Jackie Espitia | Mustang News

Brayden Martinez is an architecture engineering sophomore and Mustang News opinion columnist. The views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of Mustang News.

There are many flaws with how Cal Poly administration handled bringing students back onto campus after winter break.

They failed to provide enough time for students to get settled back into campus housing before classes started and overall did not provide a safe and smooth transition for students as they arrived. 

Administration had two options to properly ensure the safety and wellbeing of its students: either they should have mandated students to test before they returned to campus or they should have mandated the first week of classes to be entirely virtual so that students could safely test and quarantine during that time.

The most glaring issue with the transition back to classes is the timing of it all. 

I have heard a lot of people saying that the administration did not want to let us back onto campus the Saturday before the quarter started due to the threat of massive New Years parties, yet, I don’t see why we couldn’t have at least received a courtesy day of recovery on Monday in order to recuperate and unpack. 

Instead, students were thrust straight into the fray of new classes, a transition that many were not necessarily ready to make. 

We directly saw the repercussions of the administration’s actions, as we saw a stark rise in cases on campus from students who are returning and testing. This all could have been avoided by notifying students more than a week in advance that they would need to get tested to come back onto campus. 

These are all things that should have been addressed before we went to break. It isn’t as if we haven’t seen the writing on the wall for some time now, especially with the rise in cases due to the omicron variant over winter break, (as can be seen from the CDC’s data tracker). I am sure most students, like myself, were shocked to not receive any news regarding any new guidelines until the last week of break, when President Armstrong issued a mandate for boosters. This last-minute change in plans leaves the Cal Poly community wondering why a plan wasn’t thought out sooner

Students should have had to test negative at least three days before coming back to campus, test again once on campus, and the first week should have been made entirely virtual.

Yes, this is not a perfect solution to fix all of the problems that have arisen; however, it is a course of action (that I came up with in two seconds based on precedence) that is better than the plan that the paid staff came up with when they had months to prepare. 

It’s not fair to risk exposure for thousands of students just because people somehow still can’t get their act together in almost two years of the same situation.

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