After San Diego State announced classes would be virtual until Feb. 7, many students received an email encouraging them to claim their free ticket to the SDSU men’s basketball game.
Students then took to social media, leaving over 200 comments on SDSU’s Instagram. While some students were willing to sacrifice their commute to campus for a couple of weeks, many students called the university hypocritical.
“That makes absolutely no sense to me,” speaking language hearing science sophomore Julia Ng said. “I think it is maybe hypocritical in a way that the school is only hosting events like specifically sporting events where they are able to profit from those while our classes are virtual and we are still paying full tuition for that.”
While some students say all events should be virtual at this time, others argue classes and events should take place in-person.
“I just think it is almost a cop-out because, for example, yesterday, right, we had a basketball game where it is no problem where you can go and everyone is there in this arena with thousands of people,” interdisciplinary studies senior Tony Shar said. “Yet, at the university, we can’t go to the classroom.”
The university said the events at Viejas Arena will continue to take place with fans who will need to follow strict COVID-19 protocols.
“In accordance with (and often exceeding) state and county guidelines, for the 2021-22 season, all guests aged two and older are required to present either proof of a completed COVID-19 vaccine series or a negative COVID-19 test from within the last 24 hours,” the university said in a statement. “Beginning Jan. 18, all individuals eligible for the COVID-19 booster will be required to also show proof of the booster in order to qualify as having completed the COVID-19 vaccine series.”
More details for attending Viejas Arena events can be found at GoAztecs.com.
“Going to a basketball game is actually, I think, pretty important to the student body,” political science senior Derek Lucus said. “At least getting out and hanging out with students is pretty important. But I see the double standard there where at a basketball game you have a lot of people unmasked.”
Aztec Nights will also continue to operate in-person in an outdoor setting.
“Aztec Nights events will have a modified schedule for the beginning of the Spring term, with events taking place on Jan. 22 and Jan. 28 from 9 p.m. to midnight,” the university said in a statement. “Events will be offered outdoors with strict COVID-19 protocols in place, including facial covering and campus clearance requirements for all event attendees.”
Although SDSU has offered to refund housing money to students who chose to delay their return to on-campus housing and has made accommodations for those using a meal plan, students say that is not enough.
“It’s not fair you know,” Shar said. “Especially what happened back in 2019 it’s like they take full tuition no problem, no questions asked. I’m sick of that. Our parents are paying a lot of money, we’re paying a lot of money, people out of state are paying god knows how much money.”
The university also announced the requirement of the COVID-19 booster. Students and faculty were required to upload proof of this vaccination by Jan. 18. However, some students have found the guidelines confusing for those who are not yet eligible to be boosted.
“We’re two years into this,” Lucus said. “This should be something… we all know. That is the frustrating part to me is like we should know. It should be something that is easily accessible information for the whole student body.”
SDSU said in an email, more than 15,000 students, faculty and staff have submitted their booster records. As of Jan. 19, there have been 45 student and 18 faculty or staff COVID-19 cases on SDSU’s main campus.
“Even though the school is requiring the booster, which I think is amazing, there are still plenty of people that I know that are fully vaccinated with the booster and it has been past the two weeks with the booster and they are still getting COVID,” Ng said. “That is concerning but I think how the school handled it last semester — handled COVID last semester — was pretty effective in comparison to the previous year.”
The Aztec Recreation Center and the Love Library will also be open during the virtual instruction with modified hours. The ARC expected to return to regular hours on Feb. 7 while the library expects to return to regular hours on Feb. 5, according to the university’s statement.
“Like with many of the UC’s, there is no specific numeric threshold or single indicator that drives decisions regarding the temporary shift to virtual instruction, and, currently, an extension of this virtual window beyond the Feb. 7 return date is not anticipated,” the university said in a statement.
For the time being, students and faculty have been placed in a very familiar scenario to the March 2020 switch to online instruction.
“We are here to get an education. We are here to further ourselves. We are here to build character and I feel like Zoom is really hindering that,” Shar said.