ASMC celebrates Valentine’s Day and return to in-person learning on campus

Students+gather+in+the+quad+for+food+and+fun+during+the+ASMC+Valentines+Day+celebration+at+Moorpark+College+on+Feb.+14%2C+2022.+Photo+credit%3A+Claire+Boeck

Students gather in the quad for food and fun during the ASMC Valentine’s Day celebration at Moorpark College on Feb. 14, 2022. Photo credit: Claire Boeck

By Claire Boeck

The Associated Students of Moorpark College held an event to celebrate Valentine’s Day as well as the return to campus following two years of distance learning.

The event was held on Feb. 14 in the quad and featured numerous booths representing campus resources and organizations such as the Learning Center, the Health Center and MakerSpace.

The quad was brimming with people and energy. Two food trucks offering coffee and hamburgers had lines that stretched dozens of students long. Booths offered countless free goodies, including free Valentine’s roses and chocolates. Many students sat on the grass to enjoy their meals and the weather.

One of the more popular booths, provided by MakerSpace, allowed students to get printed T-shirts with customized messages.

Angela Batoon prints custom T-shirts for students at the MakerSpace booth during the ASMC Valentine's Day celebration at Moorpark College on Feb. 14, 2022.
Angela Batoon prints custom T-shirts for students at the MakerSpace booth during the ASMC Valentine's Day celebration at Moorpark College on Feb. 14, 2022. Photo credit: Claire Boeck

Alette Laughton, the current ASMC Director of Student Services, spoke with pride about the event.

“I wanted to plan a Valentine’s event as just something fun for students, and then it happened that Valentine’s Day was the day that they came back to campus, so I converted it into a welcome back to campus event,” Laughton said. “I think it’s a really great way to highlight a lot of our student resources, as well as just give out free stuff to students.”

Dr. Julius Sokenu, the president of Moorpark College, welcomed the students with open arms and expressed his gratitude for the return to campus.

“This is what campus life is about, right?” Sokenu expressed. “After a pandemic of two years of being away from one another, being able to interact like this reminds us that learning happens in community.”

Many Moorpark students, including first-year student Tobias Taylor, vastly prefer in-person learning instead of distance learning and are excited about returning to campus.

“It’s much easier to actually connect with your classmates, especially when you can actually see them, because most people have their cameras off,” Taylor said.

Moorpark College student Sako Ourfalian had a similar experience.

“Being in a classroom, being with the teacher, it’s more hands-on. Versus online, you’re doing everything by yourself,” Ourfalian said.

Despite Ventura County Public Health officials lifting the indoor mask mandate as of Feb. 16, the Ventura County Community College District will still require students to wear a face mask indoors. Students will also be required to perform a daily screening on the MyVCCCD app. Those with medical or religious exemptions must perform semiweekly Covid tests.

Some students remain cautiously optimistic about the college’s Covid precautions. Steve Brandick, a Moorpark College student who occasionally takes art courses on campus, expressed concerns.

“I like the system they have of registering your vaccination and the survey you take every day, I just don’t know how strict people will be about it,” Brandick said. “It’s been a long time with this stuff, so I guess everyone’s getting pretty tired of it.”

For up-to-date information on COVID-19 and the VCCCD, click here.