As we embark on a new semester and a new year, I find myself reflecting on an unforgettable 2020. Last January, the spring term started off like any other. For The Globe, that meant covering the Sundance Film Festival from venues in Park City, Salt Lake City and screenings at South City Campus.
We covered professors like Richard Prazen and his amazing metal sculptures, cheered the rise of both men’s and women’s basketball on the court, and watched inspiring keynote speakers Raymond Santana and Yusef Salaam — members of the Exonerated Five — discuss social justice.
And then — everything changed.
On March 12, as we departed our campuses for Spring Break, we learned that because of the COVID-19 pandemic, all Utah campuses would transition online. Within a week, a 5.7 magnitude earthquake shook the valley and our nerves. As Bruins, we pushed through, finished the term and said goodbye to the class of 2020, albeit virtually.
The next few terms were anything but quiet. As we learned to navigate our virtual classes, the world kept throwing curveballs. A fire gutted the Applied Technology Building at the Taylorsville Redwood Campus, hurricane-force winds tore up the Wasatch Front, protests for racial justice erupted across the country and we saw the most divisive presidential election in modern history.
Though difficult these times, the Bruin community showed resilience and purpose. The college provided access to vital services like the Bruin Pantry and free counseling sessions through the Center for Health and Counseling. Students stayed engaged in their classes and with one another.
This term, I will walk into a classroom for the first time in ten months. I am not sure what this semester will bring, but I am confident that we are up to the task.
Let’s take a look back at 2020 through the Bruin lens.