Occidental provides a variety of resources for students living on and off campus.

Dean of Students Office

The Dean of Students Office supports the mission of the College by taking the lead in promoting an environment that is challenging, supportive, and conducive to learning in all aspects of student life. The Dean’s Office is open to students and families who have questions for which there may not be an obvious answer or office to address the issue. Our services and practices are broadly characterized as advocacy, support, and administration, including

  • Disability services
  • Academic probation support
  • Substance use counseling
  • Support for students in distress
  • Resource for general questions and needs

The Dean’s Office collaborates with departments across campus to connect students with the resources they need.  We invite families/guardians to call us if they have concerns about their student. At the same time, we promote open communication between families and their student.


We consistently strive to keep students and their issues and concerns at the forefront of our practice as we interact with all members of the Oxy community. The deans are experts in student development and we invite student participation in shaping College policy that affects their experience as students. We welcome suggestions or criticisms about college policy and administration, and strive to help students to formulate sound arguments to advance their positions about issues that are important to them.


The Dean of Students Office assists students with larger issues arising from illness and missing classes for an extended period of time. In cases of emergency or crisis, Dean’s Office staff coordinates partnerships among students, their families, faculty, and staff and help to process academic actions (leave of absence, withdrawals, etc.) as appropriate.

The Dean’s Office also provides guidance to students who are on academic probation or are seeking to re-apply to the College after an academic suspension. Students on probation meet with a representative from the Dean’s Office who helps them develop an academic success plan and connect to appropriate resources.

We also welcome reports about students brought to us by concerned families, faculty, and staff. We respond directly to the student with support and guidance as appropriate through efforts coordinated by the "Student Success Team." In all we do we strive to balance the rights of individual students with the need to maintain a safe campus community.


We are attentive to persistent or emerging concerns that present obstacles to academic success and the quality of campus life. Our goal is to develop and implement policy that enhances the student experience and maintain a healthy, safe, and respectful learning community. The Dean’s Office also enforces the Code of Student Conduct.

Dr. Vivan Garay Santiago, Manager of Student Success
Dean of Students Office
office (323) 259-2661
fax (323) 341-4927

Thomas Wesley, Assistant Director of Student Conduct and Housing Services
Residential Education and Housing Services
Office (323) 341-4063
Fax (323) 259- 341-4984

Student Wellness Services

Located just above the AGC Administrative Building, the Emmons Student Wellness Center is an easily accessible, private, confidential,  student-friendly environment that provides psychological counseling, medical care, advocacy for survivors of sexual assault and preventative wellness education.   Students may attend including up to 6 sessions of individual counseling free of charge, unlimited group counseling, and ongoing counseling in special circumstances.  Students may also receive basic medical services including routine physical check-ups, screening exams, lab tests, and evaluation and treatment of illnesses and injuries.  Because our scope is limited, we are prepared to refer students out to an extensive network of providers in the community.  Additionally, Emmons Student Wellness Center coordinaters the Oxy 24/7 Confidential Hotline.

Sara Semal, MA, LPC, Senior Director of Student Welnness Services

Matthew Calkins, PsyD, Associate Director of Student Wellness Services, Director of Counseling
office (323) 259-2820
fax (323) 341-4970

Residential Education & Housing Services

The Department of Residential Education and Housing Services fosters safe, inclusive and educational residential environments that intentionally challenge and support students to embrace global citizenship, civility and self-accountability. Through engaging events and meaningful interactions, REHS promotes the holistic development of all students from the perspective of a residential liberal arts education. 

The College has 1693 spaces available for students on campus. This number represents housing all students during their first three years at Oxy. The three-year residency requirement was implemented in the spring of 2009 to promote scholarship, maturity and involvement. Living on campus encourages high achievement in class due to the proximity and availability of professors and other administrators. Students are able to put their in-class learning into practice while interacting with their peers, which in turn leads to engaging in mature behaviors and practicing appropriate decision-making skills. Student engagement in college activities encourages greater levels of persistence and degree attainment.

