GRCC In the News, 8-24-20

Grand Rapids Community College offers hotline for students exploring local study options

Aug. 22, 2020; MLive

GRAND RAPIDS, MI — Grand Rapids Community College has launched a hotline and email address for students looking for local study options during the coronavirus pandemic.


Aug. 23, 2020; Community College Daily (American Association of Community Colleges)

… Grand Rapids Community College offers hotline for students exploring local study options

Students calling the Michigan college’s hotline can speak with specialists for details about the enrollment process, credit transfer options, paying for classes and using financial aid.

Plainsong Farm and GRCC partner to provide students fresh produce

Aug. 23, 2020; The Post (Cedar Springs)

More than one in three U.S. college students faces food insecurity every day. This problem is projected to worsen as the pandemic lingers into the school year and continues to particularly affect low-income and ethnic minority-households. According to a recent report from the American Psychological Association, students who are food insecure experience “significantly higher rates of depression, loneliness and anxiety.” They also have “lower self-esteem and lower grade-point averages and were more likely to withdraw from the university before earning their degrees.”

To help address this critical community need, Plainsong Farm in Rockford has entered into a unique partnership with Grand Rapids Community College to provide students with farm-fresh produce at their campus food pantry. Ashley Fox, GRCC’s Student Resources Coordinator, says, “When we were linked with Plainsong, we were able to source food more consistently. It’s local, it’s fresh…it’s been hard to have enough for everybody!”

Amid resentment and fatigue, Latino activists frustrated with Democrats make peace with Biden. For now.

Aug. 22, 2020; The Washington Post

Lorena Aguayo-Márquez felt sad and tired and angry ­— sometimes all at once.

(Aguayo-Márquez is GRCC’s Kellogg community recruitment specialist.)

GRCC creates face covering policy

GRCC has created a face covering policy to clarify expectations on campus.

New Policy 14.18: Face Covering (Mask) Policy

  • Policy statement: This policy was created to promote compliance and consistency with GRCC’s expectations around when masks must be worn on campus.
  • Section IX A defines face covering: A cloth material that covers a person’s nose and mouth.  Other masks such as N95 medical masks and similar clinical masks are also acceptable Face coverings, but GRCC encourages those masks be prioritized for medical settings. Face coverings may be secured to the head or simply wrapped around the lower face. They can be made of a variety of materials and may be factory-made or made by hand. The CDC does not recommend the use of face shields as a substitute for Face coverings, and face shields do not meet the definition of Face covering for purposes of this Policy.
  • Section X A states that face coverings must be worn by everyone on campus, including employees, students, visitors, contractors, vendors, etc. Face coverings must be worn in the following circumstances:
    • in outdoor spaces accessible to others if six (6) feet of separation from non-household members cannot be consistently maintained;
    • in indoor work spaces designated for the individual, when six (6) feet of separation from non-household members cannot be consistently maintained; and in indoor work spaces designated for the individual when six (6) feet of separation from non-household members can be consistently maintained but there are no additional safeguards (partitions, sneeze guards, etc.)
    • and in any shared spaces, including at service desks, during in-person meetings, classrooms, in restrooms and hallways, regardless of whether those spaces are currently occupied by others.
  • Section X B says that it is the responsibility of instructors, administrators and supervisors to monitor compliance with this policy. If an employee sees an individual not wearing a Face covering, they should:
    • Notify the individual of GRCC’s requirement to wear a Face covering.
    • Notify the individual where a Face covering may be found, if they need one, or any other feasible alternatives (rescheduling, virtual meetings, etc.)
    • If an individual refuses to put on a Face covering, classroom faculty may ask students and supervisors should ask supervisees to leave. Other GRCC employees may notify the individual they can no longer offer further assistance. If there are safety concerns, Campus Police should be called.
    • If the individual did not comply, after the immediate situation is resolved, the GRCC employee should contact the Office of Student Life and Conduct for students or Human Resources for employees to follow up on any appropriate discipline.
    • If the individual is a visitor, Campus Police should be called for follow-up. 
  • Section X C provides that additional Face coverings will be available at Campus Police and Student Life and Conduct.
  • Section X D states that monitoring and enforcement of this policy must be consistent with GRCC’s prohibition on discrimination, as set forward in various non-discrimination policies.
  • Section X E provides communication methods for Policy information.
  • Section X F provides a list of exceptions for the Face covering requirement, including information on requesting accommodations.

For more information, please visit the policy website.

Raider Salute for those who helped prepare ATC computer lab

Susan DelRaso is grateful for all the help she received preparing the ATC Tutorial and Computer Lab for the semester:

I want to say a big THANK YOU to Antonio and his staff in IT for the long hours and great work they have put in getting all the computers, printers, and, phones up and running in the ATC over the last week! You have worked around construction work, getting new furniture unpacked and set up, and fire alarm testing. I can’t thank you all enough for all that you do and continue to do in the ATC and around campus.

Thank you to Dave and Willie in Facilities for all the work you have done to help get the ATC Lab ready for students to start the Fall Semester.

A great big THANK YOU to Abbot Kastanek and Jim Van Dokkumburg for making it possible to get the ATC Tutorial and Open Computer Lab renovated. The lab is open and inviting, relaxing and spacious, while offering students more seating options. This new look is exactly what was needed!! Same great place, new great place! 

Stop by when you are on campus to see the new look! Room 215 in the ATC!

Volunteers needed for Information Stations

It’s that time: Volunteers are needed to help with the Information Station for the first three days of the semester, Aug. 31 to Sept. 2. As you know, volunteers at the Information Stations help our students feel welcome and find their way on the first few days of classes. This is especially important this year.

Things are looking a bit different this year:

  1. Based on the number of students on campus this semester, we are only running one information station, on the Olivarez Plaza.
  2. Shifts are 2 hours long (instead of one hour) to decrease the number of volunteers coming and going and minimize the spread of germs.
  3. Although we will be outside, masks are required while working at the information station.
  4. We will have two tables/chairs set up at the info. station, covered by a 12’x12′ tent. Every shift is covered by two people. Each volunteer will have their own table/chair facing opposite directions to account for appropriate social distancing.
  5. There will be plexiglas barriers at both tables.
  6. Instead of having a binder of information that everyone thumbs through, a Google doc. will have all relevant information. This will allow us to keep information up-to-date as things change.
  7. Please plan on using your GRCC-issued laptop or tablet to access the Google doc. of information (again, to minimize the spread of germs). There will be power at the tent in the event you need to charge your device!
  8. We will have printed maps on hand but will not have a bowl of candy or other refreshments. (To minimize the spread of germs… are you noticing the trend?!) Please plan on bringing your own water and snacks.
  9. There will be hand sanitizer at each table. We will also have antibacterial wipes so the table can be wiped down at the end of each shift.

You can sign up online.