COVID-19 Policies Relaxed, but Students Question Effectiveness


Ainsley Harris ’26
Staff Writer

The start of The Claremont Colleges Fall 2022 semester brought a relaxation in COVID-19 policies across the 5Cs.

The first and most significant policy change was the reopening of 5C dining. After an increase in COVID cases in the Spring 2022 semester, dining was limited to 1C after a little over a month of cross-campus dining, so the reopening of 5C dining was greeted with much enthusiasm from both returning and new students.

Scripps’ residence halls and common rooms opened to all 5C students; however, family members and others outside of The 5Cs are still not allowed access to residence halls. Students are also no longer required to test every week. COVID testing was only required once a week for the first two weeks back on campus, after which testing became optional.

Even with the relaxation of many restrictions, several COVID safety protocols are still in effect. With the start of the semester, the Tiernan Field House opened fully to students; however, in order to access the Tiernan Field House amenities students are required to register for time slots designed to monitor the number of students using the facilities.

While limited as a whole, masking in certain areas – Malott Dining Hall, Garrison Theater, and classes according to teacher discretion – is still required. Surgical grade masks, not cloth, are required in areas with mask mandates.

Scripps maintained some COVID-19 dining hall policies, in contrast to the other Claremont Colleges which lifted dining hall COVID-19 restrictions. While open to 5C dining and allowing indoor seating, Malott remains the only dining hall to require wearing masks inside. In the indoor seating sections, while masks are not required while eating, several round tables have large plastic dividers. These separate the individual seats, and some students dislike the way they are thus separated from their friends.

“The dividers feel pointless and get [in the] way of talking to people,” Dahlia Levy ’26 said. Scripps’ COVID restrictions in general don’t feel useful considering we are all eating in dining halls together, going to classes together, and living together.”

Many students feel as though Scripps’ restrictions are tedious and ineffective. The inconsistency of 5C dining being open, but Malott’s mask mandate paired with the seemingly random placement of table dividers make students feel Scripps’ COVID-19 safety policies are simply to present Scripps as a ‘COVID conscious’ campus rather than to effectively keep students and staff healthy.

The gem of Scripps dining, the Motley, also maintains several COVID regulations. While ordering, students must be masked, but the lounge is mask optional. The line to order drinks is restricted to three people allowed inside the building while the rest of the line extends outside into Seal Court. Approximately three feet to the left of the line, the area designated for waiting for drinks has no restrictions and maskless masses congregate.

“I appreciate that Scripps is the campus that still continues to uphold mask mandates, but if they wanted to truly be effective in dining areas they need to rethink the actual policies,” Emma Liang ’26 said.

Scripps’ COVID-19 policies do not end with preventative measures, but extend to several testing and positive response policies. While weekly testing is no longer required, students are required to test within 48 hours of an onset of ‘COVID-like’ symptoms.

Scripps provides its students with easy access to COVID-19 testing. Students can test at the Tranquada Student Services Center Monday through Friday. Student Service Center business hours are Monday – Wednesday 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., Thursday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., Friday 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., with daily closures from 12 p.m. – 1 p.m. This semester, The Claremont Colleges introduced six test kit vending machines across the campuses available for submitting test samples Sunday to Friday until 5 p.m. The Scripps vending machine is located at the 240 House Testing Center on 240 E. 11th street, and information on how to use the test kit vending machines can be found at The Claremont Colleges Services website under the COVID-19 test kit vending machines tab.

Isolation policies remain in place for students who tested positive for COVID-19. Upon positive diagnosis students will be sent into isolation for 11 days. At the six day mark, students will be eligible to be released from isolation only if testing comes out negative. If testing remains positive, students will be held in isolation until day 11, after which they will be eligible to leave regardless of a negative COVID-19 test.

For more information on Scripps COVID-19 Policies, please refer to the Scripps Strong Website.

Image Source: Pomona College

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