Campus Orgs Launch Virtual Meetings to Reach Out to Students
May 14, 2020
With the shelter-in-place ordinance running for almost two months now, different Skyline College organizations host multiple Zoom sessions to make sure students will finish the semester strong.
Alvin Gubatina, manager for the Center of Student Life and Leadership Development, stated that they are coordinating with different groups inside the campus to serve the whole student population.
“We are open to collaborating with different folks on campus because in order to serve all of our population of students, we have to be able to connect with different departments who serve those specific students,” Gubatina said.
For this month, they have partnered with Outreach Ambassadors, Peer Mentors, the Transfer Center, and other programs, learning communities, and activities that can be seen on their virtual calendar.
The Associated Students of Skyline College (ASSC) recently launched its own YouTube channel, providing content like cultural production and lectures.
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In celebration of Pacific Islander Heritage, the ASSC is extremely proud to collaborate with our Pacific community leaders to host these 3 cultural workshops online next week. All 3 workshops are 100% free! Just join us on Zoom, the meeting I.D. is 818.471.4280 – each date is posted next to the titles – all workshops take place from 1PM to 2PM. Here are the short descriptions of each workshop being offered this year, for in depth descriptions please see our Facebook: Tahitian Costumes – May 12, 2020 Workshop by: Vairea Tupana Samn Samoan Songs & Poetry – May 13, 2020 Workshop by: Epi Aumavae & Fagasavali Misa A History of Tongan Dance – May 14, 2020 Workshop by: Kuata Vainikolo
“We’re just trying to provide space where students can be together, but in a way with which they could still learn, and still be able to just understand a different demographic of students,” said Gubatina, who is the adviser of the ASSC.
TRiO Students Support Services, often just referred to as TRiO, host their own online study hall sessions in preparation for the finals week this spring semester, and to plan for their summer schedules.
TRiO Director Michael Stokes said that the organization has been continuously helping the students ever since everything transitioned virtually this semester.
“With the semester winding down, TRiO continues to offer counseling support, through Zoom or by phone — whichever the students prefer,” Stokes said.
Like the Center for Student Life and Leadership Development, TRiO has failed to carry out a number of activities on their calendar due to the threat of the global pandemic.
“TRiO was scheduled to take students on-campus tours of USC and UCLA, as well as historically black colleges and universities in Atlanta, Georgia,” Stokes said, giving examples as to which events were affected by the shelter-in-place ordinance.
Students are also given the opportunity to be their own hosts in entertaining and being there for their peers.
Political science student Fernando Montanes regularly attends Promise Scholars’ Program “The Study Room.” He also curates the flyers for the event and is also one of Promise Scholars’ social media handlers.
Montanes believes that socializing and connecting to the student community is already a struggle students face on the campus, and is far more difficult during this unprecedented time — which is why he is doing everything he can to help his peers.
“To have the opportunity to help out in Promise and bring a piece of Skyline to every student’s home is an important and uplifting task,” Montanes said. “In these times, during which being apart together is an obligation, it’s critical to still be a strong community, and to provide each other with any kind of human interaction, and the reassurance that none of us are completely alone.”
Other learning communities are also hosting online session rooms for students.
Kababayan Learning Community (KLC) hosts their virtual study hall every Wednesday at 7 p.m., allowing students to converse with KLC professors and counselors.
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Hello, folks! We hope everyone is staying safe and healthy. 💙👊🏾 Catch-up , study 📖 , or chill with us during our Study Hall hours every Wednesday at 7:00 PM on Zoom: https://bit.ly/KLCStudyHall ! NB: Check your Canvas or email for the log-in instructions. 🙋🏽♂️ See y’all there! 🙏🏽
Center for Innovative Practices through hip-hop Education and Research (CIPHER) hosted their own “Hype Room,” a student-run Zoom session dedicated to students who volunteered to perform and showcase their abilities last week May 8.
Despite the multitude of services offered by different organizations, not all students are able to have time to attend and unwind.
“There’s also the factor that there are students at home who are not just students at home — They’re actually taking care of relatives or they still have to work, or so many other things,” said Gubatina.
Nevertheless, Gubatina believed having these kinds of services is benevolent toward the students in facing these hard times.
“I think it’s important because students know that we’re still thinking about them that we are still here to serve,” he said. “I know that it’s been kind of rough, transitioning in such a short amount of time to virtual, but our campus and our district are doing everything possible to make sure that our students have what they need in order to finish the semester strong.”
From a student’s perspective, Montanes trusts everyone’s thoughtfulness and involvement in making the student community open to those who are in need.
“Times are tough right now, we’re all facing our own demons,” he said. “However, whether it be struggling to work on classes, financial issues, or issues at home, we all somehow manage to be there for each other … Although we celebrate our differences and diversity, it comes second when we care for and show kindness to each other when facing a common endeavor or struggle. Isn’t that what a true community is all about?”