Updated Jan. 10 at 12:15 p.m.
Having announced that the 5Cs will kick off the spring semester with two weeks of remote instruction, some schools are walking back the dates by which students are expected to arrive in Claremont, even as residence halls will continue to open the weekend before classes begin Jan. 18.
The measures are meant to help spread out student arrivals and accommodate travel difficulties due to public health conditions or student illness, administrators said.
In a message to students Friday, Scripps College interim Vice President of Student Affairs Adriana di Bartolo-Beckman said that students can postpone their arrival to campus if desired.
“While residence halls will be open on the 16th, students are not required to be on campus until January 23 and can begin remote courses from home,” di Bartolo-Beckman said.
Claremont McKenna College will also require students to come to campus by Jan. 23, although Dean of Student Dianna Graves CM ’98 and Vice President of Student Affairs Sharon Basso said in a community email Thursday that returns should occur “preferably sooner, so we can establish our baseline testing and start to reestablish our residential community.”
Harvey Mudd College interim Vice President for Student Affairs Marco Antonio Valenzuela told students Saturday that they should also move in by Jan. 23, “preferably sooner,” citing the need to establish a testing baseline.
Pitzer College’s Office of Residence Life told students that the latest they should arrive is noon on Jan. 28, the Friday the second week of classes, in order to be able to participate in required testing.
Pomona College still encourages students to return between Jan. 15 and 17, Dean of Students Avis Hinkson said in an email to TSL.
“We understand that due to illness, flight cancellations and other various challenges, students may opt to return to campus later,” she added. “We will be sending out a questionnaire next week to capture students’ return dates and provide exemption from mandatory weekly testing.”
Scripps and Pitzer College went as far as to ask students not to move in when residence halls open Jan. 16, partially in order to free up capacity to support students moving in that Sunday.
“We are asking students that are not housing insecure, impacted by a living environment that is not conducive to virtual learning, live locally, or are within driving distance to campus partner with Residential Life to identify a date after Sunday, January 16 to return to campus,” di Bartolo-Beckman said.
Pitzer Vice President for Student Affairs Sandra Vasquez added Thursday that students who could “identify an alternative [move-in] date” would help “allow our team the ability to dedicate our support and resources to students traveling domestically or internationally to campus.”
Testing will play an important role as students begin to return.
CMC, Pitzer and Harvey Mudd are requiring proof of negative PCR test results within 72 hours of arrival on campus, while Scripps and Pomona strongly encourage students to get tested within 48 hours of arrival.
Once students arrive, both Scripps and CMC say they should quarantine in their rooms until they receive a negative result from a school-facilitated test.
“Because students will be arriving at varying times from many locations, we want to limit in-person social interactions for several days after each arrives to reduce spread,” Graves and Basso said. That means students should avoid leaving their rooms for “non-essential reasons outside of getting meals or isolated exercise outdoors,” they added.