COVID-19 Update for Jan Term

January 6, 2022

The COVID-19 Taskforce provided this update to students about Whittier College's decisions regarding Jan Term.

Dear Students:

We would like to thank everyone for being so cooperative with COVID-19 testing and reporting as we return to campus for Jan Term. Your cooperation is essential in ensuring the health and safety of our community. Since the holidays, Whittier College, along with the rest of the state and country, has seen a rise in COVID-19 cases due to the Omicron variant. At present we have a total of 76 positive cases reported to the COVID-19 Taskforce—with cases nearly doubling over the last two days. It is clear that we need to take additional steps to mitigate the spread of the Omicron variant at Whittier.

Effective immediately, all Jan Term instruction will shift to online delivery and remain online through the rest of the session.

To ease the shift from in-person to online instruction, all in-person classes are canceled for Friday, January 7. Instructors will notify students when their courses will resume—Monday or Tuesday—and provide additional information needed to continue with lessons. This does not impact courses already functioning online. 

For the month of January, we are suspending most in-person events as described below: 

  • No indoor events (except for athletics which are covered by different protocols per Los Angeles County Public Health and NCAA)
  • No large events (including outdoor events)
  • No Faculty House events
  • Small outdoor gatherings are possible but require approval
  • No field trips

Campus Access

  • Residential students already on campus will be allowed to stay on campus. Students who are scheduled and approved to return may do so at their own discretion. Please note: residential students must check in with their RA and test for COVID-19 within 48 hours of returning to campus.
  • Library access will be limited to residential students. More information on hours to come.
  • Commuter students will be asked not to come to campus during Jan Term. 
    • Commuter students who require access to campus and/or technical support should contact the Dean of Students Office via email or at 562.907.4233.

Please know that we understand that changing the mode of course delivery is disruptive. We are confident that these measures will allow us to slow the spread of the Omicron variant on campus, maintain our capacity to manage positive cases, and, most importantly, protect the health of the Whittier College community.

If you need support during this time, reach out to the Dean of Student’s office at 562.907.4233; Director of CARE and Case Management, Marysol Mendoza, 562.907.5118; and/or Counseling Center, 562.907.4239. Virtual mental health consultations are provided by the counseling center, call 562.907.4239 for counselor availability. In addition, Cal Hope offers safe, secure, and culturally sensitive emotional support for all Californians who may need support relating to COVID-19.    

We will have updates regarding the spring semester early next week.    

sal johnston, Ph.D. 
VP Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty

Deanna Merino-Contino, Ed.D.
Interim Vice President and Dean of Students