Residential life is the heartbeat of Scripps College—something cherished all the more after the last year and a half of remote learning. As the campus prepares to reopen for in-person instruction this fall, many students and their families have questions about what they should expect amid an ever-fluctuating COVID-19 environment. To help, we’ve compiled some helpful updates from recent announcements and the Scripps Strong COVID-19 website to help our student community more easily transition from home to Claremont.
Updates to Classrooms, Residence Halls, and Common Spaces
Since last year, many Scripps buildings and gathering areas have undergone considerable modifications to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Much of that effort has centered on de-densifying high traffic areas and introducing new safety measures.
“Across campus, we’ve added touchless faucets and toilet valves, upgraded air filters, employed UV and deionized air treatments in the HVAC system, and installed plexiglass between office desks, restroom sinks, and within Malott Commons,” says Josh Reeder, executive director of facilities management and auxiliary operations. Scripps’ dining area will be open for both grab-and-go and some served meal options, with students able to enjoy increased outdoor seating.
Most shared space interactions for students will return to “normal,” with the exception of the addition of nine new open-air classrooms—a benefit of Scripps’ Southern California climate.
“Classrooms, labs, student housing, recreation and other campus facilities will return to pre-pandemic capacities,” says Assistant Vice President of Human Capital & Risk Management Jennifer Berklas in a recent email to Scripps’ campus community. “Classes will be held in person in typical classroom settings and in our outdoor classrooms on Tiernan Field.”
Students can expect all Scripps staff and faculty, with rare exemption, to be fully vaccinated upon their return to campus. Students are required to be fully vaccinated, whether living in Scripps housing or not. The College will require faculty and staff to receive a COVID-19 vaccination upon full use authorization of a COVID-19 vaccine by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Those who qualify for an exemption for medical or religious reasons will participate in COVID-19 testing twice a week. Scripps will offer the Healthfully app to help students track symptoms, monitor test results, and engage in contact tracing if needed.
Masks and Physical Distancing
Given the recent increase in coronavirus infections due to the Delta variant, masks must be worn indoors at all times by all students, faculty, and staff, regardless of their vaccination status, per Cal-OSHA compliance standards. Wearing a mask outdoors will be optional, and physical distancing will not be required in either setting.
For safety reasons, students will be able to move in to campus over a period broken down by class year: August 25, 2021, for new students; August 26, 2021, for rising sophomores; and August 27–28, 2021, for rising juniors and seniors. According to the Scripps Strong COVID-19 update website, on-campus storage will not be provided, so students are encouraged to pack light and make other storage arrangements if necessary. However, they can bring guests to assist on the day.
“Each student may have up to two persons assist with move-in,” states the Scripps Strong site. “The names of these individuals must be provided to Residential Life no later than August 1, along with proof of the COVID-19 vaccination. Documentation should be uploaded here.”
Staying Informed on Fall 2021 Campus Updates
As local and national guidance regarding health and safety measure continues to evolve throughout the summer, College leadership is poised to respond to new developments as they arise and share that news with students and their families.
“Scripps is monitoring all COVID-19 policies and remains in regular communication with LACDPH officials to ensure the College follows both higher education best practices and recommendations by public health agencies,” says Director of Parent Engagement Casey Crosbie. “We expect there will continue to be changes as we learn more about COVID-19 and methods for keeping our students, staff, and faculty safe and healthy.”
Students and families are strongly encouraged to regularly visit the College’s Scripps Strong site for the latest news. To view frequently asked questions that directly relate to helping students prepare for the in-person fall 2021 semester, please click here.