According to student group “Occupy Pomona,” Pomona College President G. Gabrielle Starr has verbally agreed with student activists that the college will not use campus security or the police to forcibly evict students from campus housing after the March 18, 5pm PDT, deadline to evacuate the campus due to limit the potential spread of coronavirus.
It is unclear at this time if students will be pressured to move out through different means, such as fines. The administration has also declined to put any of these agreements in writing.
4. Administration did not give an answer as to whether or not students will be fined for remaining on campus past the 3/18 5pm deadline. Admin also refused to put any of their verbal agreements in writing. #HomelessAtPomona — OCCUPY POMONA (@OCCUPY_POMONA) March 16, 2020
Occupy Pomona describes itself as “[a] grassroots movement advocating for students’ continued right and need to live on Pomona College’s campus following closure due to COVID-19.”
UPDATES: 1. President Starr has verbally agreed that students will NOT be evicted by police/campus security, and @PomonaCollege will not force students out after the 3/18 5pm deadline. #HomelessAtPomona https://t.co/TasGlehwVZ — OCCUPY POMONA (@OCCUPY_POMONA) March 16, 2020
This announcement was the result of a student-led pressure campaign on Pomona College’s administration, who agreed to meet with Pomona activists virtually at 11am today.
As previously reported by the Independent, students were told to evacuate the campus, retaining the option to petition to stay on campus past the March 18 deadline. With the majority of these petitions having been denied, however, international and low-income students have faced a number of problems in returning home, even with travel costs paid. While Pomona is offering financial assistance—and has approved all requests—to travel home, it cannot sustain the current campus population while complying with federal, state, and local guidelines on social distancing.
2. Everyone who has paid a bill to the college will get some prorated refund of that. In regards to students on full financial aid: there are out of pocket costs assumed in your financial aid. Administration will consider those costs when refunding. #HomelessAtPomona — OCCUPY POMONA (@OCCUPY_POMONA) March 16, 2020
In addition, Occupy Pomona stated that Pomona’s administration has agreed to pay “some prorated refund” to anyone who has paid a bill to the college. The administration will consider the out of pocket costs of students on full financial aid when refunding bills paid by these students.
With regards to emergency funding, President Starr has said that the college “does not have the means to support all emergency grants for students right now.” As of now, travel and related funding remain the administration’s primary focus as students continue to transition to off-campus life.
3. On emergency funding (grants): President Starr says the college does not have the means to support all emergency grants for students right now. They are currently prioritizing travel and related funding. #HomelessAtPomona — OCCUPY POMONA (@OCCUPY_POMONA) March 16, 2020
It is uncertain whether Pomona will provide meal plans for those staying on campus; while Williams College is doing so, it is unclear how many students have been approved to stay on campus by Williams and whether that number is greater than the number of students who intend to stay on campus at Pomona.
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