ROUND OUNDUP UP www.theroundupnews.com
Woodland Hills, California
Volume 132 - Issue 4
A FIRST AMENDMENT PUBLICATION
Wednesday, March 18, 2020
One copy free, each additional copy $1.00
THE COVID 19 DILEMMA
How Pierce is responding to the global pandemic Chemistry laboratory technician Sona Mnatsakanyan sprays and wipes sanitizer on a surface inside the Bio-chemistry laboratory as hygiene protocol at Pierce College in Woodland Hills, Calif., on March 17, 2020. Photo by Kevin Lendio.
2 COVID-19 Op/Ed STREET BEAT WHAT CHALLENGES DO YOU EXPECT WITH TRANSITIONING CLASSES ONLINE?
COVID-19, a new trend?
"I'm getting lots of emails that ask me the same question like 'Hey, are we meeting Monday?' 'What's going on?' They're so confused. We're all so confused! - Denise Munro Robb Political Science Professor
"Trying to gauge the anxiety of my students and the needs of my students, which will be different in a face-to-face setting compared to an online setting." -James McKeever Professor of Sociology
"As for myself, my computer skills aren't excellent, and that's why i'm here obviously! To learn what I can do." -Judi Terhar Women's water polo coach
"It's going to be a little bit of a learning curve, trying to just get comfortable with translating what they do in an online environment." - Clay Gediman Librarian Quotes gathered by: Pablo Orihuela Photos by: Pablo Orihuela
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ROUNDUP: March 18, 2020
From the desk of the Roundup: Editorial
Positive social distancing
BY KEVIN LENDIO
m I the only one who doesn’t think that COVID-19 deserves all this panic? Yes, preventions are necessary but to what extent can we say that our decisions are becoming irrational? School campuses are closing, mass gatherings and large events are cancelled, cities around the world have declared a total lockdown, sea cruises have stopped their operation and even the happiest place on Earth, Disneyland, has been deserted. While these areas are being abandoned, places like airports and supermarkets are crowded with throngs of people. If we are to put these two pictures side by side, it makes me question if COVID-19 is really that dangerous or if there was a slight misconception of how we’re looking at this pandemic. Let’s try to put things into perspective. This notorious virus has a transmission rate of 1.5 to 3.5% and a fatality rate of 0.7 to 3.4% with an average of 70 deaths per day, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Based on a study from the confirmed cases in Mainland China, most of the people who were affected are the elderly from ages 60 and older with poor lung health and high smoking rate. The lungs are the main target of COVID-19, and most people who did not recover are the ones who already had an underlying chronic health issue, according to Harvard Medical School. This is not the first time in history that a panic has happened due to an outbreak. In the 1800's, people in New England suspected that if a person died of Tuberculosis, he would come back as a vampire to infect the rest of the family. These “vampire panics” urged people to dig up the suspected vampire grave and perform a ritual. What a coincidence! COVID-19 was first heard to be coming from a bat soup. On March 24, 1882, Robert Koch proved that TB is an infectious disease and eventually ended the speculations regarding the virus. A century later, March 24 was declared a World TB Day. In the early 19th Century, TB had killed one out of seven people that have ever lived, according to a documentary by PBS. Today, TB remains a top killer with an average of 3,014 deaths per day worldwide, according to CDC. Unlike COVID-19, World Health Organization studies proved that TB puts all age groups at risk no matter how healthy you are. Now, why is everyone else not panicking or shutting down schools about this deadlier infectious airborne disease? Well it’s old news, and it’s not going to sell. “The panic must stop,” said celebrity physician Dr. Drew Pinsky in an interview at CBS News. “And the press, they really somehow need to be held accountable because they are hurting people.” Pinsky said the media exaggerated the issue and provoked fear to the public. A statistic by Total Google News shows that there had been 2.1 billion mentions of Coronavirus in the media. HIV has 69.5 million, and SARS has 66.3 million. Despite the absence of tests and having zero cases in any of its campuses, Los Angeles Community College District seemed to have followed the trend by announcing on Wednesday that all inperson classes will switch to online starting March 30.
