Fresno State is back open, somewhat.
As the fall semester kicks off, more students will be attending in-person classes, and regulations have changed.
After the 23-campus California State University system mandated COVID-19 vaccines, students are now required to show proof of their first vaccine dose by Aug. 20. If students get the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine, they must show proof of their second dose by Sept. 30.
For those who don’t submit this information prior to the first day of classes, they will be contacted regarding a mandatory, weekly COVID-19 testing program beginning Aug. 23.
The mandatory weekly COVID-19 tests will be free for students, and testing will be available Monday through Saturday at the Satellite Student Union.
“Students who do not comply with this weekly testing requirement may be subject to further action by the Office of Student Conduct, which may include disenrollment of courses,” Fresno State said in an email sent to students. “Test results will be available within 24 to 48 hours.”
The university said it anticipates about 6,145 new undergraduate students – 3,450 freshmen and 2,685 transfer students. About 1,100 students will move back into the residence halls on Thursday, Aug. 19. Only 190 students moved in the previous fall semester.
The Collegian has talked to administrators around campus and gathered information of what will be open, where social distancing is required and much more this fall.
Protocols previously implemented during the 2020-2021 academic year will be in place during the fall.
These protocols include:
- Having disinfecting wipes and hand sanitizers available on campus
- Continued cleaning and sanitization throughout campus.
- Requiring face coverings to be worn indoors.
Social distancing will no longer be in place on campus, but in some instances is recommended
“When someone may be eating or drinking and need to take off their face mask [or] face covering, then we are strongly recommending that then the six-foot of distance is maintained,” Vice President for Administration and Chief Financial Officer Debbie Adishian-Astone said.
According to on-campus event protocols, face coverings will be required at any indoor events. Reduced capacity is not required, and social distancing is recommended whenever removing face coverings to eat or drink.
For event guests who are not students or employees, attendees must fill out a health screening questionnaire, and any unvaccinated guests are expected to wear face coverings alongside state guidelines.
For students not returning to campus, some classrooms have been adapted for an improved hybrid format through HyFlex Classrooms. The university has invested into 50 HyFlex Classrooms for the fall semester that will be used for multiple classes per room.
Interim Provost Xuanning Fu said HyFlex Classrooms are equipped with audio and video equipment to allow students to experience courses fully through both in-person and virtual formats.
“We have videos, cameras and audio recorders. When the instructor is giving a lecture … the students will access the class remotely [and] have almost near, live in-person experience,” Fu said. “So they can ask questions and the voice will come from speakers and everyone can hear it. They can zoom in or zoom out and look at each part of the classroom.”
In a HyFlex classroom, faculty have desktop monitors with a video camera on top that rotates at least 180 degrees. A microphone is also next to the computer along with speakers for faculty to hear students on Zoom.
The main challenge in the hybrid model is for students on Zoom to hear students in the classroom. But the university is hoping to expand this model in the spring semester.
According to Bryan Berrett, director of the Center for Faculty Excellence, Fresno State is the only CSU campus to provide guides to faculty for the entire semester. Faculty members have access to guides in the classroom who can help with any technical issues throughout the semester.
All of the guides are Fresno State students, according to Berrett.
“I think it’s just all pluses and we can just engage with students in every modality,” said Natalie Muñoz, a Fresno State french professor.
Fresno State Facilities and Student Involvement
Some previously closed locations will be open and available for use during the fall, including:
- University Student Union (USU) and USU Food Court
- Student Recreation Center (REC)
- Taco Bell Express and The Bucket
- Starbucks on the third floor of the Henry Madden Library (with adjusted seating to accommodate social distancing)
All public spaces within the Henry Madden Library have been opened to students, faculty and staff since Aug. 9. Face coverings are required for all visitors, and self-checkout is still available. The library will return to regular hours beginning Aug. 23.
Food and beverages, with the exception of water bottles, will be limited to the second floor Starbucks area, said Lisa Boyles Bell, a Fresno State spokeswoman.
Tech Lending will also be operating fully.
The Student Cupboard is still available for all Fresno State community members, and the Residence Dining Hall will also be open.
With the reopening of the REC center, Carolyn Coon, dean of students and acting vice president for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management at Fresno State, said that maintenance has already been completed.
“We have our protocols in place. We’ll still do group fitness, you know, then as well. So we will be back and in motion,” Coon said. “As far as the USU, you know, the bowling alley will not be open in the fall, but we will reevaluate that to see what it looks like for the springtime.”
Coon added that intramural sports will remain as outdoor activities only. Additionally, a new student convocation, an event typically held for first-year and transfer students, will not be held.
However plans are in place for activities and resources for students returning to campus during “Welcome Week,” particularly for first- and second-year students who have not had the opportunity to be on-campus at Fresno State.