By Ricky Guandique, Oct. 12, 2021
Cal Poly Pomona officially returned to campus for the Fall 2021 semester and I for one am enjoying being on campus for the first time in a year and a half. Now midway through this term, I think it’s time to look at how this new format of classes has been going.
CPP has confirmed plans to have students back on campus at near-full capacity next spring. Will our student body be ready to return following such a long hiatus and 16 weeks of a warm-up to a fully populated university?
I feel that CPP has done a great job bringing students back this semester in a smaller dose than pre-COVID. Those of us who are on campus for our classes on a weekly basis have been fortunate enough to be the successful experiment of this format.
Things aren’t completely back to normal, as we still must wear masks, we’ve lost a lot of indoor spaces around campus and there are still students who have fully asynchronous classes and don’t have to commute to campus at all.
A direct effect of students taking classes online is the parking lots, structures and roads on campus have flowed without traffic backups. I’ve enjoyed the fact that I no longer need to drive around for an hour or more to find a parking spot.
I enjoy seeing my fellow classmates and professors in person and not just through Zoom lectures. The compromise for seeing them is that we all have to wear masks while indoors, but it is a valid precaution to take, and it is not the worst thing in the world.
This hybrid structure entails coming to class one time per week for each of my current classes, while the other lecture period of the week is held virtually. I feel this has been a good balance.
I’m allowed that in-person social interaction and at the same time I save gas, time and money by not having to commute to campus every day of the week. I also find it difficult to stay attentive during Zoom lectures, so it’s refreshing not being stuck with that as my only learning option anymore.
Another compromise of being back on campus is there are many indoor spaces on campus that are still not completely open. This includes the ASI Games Room in the BSC, study areas that are regulated by reservations to limit the amount of people in an enclosed area and most restaurants on-campus.
CPP resource centers are also open this semester for in-person assistance. These include the Learning Resource Center, the Disability Resource Center and the Poly Pantry.
During the campus closure, these sources were unfortunately unavailable to the students who could have really used them and their hands-on assistance.
I understand that there are students who still have their classes fully online. Some would love to be back on campus, while others are fine with continuing forward learning remotely as they are still looking to be cautious of the lingering virus.
We are proof for all students who will be taking classes in the Spring 2022 term that CPP has our safety as its highest priority. Although our learning experience isn’t what it was before March 2020, it is a big step in the right direction of retaining that student life once again.
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