To: The Caltech Community
From: Kevin M. Gilmartin, Vice President for Student Affairs
David A. Tirrell, Provost
Thomas F. Rosenbaum, President
Date: October 13, 2021
Re: Campus Events and Activities
The increased daily presence and interaction of faculty, students, staff, researchers, and scholars over the last month have reanimated campus. From the return of undergraduate students to campus residences to the participation of faculty, TAs, and students in classroom learning, we have shared the experience of a measured return to a richer and more familiar campus life.
During this time, we have been reassured to see very limited COVID case activity among members of the campus community. Careful planning and a measured approach to the return to campus have helped ensure the safety of our community, and upheld the integrity of our learning and research mission. We are grateful to all of you for adhering to masking, testing, and vaccination requirements.
With this experience to guide us, and with the Institute's mandatory vaccination policy fully effective as of Monday, October 18, we are prepared to reevaluate our policies governing campus events and activities, and to move forward with a measured relaxation of some current restrictions.
As of October 18, the Institute's guidelines for indoor and outdoor social events will be updated to allow employee-based campus groups, administrative units, academic departments, and laboratories to host activities for up to 50 people on campus as long as all participants adhere to campus preventative health measures. In all such events, all participants must follow requirements for masking and vaccination, both of which are mandatory for all individuals in indoor spaces.
Any Caltech-sponsored event or activity that might exceed the 50-person limit must have advance approval from the host's division or administrative leadership. In accordance with Student Affairs' policies and protocols, any event or activity hosted by student organizations or residences will need to be approved through the Office of Residential Experience's event registration process, and may be subject to additional COVID-related restrictions. Plans for social events should support physical distancing and comply with capacity limits set for the event location.
In support of academic collaboration and our residential community values, all undergraduate students will soon be afforded access to all campus residences, and there will be a gradual scaling up of student social events and activities. Specific communication about policy changes for students will follow in the coming days. It is important to note that congregate living environments involve elevated risk, so that the relaxation of social restrictions will occur in a phased manner, and will require continued student compliance with surveillance testing and masking policies, as well as all campus health and safety measures.
We thank all of you for your continued care and diligence in protecting the health and well-being of the Caltech community.
For additional information on the Institute's response, including guidance on events and implementation of the vaccination policy, please see the FAQs on the Caltech Together website.