Prioritize safety and efficiency with campus entry


A line of students formed to get autorization clearance for wristbands at the south east entrance of the El Camino College campus. Students have to get the wristbands in order to prove that they have no symptoms or contact with COVID-19. March 1, 2022. Vitor Fernandez/The Union.


On Feb. 12, El Camino College officially welcomed students back to campus for the spring 2022 semester with more in-person classes being offered to students as COVID-19 restrictions begin to loosen around the nation.

To gain access onto campus, both students and faculty are required to use their own World Back To Work account links containing either their vaccination or exemption records. Each campus member must indicate whether or not they have COVID-19 symptoms.

A blue pass featuring a QR scanning code clears students and faculty for entry onto campus, while a “no pass” indicates that the campus member either reported their symptoms, showed positive results on a test, or failed their temperature check twice. With a blue pass, each campus member is required to grab a wristband to wear as they step into campus.

On Feb. 4, El Camino’s Office of Marketing and Communications sent out an email announcement updating community members with the news that vaccinated employees and students who are not athletes will not be required to test before entering campus. This decision by the College has greatly improved the time it takes for students and faculty to get access to campus.

The Union’s Editorial Board applauds El Camino College’s decisions in further streamlining the campus entry process and encourages more streamlining to be done in order to improve the efficiency rate at which community members are allowed onto campus, however, safety and responsibility to the El Camino College community must remain a key component in the campus entry process.


This Health Screening Kiosk is located near the South entrance at El Camino College, near Lot J. Although the World back to Work booths has QR code readers, many employees use their tablets instead as a means to get through lines more efficiently. March 1, 2022. Vitor Fernandez/The Union.


First Week experience


Weekday classes began on Monday, Feb. 14 and the first few days of classes on campus did not evoke much faith in the process of getting onto campus. Kiosks such as the ones stationed near the Manhattan Beach Blvd. Modules and Crenshaw Blvd. saw lines extending out near their respective parking lots.

Both El Camino College and World Back to Work responded quickly to this issue by sending more staff members to monitor the lines and adding another screening kiosk near the Pool and Classroom Complex building.

Having an additional kiosk and more staff to scan QR codes helped to move the process along more smoothly as the following days during the first week on campus saw lines decreasing in size over time.

El Camino College’s Dean of Enrollment Services, Robin Dreizler said that the college saw a larger amount of students coming onto campus grounds during that first week than what was anticipated.

“My understanding was that there were a couple of other areas where there wasn’t that many kiosks,” Dreizler said. “I think we as a campus did our best to anticipate where the students would be parking and walking onto campus, and I think we misjudged the volume of students that would be coming in.”

Dreizler said that once World Back to Work was notified of the higher volume of students coming from the southside of campus, they responded promptly in ensuring that students and faculty had enough kiosks and staff covering the common areas of traffic.

On Wednesday, Feb. 16, The Union staff surveyed several students on campus regarding their thoughts about the current campus entry process with a mixed result: some students praised the process as being simple and easy, while others shared concerns over the amount of time it takes to get their wristbands in addition to safety concerns with the World Back to Work system itself.

The experiences of the students that were surveyed by The Union staff echo the experience of the entire campus entry process during the first week as being mixed. While the campus entry process went along smoother as more kiosks and World Back to Work employees were added onto campus, the overall experience should have been handled with the expectation that the campus could be receiving a high volume of students. Being prepared and ready for a possible influx of students is better than being unprepared.


A line begins to form near the South entrance near Lots J and K at El Camino College. The students get out their phones to enter their health status to be ready to get their passes scanned. March 1, 2022. Vitor Fernandez/The Union.


The current experience


Now with a total of six screening kiosks, more World Back to Work staff on campus and the expectation of having to arrive early onto campus, this third week has seen improvement in how much quicker it takes for students and staff to get onto campus.

For safety concerns, lines remain long and overcrowded as the morning class students rush to get an early start to each day at peak time around 7 a.m.

The Union recognizes that this issue is understandable considering these particular students arrive on campus earlier than most faculty and staff members would be on campus. Many World Back to Work employees also arrive around 7 a.m. and naturally, there are many students eagerly waiting to be cleared for entry onto campus.

As the campus tries many different efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 among the community, El Camino needs to directly address the issue with overcrowded lines whether that’s streamlining the campus entry process even more to allow ease of access or reinforcing social distancing protocols.

After the influx of students getting onto campus early morning, seeing students lining up at kiosks becomes a rarity.


Students arrive early at the El Camino College campus and wait in line to ensure that they are cleared for campus entry before their classes begin. March 1, 2022. Vitor Fernandez/The Union.


The solution


In terms of efficiency, The Union’s Editorial Board believes that the use of wristbands remains an unnecessary step for campus clearance. Not only do wristbands contribute to environmental waste, but they should not be a necessity to have as the most important information on the health status of students and faculty are listed within their World Back to Work accounts.

Wristbands should be a secondary option to the mobile phones that the majority of community members carry. Students and staff should only be required to get their blue passes scanned directly from their phones without the need of getting a wristband to showcase that they’re free of COVID-related symptoms.

The blue passes on our phones themselves should act as the key to campus access rather than the wristbands. Wristbands add an extra unnecessary step in the campus entry process when students and faculty should only need to showcase their blue passes via their mobile phones to gain entry into campus, campus buildings, and their classes.

While overcrowded lines around peak times may still be a concern that the college needs to address, eliminating the need for daily wristbands should help to streamline the process of getting access to campus.

Together, both the El Camino College School District and World Back To Work have great systems in place for helping students, faculty and staff in getting clearance onto campus with their COVID-19 safety protocols in place. The Union also commends El Camino’s decision to allow vaccinated staff and most students access onto campus without the need to test or get their temperatures checked, however, many concerns persist that the school will have to address to ensure the safety of both its vaccinated and exempt community members.

Streamlining the campus entry process by eliminating the need for wristbands would greatly improve the flow of getting through the screening kiosks but as COVID-19 restrictions begin to loosen up for L.A. County and El Camino College, the district must also continue to listen to their community members by getting them onto campus both as safely and as efficiently as possible.


Editor’s Note: Fixed grammar errors and word placement on March 3 at 5:15 a.m.