Returning to campus in the future will change campus life


Photo by Kat Parra

Campus life is on hold until Fall 2021 until then CSUSM classes will be held virtually.

Tania Ortiz, Opinion Editor

Campus life is on hold for the time being and now that we know classes will unfortunately remain online through the spring, the question remains if we will feel comfortable returning in fall 2021. 

With campus being closed, students are not receiving the same amount of socialization with peers as they would before the pandemic hit. 

Along with state mandates coming and going, the discussion of how to approach reopening of college campuses (and schools in general) has been on constant rotation in the news. Every day there is new information on how to prevent the pandemic from spreading in public places.

In the news, we are witnessing trial and error from universities across the nation, some that are close to home that are allowing students back on their campuses with restrictions. 

With the slightest move, there can be another outbreak and thousands of students would have to quarantine themselves. The decision to keep virtual classes will (hopefully) help prevent the number of cases to increase and serves as a reality check to those who are not taking the pandemic seriously. Once everything winds down, there are going to be limits to the way we are used to experiencing campus life. 

CSUSM would have to make sure there is a sufficient amount of scientific research indicating the pros and cons of returning to campus as the number of cases are still increasing. 

We all know that life after the pandemic is going to alter the way we go about life, and might as well get used to how things are now.  I would not necessarily feel uncomfortable when we get the chance to return to campus next fall, but I would feel less anxious if there were safety protocols. Having protocols in place will make students feel safe to return to campus and not fear a future outbreak.

In public places, like grocery stores and restaurants, there is constant sanitation when someone has used the self-checkout or finished their dinner. How would this same method maintain a clean space be applied to our campus?

CSUSM is home to thousands of students who occupy the space to its fullest extent, there would be difficulties in making sure all of the spaces utilized by students and faculty are sanitized each time being used. 

One of two things can occur in this situation: 1) the custodial employees will become overworked having to sanitize each time someone leaves or 2) there would have to be less furniture and students will have to hold themselves accountable for ensuring clean spaces. 

With the second option, buildings would need to have occupancy limits, and classes are scheduled strategically, where there’s not a cut in courses available but still prevent outbreaks from happening.

The decision of staying virtual for spring does not really surprise me with the way things are going. It sucks to say it because I want to return to campus as much as the next person. We would all have to be on our toes to ensure that our return to campus next fall will be comfortable for everyone.

Since we will not be returning to campus until the next academic year at the earliest, all we can do right now is hope the situation does not get worse than this.