BY PAOLA CASTILLO
Illustration by: Kevin Lendio
Easing anxiety with change Refunding school fees and authorizing a Pass/Fail grade system will benefit students
ach student at Pierce decided to attend this community college because of a similar goal: to succeed. Whether success means earning a certificate or degree or transferring into a four-year university, they continue to invest time in school to reach their academic goals. According to a Los Angeles Community College District press release, remote learning, also known as online education, will replace a majority of inperson classes from March 30 until the end of the spring semester. That means for the remaining 70 days of this semester, students will be taking online classes even if this isn’t the original class format they initially enrolled in. This decision is to help combat the spread of the COVID-19 virus, but Pierce should accommodate them by offering a refund and a temporary Pass/Fail grading system while online instruction is mandated. Almost everyone has different methods of learning: some learn better in a classroom setting and others can learn through online classes. The key is that students know themselves best and choose classes that they know give them a higher chance of passing.
Now, they are being robbed of their choice and being forced into online classes whether they like it or not. According to research conducted by professors at Harvard and Stanford that compared online students to face-to-face students at DeVry University, online students were more likely to drop out of college. Students who enrolled in online classes with low GPAs were also more likely to fail and drop 0.44 points in their GPA. Due to general education classes, students have to take more difficult courses like statistics and sciences which have concepts that are more challenging. In an in-class environment, it’s easy to raise a hand if they have a question or need clarification. Now that classes are online, the advantages of being in a classroom are taken away. If someone needs further assistance, they will have to email their professors and wait hours for a reply. Lack of communication from both the professor and the students is generally why their performance suffers. They feel less motivated and are more likely to be distracted because they are not in a classroom setting that centralizes focus on the lessons. It isn’t Pierce’s fault that the campus is closed to the
public. The COVID-19 virus is unprecedented territory and if anything, this demonstrates the importance of students and faculty remaining safe. But they didn’t sign up for this. They signed up for a college experience: to walk down The Mall with friends, to order a caramel frappuccino at the Brahma Café, to visit a professor’s office hours for additional help and to potentially network. It’s irrational to pay school fees with the promise of receiving resources to achieve academic success and then get those resources stripped away. A partial refund is appropriate since students should not have to jeopardize their GPAs for a situation that is out of their hands. Implementing a pass/fail grading system will help professors because they can use their own judgement to assess whether a student understands the material or not. This also helps students because they would not have to worry about their grades suffering and affecting their overall GPA. Students have been affected by this global crisis. Their futures shouldn’t be compromised because of a series of unfortunate events that were out of their control.
rom the first time the headlines announced a new virus, I hoped it wouldn’t make its way into my part of the world. Apart from not wanting to risk getting sick, I mostly worried about my mom. She had a relatively normal immune system, as normal as someone with lupus can have, prior to her kidney transplant. Post-transplant we were inundated with medication after medication. It wasn’t anything new for me since it’s all I’ve ever known, but a medication that suppressed her immune system was something that caught my family off-guard. She was more susceptible to skin cancer and more susceptible to getting sick because of the medication. Instead of getting the “average flu,” she would get something of higher risk. Instead of a paper cut, she would get something we had to keep an eye on since it could get severely infected. When I heard the first confirmed case of COVID-19 was in the United States I began to get worried. We went from spectators to watchmen overnight. The closer the virus got, the more alert we became. When the news came out that someone can be a carrier and not know, my whole family became immunocompromised. Not only was my mom at risk, but all the 20 years of hard work, the constant hospital trips, the surgeries, cancer scares and the endless waitlist for a kidney would be thrown away. We have to assume we are always infected and maintain ourselves as clean as possible. I now have to second guess going to work and going to school. While others find it inconvenient to shut down work and school, I find it a blessing. Less exposure for me, less risk for my mom. While she wouldn’t agree, I am more willing to put my education and work on hold for her health as much as I was to give her one of my kidneys. I am grateful to all of the schools and businesses who “shut down” in the wake of the virus in Los Angeles County. Is it an inconvenience? Absolutely, but it protects those who can’t protect themselves as easily as others. email@example.com
Due to classses moving online, the Roundup will continue publishing stories online at theroundupnews.com and on social media. Follow us on social media @roundupnews
firstname.lastname@example.org Editor-in-Chief ......................Katya Castillo Managing Editor ..................Angelica Lopez Photo Editor ...........................Cecilia Parada Photo Editor ............................Kevin Lendio Opinions Editor .....................Samantha Neff News Editor ............................Paola Castillo News Editor ...........................Arielle Zolezzi Features Editor ......................Peter Villafane Features Editor ....................Eduardo Garcia Campus Life Editor........................Nate McGehee Campus Life Editor...................Ale Aguilera Sports Editor ..........................Felipe Gamino Sports Editor .....................Benjamin Hanson Copy Editor........................Chelsea Westman Social Media Editor ...............Isadora Gardia Social Media Editor ............Kamryn Bouyett Multimedia Editor ...................Atena Naghi
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Letters to the Editor
Policy: Letters and guest columns for or against any position are invited. Letters should be kept as brief as possible (300 words or less) and are subject to editing. Letters must be signed and include a valid mailing address and telephone number. Pseudonyms or initials will not be used, but names may be withheld upon request and approval of the Editorial Board. The Roundup publishes “Letters to the Editor” that are not obscene or libelous and do not contain racial denigration.
