Nothing is quite as refreshing as an ice-cold lemonade in the summer sun.
And despite the heat, students and faculty filled Pierce College’s Botanical Garden last Wednesday to share refreshments and socialize with Interim President Aracely Aguiar.
The event gave students the opportunity to meet Aguiar, who was appointed in July, and receive in-person services which included the Information Desk, Admissions and Records and the Financial Aid Office.
Executive Assistant to the President Malina Koani said that Aguiar initially came up with the idea to have the event in the garden due to her love of gardening.
“She had walked through [the Botanical Garden] before and she thought it would be a really nice place to first meet the students who attend Pierce, so it just kind of blossomed from there,” Koani said.
After most of 2020 being virtual, it is common for students, like Emani Norwood, to not have explored the campus.
“I thought it was nice to get to see, look around and get more familiar with where things might be,” Norwood said. “I thought everybody here that I met today was very nice and outgoing.”
Norwood said that she was a bit concerned with the mask mandate, but knew it was for the students’ well-being.
“I think it’s a good idea to try to make sure every student is safe, and that they have less chances of potentially catching COVID and the delta variant,” Norwood said. “The only thing that is a little bit of a concern is social distancing and how hot you could get wearing the face coverings.”
Aguiar said that Pierce has been implementing different safety measures including having smaller class sizes, high level air filters in the classrooms and personal protective equipment available in the classrooms.
“The board is also working on how we can establish guidelines and policy so that the students, faculty and staff are safe and so that we can deliver education in a safe manner,” Aguiar said.
Aguiar also said that the school is in the process of implementing a system that would make testing available every week.
“Abiding by all of the Los Angeles Department of Public Health guidelines is the highest priority here,” Aguiar said.
Student Keon Abrisham, said that he believes it’s important to maintain the safety procedures despite some of the downsides to wearing masks.
“It can be a little difficult sometimes because sometimes you just want to get a breath of fresh air,” Abrisham said. “But honestly for the safety of everyone, I don’t mind it. Even though it can be somewhat of an inconvenience, it’s worth it. You don’t know what could happen.”