Virtual Student Body Townhall covers variety of topics

1367
0

A Virtual Student Body Town Hall included answers to questions about graduation, Fall 2020, and beyond on April 23.

Katherine Squire, the student trustee on the Delta College Board of Trustees, moderated the event, with  prepared questions to faculty, board members, administrators,  and faculty. 

Squire started off with Delta’s postponement of the 2020 graduation ceremony and how the virtual ceremony will work.

Dr. Lisa Cooper Wilkins, Assistant Superintendent / Vice President of Student Services explained the process.

“We know now that the date for the ceremony will be on Saturday, June 6 at 10 a.m., will be live streamed on the Delta website, and spring application for graduation close this Friday and Monday will open the portal for students to calculate information needed for the virtual commencement,” she said.

When asked about Excused Withdrawals and the Pass/no Pass option for students, Wilkins said the policies add choices for students. 

“We see it as an opportunity for students to have a bit more choice since they have a choice considering going remote for their course work this semester, having the opportunity to select a pass/no pass. They have an extended time frame to excursive the option of Pass/no Pass up to a year and a half,” said Cooper Wilkins.

Tina Lent, Director of Financial Aid, Scholarships & Veterans Services, also  clarified how student success grants are going to be awarded and how it will work due to the COVID-19.

“We have awarded them and we continue to award them as we award new Cal Grants and as of this last week everybody qualified received the sscg for this week’s disbursement but as we get more for the semester, then we will be adding sscg at the same time,” she said.

Dr. Omid Pourzanjani, Superintendent/President, also addressed the question of student workers getting paid. 

“We have committed that everyone will be getting help this semester. We will find them work if they don’t have anything to do and I keep in touch with them to help, but we are committed to helping them find work,” said Pourzanjani.

Dr. James Todd, Assistant Superintendent / Vice President of Instruction and Planning, noted that accessibility and academic integrity is still the campus main message even if there is struggle.

“Our campus messaging has been about a culture of care and flexibility for students and understanding that inequality across our college and community of access to technology. Part of the struggle is on student’s knowledge in the online environment and faculty in how to teach online,” said Todd.

Todd also answered about final examination scheduling.

“Right now, all of our exams are currently scheduled to be online except for the areas that we brought back to campus, so the only area that we have students continuing it is the nursing program and I know they set up online examinations,” said Todd.

Edward Aguilar, Manager of Student Equity & Diversity, said it remained important for students to get access to laptops if needed. Students can potentially get one by contacting a Success Coach. 

Those on the Zoom-based call answered real-time questions from students too.

Squire ended the hour-long session with a question about mental health and well being.

“It’s important that people pay attention to try to utilize even the good ole fashion telephone technology to stay connected and utilize other mechanisms to stay connected to individuals in this time of being socially distant,” said Cooper Wilkins.