#BCGoesOnline. The last of our 3 physical campuses shuts down. March 20, 2020

Novel coronavirus, COVID-19, social distancing, shelter in place, stay at home, Dr. Anthony Fauci, Dr. Sanjay Gupta,….. all names, words and phrases that have become part of our day-to-day conversations.

Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, March 21, 2020… A great day to be a Renegade.

“Business Un-usual” as #BCGoesOnline

The Academic Technology team helps BC faculty move their courses online.
Pamela Rivers and the Academic Technology Team help BC faculty move their courses online. Photo courtesy of John Harte.

In this time of uncertainty and crisis, I am amazed at how swiftly and robustly BC moved to continue supporting our students. We have been ahead of the curve with our response to the COVID-19 pandemic, sending out emails to our faculty and staff as early as January 30 with resources to keep themselves safe.

From the moment the incident command team was activated in late February , we cancelled events as we systematically ramped up our actions to ensure the health and safety of our campus community. Over the next three weeks we systematically moved all of our instruction, student services, and academic support online while preparing 40,000 students and 1,000 employees with resources for using Canvas, ConferZoom, Starfish and accessing their desktops remotely.

None of this would have been possible without the support of our staff in the Academic Technology and Technology Support Services departments, who made themselves available at every possible moment to ensure the continuation of our operations in a virtual environment. They worked three weeks and three weekends in a row to get the campus transitioned to an online environment.

This 2:15-min video message is from March 16th when BC was 100% online …. #BCGoesOnline.

On Thursday, March 19 at 3 p.m., we decided to announce physical closures at the Panorama Campus. The Delano Campus and BC SouthWest closed early this week, and we had already begun physically closing buildings on Panorama as their services were shifted to a virtual environment.

Johns Hopkins Dashboard snap shot as of March 21, 2020 7:00 p.m.

All access points to the Panorama campus are now barricaded with the exception of the Haley Street entrance, which is only accessible to essential personnel. All faculty and staff must call the Office of Campus Safety before and after leaving campus to be escorted by one of our officers. Bill Potter and the Maintenance and Operations team have deep cleaned and sanitized every building as it was locked so that they will be ready for students, faculty and staff when we are able to reopen the campus.

The three smiling toward the camera to the side.
Shelly Castaneda, Nicky Damania, and Cindy Collier.

Our announcement of physical closure of the main campus came just hours before California Governor Gavin Newsom declared a mandatory stay at home order for the entire state….. BC again staying ahead of the curve as the situation evolves. We wouldn’t have been able to manage this transition as smoothly as we have without the hard work of everyone coming together to address this unprecedented crisis. A big thank you to my COVID advisory team led by Nicky Damania, Cindy Collier, and Shelly Castaneda.

VP of Student Affairs Leadership Team meetings go Online March 20 2020

The Renegade family is staying connected with all-campus virtual forums on Zoom every afternoon during the week. We’ve hosted ten of these virtual seminars so far, with faculty and staff sharing their approach to the monumental work of moving our college completely online. They are also great opportunities to have some fun and share laughs with each other. I encourage everyone to join in as we continue our all-campus virtual forums on Monday, March 23 at 3 p.m. We have a lineup of students who will be on the panel.

Academic Tech Goes Online March 20, 2020

Now is still, and always, a great time to be a Renegade. It is our Renegade spirit and pride that have allowed us to face this adversity with efficiency and positivity. I know that our campus community will continue to band together to get through this latest obstacle, because We Are BC!

For now, keep checking our COVID-19 response website for updates, resources, and frequently asked questions.

Carlos Barbaran shows us how to make a paper mask

Academic Technology Weekend Open House

You could feel the energy and excitement in the library at the Academic Technology team’s open house event last weekend. Faculty and staff came together to provide each other with the resources and knowledge they needed to navigate our new normal online, and I was more grateful than ever for the opportunity to work with such talented, dedicated people every day.

Faculty work together to move classes online.

Thank you to Bill Moseley, Pamela Rivers, Matt Jones, Tracy Lovelace, David Greenfield and Anita Karr for all of their hard work throughout this transition.
Check out some photos from the Open House, which were graciously provided to us by photography professor John Harte.

#BCGoesOnline – Marketing and Public Relations

Despite our difficult circumstances, Renegades have attempted to build camaraderie and keep a sense of humor. We have been sharing our workstations and study areas with each other and on social media. I would like to start collecting fun photos of people’s workstations as part of new regular feature on the blog every week, so please share your workstation photos using the hashtag #BCGoesOnline when you post to Facebook, Instagram or Twitter or simply email them to earl.parsons@bakersfieldcollege.edu.