Chad Myers, Director of Residential Education and Housing Services
office (323) 259-2531
fax (323) 341-4984

Office for Religious & Spiritual Life

The Office for Religious and Spiritual Life (ORSL) supports Occidental students, faculty, and staff in their pursuit of a vibrant and meaningful spiritual and religious life while engaging religious diversity with a commitment to acceptance, mutual respect, awareness, and dialogue. We foster student exploration of life’s big questions concerning morality, truth and purpose. The office creates space on campus for students to define their values and beliefs and understanding of meaningful work and to engage in critical conversation about social justice, community engagement, religion, spirituality, and interfaith dialogue. We also offer opportunities for contemplative prayer, reflection and meditation. ORSL hosts a student- administered Grief Group for students dealing with the death of someone close to them.  ORSL works with the student Interfaith Council and eleven student religious and spiritual groups including:

  • Bahai Student Group
  • Buddhist Meditation Group
  • Hillel Student Association
  • Interfaith Council
  • InterVarsity Christian Fellowship
  • Latter-Day Saints Student Association
  • Muslim Student Association
  • Newman Catholic Community
  • Progressive Christians Uniting
  • Unitarian Universalist
  • Yoga

The Rev. Dr. Susan E. Young, the ORSL ministry staff and our campus religious advisors are available to meet with students who may be struggling with spiritual or religious questions as well as other issues. 

The Rev. Dr. Susan E. Young
Director for Religious and Spiritual Life
office:  (323) 259-2621

Campus Safety

The Campus Safety Department is staffed 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, by 15 full-time, unarmed, uniformed officers, a lieutenant and the director. There are always at least two officers and the dispatcher on duty who are able to respond quickly to those needing assistance.  All officers have been trained and certified in first aid/first responder/CPR. Campus Safety coordinates a varied safety escort programs for students, faculty and staff, including: the transport of those sick and/or injured to Emmons Student Wellness Center; walking escorts after sunset; on-campus escort shuttles after sunset; and off-campus escort shuttles within a three-block radius of campus after sunset. 

Campus Safety enjoys a cooperative relationship with the Los Angeles Police Department in which relevant and timely information is shared. Regular safety alert, crime prevention, and safety information bulletins are sent to all students and the campus community to inform them of any incidents of crime on or near the campus, and to increase awareness of crime prevention and safety issues both on campus and in our neighborhood. 

Parking: All vehicles parked on campus Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. through 5 p.m., must display a valid parking permit.  Permits are free and are available at the Campus Safety Office. Citations are issued for parking violations. Parking is limited, especially on lower campus.  Everyone is encouraged to allow plenty of time to find a parking space. When parking off campus, students are encouraged to pay attention to street cleaning restrictions.

Emergency Procedures: Campus-wide earthquake and emergency drills are conducted at least once per academic year; surprise fire drills in the residence halls are conducted each semester; and the College employs a full-time environmental, health and safety manager. All student rooms are equipped with smoke detectors and all residence halls have local fire alarm systems. Campus Safety works closely with the local police and fire departments to coordinate procedures in the event of a fire, earthquake or other disaster. The Emergency Operations Plan is the foundation and guide for the response by administration, faculty, staff and students. The purpose is to protect life, property and the environment, and to maintain the function of the College following a disaster. The plan is flexible enough to respond to a variety of situations. During a campus-wide emergency, the Campus Safety department will become the Emergency Operations Center, the on-campus command center.

OxyAlert System: Experience on other campuses has shown that a multi-layered emergency notification system works best - that is, one that does not rely on any single method.  In addition to our existing e-mail, web-based, and campus phone voicemail systems, Occidental has installed a campus siren and a mass cell phone voicemail and electronic notification.  All students already are required to provide a cell phone number as part of the registration process; faculty and staff are strongly urged to provide cell phone numbers as well.  Experience also has shown that text messaging is not the most effective method of emergency notification.  Depending upon the situation, utilizing some or all of these methods will allow us to contact all members of the Oxy community, whether they are on or off campus at the time of an incident.

Rick Tanksley, Director of Campus Safety
office (323) 259-2598