Poet Update

March 10, 2020

Coronavirus information for the Whittier College Community

 

Poet Update: March 27

1. NEW REGISTRATION DATES

For returning students, priority registration has been pushed back to April 13 - 17. Regular registration will be April 20 - 24

  • Students can register for Fall 2020 and JanTerm 2021.
  • Juniors and Seniors can register for Fall, JanTerm, and Spring.

Please contact your advisor to set up remote advising. Please check myWhittier to see your registration time ticket.

2. CREDIT/NO-CREDIT OPTION

Any* course may be taken credit/no credit. The deadline for students to request to switch from graded to the credit/no credit option for Spring 2020 is Friday, April 24.  Students must complete/submit the credit/no credit form available online. 

Once a student completes the credit/no credit form online, the Registrar will make the change to the faculty grading option, and notify the faculty member of the request. Faculty please note, the credit/no credit option on the final credit entry will only show on the students who made the request. All other students will have letter grade options.
 

*Students enrolled in courses required by outside credentialing agencies (teaching credentials for example) should consult with their advisor and department chair before changing the grade option for the course. Whittier does not control the actions of outside credentialing agencies. Students enrolled in masters level courses should also consult with their instructor or advisor before changing their grade option. 

3. TEACHING CREDENTIALING & GRAD PROGRAM

For students in the teacher education program, Whittier College is working with the California Department of Education and the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing to determine the impact the current COVID-19-related restrictions will have on credentialing programs.

Summer registration for the graduate program will begin April 27. More details will be forthcoming.  

4. FINANCIAL AID

If a student’s family's income has been significantly impacted as a result of the COVID-19 situation and they are concerned with their ability to pay tuition next year, they can contact the Financial Aid Office for guidance on how to approach the process for the 2020-21 academic year, including what documentation they may need to provide.

Students with a changed family situation who have current balances can contact the Business Office at businessoffice@whittier.edu or 562.907.4207.

5. WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU! (STUDENT SURVEY)

Please take this online survey to help administrators understand your current needs as the College is shifting to online and remote learning.

6. PAYROLL 

Students and staff who typically pick up payroll checks will receive their checks in the mail at their permanent home address on the scheduled pay date. There is no option to pick it up in person. Student employees can still enroll in direct deposit by completing an authorization form. For further inquiries contact Ivette Vargas or Jessica Rangel.

7. GET CAREER HELP 
 
Online drop-in sessions for students will be available beginning on Wednesday, April 1.  Sessions will take place on a weekly basis from 8 to 11 a.m. and 1 to 4 p.m. For more information, students can log on to Handshake.
 
Zoom meeting login information:
8 - 11 a.m: Meeting ID 970 729 868
 
1 - 4 p.m.: Meeting ID 868 858 410

8. TUTORING AND ACADEMIC SUPPORT

CAAS staff are accessible through email -- students should include their name, student ID number, and a detailed message of what they need support with and a staff member will respond. 
 
CAAS has also made available the following online workshop for students: Welcome to the Web! Making the Smooth Transition into Online Learning. This workshop discusses strategies aimed at helping students succeed as they make the transition from in-class instruction to online learning. There are also links to helpful resources and tools in the video’s description box. Students can access this and future workshops on the CAAS Workshop web page.

9. COMMENCEMENT UPDATE

More information, including a Commencement survey for students, is coming next week. Be on the lookout for it and provide your feedback. 

10. AWSC

Students: The ASWC Senate Elections Committee has updated the elections code. Senate will possibly be voting on approving this updated version so that it can apply to the upcoming elections. 

Please review the code, which was emailed directly to students, and send any questions to ASWC Senate Secretary Amber Brost at abrost@poets.whittier.edu.

11. LIBRARY

Wardman Library has a vast number of e-resources available to students, faculty, and staff at any time and from anywhere. In this online workshop, librarian Azeem Khan, introduces the research process, finding, evaluating, and organizing sources. The workshop is helpful to students working on a research project and looking for academic articles, eBooks, newspaper, magazines, or even streaming videos. 

12. ZOOM BACKGROUNDS

As students, faculty, and staff navigate the online world to stay connected, the Office of Communications is sharing a few photos of campus which can be used as backgrounds for any Zoom meeting for those can.

13. ASK AN EXPERT: JULIE COLLINS-DOGRUL

As individuals practice social distancing to help keep each other healthy, it’s important to learn different ways to remain connected to our communities. In this video, Associate Professor of Sociology Julie Collins-Dogrul explains the important difference between social distancing and social isolation. 


Poet Update: March 24

1. OFFICE OF THE REGISTRAR

The last day to withdraw from a course has been extended to March 27, 2020.

Students can contact the Office of the Registrar at registrar@whittier.edu or 562.907.4241. Please leave a voicemail if there is no answer. Staff is monitoring emails and voicemail messages Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m., PST, and will respond as quickly as possible. 
 
