Family Questions and Answers

International Students

Q: Can international students come early if they haven’t had two vaccinations?

A: We encourage international students who do not expect to be vaccinated before their Aug. 26 arrival date to contact DSA so we can best advise you.

Q: I am an International student. What happens to my visa if I choose to take a semester or year off?

Returning Students: If you choose to take a semester off please be mindful of the expiration date of your current visa. If your visa expires prior to your return to campus you WILL need to apply for a new one. If you are in the USA and choose to take a semester off, you will need to leave the country as you will not be in status.

Q: I am an International student. What happens to my SEVIS record if I choose to take a semester or year off?

Incoming Students: If you submit your paperwork to the ISS, a SEVIS record will be created when all the required documents are received. If you choose to attend at a later date the program start date of your SEVIS record will be pushed back to reflect your new start date. This will preserve your I-901 fee if it has already been paid. Upon your return, you will need to submit new documentation before a new I-20 or DS-2019 is sent to you for your consular appointment.

Returning Students: If you choose to take some time away from Mudd, your SEVIS record will be terminated for Early Authorized Withdrawal. Please keep in mind that this may affect your ability to participate in CPT, OPT and AT. For F-1 students: If you plan to return within 5 months of the date of termination, there may be a possibility to reactivate your SEVIS record. If you do not return within the 5 month window, you will need to get a new SEVIS record and your employment clock will restart and you will need to be enrolled for 9 months (one academic school year) before you are eligible for CPT/OPT again. For J-1 students: you will need to get a new SEVIS record, there is no ability to reinstate your previous record. You will need to submit new documentation before a new I-20 or DS-2019 can be issued to you. If your visa will still be valid when you return, then you will not need to apply for a new one; a valid visa is a valid visa.

Reopening

Q: Are our decisions about opening and other requirements based on county or state requirements?

A: Our decisions are based on requirements from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.

Q: Is there a timeline for when we’ll know about returning to campus in the fall?

A: LACDPH has told us that barring any additional surges in cases, they expect we will be allowed to have students in residence on campus this fall. We are waiting to receive additional protocols to learn what additional safety measures will be required.

Q: Is there any expectation of coming announcements from LA County that would affect us?

A: Yes. We participate in a weekly call with LACDPH. Our ability to bring students back to campus and resume normal operations this fall depends on how well vaccinations roll out and how the numbers of positive cases and hospitalizations decrease. The county has stated clearly that even when schools reopen, we should expect to continue the COVID-19 precautions we’ve been following.

Academics

Q: What is the typical fall first year schedule?

A: More information on the Core, including typical schedules for students are available in the College Catalogue.

Q: What is the first day of school for fall?

A: Aug. 30.

Q: When are first-year exams?

A: The schedule will be posted on the registrar’s site. For first-year students, there is a faculty committee with one person from each department that looks at the schedule overall to make sure students are not overtaxed with too many exams too close together.

Holidays and Breaks

Q: Are campus and residence halls closed for Thanksgiving holidays?

A: Residence halls will be available, but dining options will be limited.

Q: If we plan to buy tickets to go home for Thanksgiving, what time will classes end?

A: We do not have classes on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. As soon as students receive a schedule in late August, you will know what time their last Tuesday class ends and should be able to determine when they may fly home.

Q: How long is winter break?

A: Roughly one month long. From Dec. 17 or so until Jan. 18.

Catalogue Matters

Q: When will course selection for first-year students happen?

A: Pre-registration will be in August. Selection of courses will mostly be based on placement or the Core requirements. Students will receive information about pre-registration in July.

Residence Life and Move-in

Q: If they live more than 500 miles away, can we move in on Aug. 26?

A: No. Please don’t book flights for dates on which you are not allowed to move into the residence halls.

Q: Will we be allowed to move to campus early?

A: No. Only mentors and proctors are being allowed to move in early. If you believe you have a special circumstance, you will need to contact the Division of Student Affairs.

Q: Do we give travel reimbursements to get to Mudd in August?

A: Most students who receive a need-based aid package will have the cost of two round trip tickets between their home and campus (one ticket to get to campus and one to return home for the winter break) included. The amount provided in your aid package is based on where you live and the distance from your home to the campus.

Q: Will first years be assigned a time slot to move into residence halls?

A: Yes.

Q: Is it safe to leave kitchen appliances in the shared kitchens in the residence hall?

A: While all of our students adhere to the College’s Honor Code, we encourage everyone to use common sense and not leave expensive equipment out in the open.

Q: Should students bring their own utensils for cooking meals?

A: We encourage students to reach out to their suite-mates so they can discuss who will bring what and avoid bringing more than they need. Students may also want to come to campus first to see what is already available.

Q: Do first year students all live in one residence hall?

