COVID-19 Student Code of Conduct

Breadcrumb

Whittier College is a community that values connection. Student’s health and well-being are paramount to the College.

As we continue with remote learning and a closed campus for the 2020-2021 academic year, the College will provide all students with engaging, personalized, and interactive academic and student life activities rooted in care, as defined by the Whittier College ethos. 

This COVID-19 Student Code of Conduct enumerates the behaviors that all students are expected to demonstrate while we all try to manage the prevalence of COVID-19. We must all agree on a shared set of principles and daily actions that reflect guidelines from public health experts and agencies. These shared principles and actions will allow us to create a healthy, safe environment wherever we are living, learning, and working.  

In line with the Los Angeles County Guidelines, the Whittier College Campus is currently accessible and open only to previously approved essential staff and a small group of approved residential students. 

In this Code, specific policies will be noted that they apply to “Approved Residential Students” as they will be the only students permitted on campus.     

This Code is designed to create a community of care around all our students. The College is committed to ensuring that students have access to support regarding COVID-19 as appropriate. The Code promotes necessary communication as well as the provision of resources and support to help students be successful. 

If we all work together and abide by these policies, we can build and sustain a culture that takes our well-being, health, public health and the safety of others seriously. Each of our actions will ultimately affect how this academic year progresses for the Whittier Community, with the hope that we can be physically reunited again in 2021. 

A guide for students regarding behavior that is essential to keep everyone healthy and safe

This COVID-19 Student Code of Conduct remains effective as an addendum to the Whittier College Student Code of Conduct until otherwise noted by the College. The College reserves the right to update and make edits to this document to be in line with the guidance that comes from local, state, and national public health agencies as well as government officials. All updates to the document will be clearly noted with the date and posted on the College’s website. 

This policy was updated March 3, 2021.

In order to fulfill its reporting obligation to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, Whittier College requires that all students—whether you are living and studying remotely or are an approved residential student—self-report a positive COVID-19 test result from any healthcare provider in any jurisdiction. 

The College has invested in the Everbridge Mobile Safety and Contact Tracing Apps to facilitate self-reporting and health screening as described below. All students are strongly encouraged to use the Everbridge Apps. Instructions for downloading the Apps will be sent to students and posted on the Whittier College website. The more individuals that download the Apps, the more effective they will be in preventing the spread of COVID-19. 

All students must report positive COVID-19 test results within eight hours or as soon as practicable by using the Self-Report button on the Everbridge App (for Android users) or on the Contact Tracer App (for iPhone users). Students without smartphones must use this health screening form as an alternative. The Student Health and Wellness Center will automatically be notified through either method.

After the Student Health and Wellness Center has learned that a student has tested positive for COVID-19, staff may conduct additional contact tracing to determine if there was exposure to other members of our community so that they can take appropriate next steps to mitigate further spread of the virus. Consistent with federal and state laws governing patient confidentiality, the College will not share any patient’s private medical information other than to confirm that they are a residential or commuter student of the College.  

The College requires accurate results to prevent the possible spread of the virus due to a false negative result. Residential students must submit documentation of all lab results to the Student Health & Wellness Center to determine a quarantine or isolation plan. Please refer to the “Quarantine & Isolation Policy (Approved Residential Students).”

Failure of any student to notify the Student Health and Wellness Center of a positive test will result in policy violation of “College Rules and Regulations,” and the student will undergo the Conduct Process. Any student found responsible for violating the policy will be sanctioned. Please know that students’ health, wellness, and safety is the College’s top priority. All student conduct procedures will occur following the student’s full recovery.    

During remote operations, Whittier College requires that approved residential students complete a daily health screening.

Approved residential students must complete the health screening using the Symptom Checker button on the Everbridge App (Android Users) or on the Contact Tracer App (iPhone users) prior to leaving their residence hall each day. Students will receive a dated green approval or red non-approval pass through the Everbridge App and are required to display their pass at the request of Campus Safety or other College personnel. Students without smartphones must use the online health screening form and will receive their pass via email.