Online Services

  • Transcript orders will take five to seven business days. The office is not processing rush or FedEx orders at this time.
  • Online forms need to be filled out completely. Most forms can be saved to a computer.
  • If a form requires a signature, it will be accepted at registrar@whittier.edu if sent from a student’s poet.whittier.edu email address. Forms will not be accepted using alternate email addresses.
  • If a form requires approval from an advisor or department chair, it can be sent to their whitter.edu email and the office will accept their email approval as signature.

For questions, contact registrar@whittier.edu.
 
2. FELLOWSHIPS

The deadline for on-campus fellowship opportunities is Friday, March 27, at midnight. 

Students can learn more about each fellowship by visiting the website and can submit an application directly online.

Students who applied for and were awarded a paid internship, fellowship, or scholarship this year (September 2019 through Summer 2020) should contact Associate Professor of Biology and Director of Fellowships Sylvia Lopez-Vetrone. She would like to acknowledge this wonderful accomplishment with the larger community. For questions or concerns, contact Professor Lopez-Vetrone directly at svetrone@whittier.edu.

3. STUDENT WORK-STUDY 
 
As a reminder, all work-study, including exception funding, students will continue to be paid for their regularly scheduled hours, until further notice. Students should communicate with their supervisors to get additional direction and remote work assignments. 

4. PAYROLL

The Payroll Office now has a Payroll Resource Channel available on my.whittier.edu. The Payroll Resource Channel has all of the forms (fillable forms) that pertain to Payroll; such as tax forms, direct deposit forms, payroll schedules, monthly reporting logs, etc. To obtain access to this channel, please log into my.whittier.edu, and select the employee class tab that pertains to you. For example, if you are a staff member, please select the tab that says “Staff.” If you are a faculty member, please select the tab that says “Faculty.”  If you are a student, please select that tab that says “Student.”
 
5. COMMENCEMENT REGALIA

As was communicated earlier, the traditional all-College commencement exercises will be postponed and/or modified. Whittier faculty and staff are working on plans to ensure that the College can honor the accomplishments of our graduating seniors. At this time, regalia orders have been put on hold. As the plans for a celebration are developed, more updates will be provided on regalia and other matters. 

Students who have already ordered regalia may request a refund from the vendor, Heff Jones. 
 
6. RESIDENTIAL LIFE FAQS

As the College continues to respond to the threat of COVID-19, Housing & Residential Life is here to assist and support students. The College has been communicating regular updates via email to students' Poet accounts. Frequently asked questions regarding residential life can be found here

7. PARKING

Campus Safety will be closing down some of the parking lots on campus. This move will allow us to better monitor who is on campus and facilitate patrols during this time.

The following lots will be closed beginning Wednesday, March 25 at midnight:

Shannon Center lot
North Music (Broadoaks) lot
Amphitheater lot
Residential students are not encouraged to leave vehicles on campus and the College does not assume responsibility for vehicles left on campus. Students wishing to leave a car on campus must email CampusSafety@whittier.edu to receive prior approval. Students will receive information about which lot they can park in and must drop off their car keys at Campus Safety prior to leaving campus.  

8. CAAS

All tutoring services are now online. For access, students will need the tutors' personal meeting ID numbers, which are included in the schedule sent to students.
 
For more information, see all CAAS updates on the website. If students have questions, would like to schedule an appointment, or are having issues accessing CAAS services, they can call 562.907.4816 or email caas@poets.whittier.edu.
 
9. LIBRARY

Online research skills are more important than ever as the College shifts to online courses for the rest of the semester. Take advantage of the extensive and reputable sources available through the Wardman Library’s online databases. Resources include eBooks, academic journals, newspapers, magazines, streaming video, and more.
 
To showcase this collection and share skills for searching and evaluating material, the library will host live workshops on Tuesday, March 24 and Thursday, March 26, from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. Participants can register online or join the Zoom session (meeting ID: 745 050 5820). A video of the workshop will also be available afterwards on the library’s website.

10. CENTER FOR CAREER AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
 
The Center for Career and Professional Development is available to support students and is operating remotely. Students are encouraged to make appointments by logging into their Handshake account.
 
Upcoming workshop dates will be posted online and will be accessible via Handshake.
 
 11. OFFICE OF STUDENT ENGAGEMENT
 
The staff in the Office of Student Engagement (OSE) is available to support students during this time of transition to remote learning. Professional staff is accessible on a remote basis with all available during times listed on Engage
 
Additionally, the OSE will be hosting the following workshops via Zoom:

The OSE encourages students, faculty, and staff to log in to Engage to view a full list of upcoming programs. For assistance with using Engage, contact the office at studentengagement@whittier.edu.
12. OFFICE OF EQUITY AND INCLUSION

Support and services from the Office of Equity and Inclusion (OEI) are available to students via email, Zoom, and phone. For questions, support, or to schedule an appointment, email oei@whittier.edu.
 