Writers are given the opportunity to revise unacceptable letters. The Pierce College Roundup will not publish, as letters, literary endeavors, publicity releases, poetry or other such materials as the Editorial Board deems not to be a letter. The deadline is 11:59 p.m. the Sunday prior to the issue date. Editorial Policy: The Pierce College Roundup position is presented only in the editorials. Cartoons and photos, unless run under the editorial masthead, and columns are the opinions of the creators and not necessarily that of the Roundup.
The college newspaper is published as a learning experience under the college journalism instructional program. The editorial and advertising materials published herein, including any opinions expressed, are the responsibility of the student newspaper staff. Under appropriate state and federal court decisions, these materials are free from prior restraint by the virtue of the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America. Accordingly, materials published herein, including any opinions expressed, should not be interpreted as the position of the L.A. Community College District, the college or any officer or employee thereof.
ROUNDUP: March 18, 2020
Faculty training for online transition
California slowing spread of virus
Workshops teach faculty how to use Canvas and Zoom
BY ARIELLE ZOLEZZI
ierce College faculty came together in an emergency professional development period, preparing for the challenges of converting the spring 2020 semester online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The training sessions March 1617, led by Pierce faculty members, focused on Canvas and Zoom WebConferencing in a series of lectures throughout the day. Department Chair of Communication Studies Yeprem Davoodian wrote in an email saying although these are challenging times, the campus must come together for a greater outcome. “These are struggles for all of us but I can't imagine what our students are experiencing regarding these abrupt changes and the anxiety our students are feeling,” Davoodian said. “However, as faculty, we need to adapt to these changes just like our students are. As an institution of higher education, we have to keep an open mind and work together to be successful.” Communications professor Robert Loy, who had hosted the Japanese international students for the recent “Japan Day” on campus right before the district shutdown, is trying to look for the positives in this seemingly dim situation. “I see this online transition as an opportunity for us to adapt our classroom,” Loy said. “Although I understand it’s difficult for students, faculty, and staff all around, we have this opportunity to transform
transform their learning.” Adjunct Instructor of Political Science Ybonne Torres said that although she has taught online classes before, she wanted to get a better grip on Zoom so that she can have a more authentic lecture experience. “I've never done Zoom before, so I'm still trying to figure out how it works so I can incorporate it into my online course,” Torres said. “They're doing the best they can with it, I'm just not a hundred percent confident on how to use it, so I have to play around with it.” Professors who are parents are also facing challenges with the Los Angeles Unified School District closing. “My kids are nine and twelve, and can work independently,” said communications professor Jennifer Rosenberg. “I can't imagine how folks with young children will manage. After today, I realized that developing a schedule will be key to our emotional health.” Counselors like Joseph Roberson have been forced to find alternative ways to continue student success while they await the launching of Cranium Cafe, a meeting and collaboration platform designed specifically for student support, which is supposed to assist with online counseling. “I am responsible for staying focused on the desired outcome and encouraging, motivating and inspiring those around me who would listen to do the same,” Roberson said. email@example.com
Governor Newsom and Mayor Garcetti announce closing of public meeting places BY SAMANTHA NEFF
Cecilia Parada/ Roundup Judi Terhar, head swim and water polo coach, sits in on an Online Transition Workshop in IRIS 918 at Pierce College in Woodland Hills, Calif., on March 16, 2020.
