1/16: Letter from Provost Zukoski and Vice President Crisp

Dear Students,

We are happy to welcome you back to USC’s virtual campus for the beginning of the Spring semester. As classes resume, we want to remind those of you currently living in the surrounding neighborhoods of your collective responsibility to stay home and stay safe.

While many of you have remained at home, we strongly advise anyone not already in the Los Angeles area to delay their return.

We know some students are already here in the vicinity of USC and we want to remind you that we must be good neighbors. If you do not mask up, wash your hands, stay six feet away and only interact with those in your household, you run the risk of harming our surrounding community. With hospitals at capacity, we all need to do our part to keep neighborhoods safe. The COVID-19 safety guidelines we shared at the beginning of the fall semester, and USC’s new testing policy , are even more critical now with the state of public health in Los Angeles.

While we understand that maintaining social distance and spending time alone can be difficult – and not what any of us had hoped for – you are not permitted to host or attend in-person gatherings. Current Los Angeles County safety guidelines discourage you from interacting with anyone outside of your household. We expect all students to abide by County and City guidelines and if the university receives a report about students or student organizations who are not complying with these measures, or putting the health and safety of themselves and others at risk, these individuals and organizations will be held accountable.


  • The University will take the names of students who are attending gatherings, or not physically distancing or wearing face coverings, and will follow-up with them directly.
  • Students may be barred from accessing university premises for the rest of the semester, including the USC Village. Tuition refunds will not be granted to students whose coursework is affected as a result.
  • To the extent failure to comply with this guidance constitutes a violation of the University’s Student Code of Conduct, students may be subject to disciplinary sanctions, including probation, suspension or expulsion, and student organizations may lose their recognition.
  • If the failure to comply with this guidance also goes against County or City rules, students may be, separately, found responsible by government authorities and subject to monetary fines.

If a repeated failure to adhere to these guidelines, by individuals or organizations, emerges as we continue through the Spring semester, these actions may be considered intentional and carry more serious disciplinary consequences.

While we recognize these are stark responses, we are in the midst of an unprecedented surge of this disease. However, we are proud of all the work you and your peers are doing to keep us all safe while still building and maintaining a vibrant USC community. We want to recognize the tremendous efforts by our students and student leaders to stay involved and engaged with our student body across the globe.

If you or a friend is struggling, please sign on to MySHR and consider attending a Let’s Talk session, scheduling an individual counseling appointment, signing up for a workshop or checking out the group counseling available through USC Student Health’s Counseling and Mental Health services.

Please commit to protecting yourself, your peers, your neighbors and the entire Trojan community.

Thank you,

Charles F. Zukoski
Provost and Senior Vice President,
Academic Affairs

Winston B. Crisp
Vice President for Student Affairs