The OEI will continue to host programming via online platforms. See Engage for dates and follow @wcforequity on Instagram and Facebook for resources, updates, and to stay connected.
 
13. POET PANTRY
 
The Poet Pantry is now closed. For additional community resources, please visit the website.

Please note, the Campus Inn will continue its prepackaged to-go program for residential students only. 

14. HUMAN RESOURCES

All communication with the Human Resource department should be done via email to whittierhr@whittier.edu or by emailing the staff member directly. General phone questions can be directed to 562.907.4208. Hours of operation can be found online

 


Poet Update: March 20

1. General Update

As you know, officials from the State of California and Los Angeles County have issued a “Safer at Home'' order, asking everyone to remain at home except for essential activities as a precautionary measure to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The College will continue to provide essential services, but many offices will be operating remotely/virtually. Hours and other information will be posted online.

Campus Safety advises that all buildings will be locked. Please carry your keys and College ID to have access to needed areas. In addition, please be assured that the College has adequate supplies (food, water, cleaning, etc.) needed during this period.

2. Room and Board

Policy on spring semester 2020 prorated credit or refund of room and board charges due to COVID19 precautionary early vacate:

Students who choose to vacate their meal and room plans as of March 31, 2020 will receive a partial credit or refund of spring 2020 charges.

A student’s vacate decision will be evidenced by submission of the Residence Hall Exit Form no later than March 25, 2020. If no Residence Hall Exit Form is received by March 25, 2020 the defaulted decision will be taken as “not to vacate."  Vacated rooms will be inspected during the period of April 1 through April 15 to determine if any additional charges apply such as room damage and keys not returned.

The credit or refund amount will be based on published room and board rates exclusive of flex dollars. The refund amount will be prorated to equal the unused portion of room and board from April 1, 2020 through the end of the spring semester.  Any unused flex dollars as of April 15, 2020 will be refunded as well.  

The credit amount will first be applied to a student’s current outstanding account balance, if any, for cumulative tuition, room and board days used (prior to April 1, 2020), fees, and other charges, net of accepted student aid. Any remaining credit will be processed as elected on the Cash Management Form submitted to the Office of Financial Aid at the beginning of the academic year. Students may change that election by completing the Room and Board Credit Preference Form. Students who have submitted an application to graduate in May 2020 by April 15, 2020 to the Registrar, will receive cash refunds starting April 30, 2020.

3. Food Services

Precautionary measures on campus will include a change in the foodservice program for residential students who will remain on campus for the spring 2020 semester.
 
Beginning Monday, March 23, the Campus Inn will change to a daily prepackaged to-go format for residential students which will include meals for the following day. Seated dining in the Campus Inn will not be available until further notice.
 
Students are required to complete a menu for each week and submit no later than 1 p.m. each Sunday. The menu can be accessed here.
 
Student can pick up their meals each day at the Campus Inn between 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.

The Spot will be open for dinner on Sunday, March 22, for students to purchase food after returning to campus. The Spot will remain closed starting March 23 until further notice. Foodservice at the Campus Inn will not be available to faculty and staff as of March 23 but will be reevaluated after the transition period.

4. Personal Emails

Do not use personal email for official College communication, please use your poet.whittier.edu email for all inquiries to faculty and other support offices on campus. Our duty is to protect your records and identity from possible hackers during this time.

5. Student Fieldwork

In response to the public health crisis, Whittier College is suspending support for all in-person fieldwork and internships until further notice.  Fieldwork may continue only in cases where online conferencing, online work assignments—i.e., telecommuting—are possible and appropriate. 

Whittier is NOT cancelling the field courses. Contact your supervising faculty member or field director to explore the possibility of alternate learning opportunities. The Dean has instructed all faculty to work closely with students, particularly those required to gain hands-on experience prior to graduation, to identify alternative routes to completing course requirements, if possible.  

6. CAAS

CAAS services—includes tutoring, academic coaching/student-athlete peer mentoring, appointments with a CAAS advisor, and workshops—are available to students via Zoom through the end of the semester. We recommend you download Zoom on your computer, tablet, and/or phone. 
 
In addition to Zoom, CAAS services will be available to students via email and phone. Visit the website for descriptions of how each service will be available.  If you have questions, would like to schedule an appointment, or have issues accessing any of our resources, please contact caas@whittier.edu.

7. Payroll

The Payroll Office will continue its payroll practices as normal. Student employees are still required to submit their hours online by noon on the Monday following each pay period unless noted otherwise, and supervisors are still required to approve their student’s hours online by 3 p.m. on the Monday following each pay period unless noted otherwise. The Payroll Office will continue to send out web timesheet reminders to students via email and web timesheet approval reminders to supervisors via email. For timesheet due dates and pay dates, please refer to the 2019-2020 Bi-Weekly Payroll Schedule. Students who pick up payroll checks will receive their checks in the mail at their permanent home address on the scheduled pay date. There will not be a choice to pick it up in person. Please note that the College will not be responsible for any lost, damaged, stolen or late delivered payroll checks. If a payroll check needs replacement, please contact the Payroll Office for reissuance.
 
