Students spill the tea about Long Beach State University’s COVID-19 protocols

Photo courtesy of An Dinh

An Dinh is a second-year student majoring in business administration with an emphasis in marketing and management. This semester, she is only taking one in-person class while the other four are online. Next semester, four out of her five classes will be in-person.

While Dinh is happy with the school’s efforts overall, she feels that more improvements can be made.

“It does make things a lot easier given that students are abiding by the mask requirements,” she said. “However, I feel as though the daily COVID-19 all student prescreen can be very tedious and may not be as accurate as the school might hope.”

Dinh works for the College of Business’s academic advising office, and says that students must be screened for check marks on their health survey before they can be helped.

“A majority of them either forget to fill out the form or don’t even know what the form is,” Dinh said.

Though she hopes COVID is eradicated by next semester, it’s unlikely, she says. She worries about the rise of the omicron variant and hopes students will get their booster shots to combat the potential spread of this relatively unknown variant.

“Schools can implement temperature checks before entering classrooms since students can easily lie about their symptoms on the daily survey,” she added.

Photo courtesy of Leila Gonzalez

Leila Gonzalez, a second-year graduate student majoring in German studies, is taking two in-person classes this fall. Next semester she’ll be taking three.

CSULB has handled COVID protocols moderately well, according to Gonzalez.

“Something I would have done differently is how the university addresses being maskless indoors,” she said. “Buildings, like the library, will make an announcement reminding people to wear a mask at all times, but people will usually ignore it, at least from what I’ve seen.”

Like Dinh, Gonzalez is worried about the rise of the omicron variant and “wouldn’t be surprised” if we were forced to go into lockdown again. She hopes to see the policies put in place by the university strictly enforced next semester. While she feels comfortable within her cohort, she worries about the behavior of the campus as a whole.

Photo courtesy of Harmony Hernandez

Harmony Hernandez, a fourth-year student studying political science, communication studies and legal studies, is only taking one in-person class this semester.

Hernandez feels underwhelmed by the school’s COVID protocols.

“Honestly, CSULB handled the pandemic the same way it handles everything, with its own interests in mind,” she said. “I’ll give CSULB credit for the vaccination and testing centers, [but] that’s the bare minimum. They could have offered more support for students, expanded counseling and psychological services or done something to provide support to students who were struggling with housing security.”

Next semester, all four of her classes will be in-person. Hernandez thinks the student COVID prescreen is a “pain in the butt” but necessary. This semester, she’s had trouble finding secluded places on campus to Zoom from or to study.

Photo Courtesy of Andres De Dios

Andres de Dios is a third-year liberal studies major with two in-person classes and two online classes.

“I honestly feel safe in my classes and outside,” de Dios said. “I know that this semester you had to be vaxxed to be on campus and that gave me more peace of mind.”

His in-person classes also have smaller class sizes and are in rooms meant for larger groups, which he feels comforted by.

He admits that he’s worried, to an extent, about the omicron variant but feels that his best course of action is continuing to wear his mask and get his booster shot.

“There’s only so much you can do,” de Dios said. “I wear my mask and double up. But, I’m trying not to think about it a lot. I’m trying to just get through the holidays and then figure it out.”

Photo courtesy of Emily Tsuji

Emily Tsuji is a third-year student majoring in film with an emphasis in broadcast production. Her television studio production class is her only in-person class. However, next semester she will have three classes on campus.

Tsuji believes that, compared to other universities, LBSU has handled COVID protocols well.

“I appreciate the enforcement of masks and the implementation of COVID tracing if someone I had contact with were to test positive,” Tsuji said. “Living in housing, I have seen a lot of COVID protocols implemented including mask enforcement, monthly testing and designated quarantine rooms ready to go.”

Next semester, she hopes that the current protocols remain implemented. The access to free COVID testing has been another thing that offered Tsuji peace of mind, she says.

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