The Spartan Editorial Board
YCP’s fall 2021 semester was the first one fully in-person since the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the campus back in March 2020. Many of us are happy to be back in-person. But we also understand that the COVID-19 pandemic was highly unprecedented. We admire President Gunter-Smith’s strength in leading us through such a challenging two years, and we know, through her own words, that she doesn’t have all the answers but made the best decisions she could with the information she had. However, there are a few things we would like to address in the hope of creating change or improving the campus for the semesters ahead.
Firstly, we would like to see more flexibility with virtual learning for students. We know we are an in-person institution, and this remains at the forefront of YCP’s academic mission. President Gunter-Smith has stressed this many times. But since the Hy-flex model of learning was removed, for many classes, Zoom is no longer an option. We understand that this semester’s goal was normalcy. And we’ve achieved that. But removing the Zoom option for students has inconvenienced us to the point of even impacting our grades. We have the technology to incorporate students who aren’t feeling well but don’t want to miss class into the classroom; why not use it? And we don’t want to get others sick, especially in an era of such uncertainty about whether it’s just a common cold or COVID-19.
We would like to see mask mandates stay confined to inside campus buildings only. We’ve gotten used to wearing masks inside buildings; they’re second skins to us now. However, we would like to keep the mandates this way.
We would also like to see the college have better communication with students. Along with better communication, we would also appreciate the adminsitration keeping us continually updated of COVID relief funds available to students, including when a bill is currently being debated in Congress. Better communication also means more courtesy in letting students and faculty know what administration is doing before it’s put into effect. This includes any pandemic information or updates pertinent to the college community.
Finally, we would appreciate the cap on class enrollment being lowered to pre-pandemic numbers. Many classes have been cancelled during the pandemic that students have been looking forward to. We feel it is no longer necessary to have the cap on enrollment and restrict the number of classes available to students.
We again acknowledge that this is a fluid time in our history and situations can change instantly. We want to reiterate how much we appreciate President Gunter-Smith’s leadership during this time. However, we would like to see the college continually improve itself, as it has always done, despite COVID.