Pomona To Bring Back Furloughed Workers, Require Vaccines For Students

Pomona College President G. Gabrielle Starr sent an email to students today stating that Pomona is planning for “a limited campus population in summer and the full return of students for fall semester.” Starr also confirmed that staff who had been furloughed last fall would begin returning to work in June and July, and that vaccines will be required for students returning in the fall semester “with exemptions for documented medical reasons or sincerely held religious beliefs.”

The email also said that “the staff members who have not yet returned from full or partial furloughs will be brought back to work in a phased return starting in early June, with all employees back by July 1.” On September 1, Starr announced that the college would be furloughing workers due to budget shortfalls. Despite the furloughs, Pomona continued to pay ”all furloughed employees through Sept. 30 and…to provide health coverage through at least Dec. 31.”

Despite the fact that most summer opportunities will be remote, Pomona College “will have a limited population of students living and/or working on campus for jobs or hands-on research and creative opportunities that are directly sponsored by faculty or by staff supervisors.” Those students working “non-research, full-time jobs that must be performed on-campus also will be eligible to live in the Pomona residence halls.” The email emphasized that all students on campus this summer will be required to undergo COVID-19 testing twice a week.

Pomona’s residential program will begin July 6, and “those who wish to work or do research on-campus while living off-campus can begin work June 7.”

In addition to these openings, the Benton Museum of Art will also open for Pomona students, faculty and staff starting May 1. Pomona had already opened up some of their outdoor recreational facilities earlier this spring.

The email also stated that “qualifying students will receive additional financial relief made possible by Congress authorizing Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds (HEERF) late last year. Pomona College plans to disburse these funds in mid-May to students who meet criteria which include having a valid Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the 2020/21 academic year on file with the Financial Aid Office as well as having been enrolled at Pomona on Sept. 5, 2020 and/or Feb. 9, 2021.”

Additionally, similarly to Claremont McKenna College, Pomona College clarified that “all students will need to be vaccinated (with exemptions for documented medical reasons or sincerely held religious beliefs)” when in-person classes begin in the fall of 2021.

Pomona College will be starting fall semester classes on August 30.

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