daily life. Attend events, trainings and readings offered by the College and beyond to further understand how to combat bias and discrimination.
    • For all students to realize, appreciate and listen to each other’s lived experiences and in particular those of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) communities and how that means we cannot fully understand how lived experiences shaped individual perspectives.

8. Other COVID-19 Related College and Claremont Colleges Guidance

Review and become knowledgeable of other updates to college policies and procedures in response to COVID-19.

  • Athletic Facilities
  • TCCS Shared Services
  • Other COVID-19 policies from the Claremont Colleges
    Some variation on these guidelines are to be expected college-to-college.  Those who spend time on other campuses should be sure to review that college’s policies closely.

Community Norming, Being Mindful of Each Other & Support

We implore all members of the community to practice “calling each other in” around these important health and safety measures, to practice empathy, compassion and an ethos of “I am because we are”, whereby we honor the “principle of ubuntu: a concept in which being itself is a relational category of recognition, rights, and responsibilities”. Our hope is that everyone will think of the greater good, including, but not limited to, consideration of our essential, frontline, and at-risk community members and extended families, and consider how to address those who may not remember to follow these guidelines. 

Pitzer Code of Student Conduct

Responsive measures may be taken as necessary to protect the health, well-being and safety of the community when educational and community norming efforts are repeatedly disregarded, and in circumstances when individualistic choices not to follow this community agreement pose a risk to others and can be disruptive to the living-learning environment. Examples of such behaviors include, but are not limited to:o: 

  • Intentionally failing to wear a face covering (in a location/circumstance where they are required)
  • Hosting large unregistered gatherings, as prohibited by college or health guidelines
  • Failing to honor any COVID-19 guest and visitor restrictions
  • Severe incidents of disregard for the health and safety of others
    • Failure to complete COVID-19 testing within 48 hours of onset of COVID-19 symptoms
    • Failure to complete COVID-19 testing immediately after receiving a medical recommendation to test (SHS and On-Call Student Affairs staff is here to support you in the event you are experiencing barriers to testing)
    • Failure to follow guidance for pre-approved isolation mental health and wellbeing walks in pre-approved designated locations as instructed within isolation guidance
  • Isolated persons intentionally engaging in behaviors that pose a high risk of infecting others including, but not limited to, presenting to class or dining spaces;
  • Providing false information related to COVID-19 tracing
  • Failing to comply with directives and outreach from College officials, Student Health Services, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health and/or the CDC.

Examples of Student Education, Responsive Community Measures, Values, and Support (SERV)

  • Peer-to-peer educational and community norming conversations;
  • Faculty may take the following steps when a student presents to class without a face covering as they have determined is required for their class:
    • Empower students presenting to class without a face covering by providing a mask;
    • Refer the student to the Office of the Dean of Students to pick up a face mask; Dismiss the student from the class for the day;
    • Opt to not teach class when a student disrupts classroom activities and risks the health/safety of the class when such a student intentionally presents to class, or they may opt to dismiss a student from class
  • To ensure the health/safety of community, students failing to comply with guidelines may be refused student services or be directed to alternatively access services remotely.

COVID-19 Student Conduct Intervention & Enforcement Measures

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

Accountability to the Community Agreement

  1. Imminent concerns impacting the health and safety of the community should be referred to the following (anonymous reported concerns can also assist with community health/safety interventions whenever possible):
  2. Staff/Faculty:
    • Deanna Caballero ([email protected])
      Assistant Vice President for Human Resources
      During Normal Business Hours: (909) 621-8254
  3. Students
    • Information on the enforcement of these expectations for students and our “Student Education, Responsive Community Measures, Values, and Support (SERV)” process, as well as connections to the Student Code of Conduct can be found here: https://www.pitzer.edu/emergency/2020/06/30/serv/
      Kadi Cadenhead-Wong ([email protected])
      During Normal Business Hours: (909) 621-8241

Ongoing Community Input

Our collective response to this pandemic is ongoing and fluid. We need all community members’ active engagement to ensure we are invested in a feedback loop and can collectively modify our campus response and guidelines accordingly. Questions, comments or concerns in regards to this Community Agreement can be directed to [email protected].


American College Health Association (2020): ACHA Guidelines: Considerations for Reopening Institutions of Higher Education in the Covid-19 Era.

American Psychological Association (2020): Combating Bias and Stigma Related to COVID-19

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2020): Considerations for Institutes of Higher Education.  

Dweck, C. (2006). Mindset: The New Psychology of Success – How We Can Learn to Fulfill our Potential.

Heath, E. (2020). The Washington Post: Why Adaptability May be your Most Essential Skill in the Covid-19 World.

Levine, M. (2020) Threadreader: It’s Time to Update the All-or-Nothing Messaging on COVID-19 Risk

Marcus, J. (2020). The Atlantic: Quarantine Fatigue Is Real: Instead of an All or Nothing Approach to Risk Prevention, Americans Need a Manual on How to Have a Life in a Pandemic.  

Ogude, J., Paulson, S. & Strainchan, A (2019). Consortium of Humanities Centers and Institutes: I am Because You Are: An Interview with James Ogude

Smolinski, M. & Coronavirus Frontlines (2020). Forbes:  Wearing a Mask is a Sign of Mutual Respect During the Coronavirus Pandemic.