Posted on: September 23, 2021 Posted by: Glacier Staff Comments: 0

Photo by Ethan Holesha

Freshman student Josh Fernandez (left) and math professor Bozena Lazarska (right) show their “Cleared4Class” screens in room A 184 in building A. A green screen represents a negative COVID-19 test and a blue screen represents someone who is already vaccinated.

By Ethan Holesha, Features Editor, and Mariah Trujillo, News Editor

With confusion and glitches surrounding the new Clear4Class application, Moraine Valley is extending leniency to enforcement of a vaccine mandate issued by Gov. J.B. Pritzker. Everyone at Moraine is now expected to be in full compliance with the mandate by Oct. 4.

As Moraine Valley enters its third week using the new app, work is still being done in order to fully execute the requirement in the mandate, which went into effect Sept. 20.

“We have been giving grace and guidance to confused students for the last two weeks as they become familiar with the governor’s order and using Cleared4,” said Margaret Lehner, interim vice president of Institutional Advancement, “We will continue working with them through the process this next week after which students will be expected to be on board with these guidelines.”

Some of the biggest problems with the Cleared4Class application lie within the program itself. Students have had issues uploading their proof of vaccination as well as their test results. 

“We had some problems with testing loading into the system overnight, and so that is also being addressed with the IT people for the company that we have contracted with, the South Chicago labs,” said Lehner. “So they’re taking care of those programming issues and also timing problems because right now we want them to guarantee to us that any vaccination that is taken today, for example, will be sent to us by tomorrow morning.”

Every day brings something new. You think you’ve put a lid on something, and no. It’s almost like the man-eating plant, ‘feed me, feed me.’ We just keep going because it’s an important responsibility.”

Margaret Lehner, interim vice president of Institutional Advancement

Peter Keep, assistant professor of mathematics, said some students have not received negative test results in time for class.

“It seems like the only annoying thing is the lag time from students getting tested to getting the results on Cleared4Class, or the lag between adding their vaccination records and getting their blue screen,” Keeps said. “But those have been easy to figure out so far.”

Issues with the application appear to have reached everyone from faculty to students. Freshman Josh Fernandez says he has heard complaints about the new system from several of his classmates. 

“A lot of the peers were having the purple access codes instead of the required green or blue codes,” Fernandez said. “Neither the students nor the professors knew how to directly fix the problem. They were just told to go to the library and see if someone could fix the problem there.”

Photo by Ethan Holesha
Freshman Patrick Thomas shows his blue screen which shows proof of his vaccination. Thomas was masked and social distancing while working on school work in the L building.

Students have expressed confusion as to when to get tested and how often one needs to get tested, among several other complaints.

If not vaccinated, students must get tested once a week, one day before they are expected to come to campus, as results generally take 24 hours to upload.

“I get my weekly covid test at the beginning of each week,” Fernandez said. “It’s a saliva test, so I don’t mind getting tested.” 

Lehner also said it’s easy: “Get tested. It’s spitting in a tube, it’s simple to do, it’s right on campus. And then you can go on with your life.”

There has also been confusion on what it means to be “fully vaccinated” and whether testing must take place between vaccinations.

“After your second vaccination shot, or for the first shot for Johnson & Johnson, you have to wait two weeks to be fully vaccinated,” Lehner said. “So during the time between your first shot and your full vaccination, you do have to get tested during that time because you’re not immune by that point.”

Ultimately, this means getting tested for two weeks after your last dosage.

If a student opts out of getting vaccinated but continues to get tested on campus weekly, a green screen will appear on the Cleared4Class application. After a student is fully vaccinated, so long as they record no symptoms related to Covid-19, a blue screen will appear. 

After this week, only students with green and blue screens will be allowed into the classroom. If a student opts out of testing and vaccination, but still logs no symptoms, a purple screen will appear, but purple screens are only allowed for community members of the college, not students or faculty. 

The last screen an individual may see in their Cleared4Class application is a red screen. 

“The red screen says ‘uh oh, you have symptoms or you have tested positive for Covid,'” Lehner said. “And then if you have a red screen, you will be contacted by one of our five contact tracers. They will tell you to leave campus and you will be contacted.

“Your professor who saw the screen will know, and then the student should contact any other professors they have on campus to let them know. The faculty member will work with the student, they’re sick.”

To ensure that the college remains on board with the mandate, faculty members have been asked to monitor students as they come into class. 

“When you go into your class, before you walk in the door, you have to show your blue screen or your green screen. And if you don’t have that screen up, or if you have a purple screen, a faculty member will stop you and talk to you about it,” Lehner said.

Although professors and students have described this routine as slightly different for every classroom, the protocols are being executed.  

“[Professors] ask to see it from our seats,” Fernandez said. “Many teachers don’t like to walk around or get too close to the students.”

I saw lots of speculation all over the state about how this might impact student conduct…but it seems like in my classes, students just want to come to class and learn about the concepts we’re talking about.”

Peter Keep, assistant professor of mathematics

Keep said he has his own routine: “I have been asking students to show me their screen while I take attendance or turn back papers and things. I’ve been able to check screens for students who are there when I arrive, and then have students show me their screens while they come in and settle into their seats.

“I do make a point to show my students when I check their screen that I’ve got my blue pass every day as well.”

As of Oct. 4, Moraine will enforce consequences for those who do not comply with testing or vaccinations, and professors are already preparing to handle that situation. 

“I feel prepared if I ever do need to actually remove someone from the room for not showing that they are allowed to be there, but I doubt I’ll have to do that,” said Keep. “I know it was hard to say what was going to happen when the Executive Order came out. I saw lots of speculation all over the state about how this might impact student conduct or faculty compliance or whatever, but it seems like in my classes, students just want to come to class and learn about the concepts we’re talking about.”

If students have difficulty with the Cleared4Class application, Pamela Haney, vice president of Academic Affairs, said help is available.

“If students need assistance with C4C, they can go to the following locations: Photo ID (S Building/Student Street) and Admissions Office (S101),” Haney said. “Additionally, the Library can also assist students.”

A month after the governor released his mandate, Moraine Valley is still struggling to completely implement it fully.

“Every day brings something new,” said Lehner. “You think you’ve put a lid on something, and no. It’s almost like the man-eating plant, ‘feed me, feed me!’ It’s back the next day.

“We just keep going because it’s an important responsibility. This is people’s safety, this is people’s health, and we want to do everything that we can to keep our students, staff and our community safe.”