Chabot College’s in-person classes were officially back on Feb. 7. Changes on campus have been to help keep students, staff, and faculty safe.
The campus originally closed back on Mar. 19, 2020. While most believed the stay-at-home orders would be lifted in a short time, it’s safe to say most couldn’t have imagined the toll that COVID-19 took on the world.
“I’m Excited!” Juan Pablo Mercado Ph.D. and history professor at Chabot expressed ecstatically, “Just in the classroom you can feel the difference in the energy compared to the zoom sessions”
When asked if he felt safe, “Safer than last year.” Professor Mercado did mention that if mask mandates were removed right now, then he would be concerned.
To be eligible for in-person classes, your COVID-19 vaccines must have already been cleared with the school. Emails were sent out last semester to students through Zonemail, although not everyone may have noticed.
If students still need assistance they can find “How to Submit COVID Vaccination for Students” on the school’s website. These requirements will continue into the Fall 2022 semester until further notice.
Everyone is still required to wear a mask on campus, the KN95 masks are recommended. Most classes have extras available for students.
Before entering the building students and all faculty needed to provide proof of vaccination and ID, a sticker is placed on the ID that can be shown at the entryways to staff.
Locations to acquire this sticker include, the cafeteria (2300), the library, (100), and student services (700).
For Nashita Ishaque, this is her first face-to-face semester at Chabot. She’s been to the campus a few times before January, but only to pick up some equipment.
Ishaque was very excited for this semester as she is working on one of the vaccine confirmation table setups at the bookstore in building 3800. She is paid as a student assistant through student services, positions are still available and more information is under Chabot’s “Student Life” page.
“This is my first job ever!” Ishaque was excited to get an opportunity that works with her schedule and doesn’t require any experience. She has her school work with her and is still able to check vaccination proof quite easily, all while keeping a safe distance and always wearing the mask.
The bookstore tries to accommodate everyone and staff members will even step outside if needed and assist you from there.
Other changes include the number of entrances and exits in a building. The 100 building only has one entrance that students must go through to get to the library located on the second floor.
The cafeteria has two entry points, both require vaccination proof before entering. The service hours of the cafeteria have been shortened too. What used to be 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. is now 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. The staff is technically hired through Pacific Dining and their hours are based on what that company can afford to pay them.
Maria Rodriquez, Pacific Dining staff member, is trying her best to adjust to the changes. “We don’t have the Mexican food options or the salad bar,” Rodriquez explained how the menu options are still limited.
“I don’t know when we will be able to open fully again.”
While the Mexican food bar, the salad bar, and Starbucks cafe are currently closed, there are a few upsides.
Free handcrafted lunch bowls were offered for the spring semester every Thursday until Mar. 31, However free breakfast is still available every morning. Rodriquez also notes that she doesn’t know if this offer will be taken off the table anytime soon, but encourages everyone to come and enjoy it while they can.
“Try coming in at 11 a.m.!” Rodriguez emphasizes that most of their best food items tend to run out quickly. “After 12 to 12:30, it’s just leftovers.”
While most classes are back on campus there are still plenty of classes available online. For some students, there’s nothing like face-to-face education.
“Everyone learns differently” Andrew Chavez, a soon-to-be graduating Chabot student stated. “I’m a hands-on type of learner.”
Chavez explains that having the ability to use on campus facilities is extremely helpful. Being able to come to school, use a computer, and have a space for students to focus on themselves is important to him.
If students need COVID-19 testing the Student Health Center is located in building 2300 on the second floor. They also have a table set up outside the center. COVID-19 vaccines and booster shots are also available but appointments might be needed. More information can be located on the school’s website under “Student Health Center”
There will still be a continuation of school events on Zoom. (mixers, guest speakers, meetings, etc.) However, in person events have already started to pop up and more will continue as regulations change.