For Students

More information on Occidental’s planning for Fall 2021, organized by topic.

Updated 9/30/21

Fall 2021

Our return to in-person instruction is based on a variety of measures to support you and your safety, starting with our mandatory vaccination policy. Our policy also requires strict testing protocols for unvaccinated individuals with valid exemptions. In addition, we just completed an accelerated inspection and upgrade program for all campus air circulation systems to ensure we have safely ventilated buildings, and we are following Los Angeles County guidelines requiring mask-wearing while inside by everyone, regardless of vaccination status. As we have throughout the pandemic, we will continue to monitor the latest scientific findings, follow the guidance of public health officials, and adjust our policies as conditions require.

The U.S. State Department recently announced that international students may obtain a “National Interest Exception” to the international travel ban, which will make it possible for our international students to return to campus. 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.

Health & Safety

We will continue to follow the guidance of public health officials as they apply to college campuses. In order to protect our campus community, those living or working on campus must abide by our health and safety requirements. This includes wearing face masks in public at all times, practicing physical distancing, and using a College-sponsored monitoring app for daily temperature and symptom checks.

Read the latest COVID testing policy information for campus.

Consistent with our current policy, all cases of COVID-19 as well as campus testing data this fall will be shared with the community. The Office of Parent Engagement will notify parents of steps taken to ensure the community is protected, including contact tracing, isolation and quarantine protocols, and testing procedures.

Symptom Management

Being fully in-person this semester, in combination with the change of seasons, means that we fully expect to see an increase in cold and flu symptoms—symptoms that can also be consistent with COVID. It is important that anyone experiencing symptoms test for COVID-19 to either identify or rule out COVID to minimize the chance of community spread.

  • For Students: If you are experiencing any symptoms, you must come to the AGC testing facility for a test. In addition, you should not be attending class if you are feeling unwell, and we encourage you to keep your professors informed on any absences due to illness. You may come directly to the AGC testing center and do not need to contact Emmons before testing. If you do need to contact Emmons, there are three options:

    • Email emmons@oxy.edu
    • Call 323-259-2657 during business hours: 9:00am-noon and 1:00pm-4:00pm Monday through Friday.
    • Call the 24/7 telephone hotline (323-341-4141) for medical and counseling assistance. (Please note that the hotline is not staffed by Emmons staff. When you call the hotline, the person who answers the phone will decide what supports are most appropriate to connect you with, and will advise you as to next steps. After the initial phone assessment, if the recommendation is that you speak with a medical provider, someone will call you back in no more than 60 minutes.)
Exposure Management

When there are COVID cases on campus, it is important that students, faculty and staff are aware of how the College manages cases, a process known as “exposure management,” a term used to describe the processes that an organization follows when a positive COVID case is detected. Effective exposure management plans are important to contain spread and prevent single cases from becoming outbreaks.

Student Compact

The College has developed a COVID-19 Student Compact that supplements the 2020-2021 Code of Student Conduct. The Compact provides guidance to students and community members of the expectations students are to follow as it pertains to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Compact was developed in collaboration from several offices at the College: Office of Student Conduct, Emmons Wellness Center, Residential Education and Housing Services, Dean of Students Office, Athletics, and Campus Safety. Additionally, student representatives from the Resident Advisor program and Honor Board were involved in this process.