BREAKING: Cal State LA bans public events in light of coronavirus


Richard Tzul and Marisa Martinez

UPDATE: Tuesday, March 10 @ 8:20pm

Cancel culture has gone viral… literally.

On Tuesday, President William Covino announced in a campus-wide email that all public events on campus were cancelled up until the end of May — effective immediately.

There are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 on campus, according to the email.

The measure, implemented as a precaution in light of the outbreak, applies to meetings, club gatherings, tours on campus, sports games and other events. The email was unclear if away games are also affected. A scheduling decision on commencement will be made “as the situation evolves.”

Jason Nato, a senior television, film and media studies major, told the UT that though he understands the concern, canceling the 2020 Commencement would raise many questions for outgoing seniors.

“With the rate of schools closing and opting for online classes, how can that guarantee that we’d be able to walk on time?” asked Nato. “And depending on our majors, a lot of the classes are hands-on learning.”

While class schedules remain intact, Covino asked the campus “to prepare for alternative forms of instruction,” alluding to a possible shift to online classes.

Alejandre Rodriguez, a communications graduate and IT student assistant, said there are programs set in place in the MyCalStateLA portal where students and professors are able to communicate outside of the classroom. Roderiguez added that though there are preparations for the school to potentially make a switch, the quality of learning could be compromised due to a lack of training.

“It’s like an impacted quality of education that we’re getting because we’re going to be limited to online platforms,” Rodriguez said. “There’s no way all these professors are familiar with how to use the technology to provide just as good of an education as it is when they’re face-to-face.”

Rodriguez said hopefully the administration trains the professors how to conduct classes online if the switch were to happen: “That would be a truly proactive step that would actually help the faculty and benefit the students.” 

Covino, in the email, warned against travel during spring break, which starts at the end of March for 

Golden Eagles. He also wrote that “Cal State LA is suspending all international and non-essential domestic travel.”

Gilbert Rivera, a physics graduate student, believes the spread of misinformation is more concerning Than the virus itself.

“People freak out,” Rivera said. “Misinformation spreads almost kind of like a virus.”

Two online health sources are provided by the university’s website. The school’s Health Watch webpage, which includes campus updates and a FAQ list regarding the virus, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s safe travel guide were cited in Covino’s email as sources for students to stay up to date on the school’s Coronavirus status.

“We recognize that these measures may cause inconvenience and disappointment,” read the email. “As this challenge evolves, we must remain nimble and ready to adjust as necessary.”

Marlene Cordova contributed to this story.

This is a developing story and will be updated.