By Jesus Alcala Avalos
Governor Gavin Newsom signed the stay-at-home order in response to COVID-19 on March 19. In response, Mt. San Jacinto College has closed its campuses to instruction.
The order meant less work for some people, but not for Mt. San Jacinto College Superintendent and President Roger Schultz.
“I wish I had time for new hobbies or skills, but I think I am busier now than I was before,” wrote Schultz in an email.
As Superintendent, Schultz has been on campus to check on the facilities. While on campus, Schultz takes precautions by wiping surfaces and wearing gloves and a mask.
At home, Schultz has frequent conference calls.
Online meetings are not new for the MSJC administration, but the total isolation is new. Schultz wrote that after a week of online meetings, participants became more comfortable and injected more humor into the meeting.
In-between meetings, Schultz continues his physical therapy for his full knee replacement.
“I miss seeing students and the people I work with. I am a people person,” wrote Schultz.
Before the lockdown, Schultz participated in Pizza with the President, a regularly scheduled event that students could attend if they reserved a seat.
Schultz also attended the Brown Bag meetings, where teachers and students received updates and answers directly from MSJC administration. These meetings have moved online.
“The biggest thing I will miss is having a face-to-face graduation,” wrote Schultz.
A virtual graduation will be held on May 21.
In a Brown Bag meeting, there was discussion about potentially having a ceremony at a later time when the lockdown ends, but there were no guarantees.
While Schultz misses the days of personal interactions, he plans to continue practicing social distancing and wearing a mask to prevent the spread of the disease to vulnerable populations.
“I am so proud of our nursing students who are spending their final semester on the front lines at the COVID-19 testing centers in Riverside County,” wrote Schultz.
After the order is lifted, Schultz plans to take a vacation somewhere far away to meet new people and experience new cultures.