A: No; they are spread all over the residential end of campus; including the off-campus apartments at Arrow Vista apartments.

Q: Will my student’s mailbox number stay the same each year? What is the address?

A: Students will have the same address during their four years at Mudd. You will be able to ship things to arrive a few days prior to your arrival at Mudd. The address format is:

Student Name & Mailbox #
340 E. Foothill Boulevard
Claremont, CA 91711-3116

Q: Will fall athletes be able to move in earlier than the move in date?

A: Yes, based on CMS protocols. If your students early fall athletes, please make sure they contact their coaches to determine when their move-in dates are.

Q: Is the early move in for athletes only for fall sports?

A: Yes. Winter sports may also have early move-in prior to the beginning of the Winter term.

Q: Will roommates be the same for all four years?

A: No. Students have a choice each year of who their roommates will be.

Q: What about room assignments for students who are gender nonbinary or nonconforming?

A: Students are encouraged to contact reslife@hmc.edu, and we will work with them on their room assignment.

Q: Will all dorms be singles and doubles?

A: No; we are being allowed to offer singles, doubles, triples and quads this fall.

Q: If a vaccinated student is placed in a double occupancy room or in a suite, will they be placed with a student who is vaccinated?

A: Yes, vaccinated students will be placed in suites with other vaccinated students. We are requiring that all students who do not have a medical or religious exemption be vaccinated in order to return to campus.

Q: Will first-year students be allowed to have cars on the campus?

A: Not unless they choose to live at the off-campus Arrow Vista Apartments. If they select this housing option, given the distance from campus (app. 1.1 miles), they will be allowed to have a car during their first year.

Q: Have you had any problems with bicycles being stolen at Mudd? Are electric bicycles allowed on campus?

A: Students are allowed to have electric bicycles on campus. In terms of bicycle theft, we always strongly encourage students to lock their bikes while leaving them on campus.

Mental and Physical Wellbeing

Q: It will be thrilling to be back on campus. When the thrill subsides, how will the College support students’ mental health to deal with the traumas of pandemic?

A: We encourage students to use the 24/7 7C HEALTH service, which we will be continuing next year. We’ll have in-person and also virtual support. Student Affairs is looking at ways to support healthy celebrations and to help our students integrate back to in-person communities. ASHMC is also working on this. Because LA County is trying to be careful, they are still limiting celebrations to about 100 people.

Q: Have all students who needed mental health services had access?

A: We believe so. We have a new service (7C HEALTH) through Timely.Md that provides 24/7 support that is free for students. We also have offered a number of wellness activities and events and have seen an increasing number of students attending those.

Q: Does Mudd provide special insurance for student athletes?

A: No; they receive the same coverage as other students.

Q: Are there doctors and medical help if students are not feeling well?

A: We have a medical clinic at Student Health Services as well as on-call physicians. In addition, there are local hospitals, and we will help students get to the hospital or urgent care if they need after hours/emergency treatment.

Q: Are there pharmacies near campus?

A: Yes; the closest is Von’s pharmacy.

Q: Does SHS accept health insurance the students already have?

A: Yes. Students will learn how to submit claim forms; Student Health Services does not bill your outside insurance.

Q: Have the insurance coverage requirements to waive out of SHIP changed with the new company administering it or are they the same coverage requirements as previous years?

A: We have a new company we are working with, but the coverage requirement should be the same, as well as the process to waive out. If you have questions or if you have a change, please contact the DSA office, and we can work with you and with our new provider.

Q: Does student health insurance include vision and dental?

A: Yes, although there is an additional fee.

Events

Q: Will there be any in-person events before Aug. 27 (for local students)?

A: No. With the exception of those still on campus for summer research, the campus is closed to anyone not authorized to be here. We plan to offer limited tours in June with preference given to enrolling students who have not been able to visit previously. These will be self-guided tours, and you will not be allowed to enter the academic buildings. We will share information soon on the self-guided tour options.

Q: Do you anticipate doing future in-person events with a remote/zoom component? Like Family Weekend in February?

A: It is a little too early to say at this point. We have been talking about things like hybrid meetings and are testing some new technology. What we do not want to do is have hybrid approaches to teaching because of our commitment to providing hands-on learning opportunities for our students. Trying to do both in person and remote teaching at the same time presents the worst of all possible scenarios for our faculty and our students. That said, we are looking at how things like office hours could be done via Zoom and how we might offer additional online event options, but it is too soon to provide more specific information.

Q: Are there any specific activities that are planned for the class of 2024?

A: Yes, they’ll have the sophomore experience that we normally do in January. We’ll be doing it during the spring semester.

Q: Can you speak to plans for restarting the HMC culture when half the student body will be new and when bonds between upper class students aren’t as fully developed as in prior years?

