COVID-19 Student Code of Conduct

Breadcrumb

Whittier College is a community that values connection. As such, we realize that an individual’s actions impact those around them. As we return to the Whittier campus in the midst of a pandemic, we must all agree on a shared set of principles and daily actions that reflect guidelines from public health experts and agencies that will allow us to create a healthy, safe environment conducive to the Whittier experience. 

This agreement makes clear the expectation that we all commit to a strong regimen of personal hygiene (especially hand washing) that protects individuals and the community. In turn, the College has developed an intense sanitizing and cleaning plan for classrooms, residence halls, and other common spaces.  

Signage will be posted across campus to encourage and reinforce the message of personal responsibility to protect the health and safety of the community. Please attend to the expectations displayed on these signs and encourage others to join you. 

Along with connection, there is accountability. We are requiring all community members to present evidence that they are COVID-19 negative prior to the start of the academic year. This requirement provides all of us the chance to exhibit care for public health and to demonstrate that we are taking these issues seriously.  

If we all work together, we can build and sustain a culture that takes our health, public health and the safety of others seriously. Returning to campus and being connected in the Whittier community will help all of us thrive and succeed. 

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 starting June 15, 2020 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. 

The College requires that all students—whether you live on campus, off campus, or are studying remotely—notify the Student Health and Wellness Center immediately (no later than 8 hours after you receive the positive test result ) if you test positive for COVID-19 by any health care provider in any jurisdiction. 

You can contact the Student Health and Wellness Center by calling: 562.464.4548 or emailing Stella Wohlfarth, health center director, swohlfarth@whittier.edu  

After the Student Health and Wellness Center has learned that a student has tested positive for COVID-19, staff will 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 that any student who receives a COVID-19 rapid antigen test will need to have a second PCR test from a traditional lab to confirm the results. Rapid antigen tests result within five to 45 minutes. Rapid tests can sometimes provide false-negative results and are less than 80% accurate. The College will need to have accurate results before a treatment decision is made and prevent the possible spread of the virus due to a false negative result. Whereas, the traditional tests for COVID-19 tests that are sent out to the lab are much more accurate and the results take 24 hours to a few days to return. Documentation of all the lab results need to be submitted to the Student Health & Wellness Center before returning to campus.

Please refer to the “Return to Campus Post-Quarantine Policy” for more information on the materials and documentation that a student must provide to be cleared to return to the Whittier College Campus.   

Failure to notify the Student Health and Wellness Center of a positive test will result in policy violation of “College Rules and Regulations” where 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. All student conduct procedures will occur following the student’s full recovery.    

*Updated June 24, 2020

The College requires that all students—whether you live on campus, off campus or studying remotely—notify the Student Health and Wellness Center if you become symptomatic and are currently awaiting COVID-19 test results. Students must notify the Student Health and Wellness Center within 8 hours of being tested due to their COVID-19 symptoms.   

You can contact the Student Health and Wellness Center by calling: 562.464.4548 or emailing Stella Wohlfarth, health center director, swohlfarth@whittier.edu 

Failure to notify the Student Health and Wellness Center if you are symptomatic and awaiting COVID-19 test results may result in policy violation of College Rules and Regulations.

All students must wear a mask while on the Whittier College campus. This includes but is not limited to:

  • When in class or all classrooms
  • When in the library
  • When walking around campus
  • When walking throughout residence hall common spaces
  • In a department or campus office 
  • When walking around in the CI, the Spot, and all lounges 
  • When in communal gatherings or meetings, (whether formal or informal) 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)

  • Residential student in your bedroom with just your roommate/roommates
  • Residential students when showering or washing their face in the floor/communal bathrooms 
  • In the CI or The Spot when physically eating your meal 

All Whittier College students, faculty, and staff reserve the right to kindly ask that students and other community members wear a face mask if they are not wearing one in a required setting. It is recommended that all students 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, Student Health and Wellness Center, or other departments on campus that have face masks. Learn how to make a face mask out of materials you likely have access to.

Please note that all athletes and visitors to athletic facilities must abide by the Whittier College Athletic Social Distancing Guidelines. Failure to abide by the Whittier College Athletic Social Distancing Guidelines may result in being charged with a policy violation of College Rules and Regulations that may result in more severe sanctioning. 

In order to enhance the safety and security of all persons on the Whittier College campus, all Whittier College students will be encouraged to display their College ID in a visual location that allows them to be identified. For that reason, it is required that Whittier College 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 that if needed, contact tracing may occur. For that reason, a new Guest Policy has been implemented. More information about the Guest Policy can be found below. 

No bias profiling of individuals will be tolerated by the College. If you are asked by an individual if you are a Whittier College Student and/or to please present your Whittier College ID we ask that you please assume the best intentions of that individual and that they are ensuring all guests are registered for health and safety purposes. Those most likely to ask individuals to display their College ID are Campus Safety Officers, Residential Advisors (RAs), Housing and Residential Life Staff, and Division of Student Life Staff Members 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 but ask that all students make every effort to abide. For everyone’s health and safety, the Face Mask Policy will be enforced in an effort to maintain physical distancing. 

On campus students will be allowed to have non-Whittier College student guests visit them during the day-time hours of 8 a.m. to - 8 p.m. After 8 p.m., students are not allowed visitors who are not Whittier College residential students. 

The maximum number of guests that a Whittier College student (host) can have visit them within one day (24 hours) is two (2) guests. 

