University Times

Coronavirus coverage: How Cal State LA and nearby communities are faring

Students at Cal State LA and their families in the campus’s surrounding communities – who already struggle to overcome obstacles related to finding affordable housing or being the first in their families to attend college – are now grappling with the ripple effects of the coronavirus outbreak.

Some of the impacts include: Having shows and other productions that they have worked on for months canceled in a matter of minutes. Taking online classes when they don’t have proper workspaces or the Internet at home. And forgoing commencement on campus, where they would have celebrated years of hard work and juggling work, classes, and family obligations to achieve their degrees.

More than 1,800 people in Los Angeles County have died of the COVID-19 virus as of May 17, and there have been 37,974 confirmed cases, including 365 in South Gate, 558 in unincorporated East Los Angeles, 399 in Boyle Heights, 358 in Compton, 325 in Pico Rivera, 323 in El Monte, 264 in Huntington Park, 257 in Florence-Firestone, 250 in Montebello, 185 in Bell, 149 in Alhambra, 142 in Eagle Rock, 135 in El Sereno, 119 in Monterey Park and 65 in La Puente, according to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health’s website. As of earlier in the week, two cases have been confirmed at Cal State LA.

Campus News

BREAKING: CSU announces most fall 2020 classes to be online

Photo by Brian DelgadoClasses will remain mostly online during the fall semester for all 23 campuses in the CSU system.

 

Cal State LA students’ decorated graduation caps

Photo courtesy of Jennifer Barillas

The University Times is featuring graduating students’ cap designs.

 

BREAKING: Cal State LA to be COVID-19 testing site

Cal State LA will be open to the public, by appointment only, for free coronavirus testing.

BREAKING: Commencement confirmed, date unknown

Soon-to-be Cal State LA graduates will get their chance to walk.

President William Covino announced in an email addressed to the class of 2020, after much discussion, commencement will be held but at a later time.

Most students to be granted financial help amid pandemic

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, Cal State LA has received and will be distributing at least $18.9 million to most students registered at the university.

 

CSU temporarily suspends SAT/ACT requirement

Incoming freshmen will not have to submit their SAT or ACT scores when applying to California State University campuses for the 2020-2021 academic year.

 

Cal State LA researchers join fight against COVID-19

A team of faculty and students in the College of Engineering, Computer Science, and Technology focused their studies to create a predictive model that utilized artificial technology and machine learning to predict possible COVID-19 mortality risks.

Researchers at Cal State LA have united in a fight against an insidious enemy. Computer science and statistics are the Golden Eagles’ weapons of choice in the ongoing war against the coronavirus.

Richard Tzul

Cal State LA to receive fourth-most emergency aid of 500-plus institutions

Out of all eligible colleges and universities in the state, both public and private, Cal State LA will be receiving the fourth most federal aid to be disbursed to students in need and other potential causes.

Students with disabilities navigate online shift

The transition to learning remotely has not been easy for many students — those with disabilities can be especially impacted.

Claudia Escamilla, a rehabilitation services major with two kids, said, “Both of them ask me for help at the same time.”

BREAKING: Cal State LA students offered Credit/No Credit option

Photo illustration by Brian Delgado
Brian Delgado

Cal State LA students can breathe a sigh of relief as the campus made the decision to give students the choice to be graded on a Credit/No Credit basis for the spring 2020 semester.

 

 

UT editors’ picks: Books

In this series, the University Times editors will give their favorite or “go-to” books, music, movies and television show recommendations for you to enjoy while at home.

Coronavirus and racism: A dangerous mix for Asian Americans

Steven Senne/AP

The contagious coronavirus may not discriminate but Chinese Americans and other Asian Americans are being singled out. As the cases of COVID-19 continue to rise, so do reports of hate crimes committed against people of Asian descent.

 

BREAKING: Second reported COVID-19 case at Cal State LA

A second reported case of a Cal State LA student with COVID-19 was announced via a school wide email on Monday.

“The student has not been on campus for nearly three weeks, days before starting to experience symptoms, and has not physically been in contact with anyone in our community since that time,” said the email

Faculty ‘Zoom’ into online classes

Hands-on classes are feeling the impact of Cal State LA’s online shift.

Staying active while stuck at home

Crystal Nigo-Bravo

With classes now online, events canceled and many businesses closing temporarily, you may be left with nothing to do as you stay at home during this period of time. Don’t fret: There are plenty of things to do while spending time indoors, self-isolating.

First week back: Cal State LA students react to moving to online classes

After the first week of online classes, students are adjusting to classes without face-to-face interaction. Students have had mixed feelings with the transition as some professors, technology and home life have created a number of issues.

BREAKING: Cal State LA student tested positive for COVID-19

A Cal State LA student has tested positive for COVID-19, according to an email by Nancy Wada-McKee, the vice president for student life. “The student is recovering at home in self-isolation and feeling better,” she said.

