Important Updates

On this page you can find the latest updates organized by topic, including advisories and resources related to online learning and other issues relevant to students, faculty and staff. Check back often for real-time updates.

Other Community Updates

2020 Commencement

The Commencement Committee, with input from additional senior class representatives, is planning for what the senior survey identified as a top priority: an in-person Commencement celebration in Spring 2021. The College is committed to making that happen and the committee will continue to work over the summer and fall months. In the meantime, the Class of 2020 is officially graduating and we don’t want that important milestone to go unobserved. Therefore, we are also planning a virtual celebration for June 14.

Back to Top

Study Abroad

Several Fall 2020 study abroad programs are no longer viable due to June, July or early August start dates, COVID-19 complications, travel bans, visa difficulties. Impacted students have been notified, and they may defer to Spring 2021.

The international programs office is actively collecting information across 49 different programs to develop a fair and equitable study abroad refund process. We expect to finalize this process soon.

Back to Top

Financial Issues for Students

Updated 4/22/20

Over the past week, we have conducted a further review of room and board credits to student accounts, as well as financial support for students who receive Federal Work Study and need-based Oxy Work Awards. The result of that review, which included consultations with ASOC leadership, will be an adjustment to increase the credits and financial support provided to most, although not all, affected students. Read the details of how both of these adjustments were calculated.

Any student receiving a room and board credit adjustment will see that credit appear in their student account by Monday, April 27. The timing of incremental support for students who receive work study and work awards will vary, depending on whether they continue to work or were unable to work past March 20.

Updated 4/3/20

The College has announced its plan for providing financial support for Federal Work Study and Oxy Work Award students.

Any student who lived in College housing (residence halls, theme houses and SAE) and was required to leave by March 20 will receive a room and board credit to their student account that will post by end of day on Monday, April 6.

The international programs office is actively collecting information across 49 different programs to develop a fair and equitable study abroad refund process. We expect to finalize this process before the end of spring semester.

Updated 3/26/20

Occidental is not providing tuition refunds or credits for the Spring 2020 semester. We recognize the disruption and hardships that have been created by the coronavirus pandemic, and appreciate the investment you make in your student’s education. Although we have moved to a remote platform temporarily, the College’s faculty is still delivering its academic program, supported by staff, resulting in students earning their credits toward an Oxy diploma. The College remains open. Student support services such as the Hameetman Career Center, Writing Center, Emmons Counseling, Disability Services, and Peer Learning all continue to work with students.

Updated 3/18/20

An update from the Dean of Students provides details on move-out related financial assistance for students.

Back to Top

Mental Health/Medical Resources

24/7 telephonic medical and counseling triage remains available for all students and community members anywhere in the United States via Helpline at 323-341-4141. For more on the medical and mental health services available to students please visit the Emmons Wellness Center website.

As of 4/2/20, Emmons is temporarily extending its telehealth services to all Occidental faculty and staff, free of charge, during the COVID-19 crisis. Learn about the in-person and online services available.

If you are an Oxy community member who has tested positive for Covid-19, please contact HR or Sara Semal ASAP to notify us so that appropriate cleaning in the areas where you last were can take place, contact tracing and quarantining can be conducted, and community notices can be made (if warranted). Please note that your personal information and diagnoses will remain confidential.

Back to Top

Housing Expectations for Students on Campus

Given the scope of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are asking all students to adhere to the following expectations in order to remain in housing:

  1. Please minimize your interaction with other students and community members in an effort to reduce the spread of germs and exposure to anyone potentially carrying COVID-19. Students staying in college housing should go off campus for essential needs ONLY and limit movement to the residence hall and the Marketplace.

  2. All of campus will be DRY during this period, and that students are not permitted to consume alcohol or use illegal drugs in public or private areas. This policy also applies for students of legal drinking age. Additionally, parties and social gatherings involving alcohol and/or drugs are not permitted.

  3. Please understand that guests are NOT permitted at this time, and that you cannot host any non-approved students or guests in your room. This includes unapproved roommates, suite-mates and friends. Do not endanger your ability to remain on campus by illegally hosting another student/friend.

  4. It is highly likely that some students will be asked to relocate to a different residence hall in a new room. This is based on safety, security, and federal Centers for Disease Control preventative guidelines. If you are asked to move to a different room, you must comply to remain in housing. More information soon.

  5. The College will have reduced services provided for students at this time, and you should continue to check my Oxy Email for updates on office and department availability.

Back to Top

Employee Guidance

To ensure its continued operation, the College recognizes that there are many critical functions that cannot be done remotely. Outside of these functions, anyone who can work at home should work at home. Human Resources recommends that all employees who are older than age 65 and/or have chronic health conditions stay home during this time. This will help protect the health and safety of those remaining on campus by limiting their exposure to others. View a summary of departments whose operations will require at least some employees to be present on campus to ensure the continued operation of the College.

Hourly employees and their supervisors should complete timesheets on time for every payroll cycle. Hourly employees will always be paid for all hours worked, but if a timesheet is submitted too late for a payroll period, the employee will be paid on a subsequent payroll run when the timesheet is completed, approved and submitted. Read more about timesheet approval for hourly employees.

Accounts Payable is now accepting invoices, check requests and employee expense reimbursements electronically. Read more about the Business Office's temporary procedures that departments and purchasers should use to ensure the College continues to run as smoothly as possible

Back to Top