By Maria Flores, Aug. 24, 2021

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Cal Poly Pomona eliminated in-person interactions and shifted to a digital learning environment in 2020. However, this academic year, students, faculty and staff are welcomed back with the option of some face-to-face instruction and services.

As the Cal Poly Pomona community returns, all campuses are required to follow the COVID-19 vaccination policy, as CPP implements the safer return three-step checklist. The CSU policy requires all students, staff and faculty to show proof of weekly negative COVID-19 tests, or they can request a medical or religious exemption. Students, faculty and staff must upload and approve their vaccination record card by Sept. 30. For the CPP checklist, students must understand COVID-19 protocols, complete the daily health screener, practice social distancing, maintain personal hygiene and use Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

The CPP community shared its thoughts for stepping on-campus this fall semester.

Jalen Chevalier | Returning biology student (Courtesy of Jalen Chevalier)

 

“I wish there were more in-person classes. Being in person, I am able to go to the library, sit down and have a quiet place to study. I feel like online classes make it harder to focus because I have a whole bunch of distractions, like my bed, right beside me, my TV right behind me and my XBOX controller not too far away. I understand with the delta variant, our campus is very cautious and requires vaccinations and a negative COVID-19 test, but at the same time, I feel like they are trying to force the decision on unvaccinated students. Hopefully, we don’t have to go back online anytime soon, and we progress toward staying in-person because the campus experience is completely different compared to being online.”

 

 

 

 

Angel Ramirez | Incoming hospitality management student (Courtesy of Angel Ramirez)

 

 

“As a first-year student, I feel kind of nervous and confused about my classes because all of them are going to be part in-person and part online. Some classes, I have to show up once a week. Since the new variant is contagious, the best way to prevent it is to get vaccinated. Even though I am already vaccinated, I will continue to wear my mask until this problem is gone. We are in a pandemic. I call on all the students to continue doing their part to stop the pandemic and have control again. The cases are not stopping. It’s growing to the extreme, and that is scary.”

 

 

 

 

Ryan Houston | Incoming mechanical engineering student (Courtesy of Ryan Houston)

 

“The least thing I am looking forward to is the change of lifestyle. Since I am a STEM major, I know it can get pretty hard, but since it’s mainly GE courses I am not too concerned and since we haven’t had any social interaction and in-person classes for a while, I am excited. It is nice we are coming back. I am looking forward to meeting new people and hanging around at campus. I have already participated in multiple on-campus activities, and I have been networking with a lot of friends and peers. I’m feeling really excited to see new people because I feel like there is a family I can go to to.”

 

 

 

 

 

Andrew Steele | Biological science associate professor (Courtesy of Andrew Steele)

 

 

 

“I think Cal Poly handled the pandemic response poorly on a number of levels. I feel the administration put zero faculty input, like zero faculty input, and they took the stance that they were going to have zero transmissions on campus. Like the idea that the campus had to be locked down like a prison to me was so crazy. They put up cones in the driveway and the parking lots. This is your campus, this is for you guys. You paid for it with your tuition, California state taxpayers pay for it, for you guys. If the administrators want to sit home in their slippers and pajama bottoms and stay on Zoom meetings, that’s fine. I don’t see whythey are trying to deprive most of us and the functions of the University. A University is to find truth.”

 

 

 

 

Robert Blumenfeld | Psychology associate professor (Courtesy of Robert Blumenfeld)

 

“The daily health screener is important, masks are important, but what is most important to me is the situation with ventilation in the classroom because air flow is critical given how contagious this virus is. I am a little concerned about coming back to campus. I don’t know what the classroom is going to look like, we’ll know soon. I don’t know what my students are like. Will it be a case where my students will comply or not comply with the mask policy? This year there is a lot of uncertainty and there is a lot of change in the administration, but I will say we are ready to teach.”

 

 

Featured image courtesy of Sergey Kolomiyets.

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