To: The Caltech Community
Thomas F. Rosenbaum, President
David A. Tirrell, Provost
Kevin M. Gilmartin, Vice President for Student Affairs
Date: May 5, 2021
Re: Caltech's Summer Plans and Undergraduates' Return to Campus Approved
For the first time since the pandemic forced the Institute to close on-campus undergraduate residences last March, the Pasadena Public Health Department (PPHD) will allow Caltech to repopulate those residences. We will initiate a scaled-down version of our traditional summer residential research programs for undergraduates next month. PPHD also indicated that the Institute can proceed with plans to reopen campus residences and classrooms this fall to fully vaccinated undergraduates and graduate students.
Beginning June 14, Caltech will house up to 385 fully vaccinated undergraduate students participating in on-campus research, learning, and training activities. Students will arrive in stages, aligned to the start date and requirements of their program, and only will remain on campus for the duration of their in-person work. All students living in undergraduate on-campus residences will be required to be fully vaccinated and will be expected to participate in the Institute's twice-weekly surveillance testing program. Students in residences also will be required to complete a daily health attestation and to record their on-campus activity and interactions in the COVID-19 Reporting Application.
The opportunity to live on campus has been prioritized for individuals participating in the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellows (SURF) program, the WAVE Fellows program, and the Freshman Summer Research Institute (FSRI), as well as pre-season student-athletes who traditionally arrive before the start of the fall term for training exercises and competition. Undergraduates enrolled in two engineering lab courses—EE85: Analog and RF Circuits Laboratory and ME13/113: Mechanical Prototyping—that are being offered this summer, after having been canceled due to the pandemic restrictions earlier in the year, also will be able to live on campus. Students eligible for campus housing as part of any of these activities should contact the Housing Office directly to arrange their summer residency.
This increase in density will be supported by a staged increase in access to additional athletic, dining, and academic facilities and services as the Institute continues to expand carefully on-campus operations and activities in accord with local health orders and protocols as the region progresses to, and eventually out of, the state's least restrictive yellow tier. Any changes to the Institute's protocols or preventative measures—including updates to policies and requirements surrounding events and social gatherings, testing, and access to workspaces and other on-campus facilities—will be communicated through the Caltech Together website, internal Ion Caltech newsletters, and campus signage and emails.
All individuals reporting to campus as part of this staged increase will be required to complete a daily health attestation and to record their on-campus activity and interactions in the COVID-19 Reporting Application. In addition, all members of the community returning to work onsite or to a residence are expected to remain aware of, and closely follow, current Institute guidelines for physical distancing, enhanced hygiene practice, and masks.
Supporting the health and well-being of every member of the campus community is a shared responsibility that requires all members of the community to act responsibly and in compliance with all local health orders. The resumption of the residential living and learning experience over the summer is an important step forward in bringing our full community back together safely this fall.