ASDVC President pushes for campus closure in face of unhealthy air conditions


The AQI levels for Oct. 28. According to AirNow, Pleasant Hill’s air quality is unhealthy. (Photo courtesy of AirNow).

Kat Uher and Emma Hall

Concerns have surfaced over air conditions from the fires that burned on Sunday. Students now must attend classes in the smoggy conditions during the start of the week. However, Associated Student President Yuvia Mendoza is now taking the initiative to call for the cancellation of classes and to close the campus. Currently over 4,000 students have signed the petition.

Air quality has reached past 127 according to SpareTheAir in some areas – a level that is unhealthy for those who have a sensitive respiratory system.

Mendoza explained that the reason for her petition was because she was worried about student safety.

“I want to cancel classes because I was worried about student safety,” said Mendoza. “Even if the campus isn’t 100% closed admin should still give student accommodations.”

Arisa Routh, a DVC student from Lafayette, agreed.

“It should be closed down depending on the air. One to two days (of college closure) would be safe,” she said.

According to Mendoza, she has contacted administration several times but has received no response.

DVC President Susan Lamb sent out an email Sunday night asking students to work directly with their instructors on accommodations if they were affected by the power outages or fires.

Mercury News stated that most of the fires came from communities interspersed around the Bay Area, notably Sonoma Country, Contra Costa County, and Solano County.

Lamb also said in an email Monday that DVC is monitoring the air conditions and that masks are available in Student Union and Welcome Center on the Pleasant Hill campus.

Despite this, Mendoza will continue to work on the campus’s closure. Mendoza is in contact with the student trustee of 4CD, Shreejal Luitel, to start lobbying for the college’s closure.

“DVC should be closed until it’s safe to go outside.” said Mendoza