For the first edition, we’ll share photos from the Marketing and Public Relations team, who moved fully online by Tuesday afternoon.

Community Colleges Across California Respond to COVID-19

As the COVID-19 crisis continues, institutions of higher education play a vital role in preventing the spread of the disease. Colleges and universities like BC are working with local health departments to share important information with their communities about the symptoms of COVID-19 and how to prevent its exponential spread.

Chancellor Eloy Oakley at the Intersegmental Pathways Symposium.
Chancellor Eloy Oakley

Chancellor Eloy Oakley took an important first step to support social distancing when he eliminated the standard approval process for transitioning community colleges online on March 11.

I’m so proud of how our leadership in the community college system is supporting us as we move more than 2 million enrolled students across the state to online instruction. Thank you to Chancellor Oakley and the leadership at all of the colleges.

Creative Approaches to Social Distancing Around the World

While people throughout the world practice social distancing and shelter-in-place, they’re finding creative ways to express themselves, share hobbies and entertain each other at the same time. For instance, musicians in Italy are playing their instruments from on top of balconies.

To help people stay fit while social distancing, a fitness instructor in Seville, Spain lead a workout from a rooftop. Some people have even figured out how to play tic-tac-toe with their pets.

People play Tic Tac Toe with pets.
Did you know turtles and cats could play tic-tac-toe?

Livestreaming is being used in more creative ways than it ever has right now, with people hosting their birthday parties, DJ sets, game nights and happy hour hangouts through Zoom, Twitch and other virtual platforms. Check out this great article from the New York Times about coronavirus socializing for more ideas to lighten up your social life.

Some of the world’s biggest pop stars are livestreaming their concerts for fans, including Miley Cyrus and Cheryl Crow. Visit the Billboard website and NPR Music for an updated list of live-streamed concerts and performances. 

If you’re looking for some great entertainment to stream during all this downtime, Netflix has added some classic films to their service this month, including “GoodFellas”, “The Shawshank Redemption”, “There Will Be Blood”, and “Space Jam”. The first season of the critically-acclaimed FX show “Devs” is streaming on Hulu, HBO started the third season of its mind-bending series “Westworld”, and the long-awaited final season of “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” is available on Disney+.

Grandpa Arthur, this one is for you.

Archives Throwback: Renegades React to 9/11                 

Letters to the Editor - We will stand united
Illustration from the Renegade Rip.

In my search for inspiration to lead the campus during this important moment in world history, I looked to the past to see how Renegades throughout the decades have weathered the storm during moments of crisis. 

As you would expect, the Renegade Rip newspaper from September 14, 2001 focused on the World Trade Center attacks that had just happened 3 days before publication. Rip staff writer Ryan Knaggs and photographers Neil Kitchen and Alyssa D. Stumbo covered the emotional front page story about how the campus community mourned the tragedy while coming together to make sure everyone was safe. The entire staff of the paper sourced quotes for the piece, coming together on the day of the tragedy to file a story before the deadline to print. 

Opinions editor Daniel F. Hunt wrote about city officials’ reactions to the attacks, two op-ed contributors debated how the United States should respond to the attacks, and there were a collection of motivational quotes from students who had family members in New York on 9/11, as well faculty members such as Jack Brigham, David Rosales, and David Besst

Check out the main article from this edition below, and view an archive of all previous Renegade Rips on the Bakersfield College website.

Front page of the Renegade Rip from September 14, 2001
The front page of the Renegade Rip on September 14, 2001.

‘This is too big to be real’

Campus responds with sadness, anger following national tragedy

By Ryan Knaggs

Rip Staff Writer

Reactions on campus from the tragic terrorist attack Tuesday on the United Slates ranged horn disbelief and sorrow to feelings of anger and retaliation. The tragedy felt close to home even though it happened across the country.

Ken Smith, a 24-year-old student majoring in computer science, has four family members who worked in the World Trade Center.

“I feel nothing but pain right now, along with utter disbelief. This is too big to be real.” Smith said Tuesday. “Goddamn. I wish I could wake up. My emotions are beyond chaotic. No word has been given to me about the status of my family.” 

Smith said it may be several days before he hears anything about his relatives. While obviously upset, he does not want an unilateral response from the United States. 

“These people, if caught, they should be given due process and trial. Only then we should take action. We should not let this event rob us of our ideas” he said.

Judy Romanini, who works as a counseling technician at BC, has a daughter who was on vacation in New York. 

“I was panicked. My first thought was, ‘Oh, my God, are the kids OK?’ I saw it on the news this morning, it was about 6:15. So I was able to get through to her then – and it was what, 9:30 their time, I guess – and she was OK. And then for several hours, and then of course that was after just the first plane. after that we couldn’t get through for several hours, and she finally just called me about 10 minutes ago and said that they were fine,” she said. 

