Scripps College to stay closed for spring semester, following remote fall

A sign reading "Scripps College is closed to the public" sits in front of Scripps' NEW Hall
The college’s announcement came the same day spring semester classes began. (Yasmin Elqutami • The Student Life)

Scripps College will remain shuttered to students and operate remotely for the spring 2021 semester, becoming the latest undergraduate Claremont College to announce the soonest students can hope to return is fall 2021. 

The announcement, made in an email Monday by outgoing President Lara Tiedens, means that students at Scripps will have been away from campus for a year come March. 

Scripps students, along with those from the other four undergraduate Claremont Colleges, were sent home in March 2020 and experienced an entirely virtual fall semester. Scripps provided no on-campus housing accommodations, opting to keep the campus entirely closed. 

The decision comes after similar announcements from sister schools Harvey Mudd College, which will not bring students back to campus for the spring semester, and Claremont McKenna College, which said hopes were all but dashed for a spring return.

In a meeting last week, Los Angeles Public Health officials told college officials that plans to allow academic and residential life programs “are on hold indefinitely” and that institutions on semester should not expect students to return in the spring, according to the email. 

Consistent with local and state directives and our commitment to protect the health and safety of our campus community and neighbors, Scripps will continue to operate remotely for the spring semester,” Tiedens said. 

The announcement came the same day spring semester classes began. Recognizing that the news may affect decisions families make about enrollment plans, Tiedens said Scripps would allow students to request a full refund through March 5.

Tiedens said Scripps is “fully prepared” to reopen this fall in light of continued distribution of COVID-19 vaccines and has applied to CalVax to become a vaccination site. According to county health officials, Scripps faculty and staff are in the Tier 1B group to receive the vaccine. 

This is a developing story and will continue to be updated. 

Claire DuMont contributed reporting. 

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