UTSA, highly adaptable, ahead of the curve


Courtesy of UTSA

A screenshot of the summary of all COVID-19 testing at UTSA published in UTSA Fall 2020 Archive

Editorial Board

Since Mar. 19, UTSA had received backlash from students, faculty and the UTSA community concerning the University’s guidelines for a modified in-person commencement ceremony. Guests were not originally permitted to attend any ceremonies and were going to be relegated to cheering on graduates via livestream. However, after criticism was received and COVID-19 vaccines became readily available, graduates will now be permitted to invite two guests. On April 22, UTSA announced guests can arrive with graduates to be checked in an hour prior to the start of their commencement ceremony. The announcement was much appreciated by the greater UTSA community as students expressed their support for the change of plans via social media.  COVID-19 undoubtedly has disrupted our ability to host traditional festivities that recognize the hard work and dedication of completing a degree. Although, the means to continue a transparent line of communication amongst each other has proved its worth not only as a university but a world. UTSA has done a commendable job to ensure the health and safety of students while offering a sense of normalcy of our greatest traditions. 

In the Fall of 2020, UTSA began action to help prevent and slow the spread of COVID-19 by offering weekly tests for on-campus housing students. Through a partnership with Livingston med. Lab, UTSA was able to offer alternate testing sites at Laurel and Chapparal village. Furthermore, the Student Union was also offered as a location to ensure accessibility to students and the UTSA community. Results are given to patients within a 24-hour time frame allowing enough time if time-sensitive action needs to take place, such as quarantining or contact tracing. The system is proving to be effective as there has not been a reported surcharge of COVID-19 positive individuals within on-campus housing students. 

In addition to offering COVD-19 testing, UTSA has also announced that vaccine registration appointments would become available on campus for students, faculty and staff. On Monday, April 26, ‘first come, first served’ registration appointments started and offered the Moderna COVID-19 vaccination. Since then, UTSA was able to announce another set date for Moderna COVID-19 vaccinations on May 6. This time, eligibility was expanded to include family members as well for those who are a part of the UTSA community. UTSA has become increasingly better at listening to its student body and continues serving the San Antonio community based on what’s needed. Individuals who are looking to schedule a vaccination appointment should check their University email for instructions about registering. 

As the 2020-2021 academic year comes to a close, UTSA has shown an ability to be flexible as situations fluctuate. By taking the necessary steps to ensure the health and safety of students on and off-campus shows commitment to student success. Although not every measure has proven unanimously popular with the student body, it’s clear that the measures UTSA has implemented have been effective.