PHOTO EPIC - The Fall '21 Return to Campus
September 01, 2021 - 08:51 AM
For the first time in three semesters, a broad range of students returned to campus following the 17-month closure of Mt. SAC due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
A very different looking campus awaited their return...
Perhaps the most striking visual change was seeing everyone in masks. Masks are now required for all students and employees indoors.
But they are optional outdoors, especially if no one is around.
Most students, however, are wearing them indoors and out.
It can be hard to gauge people's emotions through a mask or even to recognize a friend. These students sure look happy to us.
Wearing a mask is one of the sacrifices made to try to resume a normal pre-pandemic life.
Sometimes the masks come off just to smile for the camera.
You can't blame them. They're happy to be back and photo-ready.
But as soon as students walk indoors, the masks must go on.
Signage, to this effect, is found everywhere across campus.
Vaccination and testing centers will be ubiquitous this semester on campus, with the requirement that all students and employees must either be vaccinated or submit to weekly testing.
Such precautions are why things are much more normal than they have been for the past year and a half.
The other big visual change to the campus: Construction.
Construction has caused many detours throughout campus, and students are encouraged to plot routes using the online campus map and the numerous directional signs all over.
This student is walking in front of the upcoming Student Center, which is coming along nicely.
Students traveling down Temple Ave. will notice an overpass under construction. This will take students from the new Parking Structure S, on the southwest corner of Temple Ave./Bonita Dr., over to a new Transit Center, which is also being built.
Another bridge under construction will link that new Parking Structure S with a soon-to-come Gym and Aquatics Center.
Lot S (labeled as "Gateway Parking Structure" on the campus map) is now open and ready to use. The elevators are not yet in operation, so the first floor is reserved for handicap parking.
Further down Bonita Dr. on the south side of Temple is yet another new parking structure: Lot R (labeled as "Champion Parking Structure" on the map), right in front of Hilmer Lodge Stadium.
This structure is also open and ready to use. It even tells you how many spaces are available in it. Since many students don't know about these two new structures, they are quite empty right now.
The top floor, or roof, of Structure R hosts the campus' new tennis courts, which students have been using.
Evidently, the courts are a great spot to kick back between classes or wait for practice.
As mentioned, the Gym and Aquatics Center is roaring along, as is the under-construction Heritage Hall, to be located right next to the Stadium.
Other new athletics facilities are done and awaiting the students' return, including practice fields, a world-class track and football field, and all the new training facilities inside of the stadium.
We caught track teams training in the Stadium's weight room, which is chock full of brand new high-end equipment.
Another great new spot to kick back is, evidently, in the shadow of the massive new digital sign in the Stadium.
But you can't beat the nicely air conditioned Library for a place to study between classes.
And when you do see students between classes, do not be surprised if they are on their smartphones. But who isn't these days?
In class, it's a different story. Masked-up and paying close attention is how it's done in Microbiology.
Always make sure you read materials handed out on the first day of class very carefully and save them. Studying a course's requirements is the first step in Anthropology class.
A tool briefing begins Stagecraft class. Although the pandemic severely affected live events, it is doubtful it will keep people out of theaters and event centers for long, and it will be up to these students to build the sets, props and stage dressings.
Good thing classes are once again in person, as Aircraft Maintenance would be very hard to learn online.
It really looks like a fun class.
People will always need something to wear. In-person Fashion classes are where it's at.
The flapjacks are looking on-point for these Culinary students.
The pandemic has reinforced the adage that "there are always jobs in health care."
And we have never needed paramedics more than we do now.
Our currently-burning-out-of-control state will definitely need these students learning fire prevention.
The Mt. SAC Interior Design program produces award-winning students, as the recent Dunn-Edwards 2021 Emerging Professionals Design Competition showed.
We found Professor Niki Tran's class engaged in their work and freely moving between designing on paper and using a design software application.
In Beginning Painting I, Instructor Jason Ramos gives his students a foundation to enrich their lives through art.
And we can't let you forget that we have a fully functioning farm, with both an Animal Science side, as well as a Horticultural program. Many majors and certificates are available in each. Whether you learn how to operate farm equipment...
Or just learn to repair the farm itself...
Our farm is a place where you can learn a career, devoid of cubicles and Zoom meetings, and find happiness working with the Earth and all of its beautiful plants and creatures.
In the spirit of showing you, not telling you: One last picture to inspire the students this 2021-22 school year. Good luck to you all!