Student employees who are enrolled in direct deposit will continue to receive their monies directly deposited to their personal financial account on their scheduled pay date. The Payroll Office will notify student employees (via Payroll Communications) who received a direct deposit to review their payroll paystubs through their Employee Dashboard.
 
Student employees can still enroll in direct deposit. To do so, please visit the HR/Payroll Office to complete an authorization form.

For further inquiries contact Ivette Vargas or Jessica Rangel.

8. Student Disability Services

Please rest assured that as we shift to remote instruction, previously activated accommodations will still be in place. In some cases, in-person accommodations will no longer be necessary, and in other cases, new accommodations may need to be made. In all cases, Student Disability Services is still available to students.
 
Student Disability Services is using Zoom for student appointments and will continue to be responsive to student’s phone calls and emails. For questions regarding Zoom, contact moodle@whittier.edu.
 
Please visit the website for accommodations that are typically available for students with disabilities, as well as an update on how accommodations will be provided for the remainder of the semester. If you have any questions about accommodations, how the online environment may impact accommodations or would like to register to receive academic accommodations, please email disabilityservices@whittier.edu or call us at 562.907.4825.

9. Office of the Registrar

Registrar services are available by phone at 562.907.4241 or email at registrar@whittier.edu. Many forms are also available online.

10. Library

The Wardman Library building will be closed, but library services will remain available online and staff will be responsive to emails and phone calls.
 
Those with books checked out from the library should hold on to them and renew them online if possible. There will be no fines on overdue books. 
 
For research or reference questions, please email reference@whittier.edu. If faculty have Moodle or Zoom questions, please continue to use moodle@whittier.edu.

11. Graham Athletic Center

Due to preventative measures related to the spread of COVID-19, the gym, pool, and fitness center in the Graham Athletic Center will be closed until further notice.

12. Center for Career and Professional Development

The Center for Career and Professional Development is currently closed for spring break. Starting Monday, March 23, the center will resume regular office hours. Students are highly encouraged to keep their scheduled appointments online. To schedule any future appointments with a counselor, students should login to their Handshake account. Sessions will be held virtually via Zoom, Skype, or Google hangouts, or phone.
 
Additionally, the Career Center will continue professional development programming throughout the semester via online platforms. See Handshake for event dates. Email careercenter@whittier.edu with any questions. 


Poet Update: March 17

In response to the COVID-19 outbreak and Whittier’s move to remote learning, departments across campus have come together to provide news, updates, reminders, and resources to help everyone navigate the rest of the semester. Make sure to look through each section thoroughly for links to more information. The Poet Update will be your source for all essential campus news and information.  

1. IT (Information Technology)

Planned network outage: Tomorrow morning, from 6-8 a.m. IT will replace the router which connects the College network to the internet.  During this time, remote access to on campus online resources and on campus access to off campus services will be intermittently unavailable as IT switches over to the new router and tests the system. This update will improve the campus’ internet services.

2. Residential Life

Starting today, Whittier College is requiring that all students who have or believe they have had contact with an individual who has or may have been exposed to COVID-19 go into self-quarantine off campus. Students who meet these criteria must call or email the Student Health and Wellness Center, 562.464.4548 or swohlfarth@whittier.edu.

Those students may not return to campus until they have completed two weeks of self-quarantine off campus and have been cleared with the proper paperwork by a medical professional and notified the Student Health and Wellness Center.

Please know that this decision was not made lightly, and was made in consultation with Stella Wohlfarth, director of the Student Health and Wellness Center and in accordance with recommendations from the CDC and County of Los Angeles Public Health. As the Office of Residence Life is not equipped to adequately monitor or provide the necessary support for an individual in self-quarantine, this move is for the benefit of the individual, and every student, faculty, and staff member at Whittier College.

As was communicated last Friday, the College is closing residence halls on March 31. Those individuals who are unable to leave due to state or international travel restrictions or extenuating circumstances, can apply to continue living on campus by making an official request on this online form. Whether staying on campus or not, all residential students must fill out the online form by March 25. Students under self-quarantine orders may not apply for an exception.

Students can utilize the Express Check Out process by dropping their key in the key drop box outside the Housing Office in Ball Hall basement, or key drop box outside of Campus Safety.

3. Free/discounted resources for students

The College is continuously updating a list of resources for students needing assistance with moving out of the residence halls, traveling home, and studying remotely.

4. Health & Wellness Center

  • Spring break hours: March 16 - 19, 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
  • Closed for lunch 12:30 - 1 p.m.
  • Closed Friday, March 20
  • Regular Hours will resume on Monday, March 23
  • For emergencies, contact campus safety at 562.907.4211 

Effective March 16 through the end of the semester, students will no longer be able to make appointments online through the student health portal. Students who need medical services should FIRST call the Student Health & Wellness Center at 562.464.4548 for further instructions before going in. The Center is committed to the health and safety of our students and staff. For further questions, contact them directly.