COVID-19 conference meeting at the Great Hall
School administration discusses their operations moving forward
BY FELIPE GAMINO
ierce College President Alexis Montivergen held a meeting Monday to address Pierce’s plan during the COVID-19 pandemic, including creating four response teams, delaying registration and moving classes online. Montevirgen addressed the staff in attendance to go over updates and a plan to help faculty, staff and students transition to online learning. “Let me underscore that our primary concern is the wellbeing of our campus community,” Montevirgen said. “If you are coming across any faculty, staff or any student that has expressed concern over their health, the recommendation will be for them to stay home.” Montevirgen said he has been in constant communication with the other presidents, district administration and the chancellor in regards to the COVID-19 response
teams. He said that communication will be key. There are four response teams: health and safety, continuity of business or staff operations, academic and student and general communications. Montevirgen said that these teams are not final and there could be some moving around or additions. Vice President of Administrative Services Rolf Schleicher said administration wants the transition to be as smooth as possible. “A lot of people are uncomfortable being here and not that they don’t want to serve our students, they are scared to death they may catch it,” Schleicher said. “Our goal is to make sure that we contain as best we can and get everybody in line and kind of vacate the college.” Schleicher said they were used to dealing with unusual circumstances because of the fires. He said, however, COVID-19 is completely
different. Vice President of Academic Affairs Sheri Berger said registration is being delayed for the Summer and Fall. She said that when a class is offered online, it has to be approved by the academic senate and the instructor must have gone through certification for training. “Those two requirements have been lifted and under this emergency order and we have received guidance from the state chancellor’s office and also from the accrediting commission,” Berger said. “The U.S. Department of Education has lifted requirements that we normally operate under to do distance education which is why we can put all of these classes in an online remote learning situation. The course has not been improved necessarily and the faculty haven’t been fully trained which is why we are doing the training to help them
transition.” Berger said that the start and end dates for the fall semester and summer session will not change. The only change is the production timeline. She gave an example of how the schedules should be up by a certain date and the registration will be on another. They will be pushed so that they can be prepared to make changes to the schedules. During the meeting, Vice President of Student Services Earic Dixon-Peters said that Pierce made an assessment on what services it can offer. He said Pierce can provide 95% of its services online. Ryan Cornner, Vice Chancellor of Educational Programs and Institutional Effectiveness said that 900 laptops have been ordered for faculty, and 200 will go to staff. “It will go through the district, and they don’t know how it will
be allocated,” Berger said. “They haven’t received the information yet.” Deputy presence will also be enforced when the school is closed so there are no thefts on campus. Montevirgen said that the vice presidents have done an overall assessment of staff who can teach online and who still need to meet in person. “The example I gave is that you can’t feed the farm animals remotely,” Montevirgen said. “If and when we close the campus, we will need to know who will still need to come to perform those duties, but we are trying to assess that, and it's one of the questions I addressed to the VP’s to get a count of how many can go remotely and whether they will need the tools to be able to do so.”
LACCD Board has emergency meeting
Members decide to suspend classes for two weeks and push spring break as online transition begins
BY ARIELLE ZOLEZZI
he LACCD Board unanimously decided to suspend all classes Monday, March 16, through Sunday, March 29, as well as moving up spring break, which was originally scheduled for April 6-11 to run Monday, March 23 through Sunday, March 29. Remote learning (online education) and remote business operations will begin on Monday, March 30, and run through the end of the spring semester. The board met in an emergency meeting Saturday afternoon to address the district’s concerns and to plan for what comes next for students and the classes that won’t have an easy transition to an online format in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. “What we are hoping is to make sure that everyone working, from students, faculty, and the staff, feels safe and that we are doing everything related to their safety and their education, as well as the families