“She said they were 10 blocks from the tower, but they saw the second tower go down. She said it was an awful sight.” 

“People were in 1he streets just hysterical, people were crying. She said the worst part was when they actually saw the tower go down. She said people were jumping out of windows from the towers.” 

Students around campus reacted with disbelief. 

“This is a wake-up call, not only for the federal government, but also for society. It’s beyond belief,” said journalism major Katie Swank.

Nichole Ferullo, 18, said, “All you can do right now is pray for everyone that was in that building, and the families. I don’t think an attack like this should be taken lightly. and I think it will be met with extreme measures.” 

Some students said that terrorists will continue to plague America. Forty-six year-old Diane Baker who served in the U.S. Air Force said, “I’m scared. I know this is not over.”

The total collapse of the World Trade Center seemed surreal to Sarah Espinoza. 

“‘It was horrible,” she said. “lt’s scary to imagine something like that happening. It’s something you would see in the movies.”

The idea or a possible war was on the minds of many students. 

Tyrone Pickens, 19, said. “I feel nervous that a state on the West Coast could be hit next. I just hope we don’t have to go to war.”
Joseph McDonald, 18, said, “‘Man, that scares the hell out of me. I don’t want to fight.”

On the other hand. Victor Martinez, 19, said, “I’ll be ready if I have to be called.”

 Faculty and staff also voiced opinion on Tuesday’s tragedy. 

Dr. David Rosales, history professor, discussed how the U.S. may react.

“It certainly is a tragedy,” he said, “However, l think, quite frankly, terrorism is maybe the curse of the 21st Century. Certainly, it is going to be incumbent upon President Bush to have a response to this, unfortunate as it may be. It will be and would have to be a retaliatory response.”

English professor David Besst wasn’t focusing on teaching Tuesday, but on the victims and families of the attack.

“I just let class out early because the mood wasn’t right to teach,” he said.

Denise Pandol, a political science teacher who studied international relations, said, “I thikn we need not be fearful. We need to wake up. There’s tremendous support of groups against the US. It was unprovoked and deliberate. I hope the [Bush] administration will have the courage to tell us who’s responsible.”

Jack Brigham, a political science and history professor, said, “My greatest sadness is to my Islamic students on campus today, because so many people do not understand their religion and they actually associate this violence with that religion.

Dr. Randall Beeman, a history professor, urged caution.

“This is a really important event in our history,” he said. “We need not react with hatred even though we feel anger. We shouldn’t act irrationally. We need to pray for people and hold our anger in until we know who we are to be angry with.”

-Journalism students Daniel F. Hunt, Jarrod M. Graham, Elizabeth Gregory, Tami Olivares, Cody Slaton, William Henry, Alicia Zuniga, Megan Bell, Zachary Smith, Linda Sanchez, Audrey Ednaliao, Daniel Ruiz, Anna Bliss, Anthony Lewis, Yvonne Pereida, Claudia Cazares and Selena Cooper contributed to this story.

Renegade Athletics

CCCAA Decides to suspend all Athletics Competitions

Announcement about Renegade Athletics suspension.
Sandi Taylor’s statement about the suspension of athletics competitions.

In what was a domino effect starting on Wednesday (3/11) with the suspension of the NBA season, the entire sports world from the professional level to the high school level decided to stop all spring competitions effective Thursday. Word came from the California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) that all spring sports would be suspended effective immediately on Thursday (3/12) evening. That meant a premature end to the season for all 10 of our spring sports. Athletic Director Sandi Taylor put it best “The health and welfare of our student athletes and campus community are at the forefront of this decision. We are saddened for what this means for our sophomore student athletes and the heartbreak they are experiencing of not being able to play. We know the CCCAA will be working in conjunction with the NCAA and NAIA to navigate eligibility issues going forward.” We are all working through this challenging time and pray and hope for the best for our student athletes as they are all in their prime and working towards record-breaking seasons.

Towns and Robles Earn Honors at Cuesta Sprint

In what ended up being the final competition for Renegade Swimming this spring, sophomores Daran Towns and Esteban Robles took home honors at last Friday’s Cuesta Sprint. Towns was named Queen of the Pool for taking first in all of her races and Robles was named Male Runner-Up. Congrats to these two, even as it was a bittersweet moment to end their season.

The final round of Renegade Athletics updates for this spring semester:

Sonya Christian speaks at the Intersegmental Pathways symposium.

That’s all for now.

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.

the luckiest and happiest college president ever

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