Pomona Releases Draft Of Return Plan For Staff

Today, Pomona College students received an email detailing plans for an on-campus return this fall. The email included a link to a draft “Return to Campus: Policies, Guidelines and Protocols” and “Frequently Asked Questions” document for staff. Last revised on April 7, 2021, the draft states that “Pomona College is preparing for regular operations in the fall of 2021, including the return of residential, in-person instruction.”

The draft plans suggest a phased return for staff between June 7, 2021 and August 2, 2021, citing that “a key part of a return to regular operations is a return of staff to campus to both support the residential population and to revitalize the campus and the workplace as safely and equitably as possible.” The timing of particular staff members’ return “[depends] on when staff will be needed on campus to support our community.”

Under these plans, not all staff would need to return; some may continue to work remotely. The document explains that “staff whose job responsibilities, in whole or in part, necessitates a presence on campus to support the day-to-day activities of students and faculty will be required to work on campus while other staff may work in roles that can reasonably be performed remotely during the transition year.”

The draft states several reasons supervisors can request approval from their department’s vice president to require staff to work on campus “if such work meets the needs of the office and the College” or “to ensure productivity.” Supervisors may also “Ask staff to come to the office for a specific number of days per week on a regular schedule or for a defined period to complete a project.”

The email reaffirms Pomona College’s commitment to require vaccinations, stating that “all Pomona College students who plan to return to campus will need to be vaccinated (with exemptions for documented medical reasons or sincerely held religious beliefs.)” Claremont McKenna College, another member of the five Claremont Colleges, had also notified students that they should be vaccinated before returning.

The draft stated that “Staff required to work on campus will be routinely tested for COVID-19 and will be required to follow the College’s public health guidelines. The college is also “considering relieving those faculty and staff who can show proof of vaccination of the need to undergo routine COVID-19 tests and will let the community know as we formulate our policy.” Staff will also need to wear masks while on campus because “Current guidance from LA County Department of Public Health requires that employees wear ‘face masks at all times except when working alone in private offices with closed doors or when eating or drinking.’”

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