5. Counseling Center

The Counseling Center has compiled a list of Frequently Asked Questions regarding their services during this time. The page also includes resources for students, faculty, and staff who might need mental health resources.  

6. Fellowships

The deadline to submit fellowship applications has been extended to Friday, March 27 at midnight. Click here to submit an application.
 
Letters of recommendation are due Friday, April 3. Folks writing letters of recommendation on a students' behalf will be emailed a link to upload their letters after the student has submitted their application. Visit the fellowships website for more information. For questions, email svetrone@whittier.edu.


2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) Update, March 13

Dear Campus Community:
 
In response to the developing situation around the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19), Whittier College has decided to hold classes remotely for the remainder of the semester.
 
For students living on campus, it is recommended that students who can do so, move out of the residence halls by March 31. Exceptions will be permitted, especially for international students and those individuals facing financial insecurity. The Office of Housing and Residential Life will send all residential students a follow up email with information on next steps. For students moving out of the residence halls, the College is working on a plan to credit residents for unused days in room and board. 
 
The College’s goal is to ensure students can meet their academic requirements remotely. Students who must remain living on campus will also receive instruction online. The campus itself will remain open. This includes student support services such as the library, CAAS, Center for Career and Professional Development, Student Disability Services, Student Counseling, and Health and Wellness Center, among others. Many of these offices will be able to offer services remotely.
 
As stated previously, on-campus social activities and interactions will be limited as a precautionary measure to prevent the potential spread of the virus. Events that attract 100 or more attendees have been cancelled for the remainder of the academic year. End-of-the-year activities including honors convocation, URSCA, cultural graduations, and baccalaureate have also been canceled. Although we will continue to monitor the situation, it is expected that the traditional all-College commencement exercises will be canceled and/or modified. Whittier faculty and staff are working on plans to ensure that the College can honor the accomplishments of our graduating seniors.

These steps have not been taken lightly, but in the end, it was decided that the continued health of our campus community needed to take priority.

We understand that students, faculty, and staff will have many questions regarding this transition. Here are some answers to Frequently Asked Questions:

The campus will remain open. This includes administration offices, library, CAAS, Center for Career and Professional Development, Student Disability Services, Student Counseling, Health and Wellness Center, Office of Student Engagement, Office Equity and Inclusion, among others. 
Many of these offices will be able to offer services by phone and online. More information is forthcoming. 

For students moving out of the residence halls, the College is working on a plan to credit residents for unused days in room and board.

The Campus Inn will continue to be open until further notice. 
 
It was announced yesterday that the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference's (SCIAC) has decided to indefinitely suspend all spring regular season conference competition and conference championships. The NCAA also announced the cancelation of all remaining winter and spring NCAA championships. See more on wcpoets.com

Work study supervisors please be flexible with your student workers. Those that want to continue working in person or remotely can do so if it can be accommodated by your department. Students who cannot continue working will still be paid for their regularly scheduled hours, until further notice. 

All work-study (federal and exception) students will continue to be paid for their regularly scheduled hours, until further notice. 
  
There is currently a plan in place to use Moodle as the primary platform for all online courses. Students will receive specific instructions from their professors via email before Monday, March 23. 

Fall registration will continue as planned but will be done remotely. More information will be forthcoming.  

Students needing medical services due to symptoms of respiratory illness including fever, cough, and shortness of breath should first call the Student Health & Wellness Center, 562.464.4548, or their primary physician for further instructions before coming in.

Staff and Faculty will be working on campus or remotely during this period.   
 
Please send any questions to abarraza@whittier.edu. These and updated FAQs will be posted online.
 
We also want to take a moment to reiterate that Whittier College is a community committed to inclusion and belonging, as well as kindness and generosity. It is important to keep these values in mind when facing a stressful situation such as this one. It is also important to get the correct facts to avoid making assumptions that could lead to discrimination. Whittier College does not condone any form of discrimination or racism. Speak up if you hear, see, or read misinformation, or witness or experience harassment or discrimination. To report an incident please fill out this online form.
 
Thank you for your understanding and cooperation during this time.
 
Linda S. Oubré, Ed.D., M.B.A.
President and Professor of Business Administration


2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) Update, March 11

Dear Whittier College Community:
 
In response to the developing situation around the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19), Whittier College has decided to eliminate self-service stations at the Campus Inn beginning Thursday March 12 and until further notice. Attendants will be managing the service of food and beverages. In order to accommodate this change, some food options will be reduced.