A: We are definitely concerned about this. Our student advisory board is excited about their plans to cultivate HMC’s culture of collaboration among the student body. The pods that were created over the past year have helped. Once dorm officer elections are held, they will begin working to make these plans for the fall semester. We’ve doubled the support for these areas within student affairs. President Klawe plans to host the Asking for Help dinner series at the Garrett House, inviting first years and sophomores to participate.
We have a great deal of confidence in our community, and the Mudd juniors and seniors are as committed to helping integrate the classes of 2024 and 2025 into the campus so that we don’t lose the amazing Mudd community. We have a culture of collaboration that we want to nurture, and we’ll see a lot of attentiveness to provide opportunities to have coached experiences on collaboration to dovetail these other experiences.

Q: Will students be allowed to have dorm meetings or 1C parties in the fall?

A: Yes, all 5C campuses will be allowing 1C-only parties. There will be constraints based on LACDPH guidelines regarding the number of people who can gather at one time.

Q: Can parents see a list of student events?

A: We would love to have families to encourage their students to participate in events. The Division of Student Affairs has updates, and you also receive monthly emails through the Office of Alumni and Parent Relations. If you are not receiving monthly email newsletters from APR, you can email parents@hmc.edu and ask to be added to the mailing list.You also can subscribe/follow the DSA social media accounts to see announcements about events.

Q: Will CMS athletics be back to normal this fall?

A: We are working with CMS Athletics and the NCAA. We will have athletics this year, but we are not yet exactly sure about what the safety protocols and other requirements will be yet. We anticipate student athletes will receive more information from the CMS athletics director soon.

Q: Can students participate in athletic teams if they are not recruited athletes?

A: We have a strong intramural program that is open to all students. If students want to participate in CMS NCAA Division III Athletics, they should contact the coach for the particular sport they are interested in pursuing.

COVID-19 Precautions

Q: Can you talk about COVID-19 testing?

A: If fully vaccinated, we will not mandate that you be tested. However, if you are concerned that you may have been exposed and/or if you are symptomatic, students will be provided free testing through Student Health Services. In addition, those who are not vaccinated will be required to be tested twice each week. There are strict protocols in place for students who miss even one required COVID-19 test. Unvaccinated faculty and staff are also required to be tested.

Q: Will the college test waste water as part of surveillance?

A: We investigated this possibility and there isn’t enough separation of water from the residence halls to make it feasible to identify a specific building as having an issue. The County is satisfied with twice weekly testing, especially for this fall.

Q: Whom should we contact for exemptions from vaccination?

A: Contact the Division of Student Affairs or VP for Student Affairs Anna Gonzalez. Depending on the type of exemption requested, we may ask you to also speak with Dr. Jindall, the director of Student Health Services.

Q: If not vaccinated, can you live in residence halls?

A: Yes, but we will have some additional requirements. Students who are unvaccinated will have to adhere to including twice weekly required testing.

Q: What kind of vaccines will HMC accept?

A: Any vaccine that has received approval from the United States or the World Health Organization will be accepted. Students who have questions about a specific vaccine may contact the Division of Student Affairs.

Q: Will HMC provide vaccines for those not vaccinated already?

A: We encourage students to get vaccinated before they arrive on campus. If you do not have access, we will do our best to offer vaccine clinics, but we cannot guarantee their availability. If you are not from California, you will have to quarantine for 10 days and provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 test prior to being released from quarantine.

Q: Can you confirm that vaccinated students will not be placed in dorm rooms with non-vaccinated students (whether non-vaccination is due to religious exemption or otherwise)?

A: We are working on it but we will not “out” students based on vaccination status. We are working to ensure students who are unable to be vaccinated can be tested twice each week.

A: More details to come on this. Please make sure your student checks their email. We are working with the rest of the student deans across the consortium to have a consistent plan for vaccination verification. With or without this, there will still be a time limit for families to be on campus to assist with moving in.

Q: I heard there is a religious exemption for the vaccination. Is that required by law or a HMC choice?

A: It is required by law.

Q: Our family is fully vaccinated, so can we help with move-in?

A: We are allowing up to two individuals, whether friends or family, to help with move-in during both summer and fall. At present, the campus is largely closed. In the fall, our Dining Services will still have limitations, and we’ll have to keep to 6 feet of distancing, so we are limiting visitors as much as possible.

Q: How should my student notify the campus about their vaccination record?

A: They should upload their vaccination card to the Student Health Services portal. Students should follow the instructions to upload their cards. Please upload these as soon as they have completed the vaccination.

Q: For the SHS portal, can we just upload a picture of our vaccine card?

A: Yes, there are instructions on the portal on how to upload your completed vaccination card. Vaccines will be available from SHS for students who are not able to get them at home.

