Fall 2021 FAQs

The latest information and updates for the Fall 2021 semester.

Last updated 9/1/21

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General Guidance & Resources

Are all interactions expected to be in person? Is it OK to still use Zoom for certain types of meetings?

In-person teaching and in-person interactions between faculty, staff and students are central to Oxy’s academic and cocurricular philosophy, values, and experience. However, faculty and staff may continue to use Zoom and other remote resources as effective tools in supplementing this experience. Communicating with your students, employees, or supervisors about what interactions may be virtual rather than in-person will help to set expectations, as our community learns to incorporate remote learning/working tools into Oxy’s regular, in-person structure.

Does the College have official Oxy signs (e.g. “Masks required”) available for download?

Yes. They are available on the Office of Marketing & Communications website.

Where can I learn more about the HVAC assessments for the building I work in?

You can find more on the website’s Building Safety page, including a building-by-building assessment. Please contact Facilities with any questions.

Are there any special considerations for events on campus?

We have developed event guidance for Fall 2021. Event organizers are responsible for communicating all applicable guidelines (e.g. indoor masking) to attendees. This is especially important when an event is open to the public or any invited guests when vaccination status is unknown. Event organizers may consider requiring masking for outdoor events that include non-Oxy community members, where social distancing is not possible and vaccination status is unknown. “Masks required” signs are available on the OMC website, and you can contact the Office of Marketing & Communications if you need assistance with additional signage.

What are the dining options for fall?

The Marketplace, Tiger Cooler and Coffee Cart (on the Bookstore Plaza) will begin expanded operations the week of August 23. In addition, Tiger Takeout, created last year to allow "contact-free" pickup from Branca Patio will resume service as well this fall. More information

General COVID Policy & Enforcement

How will non-compliance with the College’s COVID-related guidelines be enforced (e.g. not wearing a mask, not complying with testing protocol or quarantine requirement)?

First and foremost, all Oxy community members are expected to follow the College’s COVID-19 policies and guidelines to protect themselves and others against infection, and to demonstrate the level of care and respect that is fundamental to Oxy’s ethos of a Culture of Care. Emmons maintains records related to compliance with testing protocols and reporting of vaccination status, and will forward issues of non-compliance to the appropriate supervisor or administrator while adhering to appropriate medical confidentiality protocols. Also, the College will respond promptly to any reports by community members who are apparently non-compliant with any College policies, and may take disciplinary action consistent with the Code of Student Conduct, Faculty Handbook, and Staff & Administrator Employee Handbook.

Related HR Policy

What are my options if I need to stay home to take care of a child or person under my care who becomes infected?

Please contact your supervisor and/or Human Resources to determine what leave options may be available for your situation under College policy and federal, state, and local regulations.

In the Classroom - Faculty Support

Is AV equipment available in every classroom if I need to record classes for students who are unable to attend in person? What other technical resources are available?

Please contact ITS for assistance with any technical needs in classrooms. We have tools to assist with recording classes.

Will faculty be permitted to use remote tools for teaching and other work-related activities? What teaching-related activities may be conducted remotely?

Faculty have learned to use remote tools and pedagogical strategies during the pandemic and, as always, have discretion over their classroom environment. Our students are returning to campus for an in-person educational program, and faculty are generally expected to hold class sessions in person. But there is no prohibition against holding an occasional remote class meeting or incorporating remote elements into an in-person course to maximize in-person time together, as long as those methods are consistent with meeting the learning goals for the course. Communicating with your students about what interactions may be virtual rather than in-person will help to set expectations. Faculty are welcome to hold office hours, department meetings, or committee meetings remotely during the upcoming fall semester, as we readjust to in-person operations. Please keep in mind that ITS will be prioritizing classroom technology support, which means that specialized technology that will permit simultaneous in-person and remote participants for meetings or other non-classroom activities may not be possible. If some meeting participants wish to remain remote, it might be preferable to use a videoconferencing platform for all participants.

If L.A. County lifts its indoor masking requirement, may faculty still require students to wear masks in their classrooms?


May I teach class outdoors?

Faculty are welcome to teach outdoors, but the College will not be providing AV or other technical support outdoors for regular class instruction.

Are there any distancing requirements?

No, consistent with state and federal guidance, rooms may be filled to normal, stated capacities. With our high vaccination rates, indoor masking and good ventilation, we have sufficient protocols in place.

Can students eat/drink in the classroom?

No. While the indoor mask mandate is in place (or if a faculty member requires classroom masking after the mandate is lifted), students may not remove masks to eat/drink in the classroom.

Are there extra safety precautions for labs?

Although cloth masks in a highly vaccinated population are appropriate, faculty may request N95 masks for use in classroom settings that involve prolonged close contact.

Travel, Field Trips & Off-campus Activity

Is there guidance for Oxy events that are held off campus, specifically outside of Los Angeles, or even out of state?

For regional events, follow the local guidance in that area. In most cases, this will mean no capacity limits. The organizing office may elect to incorporate stricter policy than exists in that region (e.g. asking everyone to mask indoors in a state that doesn’t require indoor masking). However, that is at your discretion and should be discussed with local hosts/organizers.

Are there any restrictions on who can travel for College-sponsored work or events?

Any College employee can travel regardless of vaccination status. Employees should follow all applicable federal and state guidelines when traveling. Unvaccinated and vaccinated individuals should follow the same masking guidelines on the road that would apply when they are on campus.

Is there guidance for travel by bus or van?

Groups of students, staff and/or faculty traveling together by car or bus for class purposes or for athletic competition should remain masked during transport. Social distancing is not required.

What guidance should I consider for off-campus activities (e.g. social outings, non-College sponsored travel)?

Follow county guidance regarding masking indoors, and consider masking outdoors if you are in crowded environments, especially where vaccination levels are not known.

International Arrivals

Are there special processes for people arriving from outside the United States?

Unvaccinated individuals arriving from overseas have been given instructions on quarantining upon arrival and access to the Johnson and Johnson vaccine. Vaccinated individuals arriving from abroad will be tested 3-5 days after arrival and asked to follow strict masking policies until receiving a negative test result.


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