Breakfast

  • Beverage and cereal stations will use single use wax paper to access items  (coffee, tea, milk, cereal and toast). Bon Appetit staff will manage that station to sanitize
  • Waffle station will be closed
  • Hot/cold breakfast will be a served station
  • Exhibition omelets station will remain the same with the addition of oatmeal

 Lunch/Dinner

  • Both salad bars will be relocated behind the line and served on/in a single use container
  • Pizza station will be served on/in a single use container (2 selections per day)
  • Grill/deli station will be served on/in a single use container (2 selections per day)
  • Dessert station will be served on/in a single use container 
  • Classic station will be served with the addition of a vegan entrée
  • Exhibition station will remain the same with the addition of soups
  • Salad station will be served on/in a single use container (2 salad selections per day, 1 fruit selection per day, and 3 dressing selections per day)
  • Fountain beverage station will be open
  • Ice cream station will be closed
  • Coffee, juice and tea station will be closed (lunch and dinner)
  • Herbivore station will be closed

 In addition, food service is:

  • Disinfecting all highly touched surfaces hourly
  • Emphasizing and enforcing personal hygiene awareness and health-reporting policies to all staff
  • Putting backup service plans in place for additional contingencies

 By implementing these changes, Whittier College and Bon Appetit are striving to put the health and well-bring of our campus community first. We thank you in advance for your cooperation and understanding. 


2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) Update, March 10

Dear Whittier College Community:

In response to the developing situation around the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19), Whittier College has decided to cancel classes on Friday, March 13. After spring break, beginning Monday March 23, all classes will be moved online. Courses will continue to be taught remotely until at least April 3. An update will be provided by April 1 regarding plans for the remainder of the semester.
  
We understand that students, faculty, and staff will have many questions regarding this transition. Here are some basic points of information:  

  • There is currently a plan in place to use Moodle as the primary platform for all online courses.
  • Students will receive specific instructions from their professors via email before Monday, March 23. 
  • During the online period, students may choose to study from home or campus. 
  • The residence halls will remain open; the CI and Spot will have their usual meal hours.
  • The library, CAAS, and Student Disability Services will be open during this period. 
  • The Health and Wellness Center and the Counseling Center will be open as usual.
    • Students needing medical services due to symptoms of respiratory illness including fever, cough, and shortness of breath should first call the Student Health & Wellness Center, 562.464.4548 for further instructions before coming in.
  • Work study – student workers will receive more information from their direct supervisors about work expectations during this period.
  • Work study supervisors will receive guidance from Human Resources this week.
  • Faculty should be on campus for the rest of this week. Faculty will not be required to be on campus every day during remote instruction. 
  • Staff will be required to work from campus for the remainder of this week and during the online period.  
  • Supervisors are encouraged to make their best efforts to support employees who may be impacted by COVID-19 so that they can meet work requirements.

Please send any questions to abarraza@whittier.edu. The College will compile FAQs and post them online.
 
We would like to reiterate that there are no known cases (confirmed or suspected) of this virus on the Whittier campus. Nevertheless, following public health recommendations, the College is taking this proactive step to keep the Whittier College community healthy. 
 
As announced yesterday, the College will also be postponing or suspending most events on campus that attract 100 or more attendees for the remainder of the year. It has not been decided if end of the year events including Commencement, cultural graduations, honors convocation, and URSCA will be cancelled. More information will be given after spring break.

Our goal is to keep you informed as a means to create a healthy and positive learning environment at Whittier College. Make sure to check your email daily. In addition, if you are not receiving emergency text messages from Whittier College please update your contact information on your myWhittier.

We’d like to remind everyone that the best way to protect yourself and others is by washing your hands, covering your sneeze or cough, staying away from others who are sick, and staying home if you are sick.

For more information on preventative measure visit the following websites:
Poet Health Alerts
California Department of Public Health guidance
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
World Health Organization

Thank you for your cooperation and understanding as we work through this situation together.


Health and Wellness Center -- New Procedures for Students, (effective 3.10.20)

Students needing medical services due to symptoms of respiratory illness including fever, cough and shortness of breath should first call the Student Health & Wellness Center, 562.464.4548, for further instructions before coming in. We will make a determination about the level of medical care you need and either schedule your appointment with us or refer you accordingly. This new protocol is necessary in making sure that we can treat students adequately and reduce the spread of any virus. If you have any non-life threatening health concerns outside normal Whittier College and Student Health Center business hours, please call the RN Telephone After Hours Advice line at 562.464.4548 and press 1 or 855.456.9455.
 
If you have other medical needs (not related to respiratory illnesses) such as a physical exam, STI testing, immunizations, GYN concerns, etc., please call 562.464.4548 to schedule an appointment.


New Policy for Events on Campus, 3.9.20

Dear Whittier College Community:

As communicated previously, Whittier College is continuing to monitor the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and its implications. Senior administrators are communicating daily to review updates from the CDC, World Health Organization, and county and state public health agencies. Currently there are no known cases (confirmed or suspected) of COVID-19 on the Whittier campus. 
 
Today, California public health officials issued updated guidance to institutions of higher learning as they plan for the potential further spread of COVID-19. Among their recommendations include that colleges and universities “consider alternates to congregate programming within the campus including any large or communal activities.”