It is important that students monitor and record symptoms daily, so that the Student Health & Wellness Center can be immediately alerted and follow up as necessary. This symptom check is a tool that allows us to help protect ourselves, our loved ones, and any community members with whom we come into contact. 

Failure to complete the College’s daily health screening measures may result in policy violation of “College Rules and Regulations,” and the student will undergo the Conduct Process. Any student found responsible for violating the policy will be sanctioned.

During remote operations, non-residential students seeking campus access for essential services (e.g. Food Pantry pick-up) must complete a health screening in advance of their visit. Non-residential students will complete the screening by using the Symptom Checker button on the Everbridge App (Android Users) or on the Contact Tracer App (iPhone users). Students will receive a dated green approval or red non-approval pass and are required to display their pass at the request of Campus Safety or other College personnel. Students without smartphones must use the online health screening form and will receive their pass via email.

The Student Health & Wellness Center will be immediately notified of health screening status and will follow up as necessary. This symptom checker is a tool that allows us to help protect ourselves, our loved ones, and any community members with whom we come into contact. 

Failure to complete the College’s daily health screening measures may result in policy violation of “College Rules and Regulations,” and the student will undergo the Conduct Process. Any student found responsible for violating the policy will be sanctioned.

Approved residential students who test positive for COVID-19, are symptomatic, or who have been exposed to a positive case must maintain communication with the Student Health and Wellness Center and contact tracers.

The responsibilities of these students are to:

  • Follow all instructions given by medical personnel  
  • Share those instructions with the appropriate College personnel, including the Student Health and Wellness Center at healthservices@whittier.edu

The College will provide space on campus for approved residential students to self-isolate if they test positive for COVID-19 or to quarantine if they are experiencing symptoms or have been exposed to a positive case.  Students must be approved by College officials to safely isolate or quarantine in that designated space on campus, and they must abide by all policies in the Student Code of Conduct and the COVID-19 Student Code of Conduct. In addition, the student must also:

  • Remain in direct communication with the Director of the Health and Wellness Center
  • Respond to all phone calls, voicemails, emails, and texts from Whittier College staff members including but not limited to Campus Safety, Dean of Students Office, Health and Wellness Center, and Housing and Residence Life within 8 hours or within the time specified in that communication    
  • Remain in the specified location for the total number of days that the student is instructed by medical professionals. Students must be cleared by the Student Health & Wellness Center before returning to their approved dormitory room.

Failure to follow these policies and rules will result in a charge of the appropriate alleged violation which may include a policy violation of “College Rules and Regulations”. The student will go through the conduct process and if found responsible, receive sanctions. Please know that students’ health, wellness, and safety is the College’s top priority. Student conduct procedures will occur following the student’s full recovery.    

Approved residential students as well as employees approved to work on campus must wear a properly fitting face covering over the nose and mouth while on the Whittier College campus. This includes but is not limited to:

  • When walking around campus
  •  When walking throughout residence hall common spaces
  • If one was permitted to enter a classroom, department, or campus office
  • Where two or more people are present 

The following are exceptions to when/where one is not required to wear a mask (unless it is requested by another individual)

  • Approved residential student in their designated bedroom on campus
  • Approved residential students when showering, washing their fac, or brushing teeth in the floor/communal bathrooms 
  • When eating or drinking

All Whittier College students, faculty, and staff permitted to be on campus, reserve the right to kindly ask that any community members wear a face mask if they are not wearing one in a required setting. It is recommended to carry an extra face mask while on campus. If a student does not have a face mask to put on in that moment, they can be directed to visit Campus Safety or Student Health and Wellness Center. Face masks can be made out of materials you likely have access to.

