University considers testing options amid partial return to campus

By Diana Vasquez, April 6, 2021

Cal Poly Pomona President Soraya Coley joined ASI President Lucy Yu on March 25 for an online Q&A event, Lucy for Lattes, addressing the topics of commencement, the upcoming fall semester and the Duo app.

The last 30 minutes of the event was curated to answer anonymous questions from students.

“One of my favorite things this event brings is students and administration together,” said Yu. “I think that so many people usually see her and I in such a formal setting when we’re giving speeches, or when something’s going on. I think that what this event brings to the campus community is leadership in a casual setting.”

Lucy for Lattes initiated the conversation about the upcoming 2021 commencement that will be held in a drive-thru format at the Fairplex in Pomona in May. Coley explained that the event will be separated by college spanning four days. The invitation was also extended to the graduating class of 2020. Coley reiterated the importance of a center staging area and Yu confirmed that walking is still pending approval from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.

“You got to have a center ramp because we’ve got to have the focus on each student so that their family and their mamas can see their babies coming down that ramp and experience all the pride that comes with it,” said Coley. “That’s what we put forward to the LA County Public Health and now we are expecting their guidelines.”

An anonymous attendee asked about the opening of facilities like the library and BRIC. Yu confirmed that for the opening of the BRIC, they are awaiting to hear back from the LA County Department of Health. The return to in-person classes will prioritize labs, internships, activities and courses that use equipment. As of now only 750 sections will have an in-person component and courses that are over 30 people will remain online.

“I know that things are swirling around, and you’d like to have one thing that’s predictable, but for a little while longer, we’re going to have to be open to just shifting as we need to be,” said Coley. “We issued schedules and they’re going to be notes associated with classes. Students need to stay connected with us all through the summer because we’re going to need to be messaging them as things unfold.”

When revealing how a hybrid course will be designed on campus, sanitation within campus, temperature monitors and the classroom spacing are being discussed.

“When the vaccination was approved, the FDA approved it as an emergency use authorization and so by doing that it meant we could not require the vaccination,” said Coley. “If we’re not being able to require the vaccination, and still this is unfolding every day, we will need to do testing, so were going to need to test to make sure that people who are congregating don’t have the initial presentation of symptoms.”

According to Coley, the campus has been in touch with UCLA’s testing center to consider the frequency, manner and how to obtain the results. Coley said the priority is the health and safety of the campus community. She added that with so much to be implemented for the return of students, there will also be more work-study options for students on campus.

Yu addressed student concerns over the implementation of the Duo app. Coley agreed that there is a certain annoyance when it comes to logging in, but that these efforts were to protect the identity of students and staff.

According to Coley, Cal State Northridge, Cal State San Marcos and UC San Francisco had to pay millions of dollars in response to cyberattack.

According to Los Angeles Daily News, a hacker was able to obtain customer data from Cal State Northridge in May 2020, as Blackbaud, a third-party company tried to stop the attack. CPP experienced a similar data breach in 2019 when a university employee leaked student data by email.

When the floor opened for students to ask questions, the Feminist Fight Club requested to meet with Coley and Yu to take initiative on the passed by ASI in support of reproductive and Trans inclusive healthcare.

Blanca Martinez, a third-year anthropology student, said this was the perfect opportunity to have their presence seen as a club and mention its justice campaign that focuses on reproductive justice and respecting student autonomy to further discuss implementations and development from the resolution. Yu and Coley said they were more than willing to meet with the club.

“For any student clubs, or student organizations that are trying to bring change to campus these are important meetings to attend,” said Martinez. “It’s hard to get our presence seen and known during the pandemic, I would definitely encourage others to use this platform so that administration and ASI can see that even though we’re not on campus, we’re still putting in the work trying to create change.”

Feature image Georgia Valdes | The Poly Post.

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