COVID causes students to reconsider where they hang out on campus

Photo+outside+of+King+Hall

Cornell Chuaseco

Tables such as these in front of King Hall are one of many places that students like to hangout.

Jessica Liu, Intern Reporter

With students returning to in-person classes amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, will there be a change in where students decide to hang out or study?

Biology major Arleth Zea thinks so. She plans to adopt some extra safety precautions to keep herself and others safe.

“I am comfortable being back on campus,” she said. “I do not mind the people who are going back with me because I know they’re taking the same precautions towards COVID as I am.”

Cal State LA requires all students, unless medically or religiously exempt, to be fully vaccinated and boosted in order to go back on campus. 

“I tend to study on my own, and I enjoy being outside so studying on campus outside is definitely my go-to,” said Zea.

Zea used to hang out in the food court but doesn’t think she will be spending much time there anymore.

“With reduced seating you’re always in close distance to everyone, so COVID has affected where I choose to hang out, and I always bring hand sanitizer with me,” she said.

Nathalie Gonzalez, a social work major, agrees.

“I feel comfortable going back to classrooms because my classes do not have a lot of students,” she said. “However, I might be avoiding the library because I feel it might be too packed.”

Gonzalez has other go-to spots on campus where she feels relatively safe.

“During my freshman year at Cal State LA in 2019 before the pandemic, I used to hang out at the Student Union, or I would sit at the tables by Salazar Hall,” she said. “I do think I’ll be going to those same places because they were both calm and quiet and not too packed with other students.”

Health is a priority for Gonzalez, and she plans to spend more free time outside.

“COVID has affected where I want to hang out because I don’t want to get sick or make anyone else sick,” she said. “I think I will be spending more time outside just to avoid tight spaces if they’re full of people for my safety. Even before the pandemic, I always brought my own food and hand sanitizer, so it isn’t something new I am adopting, but will continue to do.”

Students at Cal State LA will have to abide by various safety regulations implemented by the university, including being required to wear masks indoors on campus. Students and faculty are also asked to wear surgical or upgraded face masks, such as N95, KN95 or KF94 masks. 

All students, faculty and visitors are required to conduct a health self-screening before coming on campus.