Please note that any person(s) approved to be in athletic facilities must abide by the Whittier College Athletic Resocialization Guidelines. Failure to abide by the Whittier College Athletic Resocialization Guidelines may result in being charged with a policy violation of College Rules and Regulations that may result in more severe sanctioning. 

Updated March 3, 2021

All students who are approved to be on campus for a permitted activity must be immunized against influenza (the flu). This requirement of being vaccinated against influenza is for all Institutions of Higher Education as mandated by the County of Los Angeles Department of Public Health.   

Students may book an appointment at The Student Health and Wellness Center to receive their free vaccination against the flu by calling 562.464.4548 or emailing healthservices@whittier.edu. If you are a student coming to campus for an approved, permitted activity and have already received your influenza vaccination, you may email the Student Health and Wellness Center at healthservices@whittier.edu to provide proper documentation for your student medical record. Students who are unable to take the flu vaccine due to a medical contradiction must complete a medical exemption form. Please contact the Student Health and Wellness Center to discuss the matter and to obtain the form.   

Before coming to campus for your approved, permitted activity, please ensure that you have filled out all of the necessary online forms and RSVP. This includes but is not limited to your reservation, health screening form, and agreement/proof that you have been vaccinated against the flu.   

Student(s) who are alleged to have violated this policy will be charged with the appropriate alleged violation(s) which may include but not be limited to a policy violation of “College Rules and Regulations.” The student(s) will go through the conduct process and if found responsible, receive sanctions. 

In order to enhance the safety and security of all persons on the Whittier College campus, all students and employees approved to be campus are encouraged to display their College ID in a visual location that allows them to be identified. For that reason, it is required that students keep their College Student ID on their person at all times while on campus so that they may be identified if asked. 

As the health and safety of all Whittier College students, faculty and staff is our highest priority, it is vital that the College knows who is on the campus at all times, and for that reason no guests will be permitted on campus as outlined in the Guest Policy. If contact tracing would need to occur, this policy allows for proper notification.

No bias profiling of individuals will be tolerated by the College. If you are asked by an individual if you are an approved residential student and/or to present your Whittier College ID, we ask that you please assume the best intentions of that individual and that they are ensuring that you are registered with the College for health and safety purposes. Those most likely to ask individuals to display their College ID are Campus Safety Officers, Housing and Residential Life Staff, A Residential Advisor (RA), or a Division of Student Life Staff Member, as their position and duties are student support and success. If you believe that you were the victim of bias, please fill out the Bias Incident Reporting Form so that the College is made aware of the incident and can follow up accordingly.   

Physical distancing is designed to limit the spread of a disease by reducing the opportunities for close contact between people. It is asked that everyone does their best to maintain a safe physical distance of 6 feet or more in all settings. 

The College recognizes that maintaining 6 feet of physical distancing may not be possible in all unforeseen and informal situations. However, all students are expected to make every effort to abide by this recommendation. For everyone’s health and safety, the Face Mask Policy will be enforced in an effort to maintain physical distancing.   

The Whittier College Campus will only be accessible and open to previously approved essential staff and a small group of approved residential students. Therefore, no other individuals will be permitted to visit campus without proper authorization from College Officials. 

Approved residential students are not permitted to invite, host guests, or permit guests, current students, or non-students to be on campus, including their residential facility. Therefore, no guests are allowed. Current students who are not approved residential students fall under this policy and will not be permitted on campus. 

Under this policy, the term “Guest” has the meaning ascribed to it under the Student Code of Conduct: Person(s) to whom a student is extending or has extended hospitality or invitation to come onto the College Premises. 

Any approved residential student who is found to be hosting or permitting a guest(s) will be charged with the appropriate alleged guest violation which may include a policy violation of “College Rules and Regulations” and will undergo the student conduct process. 

In accordance with the LA Country Guidelines for Reopening Higher Education, all residence hall lounges, and study room access will be closed off for health and safety purposes. As per the Parties/Social Gatherings Policy (Approved Residential Students), no parties or social gatherings may take place on campus, in the residence halls, or in a residence hall room. 

