On Feb. 17, the arrival of Pope Francis is scheduled to take place bringing people from all over El Paso, Juarez and Las Cruces leading to the question of whether students would have been able to attend school on a day in which traffic congestion and closed streets are expected to delay classes and affect people’s schedules.
Pope Francis is scheduled to visit Cd. Juarez, Chihuahua on Feb. 17.
This encouraged the El Paso Community College Board of Trustees to unanimously approve the closure of all campuses and offices when Pope Francis makes his stop in Juarez.
Along with many other schools in the area, EPCC officials were mainly concerned over the student’s safety.
Art Fierro, EPCC Board of Trustees Chairman of District 6, said that one of the main concerns was the manpower that would be needed from a security point of view with there being such a demand for Law
Enforcement, but most importantly the student’s well-being is the main matter to be dealt with.
While many others would argue that the decision to close campuses comes across as a religion issue, Chairman Art Fierro would say “it has nothing to do with religion” but with the safety issue this day will present for students and faculty.
EPCC student, Ruby Guerreo said she finds the pope’s visit as a bit of a chaotic event that could create a threat with so many people at risk.
She also expressed how upsetting it is for her to lose class time when she does not find the pope’s visit significant.
“It’s dumb, how the person glorified is causing problems when his stay is only for a few days” Guerreo said.
Guerreo plans to stay home on the 17th where she feels she will be safe away from all madness.
With more than 27,000 students currently enrolled at EPCC, the Board of Trustees reasoning to closing campuses is all focused around the significance and size of the event as well as the faculties input.
With all security and police forces on standby, some emergencies will not be taken care of immediately which the board also took into consideration.
Proving to really be a safety issue, all of EPCC’s student services will be closed, however, online registration for mini-mesters will still be available at www.epcc.edu. Only essential staff will be working.
All El Paso Community College classes and offices will return to normal times on Thursday, February 18, 2016.