San Marcos – Palomar College has reopened its main campus and education centers located in Fallbrook, Rancho Bernardo, and Escondido for in-person courses and services on Tuesday, February 22, 2022, according to the Palomar News.
Previously, all Palomar College campuses were moved to online-only for courses and services, with limited face-to-face interaction for internships, clinical uses, and laboratory uses on March 30th, 2020, the Palomar News report.
As most students eagerly flood into campus grounds and return to in-person classes, some can’t help feeling nervous about stepping foot on Palomar College. However, thanks to Palomar’s safety precautions and procedures, nervous students have started to overcome the fear of attracting the virus when returning to in-person classes.
“I was pretty worried because of Covid,” stated Maritza Ruiz a student studying Photography and Business at Palomar College during an interview. “But then when all of us took the precaution of cleaning and wearing masks, I felt more comfortable.”
Ruiz believes that Palomar is providing proper safety measures for In-person classes, stating “there’s a lot of sanitization” going on in Palomar. She seemed confident that her in-person classes are following the mask mandate making her feel “excited” about returning.
22-year-old Lillybeth Diaz, a student studying Photography and Business, said in an interview, “I was a little scared at first because I wasn’t vaccinated, but now I’m vaccinated so I feel better.”
Diaz also commented how the available sanitization wipes and mask mandate has urged her to continue taking in-person classes. “It’s not like the classes are crowded or anything, there’s like 13 people in a class. It doesn’t feel too bad now, but I was scared at first.”
Cutting classes to half of the instructed time has provided assurance for the students at Palomar, Diaz says. However, she also reflects that some classes are not needed to attend in person. “I just don’t think it’s worth it for some classes to come back. Not specifically the whole semester – I mean what’s being taught that day. I feel like they could have been online instead.”
However, some students had different opinions than Ruiz’s statements. Valente Martinez, a 29-year-old Photography and Business major attending Palomar, believes that “it was just dreadful” attending online classes.
“Maybe for part-time, like one or two classes [online] would be okay,” said Martinez during an interview, “I was taking four to five classes online – I would wake up at 8 a.m, go to class by sitting in front of a laptop from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., then I would have to go to work.” Martinez thought it was “lame” doing online classes, saying that “In-person” classes were “exciting” for him.
Martinez believes Palomar and its students are taking Covid procedures seriously. However, he wishes that the hours for the library had longer availability along with other services around campus.
Martinez hopes that Palomar can continue staying in person despite the struggles. He applauds the staff for doing their best. “They’re doing the best they can – everybody is. Everybody really is.”