of everyone,” said board of trustees member Dr. Gabriel Buelna. The board also moved to suspend in-person services at all of the colleges, March 16-28. Campuses will begin remote learning and remote business operations starting March 30, providing a two-week transition period to remote instruction for all disciplines and student services. President of the District Academic Senate Angela Echeverri said the goal is to protect students' academic progress as much as possible because they don’t want students’ semesters to be lost during this national state of emergency. “I think the first priority is safety,” Echeverri said. “We are concerned about instructional continuity and services, but number one is safety. Things have changed so quickly, especially within the last 24 hours that we are in a whole new paradigm. So we need time to transition while being able to provide the education and services that students deserve
"I hope over the next few weeks we continue to serve the best interests of our students, faculty, staff and the entire L.A. community." —Alexis Montevirgen Pierce College President and need.” Student Health Centers and Child Development Centers in the district will remain open through next week to allow parents enough time to make
childcare arrangements, but they will be closed during the week of spring break. Union steward Bruce Hicks, who was one of the public commentators, said that LAUSD closing its doors is also weighing on the district’s faculty and staff who have children. “Our main concern as a unit is that the health and safety of our people is taken into account,” Hicks said. “It is prime time for all of us, no one has all the answers, but we want to make sure all our concerns are addressed, especially with LAUSD closing down because that puts a very large burden on our group.” Chancellor Francisco Rodriguez mentioned in the meeting that so far, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 at any of the nine colleges in the LACCD. Public affairs manager for SEIU Local 99 Manuel Rangel, who also commented during the public forum, brought a voice to the custodial and maintenance staff of the district and
their willingness to step up during this crisis and to stay informed. “They are on the front line, and they are ready to rise to the occasion,” Rangel said. “They want to help make sure campuses are sanitary as well as making sure that they are limiting the spread of any communicable disease, but they want to make sure that they are constantly in the loop of information as this unfolds.” The Chancellor said that the situation is fluid and changes will be made daily, and he will be updating district employees with a steady stream of information as more is learned about the virus. “I hope over the next few weeks we continue to serve the best interests of our students, faculty, staff and the entire L.A. community,” said Pierce College President Alexis Montevirgen. firstname.lastname@example.org
alifornia Governor Gavin Newsom ordered that all bars, nightclubs, wineries and brew pubs close down and restaurants cut their occupancy in half to slow the spread of the coronavirus on Sunday. Newsom made the announcement during a press conference held at the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services. His main purpose for these actions taking place is to help the public practice social distancing. “We believe that this is a nonessential function in our state and we believe that it’s appropriate under the circumstances to move in that direction,” Newsom said. He announced that restaurants will remain open but are required to reduce their occupancy by half and each establishment will also be practicing social distancing between employees and customers. “As it relates to restaurants, we have more nuanced concerns and considerations,” Newsom said. “Someone suggested just shutting down all of our restaurants, we dont believe ultimately that is necessary at this moment.” On Sunday night, Mayor Eric Garcetti added to Newsom’s orders by forcing entertainment venues and gyms to close as well. Restaurants will halt dinein service altogether, except for take-out and delivery services until March 31. “I encourage all Angelenos to help support these critical small businesses, the restaurants we love in our neighborhoods, by continuing to order from them and getting pickup or delivery,” Garcetti said. “Groceries, pharmacies and food banks are of course exempt from this order.” Newsom said that he acknowledges that many people struggle to make their own food or buy their meals from grocery stores because of the current chaos or they are just not capable. “Some may have limited capacity as it relates to deliveries but we want to expand the points of access to get those deliveries, restaurants by definition, provide those points of access,” Newsom said. “So having an organized construct that allows delivery of hot, prepared and nutritious food within an existing infrastructure, we think is appropriate again at this moment.” Previous points were made again by Newsom and Garcetti regarding that people should avoid large gatherings at all costs and people over 65-years-old should self-isolate to stay safe. “We will in real time absorb the capacity to potentially do more, but also try to reflect on the enforcement side of this, which I am not concerned about because as you have noted with all of our directives, we are seeing the socialization in real time and strong in broad support probably from the public health,” Newsom said. “Officials are out of state but the private sector has done a remarkable job meeting this moment.”
