Returning to Campus: East Bay embarks on a ‘New Normal’ community

Capriccia Thomas, Health Editor

Cal State East Bay Fall Semester Returns to Campus for Students, Faculty, and Staff

Welcome back to the hill, Pioneers! California State University, East Bay announced the return to campus for many classes this semester for students. The university took preventive measures and implemented safety practices to ensure everyone’s health and well-being is a priority.

Pioneers can expect to see the newly implemented changes in how we learn and attend class, which has changed since classes were moved to online modalities due to COVID-19 in March 2020. In this new environment, students and faculty are adapting to our ‘new normal’ to remain academically successful as campuses reopen this fall semester.
As the campus repopulates, returning students may feel uneasy about campus life as we once knew it. Don’t fret, CSUEB has taken steps to make students, staff, and faculty feel comfortable on site. In light of this, COVID-19 testing is available Monday through Thursday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on campus from Aug. 30 to Sept. 9 in front of the University Health Center at the Hayward campus.
Weekly COVID-19 testing is offered to students, staff, and faculty who decline the vaccination. In accordance with CDC protocol, students who test positive will be mandated to quarantine for 14 days. Individuals who are exposed to COVID-19 by a positive individual will be notified of this exposure.
However, the identification of the person will remain confidential. Each situation will be seen case-by-case, but the Student Health Center recommends for students, staff, and faculty who feel ill to stay home, according to Deysi Callejas, a Clinical Assistant for the Student Health & Counseling Center. For instructions on how to register for COVID-19 testing, please visit here.
The California State University system is requiring in-person students and staff to be fully vaccinated by Sept. 15. Valid exemptions are granted on the basis of religious and medical reasons. Students can upload proof of their vaccination through the MyCSUEB portal. For more information, please visit here.
CSUEB has partnered with La Familia to provide the Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines. The vaccines will be offered on campus on Sept. 14 in the Old University Union from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
A government-issued ID or Baycard is required to receive the vaccine. Registration is required. Masks will be mandated for students, staff, and faculty on campus, both indoors and outdoors.
The Student Health and Counseling Services Center is available for students to make appointments and have access to their facilities while on campus. Their services include basic care for most illnesses and injuries, health worries and concerns, as well as contraceptive services. For students who may be feeling anxious about the return to campus, the counseling department will be available daily via Zoom (telehealth appointment system) or in-person.
“The health portal is completely confidential. Telehealth allows enrolled students to access the services available even if they live up to six hours away from campus,” Callejas revealed.
Along with physical health, medical professionals and professors have stressed the need for people to maintain their mental health.
“Use this time to maintain healthy relationships with both new and old friends. Students should keep in touch with friends even if they no longer live in the same city or state. Maintaining relationships is so important, especially in this day and age. Avoid people who may have a negative effect on their studies or their happiness and outlook in general,” Dr. Kenneth Curr, Ph.D. stated, associate professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at CSUEB.
As we all begin this ‘new normal’ together, it is imperative that we practice the safety measures in place to ensure that our campus remains a hub for academic success.
“Stay focused on your coursework. It’s easy to get distracted when taking an online course. Try to engage in the class. Students should remember that they are trying to become a professional and the world doesn’t wait for life to be uncomplicated. Remote learning, though unpleasant, is not impossible,” Curr added.
We are all in this together, we can each do our part in following the health guidelines and utilize the resources available on campus to create a stronger community thriving mentally, physically, and academically.