Dear Scripps College Community Members,
I write to follow up on my memorandum dated Monday, January 3 to the community. We find ourselves in unpredictable times that require us to rethink the way we operate. We recognize that each adjustment made to keep our community safe may feel restrictive to some, and we appreciate the commitment by every member of our community to keep each other safe and healthy. Scripps is participating in both consortia and College-specific actions focused on the health and safety of our community while providing our mission-driven education.
All Scripps students are welcome to return to campus on January 16.
Given the accelerated spread of the Omicron variant and based on recent advice from our medical advisors, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LACDPH), and the CDC, the presidents of the Claremont Colleges have determined that all classes will be remote for the first two weeks of the semester. If the effect of the Omicron surge significantly wanes, the presidents have agreed to meet to reevaluate this decision on January 21. This adjustment to remote education allows us to establish a baseline of testing, minimize cross-campus contact, and provide flexibility to our students who may not be able to or want to return to campus due to exposure to or testing positively for the coronavirus and/or flight cancelations or modifications. As a result, the presidents also decided that there will be no cross-campus events or activities, nor will there be guests from other campuses allowed in the residence halls during this period.
In addition to these consortial decisions, Scripps College is taking the following actions during the beginning of the semester:
- The Malott Commons dining services will provide all menu items to-go in the servery along with some additional grab-and-go options. Mobile ordering will continue to be available with additional offerings.
- With the exception of the Malott Commons dining and the non-common areas in the residence halls, indoor areas that are shared common spaces will be closed (e.g., classrooms, conference rooms, auditoriums, break rooms, residential hall common spaces, SCORE, and the student union).
- Tiernan Field House will be open for outdoor activities only. The Field House pool will be closed.
- Employees whose job duties are not essential to be performed on campus will work remotely.
- Students are encouraged to make use of our many outdoor spaces for activities such as dining and studying. These spaces include the outdoor classrooms on Alumnae Field and the outdoor dining and study spaces located on Elm Tree Lawn, the Edwards Humanities Building’s Lyddon Court, Seal Court, and the Mary Wig Johnson Court, adjacent to Vita Nova Hall. We most strongly recommend wearing masks at these outdoor locations when appropriate distancing is not possible.
In light of the fact that the Omicron variant is spread through aerosol transmission, effective masking is an important mitigation measure. Employees and students will be required to wear upgraded masks during the spring semester due to the scientific evidence that cloth masks are not sufficient protection from Omicron. Masks will be provided by the College and more information about distribution will be available in the coming days.
These actions are not made without serious consideration and understanding that all decisions have both positive and negative consequences. However, as previously stated, our goal is to educate our students on the Scripps campus for the spring 2022 semester as safely as possible.
Please monitor your email for additional updates and refer to the Scripps Strong website regularly, as we continue to update the site when new information becomes available. Thank you for all you do and for your continued flexibility as we navigate this new year.