Campus Life Update - Fall 2020

June 9, 2020


Dear Students:

The Whittier College Student Life team is excited to welcome you back to campus this fall. Individualized and interactive engagement with students inspires us, motivates us, and guides our decisions and choices. In the fall, we plan to return with dynamic in-person programming, support and advising services, advocacy and learning opportunities, and more. We foresee the campus once again buzzing with energy. However, things will certainly look different.
We have been meeting with health experts and monitoring the guidance from public health agencies to ensure that we set up the needed precautions to keep everyone safe and healthy. When we return to campus, student life will be coordinated with physical distancing in mind. Everyone will be asked to wear masks or face coverings. Paths on campus will be one-way. Buildings will have separate entrances and exits. Fewer students will live in the residence halls. Office spaces will see less traffic. Student Life is still determining how events and other gatherings will look in the fall. More information will be provided as we have it. We will continue to stay connected using electronic, virtual, and remote mediums.

Residential Life

Residential life on campus will also look different. In light of continuing health concerns related to COVID-19, Whittier College has changed its housing policy for the 2020-2021 academic year and there will no longer be a mandatory housing requirement for all first-year students, sophomores, and juniors. In addition, the College has made the decision to only offer single-occupancy rooms for 2020-2021 and there will be a new housing selection process beginning Wednesday, June 10.  The deadline to complete the housing application for these students will be June 19 by 11:59 p.m. PDT.
What does this mean for continuing students?

  • Most of the returning students who recently completed housing selection and selected rooms will be released from their housing assignments. Those rooms will be transferred into single rooms.
  • Returning students who selected Gender Inclusive Housing or Pet-Friendly Housing options will remain in the communities they selected and will be provided an opportunity to select a single-occupancy room during the upcoming housing selection process. 
  • Students who were approved for a single-occupancy room through Student Disability Services will remain in the rooms selected.

Returning Students

Students must meet the following criteria to be eligible for the upcoming 2020-2021 housing selection process: 

  • Students facing housing security issues
  • International students
  • Out-of-state students
  • Students who live beyond 30 miles

Students who meet one of these predetermined criteria groups (above), and are interested in on-campus housing are required to complete a new housing application form. All returning residential students who submitted a 2020-2021 housing application will receive more information on the single room selection process via their Poet email.
If you are living off-campus and would still like a meal plan, complete the meal plan form.
Whittier College understands that the decision to only offer single rooms is disappointing and challenging for many students. The College put tremendous thought and consideration into this decision and it was made in light of continuing development concerning COVID-19. We are committed to assisting you during this time. Please contact us at with any questions. We ask for your patience as we anticipate a high volume of requests and inquiries.

COVID-19 Student Code of Conduct

For all students, residential and commuter, the COVID-19 Student Code of Conduct describes specific community parameters and expectations. This new code also reflects the culture we hope to cultivate and maintain—making decisions that we know will keep others healthy, caring for the wellbeing of everyone on campus, and staying connected in ways that are safe. Building this culture requires that we all participate and hold others and ourselves accountable.
We are coming back and the Whittier community will be stronger than ever. See you soon.

Bruce Smith, Ph.D.
Vice President and Dean of Students