Outdoor areas may be open for use by students residing on campus for academic purposes only, such as approved study sessions. College Resident Advisors (RAs) and Housing & Residence Life Professional Staff are the only groups permitted to propose and host an approved outdoor study session for residential students. Attendance will be tracked by the approved RA host  and must have a college staff member present. All events will be approved in consultation with the Student Health and Wellness Center. Use of such outdoor space for approved study sessions is limited to approved residential students. No off-campus students are permitted to attend approved outdoor study sessions. 

Any such designated outdoor study space must comply with the following requirements:

  • Must be entirely outdoors; a canopy may be used, but only if all 4 sides are not enclosed
  • Occupancy is limited such that all students using the space are able to maintain a physical distance of at least 6 feet from one another at all practicable times
  • Any seating is arranged to enable physical distancing of at least 6 feet between students
  • All frequently touched surfaces, including tables and chairs, are cleaned regularly and signage is posted to wear face coverings, keep a 6 feet distance from others, and not to congregate.

Any student, faculty, or staff member who sees students gathering has the right to go up to the group, while maintaining 6 feet of physical distance, and remind the group that no gatherings other than approved study sessions hosted by Residence Life Officials are currently permitted. They can then ask the group to disperse or have some members leave so that they can abide with the policy.

Student(s) who are alleged to have violated this policy will be charged with the appropriate alleged violation(s) which may include but not be limited to a policy violation of “College Rules and Regulations.” The student(s) will go through the conduct process and if found responsible, receive sanctions.

No approved residential students or any guests (per the Guest Policy) are permitted to congregate in a residence hall room. Only the approved resident assigned to that room should be present in that space.

No parties or social gatherings may take place on campus, in the residence halls, or in a residence hall room. The only permitted gathering may be an approved outdoor study session hosted by Housing & Residence Life Staff (RAs) and proper protocols must be followed as referenced in the “Indoor and Outdoor Common Space Usage Policy (Approved residential students)."

Per the Student Code of Conduct, students hosting parties or social gatherings may be in violation of the Social Host Liability policy. For reference, the Social Host Liability policy is as follows: Students and student organizations hosting gatherings, particularly with alcohol, assume all social host liability, including unintended consequences, for the gathering.  

If any students are present in a residence hall room or communal space and behaving in a manner that would denote a party (including but not limited to loud music, alcohol, drugs) they will be documented per the College’s policy and charged to go through the student conduct process.

In the case of gatherings in residence halls rooms, the approved resident who lives in that room will be charged with “Social Host Liability” along with appropriate alleged violations that may have taken place which are noted in the Student Code of Conduct as well as the COVID-19 Student Code of Conduct. The other students who are present in that residence hall room will be charged with appropriate alleged violations that may have taken place or were noted in the report. All students involved/present at the incident will go through the student conduct process.

Registered Student Clubs and Organizations are not permitted to host social gatherings or events off-campus. All student-sponsored social events must be remote, submitted on the Engage platform, and approved by the Office of Student Engagement.

Failure to follow this policy and/or notification to the College of a violation of this policy will result in a charge(s) of the appropriate alleged violation(s). These charges may include but are not limited to a violation of “Social Host Liability” and “College Rules and Regulations”. The student group and/or students involved, will go through the conduct process and if found responsible, receive sanctions. 

Under this policy, the violation of “Social host liability” has the meaning ascribed to it under the Student Code of Conduct: Students and student organizations hosting non-registered gatherings, particularly with alcohol or other drugs, assume all social host liability, including unintended consequences, for the gathering. 

As the College has transitioned to remote learning and programming, the College reaffirms its commitment to protect the privacy of students, faculty, and staff on Zoom or any other remote video platforms. 

