According to a late morning email sent by Pomona College President G. Gabrielle Starr today (March 16), the college is taking steps in line with national and statewide measures to implement social distancing in a bid to prevent a spread of the coronavirus. According to Starr, Pomona cannot support an on-campus population during the coronavirus pandemic. Starr emphasized the need for students to leave campus and did not mention the student outrage at denied petitions to stay on campus for students who could not possibly return home, even with financial support for travel costs.
“The reality we face is that Pomona is not equipped to support an on-campus population in the face of a pandemic of this nature. We will continue to work with students around the clock to help find housing and travel options for the move off-campus. We will work with every student who needs help in this extraordinary emergency,” Starr wrote.
Starr also announced the closure of academic buildings and Rains Center, Pomona’s athletic facility:
“In line with these national and regional measures, good public health practice dictates that we quickly reduce the number of people on Pomona’s campus as much as possible. We strongly urge students who can leave before Wednesday to do so.
To carry out necessary social distancing at Pomona, all academic buildings are now closed, and Rains Center is closing effective today as well. Meetings between faculty and students should be conducted remotely with the College temporarily shifting to online coursework, with a remote instruction pilot program starting the week of March 23. In coming days, we will also take steps to reduce the density and duration of gatherings to eat in the dining halls. Regrettably, our way of life on campus must drastically change at this time.”
Starr reiterated the college’s financial support, as previously reported by the Independent.
As of publication, the college has not explicitly responded to student demands against denied petitions to stay on campus.
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