All guests and visitors will be required to wear a face mask while on campus and in the residence halls. If a guest does not have a face mask, they will be able to obtain one from Campus Safety. 

On campus residents who allow Whitter College commuter students to stay in their residence rooms for extended periods will be considered in violation of the Overnight Guest Policy.

All non-Whittier College student guests who are visiting a student on campus must be registered online using the COVID Health and Safety Daytime Guest Registration Form. It will be the responsibility of the Whittier College residential student (host) to register their guest before or once they arrive to campus. If a guest is on campus and identified as an individual who was not registered on the COVID Health and Safety: Daytime Guest Registration Form, the Whittier College student host will be asked to complete the form for health and safety purposes. Failure to register a guest may result in being charged with a policy violation of College Rules and Regulations that may result in more severe sanctioning. 

As per the Overnight Guests/Visitors Policy below, no non-Whittier College Student can stay overnight in a residence hall room. 

On campus residents will not be allowed to have overnight guests or visitors who do not attend Whittier College. 

Any Whittier College student who lives in the residence halls and is found to have an overnight guest who does not attend Whittier College, will be charged with guest policy violation, COVID Overnight Guest and will go through the student conduct process. 

Congregating in communal areas of campus in groups of more than six (6) people is prohibited. 

This includes, but is not limited to, Residence Hall lounges, kitchens, lobbies, corridors, study rooms/spaces, dining tables, etc. All students who are congregating in the communal space, must wear a mask, per the policy.  

Any student, faculty, or staff member who sees more than six (6) students gathering in a communal space has the right to go up to the group, while maintaining 6 feet of physical distance, and remind the group that only six (6) students can be in a communal space at one time. They can then ask the group to please disperse or have some members leave so that they can abide with the policy.   

No residential students, commuter students, or guests are allowed to congregate in a residence hall room. Only the resident(s) assigned to that space should be present or congregate in that space.

No parties or unregistered social gatherings may take place on campus or in the residence halls. Per the Student Code of Conduct, students hosting parties or unregistered social gatherings may be in violation of the Social Host Liability policy. For reference, the Social Host Liability policy is as policy is as follows: Students and student organizations hosting non-registered gatherings, particularly with alcohol, assume all social host liability, including unintended consequences, for the gathering.  

Per the Communal/Common Spaces Policy, no more than six (6) students may gather in a communal area or space. If more than six (6) students are 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.

If taking place in a residence hall room, the resident(s) who live 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.

A student must go through the proper protocols of notifying and being in communication with the Student Health and Wellness Center if they have tested positive for COVID-19 or are symptomatic and awaiting test results.

The responsibilities of that student are to:

  • Follow all instructions given by medical personnel  
  • Share those instructions with the appropriate College personnel, including the Director of the Health and Wellness Center, Stella Wohlfarth 

If the instructions given by the medical personnel are to quarantine, and if the student is a residential student who lives on campus, the College will likely not be able to offer the student a place to quarantine. 

The College personnel will likely request that the student find a location to quarantine off campus. The College is not equipped to manage the care instructions of quarantine that can best protect that individual student and the health and safety of others living in the Residence Hall. Whittier College does not have campus apartments where a student can quarantine with an individual bathroom and kitchen, which is typically required for quarantine or a bathroom and shared spaces, that a small group of people use. 

If a student is requesting to quarantine on campus or seeks housing accommodations from the College, the student will need to work with the Director of Housing and Residence Life to determine the possibility to safely quarantine that student. The student must be approved to safely quarantine on campus or any housing provided by the College and they must abide by all policies in the Student Code of Conduct and the COVID-19 Student Code of Conduct. In addition to the policies, the following are other policies they must abide by:

  • 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 quarantine location for the total number of days that the student was instructed by medical professionals, unless directed by a medical professional or approved in advance by a Whittier College professional staff member.

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. All Student Conduct procedures will occur following the student’s full recovery.   

As addressed in the College Notification of Positive COVID-19 Test Policy, College Notification of symptomatic and awaiting COVID-19 Test Results Policy, and Quarantine Policy, all students whose medical situations require them to be in alignment with these policies, must be in consistent communication with the Student Health and Wellness Center, specifically the director. If and when the student has received the proper clearance and paperwork from a medical professional stating that they have tested negative for COVID-19 and no longer need to be in quarantine, they must send the documented information to the director of the Student Health and Wellness Center. The student will not be allowed to return to campus in any capacity until the paperwork has been sent to and an acknowledgement of receipt by the Director of the Student Health and Wellness Center. 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.

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

Learn about citation workshops and other services at 562.907.4247 or library@whittier.edu

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 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 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 a report of Academic Integrity Report to the Dean of Students Office.” 

The Dean of Student 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. 

A typical sanction for Academic Integrity violations is an Academic Integrity meeting with Associate Dean of Faculty Fritz Smith. During that meeting, the student is encouraged to discuss the incident and together speak about next steps to ensure that the policy is understood so that the student may not be found in violation of a similar incident in the future. The student can also speak about the grade penalty that was assigned by the faculty member. If the student wants to appeal the grade, the Associate Dean of Faculty can walk the student through the grade appeals process which goes through the Grade Appeals Committee. 

The Dean of Students may take a student to the Student Conduct Review Hearing (SCRH) and/or the Grade Appeals Committee 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 Athletic Department adheres to all NCAA and Whittier College physical distancing procedures, protocols, and standards. Therefore, all Whittier College student-athletes and visitors to athletic facilities must abide by all College policies, rules and regulations in addition to the Whittier College Athletics Social Distancing 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.