One crisis on top of another: Student loan debt amid the coronavirus pandemic

Students and graduates across America are in the same boat struggling with mounting student loan debt. Now they have one more crisis to unite them: the coronavirus pandemic.

The $2 trillion stimulus package includes pausing student loan payments and waiving the interest for six months.

Graduating seniors saddened over commencement announcement

Commencement 202 will not be held this spring due to COVID-19 concerns.
Robert Huskey/Cal State LA

What was meant to be one of the most educationally fulfilling semesters of their college careers has turned into a COVID-19 nightmare.

President William A. Covino announced last week in a campus-wide email that commencement would no longer be held in spring due to the threat COVID-19 poses. Graduating seniors are not taking the news well.

BREAKING: Dorm residents must to move out

Cal State LA students currently living in on-campus housing are required to move out by Monday, Mar. 23. The move comes under the guidance of Governor Gavin Newsom regarding the coronavirus pandemic.

Only students who rely on housing such as international students and Guardian Scholars will be exempt and may remain in the dorms.

What to watch while ‘safer at home’

As movie theaters become temporarily closed, as mandated by Mayor Eric Garcetti due to COVID-19 concerns, a big source of entertainment becomes reserved for the home now more than ever.

This could be tough as college students might not have the financial stability, due to closures, to continue affording streaming services like Netflix or Hulu. But, as streaming situations change, students will discover they have more options available to them, some even free of charge.

BREAKING: Cal State LA to continue online classes for remainder of spring 2020

Alternative instruction will continue through until the end of spring semester according to a campus-wide email sent out by Cal State LA’s President on Thursday evening. The announcement came in light of “COVID-19 developments that have taken place.”

CCAA officially cancels remainder of 2020 spring sporting events

California Collegiate Athletic Association officials canceled the rest of the CCAA 2020 spring athletic season effective immediately, after a consultation with the CCAA Presidents/Chancellor Board on Wednesday.

A letter to our readers: University Times is going digital-only

While Cal State LA takes this time to transition to online courses and students settle with their new educational situations, the University Times must do its best to provide student-run journalism to its community. The coronavirus has taken a toll on the country, our campus and now on one of the ways we share content. 

As of today, in light of recent campus-wide mandates, the University Times has decided not to publish a weekly print edition, but will instead rely solely on our website and social media accounts to distribute content. 

Housing asks on-campus residents to go home

On Monday, an email was sent out to campus residents from Housing and Residence Life detailing the plans of how it will proceed amidst coronavirus concerns. 

The email included a request from Housing for students to return home as soon as possible if they are able to do so to mitigate any potential spread of the virus. The email stated that they would consider requests to cancel housing agreements if residents don’t want to return to housing for the remainder of the academic year.

How food services on campus are being affected thus far

Daniel Keenan, director of Restaurant and Catering Facilities at Cal State LA, said during a phone interview, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s recent announcement forced the food court on campus to allow people to only order take-out. 

Garcetti’s order closed all dine-in restaurants, bars, nightclubs, gyms and entertainment venues “to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 & protect people across LA.”

BREAKING: Cal State LA Commencement 2020 canceled

“Commencement 2020 will not be held this spring” according to a campus-wide email sent out on Tuesday by Cal State LA President William A. Covino. This decision came after a string of California State Universities postponed or canceled their commencements due to COVID-19 concerns.

There is no indication of the ceremony being postponed, but the school “will address the question of how best to acknowledge the hard work and achievement of our students” during the remainder of the semester.

BREAKING: Library closed, school announces

While originally meant to be open during the switch to online courses, the “University Library will be closed until further notice, effective Tuesday, March 17.”

The announcement made via email provided a link to an online resource guide for those seeking remote library services. The resource guide includes links to and information about multiple databases where journal articles and ebooks can be found. There is also a website provided where one can consult librarians for their studies and research. The service is available 24/7.

Breaking down campus concerns about coronavirus

The U.S. is in an official state of emergency due to the ever-growing cases of coronavirus. The virus has hit home as Cal State LA has taken student, faculty and staff health into consideration by implementing new mandates this past week. Here’s what we know so far.

Seniors concerned over the fate of commencement

As the coronavirus response unfolds, seniors are concerned on whether they will be able to move their tassels from left to right. On Tuesday, William Covino, the school president, sent out a campus-wide message with preventive measures against the coronavirus. These include promoting social distancing by canceling all public events on campus – leaving commencement in the air. 

“As the situation evolves, we will address the question of Commencement and how best to acknowledge the hard work and achievements of the Class of 2020 and their families, as well as the commitment and support they have received from our faculty and staff,” said the commencement staff in an email.

CCAA suspends athletic events

Wednesday, Cal State LA was seemingly going to host sporting events without the presence of fans. However, the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) announced that it is “suspending all intercollegiate athletic activities, including in-person campus recruiting (on and off campus).” That’s according to a statement they released on Thursday. 