ROUNDUP: March 18, 2020
Campus support goes remote In-person services replaced with online appointments BY SHEHREEN KARIM AND MAYA GARIBAY
espite school closing abruptly due to COVID-19 and going solely online, some resources at Pierce are still available to students. The Transfer Center and Center for Academic Success will be online and the Health Center and Students Against Student Hunger (St.A.S.H.) will remain open for students. Transfer Center Director Sunday Salter said the center is trying to offer as much support as possible. “We want them to get their services and questions answered so we are doing everything we can do to make it happen,” Salter said. She explained how appointments with college representatives such as UC Berkeley and UCLA will be done online via Zoom. Students need to make an appointment online on the Pierce website under Transfer Center and then they will be emailed instructions on how to get into contact with college representatives. Salter said transfer workshops will be put online, and students can join and ask questions through a website called Cranium Cafe. She also said that general counseling will also be online and appointments can be made on the Pierce website. The days and times for when the Transfer Center will be available is uncertain but expected to start March 30. Students can also email Salter for any questions about transferring at saltersc@ piercecollege.edu. The Student Health Center will remain open. Health Center Director Beth Benne said students need to visit their primary care doctor for COVID-19 testing. However, the Health Center is open for anything else such as mental health support. It is advised that students call the Health Center instead of just walking in. Benne said the center is working to go online for consulting. The Health Center is open the entire week from 8:30 a. m. to 4:30 p.m. Before the campus closure, Pierce provided food-related resources for its students and even with the closure, some of these resources are still available. St.A.S.H. is a student-run ASO club that collects donated food on campus to give to students who identify as food insecure. St.A.S.H. club advisor Christopher Lay said the club moves about 100 pounds of food a month for those with food insecurities. “A lot of students struggle to make ends meet and make sufficient money to feed themselves,” Lay said. “This gets in the way of their education and the food pantry helps with that.” S.t.A.S.H., which is usually open Mondays from 9:30-11 a.m. and Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12:50-1:45 p.m., is still available to students. In addition to these hours, they will be providing bags of food on Wednesdays from 12-1 p.m.
from now until mid-April. Students with further questions can email St.A.S.H. at foodclubdrivepiercecollege@ gmail.com and Lay at laych@ piercecollege.edu. As of March 18, the Brahma Grill cafeteria is also closed until March 28, unless its opening is delayed further. The Pierce Library / Learning Crossroads is closed and unsure how they will go online according to Chair of the Library Department Lauren Saslow. “We are all waiting like everyone else and it's being decided on the district level on what's going to happen to all the libraries,” said Saslow. Saslow said online chats are available on the Pierce Library website and videos will be made for instruction sessions for classes on how to use the Library Website. While checking out books is out of the question, Saslow said the library will extend all due dates on previously checked out books until March 30 with no overdue fees. The Center for Academic Success (CAS) will be strictly online. Center for Academic Success Director Crystal Kiekel said there are four tutoring resources that the center will be providing for students. The first is a series of videos about how to navigate Canvas. These videos will be available by March 30 in English, Farsi and Spanish. Another resource is embedded tutors. Currently there are 200 embedded tutors which are requested by the professor for their specific course. Not all courses have an embedded tutor. The third resource is general tutoring for all subjects regardless of section. General tutoring is selfenrolled. “For example, If you're enrolled in Accounting 1 or 2 , we created one big course for everyone,” said Kiekel. “Whether or not you have an embedded tutor, you can still enroll yourself in that general accounting course.” CAS is creating a self enrollment link and will send it to faculty so that they can email it to students. With the links, students can enroll themselves for tutoring in a specific course. These links will be available on the Center for Academic Success website as well. Another external resource that Kiekel recommends is NetTutor which is available on Canvas for 24 hours. NetTutor offers tutoring for almost every subject, ranging from English to Math and sciences. Kiekel said to use NetTutor when CAS tutors are not available. For students without laptops, Kiekel said CAS but will make sure that tutoring is accessible through smartphones. These resources are expected to be finalized and accessible to students by March 30.
ROUNDUP: March 18, 2020
Parts of Pierce still operational Health Center and Farm still accessible while school is closed
Campus life on pause Activities postponed or suspended BY GISELLE ORMENO
open and risk coming to campus because the animals cannot take care of themselves. Sajakian said she felt that the precautions the LACCD is taking are necessary. "We’re going to do our best to keep our animals taken care of and our students safe," Sajakian said, "Our top priority is the health and safety of our students."
o combat the COVID-19 virus, several campus life events and programs are on an indefinite standstill. The Pierce College Theatre production of “A Streetcar Named Desire” is postponing their opening night of March 20. Performing Arts Department Chair Michael Gend said that the safety of the students and the audience is vital in these critical times and he doesn’t want to put any unnecessary stress on themselves or the students. "I thought about the off chance that something bad would happen, I could never forgive myself," Gend said. "Once I announced that we decided to postpone it, I saw about 80 to 90 percent of the students in the room kind of have a sigh of relief because they were a little worried that something bad could happen once we have the public attend our performances." Gend said future updates will be listed on LAPC Theatre’s social media pages in regards to their upcoming productions. The Pierce College Art Gallery has not canceled any of their events and has not posted anything regarding their schedule, according to a statement from their official Instagram. “We’re figuring out what to do, in advisement from Administration,” the Gallery said. “When we know more, we’ll post here.” Five ASO Afternoon Concerts have been canceled. The rest of the concerts are subject to change, according to their website.
