The Student News Site of San Francisco State University

Golden Gate Xpress

The Student News Site of San Francisco State University

Golden Gate Xpress

The Student News Site of San Francisco State University

Golden Gate Xpress

SF State reopens for in-person learning

San Francisco Department of Public Health guidelines in place for Fall 2021
Morgan Ellis
Chris Harris, a graduate student in SF State’s BECA department, works in the common area outside of the Cesar Chavez Student Center on Aug. 24, 2021. Harris mentioned the benefits of being back on campus as opposed to stuck on Zoom, despite adjustments such as no longer being able to sip on a coffee during class. (Morgan Ellis / Golden Gate Xpress)

SF State reopened its campus for in-person instruction to half of its student body on Monday, for the first time since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The university has taken measures to ensure the safety of students and faculty prior to reopening, such as physical distancing and is operating at limited capacity. In addition to its limited student body, President Lynn Mahoney said in an Aug. 4 letter that “many faculty members are teaching remotely and most staff are on campus 2-3 days per week.”

Students and faculty were also required to upload proof of at least the first dose of vaccination to MyHealth. Students who did not upload proof that they had received at least their first dose by Aug. 13 were dropped from in-person classes. Exemptions were made however for students who have serious medical conditions or strongly held religious beliefs, according to the university’s guidelines.

Bobby King, director of communications for the president’s office, said that students who had only received one dose are required to take weekly COVID-19 testing until Sept. 24 or until two weeks after their second dose. King added that students who did not confirm their second inoculation by Sept. 10 would face consequences but did not specify what those would be.

Sabrina Martinez, a political science major, said that she was excited to be returning to campus but is skeptical that the university is keeping up with vaccination checks.

“I feel good about [returning to campus]. I’m excited,” Martinez said. “Personally, I don’t think they’re actually keeping up to date of everybody being vaccinated as they said, just because I’ve talked to a couple people, and they’re like, ‘I’m actually like, halfway.’”

This doesn’t make Martinez feel less safe, she said, but it does make her a little worried about being on campus and possibly contracting COVID-19.

According to the SF State COVID-19 tracker, there have been 52 cases of COVID-19 infection among students, staff and faculty since Aug. 1, 2020. Those on-campus are required to report exposure using this survey.

Although some students like Martinez are unsure if the university is keeping track of vaccinations, others are excited and ready to be back in-person.

Edi Pablo, a computer science major, said that he was happy to be back in person because he did not enjoy online classes.

“Online classes were just a headache and stressful enough,” Pablo said. “So just coming back and learning in person is kinda like a good thing, in my perspective.” He added that as long as people were sanitizing and keeping their masks on, he felt safe being back on campus.

With the reopening and safety guidelines in place, it means that certain parts of campus are not open. For example, The Pub in the Cesar Chavez Student Center is closed.

To make up for that, Paul Marquez, a business administration major, decided to sell beer for students who wanted some.

Marquez, a senior, set up shop at the J. Paul Leonard library with a six pack of Sapporo beer and was selling them for $5 a bottle as a potential business opportunity.

“The campus is open, yet the bars are closed. That is a shame because why would you open up the campus when the whole social areas are closed? That doesn’t make any sense to me,” said Marquez.

Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that there had been 52 COVID-19 infections since August 2021. There have been 52 cases since August 2020. Clarification was also added regarding student vaccination requirements.
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About the Contributors
Albert Serna Jr.
Albert Serna Jr. is a queer Chicano journalist from the San Gabriel Valley outside of Los Angeles. He is a senior print/online major and has been reporting in some way, shape or form for about 13 years. He most recently wrote for the Boyle Heights Beat in in L.A. where he covered crime, but has been published in the Huffington Post and WeHo Times. He has a passion for investigative reporting and longform journalism and is always ready for a tip. He married his husband in March this this year and has two dogs and a cat.
Morgan Ellis
Morgan Ellis is a staff photographer for Xpress. She moved to San Francisco last year to pursue her Photojournalism degree with a minor in Museum Studies. Ellis is excited to use her photography to meet new people and create beautiful visuals of their lives and stories. In addition to photography, she loves watching movies, going on hikes, writing lists and baking pies.

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SF State reopens for in-person learning