How COVID-19 protocols affect in-person classes at ARC

How faculty and students feel about COVID-19 protocols


On Sept. 28, a protest against the vaccine mandate took place at the American River College main campus. The Mandate has since been lifted. (Photo by Jonathan Plazola)

At the beginning of the fall 2022 semester, staff, faculty and students had to be vaccinated or prove a medical exemption to attend classes in person at American River College. Now, several months later,  the mandate has been lifted and anyone can be on the ARC campus, regardless of vaccination status. 

In a statement released on Oct. 20 by Brian King, Los Rios Community College District chancellor, it was announced that the Los Rios Board of Trustees voted to end the vaccine mandate for all students and employees by Nov. 14. 

Before the mandate was lifted, however, protesters demonstrated against it on Sept. 28 on the ARC campus. There were also protests during previous semesters.

Everyone is still asked to wear masks, but it’s not required. There are requirements with reporting a positive COVID-19 case with the mandate no longer in place.

Not everyone is happy with the lifting of the mandate, however.

One faculty member, who asked to remain anonymous, said they have concerns with how many students are in a class. They are also concerned with the effort that it takes to clean the classroom. 

There is, however,  staff that feels that it is OK with returning back to in-person sessions.

According to Gordon Roadcap, an English professor at ARC, he and his students are happy being back on grounds. 

“I think we’re kind of at that spot now. I was very much until just recently still wearing masks in public, but [I’ve] gone away even from that,” Roadcap said. “I think we’re moving along.”

Some students say they are willing to come to class and realize they need to be responsible for their health.

“It’s more on me to wash my hands regularly,” said Sam Pak, a business major. “It’s not something I expect the school to do because it’s realistically impossible to clean every table.”

Pak feels professors are doing a good job on accommodating students with their health and schoolwork.

“Professors are being empathetic and understanding of students when they do feel sick,” Pak said. ”We have processes we went through during the pandemic that can keep students caught up on their work.”

There are other students who say they would like to have better distance between classmates.

“I think one small improvement they could make is that the spaces in between desks could be more spacious,” said Monty Davis, a psychology major. “I think they’re doing a fair job.”

Davis shared that they would like the mask mandate to stay in place. 

“I do not think mask mandates need to change, and that’s assuming that those with exemptions are required to wear a mask,” Davis said. “If not, then that’s one thing that I would like to change.”

All information on COVID-19 updates can be found here.