Q: There was the condition that the exposed student must have been vaccinated in the past three months, then it was dropped. Will we get a definitive answer of how long a strong immune response lasts after vaccination?

A: Until the science is clearer on how long the vaccines remain effective, we can’t answer that question. We continue to update our policies and procedures as we receive updated guidance from public health officials at the county, state and federal level.

Q: If my daughter can be vaccinated in our home state, will that be acceptable?

A: Absolutely. We encourage any student who is able to be vaccinated in their home state to do so as soon as possible.

Q: Can we do special housing accommodations for students who are vaccinated?

A: We are not planning to offer that at this time because of HIPAA.

Q: Are you mandating vaccination to students if they want to live on campus?

A: Yes, although there are exceptions for those with certain disabilities or who object for religious reasons.

A: All students will be supplied with cloth masks, hand sanitizer and digital thermometers. Cleaning supplies will be provided in residence halls and bathrooms.

Q: In the fall, what will be the rules about leaving the 5C consortium campuses?

A: We will be following guidance from the county, city and state. Claremont has a masking mandate currently, although Upland does not. You will be allowed to leave campus and to return. We just encourage you to be safe and to make sure you are following appropriate public health requirements.

Q: Since we will all be vaccinated upon returning to campus, why are there COVID restrictions like no triples, no cross-campus dining, etc.?

A: While we hope that all members of our community will be vaccinated, realistically, we know that won’t be possible. We anticipate that there will still be limits on the sizes of gatherings and other constraints per the LACDPH. Given the county’s recent move to the yellow tier for reopening, the guidance is still constantly changing.

Q: Will students be allowed to travel during fall break?

A: We expect so barring any future changes to the county and state guidelines.

Q: Will students still be required to stay in their bubble, or can students leave the campus?

A: Since we’re requiring students to be vaccinated, we anticipate that students would be allowed to leave campus provided they follow other public health requirements (masking, physical distancing, etc.)

Q: Will we be able to visit people at other local colleges?

A: Yes, you can visit, but you are not allowed to have other students inside your rooms.

Q: You have said students won’t be able to visit ‘other people’s rooms.’ Does this include students living in suites?

A: LA county uses the terms “rooms,” so we are attempting to confirm their definition. We think there can be guests in the residence hall, but we expect limitations on those guests being able to use the restrooms or enter the residence hall rooms.

Q: Do residence hall rooms have connected vents and is that a cause for concern?

A: Harvey Mudd College residence halls each have a different configuration for heating and cooling vents.

The Quad dorms (North, South (Marks), West and East) have dedicated units; the vents are not shared with other rooms.

Linde Hall is suite style with 3–4 rooms and a connected common lounge area. Each of these suites is served by a common unit with vents going from the dedicated unit to each room and lounge area. Vents are shared within the suite but there is no sharing of vents with neighboring suites.
Case Hall has dedicated units; the vents are not shared with other rooms. In some instances, some of the dedicated room units distribute air to the hallway but do not share with other rooms. DSA is working on a plan to manage the isolation protocol for students living in these specific rooms whose dedicated vents distribute air to the hallway.

Drinkward Residence Hall does not have any shared units; therefore, vents are not shared between rooms, O’s or suites.
Atwood Hall is suite style with 3–4 rooms and a connected common lounge area. Each room has a dedicated unit and each suite area has a dedicated unit. These units do not share vents with other rooms or suites.
Sontag Residence Hall is suite style with 3–4 rooms and connected common lounge area/ kitchen. Each room in the suite has dedicated units to each of the rooms with no shared vents between rooms. All common areas in suites have a dedicated unit with shared vents serving the common areas within the suite. There is no sharing of vents with neighboring suites.

Currently, all guidance from the CDC and LA County Public Health has not indicated any concerns with shared vents in living spaces. The main recommendation is to increase outside air circulation as much as possible by opening doors and windows wherever feasible. All College buildings have well-maintained, properly functioning ventilation systems, and as long as social distancing is adhered to, we do not anticipate the spaces that have shared vents presenting health risks to our students. The WHO had previously reported airborne transmission of the virus could occur only in health care settings through aerosol generating procedures. Most recently, the WHO stated some outbreak reports related to indoor crowded spaces have suggested the possibility of aerosol transmission, combined with droplet transmission, for example, during choir practice, in restaurants or fitness classes in spaces with inadequate ventilation. Furthermore, the WHO stated the proportion of exhaled droplet nuclei or of respiratory droplets that evaporate and generate aerosols, and the infectious dose of viable SARS-CoV-2 required to cause infection in another person are unknown and further testing is required. The College is evaluating and monitoring the implications of this new development. At the present time, we do not believe the residence halls fit into this category, since all residence halls have a properly functioning and well-maintained ventilation system.