As a preventative measure, Whittier College will be working with the various departments on campus to postpone or suspend most events that attract 100 or more attendees for the remainder of the academic year. This will include athletic competitions, performances, student-organized events, admission events, and academic gatherings, among others. 

We understand that this is a disappointing decision, as many of you have dedicated time and effort to organize events for the campus community. The decision was not made lightly, but in the end, it was decided that the continued health of our campus community needed to take priority.  

The College has NOT yet decided on whether this new policy will impact Commencement activities (including the graduation ceremony, baccalaureate, and cultural graduations). A decision on Commencement will be made some time after spring break.

Our goal is to keep you informed to maintain a healthy and positive learning environment at Whittier College. Make sure to check your email daily for update notifications. All of our updates will also be posted online. In addition, if you are not receiving emergency text messages from Whittier College please update your contact information on your myWhittier account.

Any questions can be directed to abarraza@whittier.edu.


2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) Update and Travel Restrictions, 3.6.20

The state of California and the Los Angeles County Health Department have declared a state of emergency in regards to the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19), with several cases now confirmed throughout Los Angeles and Orange Counties.

This is a developing situation and Whittier College continues to monitor the spread of COVID-19 and its implications. Currently, there are no known cases (confirmed or suspected) of this virus on the Whittier campus. 

Whittier is developing appropriate responses for various scenarios that may arise related to COVID-19, as well as implementing new procedures to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 on our campus. 

How is Whittier College preparing?

  • Whittier College has been following the CDC’s guidelines for institutions of higher education and the College’s emergency response team has met to discuss needed plans to respond to the situation. 
  • Classes are continuing without interruption, in keeping with the most recent guidelines from the CDC for institutions of higher education with no identified cases of COVID-19 on campus. 
  • Students, faculty, and staff who are ill are being asked to stay home and seek medical care, especially if they have a cough or high fever. Individuals may communicate via email with supervisors, coworkers, and professors to let them know they are sick.
  • Faculty are asked to make needed accommodations and support students who may be impacted by COVID-19 so that they can complete their coursework. 
  • Supervisors are encouraged to make their best efforts to support employees who may be impacted by COVID-19 so that they can meet work requirements. 
  • Students, staff, and faculty will not be penalized for staying home if they are sick. Employees and students should confirm COVID-19 with their regular physician and get clearance from their doctor before returning to campus. Moreover, the College will work with employees and students to make needed accommodations in the case that individuals are impacted due to childcare or other family obligations related to COVID-19.     
  • The Office of Academic Affairs is working with faculty to ensure accommodations can be made for individuals affected by COVID-19 and to maintain instructional continuity in the event that the situation requires a larger disruption of classes. 
  • Campus Cleanliness: to reduce the likelihood of any transmission and to ensure that high-traffic contact surfaces are regularly cleaned, the facilities department is adding new steps to disinfect certain areas more often. The College is also adding hand sanitizing stations in buildings throughout campus.  
  • The CDC has prepared bulletins with additional information about COVID-19. Faculty and staff may post this information in their offices, classrooms, and throughout campus.  

International Travel Restrictions

Currently, there are no Whittier students studying abroad in the affected countries (China, Japan, Iran, Italy, and South Korea.)

Faculty, staff, students, or visitors arriving from any particular area affected by the 2019 COVID-19 on or after February 15, 2020 should not return to campus until 14 days after their arrival in the U.S. This is an expectation of the College for those arriving to the U.S. between February 15 and March 2. It is an expectation of the College and a requirement of the United States for those arriving on or after March 2, 2020.

This procedure is aligned with the January 31, 2020 declaration by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services regarding a public health emergency for the nation. For more information on travel restrictions, see the posting below.

Spring Break 

COVID-19 is quickly spreading to a number of countries. Students, faculty, and staff making spring break travel plans should visit the U.S. State Department Travel Advisories and CDC Coronavirus Information for Travel websites for up-to-date advisories. 

Summer Travel Abroad

Although it is unknown if the Level 3 Travel Health Advisories for the affected countries will remain in place over the summer, the College strongly advises students, faculty, or staff planning to participate in or lead any programs of study, work, or research in those countries to make alternate plans. The College is looking at contingency plans for students who might be required to stay on campus this summer, including housing. 

What you can do

  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you cough or sneeze, or clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60 to 95% alcohol, covering all surfaces of your hands and rubbing them together until they feel dry. Soap and water should be used preferentially if hands are visibly dirty. Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, then throw the tissue away. 
  • Avoid contact with sick people.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces with disinfectant products. See EPA recommended list.  
  • Maintain your immune system by getting plenty of rest, sleep, and a nutritious balanced diet.
  • Symptoms to be wary of include fever and respiratory symptoms, including coughing. If you experience these symptoms, stay home from work or school and limit contact with others immediately, and seek medical attention. 

