By Dr. Ric Baser
President, Northwest Vista College
Summer is typically a time for vacations, training and improving our processes. This summer is like no other as we start to transition back to campus from this pandemic.
Over the last fifteen months, some of us have lost our loved ones and many employees and students faced economic hardships. Some of our students decided not to come back to college and others simply can’t afford it due to job losses or childcare challenges.
In spite of what the virus has done to our lives, we have to find a way back to normalcy. As you venture onto campus, you will find new buildings, new wildlife (more cats near Manzanillo Hall) and familiar spaces … some in which time stood still (like the Twilight Zone).
As we welcome back our students at the start of the fall semester, I ask you to join me in finding our new normal. Undoubtedly, Zoom and virtual will remain a part of our new normal, but many of our students need to see smiling faces, people to talk with in person and an environment that says we are physically open for “business.”
Temperature checks and COVID questions/screenings will be with us until further notice. Masks are not mandatory but are highly encouraged. You might ask why are we still taking these precautions when other places have drastically loosened the rules? The Alamo Colleges District and NVC in particular have had low COVID-positive rates throughout the pandemic and we want to keep it that way.
I would like to take the opportunity to thank NVC’s COVID-19 Recovery/Incident Command Team for mitigating the COVID-19 threats and working throughout the pandemic to bring us safely back to campus. Thank you also to each faculty and staff member for doing their part to keep our students and co-workers safe by following the recommendations and communicating with their supervisors.
This transition will not be smooth. But if we could overcome a pandemic, we can find a way back and find what our new normal looks like. Please talk with your supervisor about your department’s schedule for returning to campus. Here are a few reminders: