Remote Classes, Residential Life, and Campus Operations

Dear Scripps College Community Members,

In response to the rapid progression of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic nationally and globally, Scripps College is adopting additional precautionary measures. Although no coronavirus cases have been reported in Claremont, government officials are predicting that the virus will continue to spread. As such, the chances of the virus reaching our campus will only increase over the next several weeks.

Like many colleges and institutions around the country, we have thoughtfully considered how best to minimize the risk of transmission of the virus, fulfill our academic mission, and give students and employees the opportunity to make the best choices for themselves and their families. We have concluded that expanding preventive measures before the diagnosis of a case in Claremont is the most prudent approach to decrease the potential impact of the virus on our communities.

Effective March 16, the beginning of spring break, we will institute new protocols to achieve social distancing on campus, with the goal of reducing the number of larger group gatherings and decreasing opportunities for individuals to spend time in close proximity to one another.  Social distancing is one of the most effective methods for inhibiting the spread of the virus.

The following protocols will remain in place until at least April 18. The College will provide information about plans for the remainder of the semester prior to that date.

  • Residential Life: To reduce the risk of transmission in residence halls, students are asked not to return to campus after spring break. Academic requirements will be met remotely during this period. Students who believe they need to remain on campus must submit information regarding their circumstances through a written request process. Students whose requests are approved to stay on campus will receive instruction remotely and must prepare for severely limited on-campus activities and interactions.  Students will receive additional, specific information regarding move-out procedures from the Dean of Students office.
  • Academic Instruction: All course work, senior thesis advising, and academic advising will be delivered in a virtual environment, mainly via the Zoom videoconferencing platform and Sakai. Students will hear directly from their faculty members regarding specific instructions for classes. We recognize that the online approach is not ideal, but we are confident that faculty will do their best to provide optimal conditions for learning under the circumstances. To facilitate a smooth transition, spring break will be extended by one week and virtual classes will begin March 30.
  • Business Operations: The College will stay open and will continue to support the academic mission by ensuring the ongoing function of all offices and operations. Where possible, the College will utilize technology and online platforms to support staff working remotely. Supervisors will work with employees individually to adjust duties and work schedules as necessary.
  • Dining Services: The College is following CDC guidance and implementing precautionary measures in Malott Dining Hall. Scripps is temporarily pausing all self-serve options in order to best care for our guests and team members, and outside food or beverage containers are prohibited. This includes reusable coffee/beverage containers and food storage containers (including green clamshells). Malott will dispense disposable paper to-go containers and coffee cups at this time, at no charge.
  • Public Events: The College has cancelled all non-essential events until further notice. The College will announce plans for Commencement and Reunion Weekend in early April.

Circumstances continue to evolve, and like many higher education institutions, we are making the best possible decisions with limited information and opportunities to prepare. Please know that we are approaching these decisions deliberately, based on the latest information from local, state, and national public health agencies, and that we are consulting with experts in epidemiology and our colleagues at other institutions of higher education who are grappling with similar uncertainty.

We understand the anxiety many are experiencing as a result of recent events. We will continue to follow the guidance of public health professionals and to provide updates as more information becomes available. Thank you for your patience and flexibility as we navigate this complex and evolving situation together.


Lara Tiedens

Return to the COVID-19 Information Webpage