CSUB student residents say goodbye to campus

Entryway+of+CSUB+Housing+East+on+Monday%2C+March+23%2C+2020+after+student+residents+were+asked+to+go+back+to+their+primary+residence+amid+the+coronavirus+pandemic

The Runner Staff

Entryway of CSUB Housing East on Monday, March 23, 2020 after student residents were asked to go back to their primary residence amid the coronavirus pandemic

By Jenn Pardinas, Katrina Singleton, and Paige Atkison

CSU Bakersfield’s President Lynnette Zelezny sent out an email to all students and faculty on March 12 stating that CSUB, along with the rest of the CSU system, was transitioning to online courses until the end of the spring semester amid the coronavirus pandemic. CSUB students who live in student housing are concerned about whether they will be able to stay on campus.

CSUB students had been allowed to stay on campus if they had no other options for housing. This allowance seems to be uncertain now that Gavin Newsom, California’s current governor, placed the entire state of California on a shelter-in-place order late Thursday night, March 19.

CSUB students are now being asked to vacate their dorms at this time and return to their primary residence. It is unknown if this mandatory evacuation includes the students who consider CSUB dormitories their primary residence.

Transfer student Janet Rodriguez says she thinks the situation is not ideal, but understands that the school is closing for the students’ benefit.

“For my first semester, it was going great, I was making friends, but I am kinda annoyed,” Rodriguez said.

This is Rodriguez’s first semester at CSUB, and she feels that her dorm and college life experience were cut short because of the pandemic currently wreaking havoc through the country and around the world.

Due to the rapid closure of some CSUB amenities, like the residence halls, some students had to leave some of their items in their dorm room.

“I just feel the whole shutdown is really an inconvenience, because I don’t live here nor have family that stay out here, so I had to up and leave. And I didn’t even get to take all my stuff at that because my car wasn’t big enough,” Chaniya Dunn, a CSUB student resident, said.

Dunn was told that she would have to come back to campus another day to gather all her items, but is unsure when that day will be.

In an email sent out to CSUB student residents, CSUB administrators are encouraging students to stay away from campus if they can do so.

Rodriguez, like many other dorm residents, has decided to head back to her permanent home. A handful of residents have already vacated their rooms, with many more planning to by the end of the week.

Many residents have gone on shopping sprees around campus in hopes of spending their meal plan before they leave. Residents start out with $2,033 dining dollars per semester that can be used anywhere on campus and receive a 10% discount for every purchase.

Student housing sent out an email on Thursday, March 19 indicating the process of refunding on housing and dining services for the residents of CSUB.

“Students who transition away from campus will receive housing and dining refunds consistent with the time on and the time away from campus,” CSUB Housing announced in an email.

Newsom’s statewide shelter-in-place order is in place until further notice.

“We need to bend the curve in the state of California, and in order to do that, we need to recognize the reality,” Newsom said in a press conference.

Currently, Newsom is relying on a social contract with the citizens of California for enforcement of this order and has no intention of using law enforcement officers to make sure citizens are abiding by this order.

“I don’t believe that the people of California need to be told through law enforcement that it’s appropriate just to home isolate, protect themselves, go about the essential patterns of life, but do so by socially distancing themselves from others, and do so using your common sense,” Newsom said in a press conference.

During the press conference, Newsom announced that there is a possibility of using University of California and CSU residence halls as extra hospital beds if necessary.

Though Zelezny previously commented that students who have no permanent residence or students that are homeless may stay in the CSUB dorms, it is unclear whether that will remain in light of Newsom’s new order.

This story was originally published on The Runner on March 23, 2020.