Since the mid 1980s, I have been continuously enrolled in the College of Southern Maryland Continuing Education aquatic exercise classes. Understandably, on March 16, 2020, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the La Plata campus pool was closed, canceling all aquatic classes.

On March 22, 2021, CSM quietly announced through email that the pool would not be reopening and directed students to aquatic facilities and pools operated by the Charles County Department of Recreation and Parks that are available to the public. This arbitrary decision was made without any input from those who have participated in these classes. With the public schools now reopening, the opportunity for use of these pools by adults during school hours will be drastically reduced and/or eliminated.

At a time when COVID-19 vaccines are more available and we are attempting to return to normal, the college is sending the wrong message. They should be reopening the pool in a safe manner as have others in Charles County.

I would like to remind the college of their mission statement which reads:

“The College of Southern Maryland is an open-admissions, comprehensive regional community college that fosters academic excellence and enhance lives in Southern Maryland. CSM meets the diverse needs of students and the community by providing accessible, accredited, affordable and quality learning opportunities for intellectual development, career enhancement, and personal growth. The college embraces lifelong learning and service, providing a variety of personal enrichment and cultural programs in a safe and welcoming environment.”

With this in mind, I request the college to reconsider and safely start anew all of the wellness, fitness and aquatic classes.