Counselors at JCCC raise concerns about inability to opt-out of in-person advising

File photo.

Like her colleagues, Shirley Wing, a counselor at Johnson County Community College, has a fair amount of anxiety about the days leading up to the first day of classes Aug. 24. At age 68 and caring for her 93-year-old father, she wonders why she and others at risk of COVID-19 can’t opt out of in-person advising on campus, while many classroom instructors can stay online.

Wing hasn’t socialized, gone to her health club or volunteered in months. Nevertheless, she and fellow counselors will soon be taking turns at the walk-in advising desk, separated by masks and plexiglass from students who may not be taking similar precautions. She said she’s been told that her age and her care-giving status aren’t reasons enough to be able to opt out.