Students had a period of adjustment from COVID screening check-ins


A line forms near Lot J at the southeast entrance of El Camino College on Tuesday, March 1. Students have to get their wristbands for proof that they are free from COVID-19 related symptoms and gain access onto campus. (Vitor Fernandez | The Union)

The spring 2022 semester sees students, faculty and staff back on campus as more in-person classes have returned to El Camino College.

Previously, the college only allowed essential industry classes to be held on campus during 2021, after shutting down the campus in its entirety during spring 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

While only a portion of the El Camino College community have returned, the campus has taken on many precautions to prioritize the safety of its community. Many students that have attended El Camino classes on campus for their first time or for the first time in two years had to pass through the health check-in kiosk tents.

First-year student, Alline Castro, 18, majoring in Radio Technology, said that she wishes she got a heads-up about the kiosks before stepping onto campus.

Castro said that on the first day the lines were long, she stood out in parking Lot J waiting to get a wristband. Castro felt that the kiosk near Lot J was most convenient for her since her 8 a.m. class was located in the Humanities building.

“Standing in line made me late by six minutes. I wish I was informed days before school started because the only email I received was to go to the private link and fill out the symptom questions and that’s it,” Castro said.

The process for students and faculty checking in to receive their wristbands became more straightforward after a period of adjustment.

“Now, it’s been a lot faster because instead of just walking in and going to the private link, I personally do it before I come to school,” said Castro. “And when I do arrive, I quickly get in line, wait my turn, scan and go straight to class.”

Although difficult and inconvenient at first, students like Castro have now adjusted to the kiosks process a few days after going through it.

Emily Rodriguez, 19, a business management major, said that this is her second year at El Camino but her first time on campus. For Rodriguez, her experience using the health kiosks instantly became a smooth process.

“It was easy, it was not a long line. There were a couple of people but there were a lot of different staff scanning the barcodes so it went pretty quick,” Rodriguez said.

Although technical difficulties and a smaller staff were the main reasoning for the long lines at the start of the spring semester, the World Back to Work company tasked with the entry process responded to help students and staff with getting checked in more efficiently.

Two World Back to Work employees verify students' COVID status near the ticket office of Marsee Auditorium at El Camino College on March 1. A blue pass grants authorization for wristbands that allow students to be able to access the campus and its various buildings. (Vitor Fernandez | The Union)
Two World Back to Work employees verify students’ COVID status near the ticket office of Marsee Auditorium at El Camino College on Tuesday, March 1. A blue pass grants authorization for wristbands that allow students to be able to access the campus and its various buildings. (Vitor Fernandez | The Union)

The Union student-run publication staff attempted to reach out and get in contact with the World Back to Work staff but were told they could not answer any questions or speak to the media.

The Union was told to reach out to the COVID Compliance Officer of World Back to Work, Ashley Smith. The Union left several messages for Smith but never heard back.

While no one on staff was able to get in touch with any of the World Back to Work staff or the director Smith, The Union was able to meet with the Dean of Enrollment Services, Robin Dreizler.

Dreizler said El Camino College is not affiliated with World Back to Work services and that it is a company service hired by the college to work on campus.

Dreizler said that the setup and locations of the kiosks were guessed based on where the Board thought students would park, enter the campus and go to their classrooms.

“Many students have never been to campus so we kind of anticipated where [the kiosks] would end up but were not sure where they were going to start. We didn’t know whether [students] were going to start in Lot L, Lot H or Lot C,” Dreizler said.

At the beginning of the spring semester, there were some issues at the Southside of the campus near the Math Allied Health Building. El Camino noticed that more people came into campus through that area than anticipated.

“We reached out to WBTW to mention that we had some long lines and asked if we could get some more people or open up another kiosk. And I think they were pretty quick to respond,” Dreizler said.

Dreizler was also satisfied with the assessment that WBTW did on fixing the issues with the kiosks.

“Overall, I think World Back To Work did a good job assessing the situation and getting more people in the areas that had more demand,” Dreizler said.