Katya Castillo / Roundup Tatiana Wyman dumps a bucket of soaked alfalfa pellets to feed Poncho on the farm at Pierce College in Woodland Hills, Calif., on March 11, 2020.
BY BENJAMIN HANSON
ierce College has closed its campus due to coronavirus fears but the Student Health Center and the Farm remain operational. From now until spring break, the Student Health Center will remain open for students who need health services. Health Center Director Beth Benne said she felt it was a challenge to have the Health
Center stay open this week because some faculty are in sub-quarantine for age and preexisting health conditions. "I believe what we have to offer is important but I have to take into consideration the health and safety of my staff," Benne said. Benne said she is not sure if the Health Center will reopen after spring break but said she feels it would be necessary if lab classes are still held on campus. "I would argue that, if I have
staff willing to come in, that we should be open here and operating with distance," Benne said. The staff at the Health Center has taken extra precautions during the Covid-19 pandemic. There are signs on the walls and doors with advice about what to do during this pandemic and a screen in front of the door to protect patient health and privacy. On the farm, the animals are living as they normally would. Student worker Julio Wong could
Sports games and practices end abruptly
be seen cutting the twine on top of a giant haystack and Steven Jara-Cooper was driving supplies to the farm in the cart. Farm Manager Marcie Sajakian and her student workers are still working despite the campus closure and tending to the animals on the farm as usual. "We have animals that need to be fed and watered 365 days a year regardless of rain, fire, et cetera," Sajakian said. Jara-Cooper said that he felt it was important to keep the farm
NEED A LITTLE BREAK? PLAY! EAT! UNWIND!
Games postponed and classes moved online to keep students and faculty safe BY FELIPE GAMINO
ultiple sporting events and professional soccer leagues across the world have either postponed their seasons or canceled them due to the concern of COVID-19. The same occurred at the community college level. Sports games and practices at Pierce have been postponed indefinitely. Interim Athletic Director Susan Armenta said the department is preparing as classes transition online. “We are just waiting so when we come back on March 30, the coaches are aware that the classes are online so some of them are preparing themselves in the trainings that are offered,” Armenta said. “And at that point we won't have anyone on campus.” Armenta said the athletes pay for their health fee and are not charged extra when they are playing their respective sport. She said the rug was pulled from underneath them.
“We had all of these tasks and things we wanted to finish,” Armenta said. “Get everyone ready as it is portrayed to travel and all of a sudden nothing. This is so odd and it is a huge surprise. As we saw things in the media, professional sports, and the district that we had to see it coming.” Armenta instructed head swim coach Judi Terhar to do her online instruction from home. She mentioned that all conditioning classes will make the transition to online. Head coach Adolfo Perez said that two exchange students from El Camino Real High School’s boys' soccer team are being sent home because of the pandemic. “These kids paid almost $25,000,” Perez said. “So they paid all this money, they are not getting reimbursed and are asked to leave. One of the kids is from Italy and the parents don't want him to go back because he is their only child.” Perez said he is frustrated with the whole situation but is optimistic things will get better.
Terhar said the swimmers are disappointed with not competing. “We are at the beginning where there is a lot of fear and things change daily,” Terhar said. “I just encourage them and help them understand that this is more for the elderly, but they can be carriers and as a result we want to protect the elderly. Being in compliance with what the government has asked us to do is really important for everyone's safety.” Terhar said she wouldn't be surprised if the players get another year of eligibility. She said she will be keeping her swimmers active. “I have many clips that I will be sending them to keep them busy,” Terhar said. “However, what matters right now is their mental state. Being an encouragement to them and making them understand that when things are out of their control that they take care of themselves and each other.”
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A woman walks down the Mall at Pierce College in Woodland Hills, Calif., on March 16, 2020. After canceling classes for two weeks, Pierce College is switching to online classes starting March 30, 2020. Photo by Ben Hanson.