In order to protect community members’ privacy, students, whether in an academic or extra-curricular setting- such as clubs and organizations, are not permitted to post photos, screenshots, or videos on any social media sites. Also, students are prohibited from distributing the image(s) and/or video(s) of classmates, presenters, or instructors without their signed consent. Particularly, as many video platforms contain individual’s identifiable information, such as their name on the screen, this poses an additional violation of one’s privacy. 

If a student is alleged to have posted or distributed photos, screenshots, or videos of a classroom, academic, or extra-curricular remote setting-such as clubs or organizations without the individual(s) signed consent, the Dean of Students Office in collaboration with Academic Affairs and the professor or Director of the Department, will consult in order to determine next steps. 

Student(s) who are alleged to have violated this policy will be charged with the appropriate alleged violation(s) which may include but not be limited to a policy violation of “College Rules and Regulations.” The student will go through the conduct process and if found responsible, receive sanctions.

Avoiding Academic Dishonesty:

  • Talk to your Professor. Communication is Key.
    • Share any concerns you have with your professor. Share plans on how you want to succeed and do well in the class and/or assignment(s). 
    • The Professor can work with you to set up a plan to complete your academic work that honors the learning that needs to take place without committing violations of academic integrity in the process.
  • Talk to the Counseling Center
    • Stress and anxiety often lead to students engaging in acts of academic dishonesty
    • Contact the Counseling Center at (562) 907-4239 or   counselingcenter@whittier.edu to schedule an appointment or learn about resources
  • Create a Plan, which may involve CAAS
    • Look at your syllabus and know assignment due dates and submission deadlines
    • Creating a timeline of assignments will help prioritize efforts
    • Schedule an appointment with CAAS by calling (562) 907-4816 or caas@poets.whittier.edu.
  • Contact the Wardman Library to learn about citation workshops and other services

As the Whittier College Academic Honesty Policy states: 

“Students are expected to produce independent work and to cite sources of information and concepts. When these principles are breached and a student misrepresents his or her level of knowledge, the basic framework of scholarship is broken.”

Read the College’s Academic Honesty Policy

It is important to know that

  • Technology has made it easier to cheat
    • Students with access to internet can find articles and papers on just about any subject matter and copy and paste them for free as well as with a paid credit card from various websites. 
    • With phones, cameras, and video, particularly during remote learning, students have the ability to share information or answers with one another during a test or exam as they are not proctored in an in-person format. 
  • Technology has created ways for instructors to detect forms of academic dishonesty
    • Professors have access to online tools and websites including but not limited to Urkund and turnitin.com, that detect plagiarism, such as inappropriate copying and citation mistakes.

As stated in the policy:

“If a professor detects that a student committed a form of academic dishonesty including but not limited to cheating, plagiarism, fabrication, unauthorized collaboration, and obtaining an unfair advantage, the professor will notify the student and then submit an Academic Integrity Report to the Dean of Students Office.” 

The Dean of Students Office will send the student a letter notifying the student of the Academic Integrity Report submitted by the professor and that letter will contain additional sanctions that must be completed through the Student Conduct process. 

That letter will require that the student meet with the Associate Dean of Faculty, Fritz Smith, to discuss the charge. This conversation will give the student the opportunity to explain the situation while the associate dean will be able to discuss the appeal process if necessary and to work with the student to help the student understand the nature of the charge and approaches to use to avoid having this sort of incident happen again. 

The Dean of Students may take a student to the Student Conduct Review Hearing (SCRH) if the student has a minimum of two flagrant violations or three total violations. The Dean of Students has the discretion to take students to the SCHR for fewer violations if there are other outstanding circumstances. 

Whittier College Athletics Department adheres to all NCAA and Whittier College physical distancing procedures, protocols, and standards. Any person(s) approved to be in athletic facilities must abide by all College policies, rules, and regulations in addition to the Whittier College Athletic Resocialization Guidelines. Failure to abide by these guidelines may result in being charged with a Policy Violation of College Rules and Regulations that may result in more severe sanctioning.