Cal State LA offers refunds for parking permits

Students’ concerns about whether refunds for parking permits would be issued, amid the new mandate for online classes, can be put at ease. 

According to Cal State LA’s Parking Operations Manager John Orr, “Students are always able to request a refund for their Parking Permit at a prorated rate,” he continued, “That rate can be found on our website along with our refund policy.”

Campus voices: Coronavirus

Cal State LA classes have been cancelled from March 16 to March 19. The cancellation period is intended to allow professors to transition to “alternative instruction,” which will commence on Friday, March 20. The Wednesday announcement was made via email by school president William Covino.

The announcement followed an earlier Tuesday declaration which banned public events on campus.

Minutes before the cancellation of classes were announced, the UT interviewed campus community members on their thoughts on the banning of public events on campus and the pandemic itself.

Community News

‘Zooming’ to graduation: Our need to celebrate, even if it’s online

Darwin Lopez is pictured with his mother and sister.

If you told me when I was a freshman in 2015 that my graduation might be canceled and classes would be on Zoom, I probably would have said “Oh well.”

Graduation, to me, was expensive, and frankly, I thought, “How many of the graduates would I really know, anyway?”

Looking for work during a pandemic

Looking for work during a pandemic

For Andrea Margarita Flores, the start of her last semester at Cal State LA held so much promise and excitement. Options for the child development major seemed unlimited — from small details like how to decorate her graduation cap to the bigger ones like which child care center she would work in.

In a matter of weeks, as businesses closed in light of the coronavirus outbreak, those choices evaporated and her anxiety hit at an all-time high.

Students with financial hardships get creative

Since early March, students have been dealing with far more than transitioning to online classes. Some don’t have space or technology for their online courses. Some are struggling to survive as they and family members lose work. Still others must care for their children or siblings while trying to complete schoolwork and join virtual class sessions.

Amid the chaos, some students have found creative ways to bring in extra income.

Social service program helps seniors amid closures

Senior citizens southeast Los Angeles County and unincorporated areas who participated in senior center activities and especially the lunch programs were worried when the centers were closed after Gov. Gavin Newsom’s “safer-at-home” order.

Los Angeles restaurants attempt to adapt

Camino Real, a family-owned Mexican restaurant that has been in La Puente for about 40 years, had almost fully recovered from the 2009 recession.

Who knows what will happen now that the coronavirus crisis has required restaurants to close their dine-in operations?

Service, gig economy workers hit hard

Vanessa Wyatt/UT

Izabel Nazdracheva, a behavioral therapist substitute teacher for Los Angeles Unified School District, is losing at least one month of pay because of recent closures.

“Right now, it’s a struggle because I have to pay for my bills, I have to pay for my car payment, insurance, housing, and these types of closures,” she said.

COVID-19 has not just hurt investors and those who saved up for retirement, but some of the first people to be hit are lower-income residents, those with part-time or less stable jobs.

Retail workers. School employees. Servers at restaurants.

Those who can’t afford to stock up lose out on some basic necessities

Catherine Valdez/UT

By now, shoppers are well aware of the empty shelves and lines out the door.

What is less expected during this time of the coronavirus pandemic is that basic necessities for their babies are sold out, people can’t practice “social distancing” because they’re squeezed tightly together at some crowded markets, and some stores are closing up shop in the middle of the day to restock shelves.

As schools close, parents scramble for childcare and other assistance

CDC

About a week ago, one of the challenges facing working parents was determining who would handle school drop-offs and pick-ups.

Now, the question is: Who will watch the kids all day – possibly for months?

As classes move online, students’ anxieties shift into high gear

Los Angeles Trade-Technical College

Erika Gonzalez, a fourth-year student at Los Angeles Trade-Technical College in South Los Angeles, already has a lot going on in her life: While both of her parents work, Gonzalez, a first-generation college student, juggles caring for her siblings, work and classes.

Coronavirus-related closures are making her feel as if she’s close to a breaking point, especially after LATTC announced last week that “as many classes as possible” would go online – not all.

Eastsiders prepare for possible spread of coronavirus

Shoppers walk past empty shelves at Costco. By Vanessa Wyatt.From products flying off the shelves to local families preparing to work or take classes remotely, coronavirus fears shook the Eastside.

 

Regional News

Teachers and students struggle to ‘stay afloat’

A group of kids begin homeschool in Roseville, Minnesota, as a result of schools shutting down amidst the Coronavirus pandemic.Gabrielle Flores, a teacher’s assistant at Ford Blvd Elementary School and Cal State LA student, said life feels “unbalanced” having to transition from going to work to having to work from home.

LA pushes to protect renters, homeowners

Angelenos affected by the coronavirus can expect protections from evictions and foreclosures thanks to a Los Angeles City Council proposal.

California escalates coronavirus response

As the coronavirus rocks the world, bringing new developments by the hour, the largest state in the country and its most populous city waged a new attack in the ongoing war against an invisible enemy.

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