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Holiday Operations - Message to Undergraduate Students

December 06, 2021

To: Caltech Undergraduate Students 
From: Kevin Gilmartin, Vice President for Student Affairs and Lesley Nye, Interim Dean of Undergraduate Students
Date: December 3, 2021
Re: Winter Break 

On November 18, 2021, President Rosenbaum, together with other Institute leaders, wrote to the community to address holiday travel. Today, I write to you to confirm the Institute's operational and testing plans for the upcoming winter break to best assist you with your own preparations for the end of the term. 

Winter break for undergraduate students begins on December 11, 2021, and the Institute will be closed from December 23, 2021, through January 2, 2022. This year, we strongly encourage students to depart for break, and we will make every effort to help students travel away from campus to be with their families and friends elsewhere. To inquire about available assistance, please contact the Dean of Undergraduate Students office at [email protected]. Whenever possible, we are also asking students to return to campus no earlier than December 31, 2021.

We recognize that some students need to remain on campus to participate in athletic or research activities, or because of challenges associated with international travel. During the break, members of the Office of Residential Experience and Caltech Security groups will be on campus to ensure support, and health and safety protocols will continue to be observed. Emergency on-call counseling services will be available, and the Athletic Center will be open. However, food service and all other administrative support offices will be closed beginning on December 23, 2021, until the campus reopens on January 3, 2022. 

All students must complete the online Undergraduate Winter Break Housing form and identify the days they will be staying in Caltech Housing. This registration process is a requirement of the housing contract and is necessary in order to ensure that the Institute is aware of all students' plans. The deadline to submit the Winter Break Housing form is Wednesday, December 8, 2021 at 12:00 PM (noon).

Consistent with the health and safety protocols established prior to the beginning of the fall term, all undergraduate students, regardless of living location and travel plans over the break, must present a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72-hours of arrival to campus as a condition of return. Information on acceptable testing protocol and additional details on this requirement can be found here.  

Students who are unable to make alternative plans for the winter break and who will be on campus must also submit a negative COVID-19 test result. Students will need to make arrangements in the community for testing, as Student Wellness Services will be closed from December 23, 2021, through January 2, 2022.

Upon return to campus, students must have their testing records checked in front of the Caltech Housing Office. Staff will be available between 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Monday, January 3, 2022, and Tuesday January 4, 2022. Students who receive a positive result must delay their return to campus and report the result through the COVID-19 Reporting Application.

Failing to complete the required testing before returning to campus, and providing evidence of a negative result, will count as a "strike" according to Caltech's testing protocol.

We appreciate your compliance with our plans to keep the campus and our students safe and supported and we look forward to everyone's safe return for the new term.