Stay updated 

  • Keep track of all emails sent directly from the College, which will continue to send out notifications to the campus community.
  • Continue to follow this Poet Health Alert online, where updates will be posted on a regular basis. 
  • Make sure the College has your up-to-date contact information, including a cell phone number and email, to receive emergency alerts. To update your contact information, visit my.whittier.edu

Anti-Discrimination Policy

Whittier College is a campus that values equity and inclusion, as well as kindness and generosity. It is important to keep these values in mind when facing a stressful situation such as this one. It is also important to get the correct facts to avoid making assumptions that could lead to discrimination. Unfortunately, we have seen the spread of prejudice toward certain communities as a result of the spread of COVID-19 regionally and across the country. 

Whittier College does not condone any form of discrimination or racism. Speak up if you hear, see, or read misinformation, or witness or experience harassment or discrimination. You can file a bias incident report here

We appreciate your cooperation in keeping the Whittier College community healthy and safe. 


2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) Update, 3.2.20

Dear Campus Community:
 
Whittier College has received questions concerning our procedures for monitoring for the novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) as it pertains to members of our community who have returned to or are arriving on campus from any of the areas most affected by the disease (including China, Japan, Iran, Italy, and South Korea).
 
In response, the College adopts the following procedure to support faculty, staff, students, and visitors. This procedure covers members of the College community regardless of whether they were in an affected area for College business, educational purposes, or personal travel, as well as visitors coming to the College. This procedure is aligned with the January 31, 2020 declaration by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services regarding a public health emergency for the nation.
 
Arriving from any particular area affected by the 2019 Novel Coronavirus after February 15, 2020:
 Faculty, staff, students, or visitors arriving on or after February 15, 2020, should not return to campus until 14 days after their arrival in the U.S. This is an expectation of the College for those arriving to the U.S. between February 15 and March 2. It is an expectation of the College and a requirement of the United States for those arriving on or after March 2, 2020.
 
We recommend that students and campus employees avoid non-essential travel to countries in Asia and Europe (including China, Japan, Iran, Italy, and South Korea) where the CDC has identified that sustained transmission of COVID-19 has transpired, or where the virus has spread. Check the CDC’s Traveler’s Health Notices for the latest guidance and recommendations for each country to which you will travel.
 
We also ask that employees inform supervisors prior to their scheduled travel dates if they are traveling to an affected area so that we are aware of employees who are going to those areas and could possibly be exposed to the disease.
 
Upon your return, we ask that you schedule an appointment with your physician to get clearance to return to your regular work/school duties at the end of the 14-day period. Employees have the option to use sick or vacation time during the 14-day waiting period.
 
Please note that we are acutely aware of the difficulty that this action places upon the individual and the office/department/area in which you work. The College will work with supervisors to help arrange work/school accommodations while you are away from campus.
 
Additional information/resources can be found on the following websites:
 
California Department of Public Health
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
American Public Health Association
U.S. Department of State Travel Advisories
World Health Organization
 
We thank you in advance for placing the safety of your friends, colleagues, and community above your individual needs during this very difficult time.
 
In addition, we suggest that you take everyday CDC-recommended preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask.
  • The CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
    • Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
    • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.

2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) Update, 2.28.20

Dear Poets,

We want you to be aware that the coronavirus (COVID-19) is of concern and College administrators and staff are being vigilant of the situation. 

The College is committed to providing a safe environment for all students, faculty, and staff and is providing useful information below. For additional information, visit the Center for Disease Control website as well as the California Health Department website. If you have additional concerns, please contact the Health and Wellness Center at 562.464.4548. 

What is the novel coronavirus?

Coronavirus is a type of virus that causes upper respiratory symptoms ranging in severity from the common cold to a more serious respiratory infection causing pneumonia. It was first identified in December 2019 in the city of Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. Since then, the virus has been identified in several countries including the U.S., and more locally, Los Angeles County. 

Symptoms

Symptoms may be flu-like, ranging from mild to serious, and include: fever, cough, difficulty breathing, muscle and body aches, and fatigue.

Transmission

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.

  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
  • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
  • It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.
  • People are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest). Some spread might be possible before people show symptoms; there have been reports of this occurring with this new coronavirus, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

Prevention and Treatment

There is currently no vaccine available to prevent coronavirus disease 2019. The best way to prevent illness is to avoid exposure. The CDC recommends the following preventative actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including: 

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Staying away from work, school or other people if you become sick with respiratory symptoms like fever and cough. 
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a face mask.
    • CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a face mask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
    • Face masks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of face masks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility). 
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Sanitize dispensers are available throughout campus.
  • Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.

Health Information

According to the California Department of Public Health, as of February 27, 2020, there are a total of 33 positive cases in California: 24 are from repatriation flights. The other nine confirmed cases include seven that are travel-related, one due to person-to-person exposure from a very close contact (a spouse) and one from an unknown source. The department states that the health risk from novel coronavirus to the general public remains low at this time.