After the president of the University of California (UC) sent a letter to all ten campuses encouraging the schools to take action to address surging COVID-19 cases, some UC campuses including Los Angeles, Irvine, and Riverside announced that they will return to remote instruction for at least the first two weeks of the winter quarter.
In addition to starting the next quarter online, UC also announced that a vaccine booster is required for all eligible personnel and students. The deadline for students to upload their proof of vaccine booster is Jan. 18, and employees working on campus have until Jan. 31.
California State University also announced that all 23 campuses in its system will mandate COVID-19 booster shots for all eligible individuals.
Tom Liang, a third-year computer science student at UCR, said he prefers in-person instruction rather than taking classes online, and he believes making the first two weeks remote won’t make much difference regarding COVID-19 cases.
“I don’t think remote instructions will effectively reduce the transmission rate. But I do think it will negatively impact students’ learning experiences. It will be a concern to me if UCR is also mandating the booster,” Liang said.
Leslie Lara, a third-year at UCI studying aerospace engineering, said the entire quarter should be completed online so students will have the flexibility to take care of themselves if they or their family members test positive for COVID-19.
“I prefer safety over everything. I think shutting down is necessary, because people are losing their lives,” Lara said.
Alex Nunez, a senior History student at UCLA, said he likes in-person classes better, but the two weeks of remote instruction would give students more time to get the booster.
“I believe anything to mitigate the new strain of the virus should be implemented, ” Nunez said. “The only concern I have about all of this is the policies regarding masks. A lot of students don’t take it serious, and I feel like the school doesn’t really have any real repercussions for students who keep on getting caught without masks in the dorms.”
Jacob Sayono, a third-year electrical engineering student at UCLA, said he’s very disappointed that classes are back online, and he believes that taking online classes will harm students’ mental health.
“I think UCLA, or the UC system did not consider the consequences of making classes online. I think some students would even dare to say that [it’s] better to get COVID than being depressed and being stuck at home,” Sayono said.