From eulogizing former NMC employee Hedwig Hofschneider, who recently passed away, to future plans for the college’s facilities on Saipan, Tinian, and Rota, Northern Marianas College president Dr. Galvin Deleon Guerrero touched on several subjects during a guest interview on KKMP radio yesterday morning.
In particular, Deleon Guerrero said that students who want to attend face-to-face classes this upcoming fall 2021 semester have to be vaccinated against COVID-19. He said the college’s priority going into the semester is to keep its student body and the CNMI as a whole safe in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. In line with that priority, NMC’s Board of Regents has approved a proposal to require all students in face-to-face classes to be vaccinated, Deleon Guerrero said.
For students who prefer to not attend face-to-face classes or for those who have not received a COVID-19 vaccine, NMC will maintain its online academic and extracurricular offerings.
Deleon Guerrero clarified later during the radio interview that students and faculty will not be allowed to ask each other if they are vaccinated or to show proof in classrooms, but said that NMC will acquire proof of vaccination during the registration process. Currently, there are three ways to show proof of vaccination to NMC: the COVID-19 vaccination card provided by the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp., the immunization summary also provided by CHCC, or the college’s Health Clearance Certificate that a student’s healthcare provider can fill out.
Deleon Guerrero also said those who have only received their first doses of a COVID-19 vaccine will be allowed to attend face-to-face classes. “The idea is we want to make sure everyone is safe, [and] we also want to make the process as flexible as possible,” he said.
Registration is ongoing for the fall semester that starts in August.
Also present at KKMP yesterday was Associated Students of NMC president Maia Pangelinan, who said that NMC’s As Terlaje campus will serve as a vaccination outreach site to further promote vaccination among NMC students. Vaccines will be administered at the campus from July 22 to 24 from 9am to 3pm on all days.
On the topic of future plans for NMC’s facilities, Deleon Guerrero said that NMC vice president Frankie Eliptico and Rachel Ann Fusco— who leads the college’s Capital Improvement Project team and facilities team— have been working on a facilities master plan for future construction projects at the college.
Deleon Guerrero said the long-term goal is to “build a college town” and “to make NMC a place where students can spend their whole day.” Part of these plans will be to revitalize NMC’s instructional sites on Tinian and Rota. Deleon Guerrero said he “didn’t want to reveal too much” as the college hopes to have a big reveal with the formal endorsement and approval of the plans by the Board of Regents sometime later.
Deleon Guerrero also remembered Hofschneider as a “kind, humble, hard-working person” who had been with NMC for quite some time. He cited several grants that Hofschneider was able to secure for the college, with one being a highly-competitive grant that the college would not have secured if not for Hofschneider’s “tenacity and hard work.” For himself and the rest of NMC, Deleon Guerrero said the best way to honor Hofschneider’s legacy is to “continue fighting the good fight that he dedicated his life to.”