For the first time this semester, Lethbridge College welcomed back students and staff to its campus and in-person learning on Monday, more than two weeks after the winter term began.
“It’s very exciting to be back on campus,” student Muna Adair said. “I did not like the Zoom situation.”
“Lectures were through Zoom. It wasn’t too bad, but again I’m really an in-person kind of guy myself,” student Logan Unreider said.
School officials had been targeting Monday as the day to return in-person since before the winter break.
“As long as the numbers stayed pretty consistent I would say and also that we were able to make sure our campus is safe, and we’ve been able to do that,” president and CEO Dr. Paula Burns said.
Students can expect COVID-19 protocols to look similar to what they were in the fall semester, with proof of vaccination or a negative test required at the doors. At least 97 per cent of the campus community is fully vaccinated, the school said.
“We are of course reinforcing them as we get more students back on campus,” Burns said. “We’ve also asked the staff who don’t have front-facing roles with the students right now to actually ease their way back over the next few weeks.”
For the most part, students say they’re happy with the school’s plan and ready for the return to the classroom.
“I’m really hoping that the Omicron situation will go down a little bit and we stay in-person and have the experience of going to college,” Adair said.
“It’s just easier to focus in the classroom. There’s not as many distractions, so that’s exciting,” student Ridge Sloan said.
Lethbridge College joins other Alberta post-secondaries, like Medicine Hat and Lakeland Colleges in returning to class today, while many others, like the University of Lethbridge, SAIT and NAIT are waiting until next month to return at the earliest.
“The University (of Lethbridge) chose to extend a primarily online course delivery model through Feb. 28, 2022, to push past what is anticipated to be the peak of the latest COVID-19 Omicron wave, as well as ensure students, faculty and staff are able to maintain access to teaching and learning activities regardless of requirements to quarantine or isolate,” a statement from the school reads.