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Monday, August 3, 2020

Financial aid, parking pass refunds and laptop pickup mentioned at faculty meeting

Los Angeles Pierce College faculty held their third meeting via Zoom on April 3 to discuss the novel coronavirus, how the college has been dealing with it so far and what should be done moving forward. 

Vice President of Administrative Services Rolf Schleicher kicked off the meeting by discussing how he felt the shift to online classes has gone so far. 

“We’ve done a really good job shifting over into our online environment and instruction,” Schleicher said. 

President of Pierce College Alexis Montevirgin spoke afterward and shared the same position as Schleicher. 

“I am very pleased and very proud of the fact of how the campus has come together during this COVID-19 situation,” Montevirgin said. “I know there are still lots of things that we are still working through. Know that we have our teams working hard and working diligently and around the clock in terms of trying to address as many of those concerns as possible.” 

Student Health Center Director Beth Benne hopped on and discussed the issue of how students without residence should receive their financial aid check. 

She discussed the possibility of entering a safe location, like the sheriff substation, with gloves and masks to pick up their checks. She believes this is the safest and only way for these students to receive their checks. 

Pierce College deputy Nick Saldivar spoke on how they are engaging with the public and patrolling campus during the time. 

He said that most of the general public has been adhering to the stay-home policy, and those who have not have left campus when instructed. 

He also discussed setting hours for faculty to visit the campus, but hours and days were not decided upon during this meeting. 

“Everything is running pretty smoothly on the law enforcement aspect of it,” Saldivar said. “Our checkpoint is running well.” 

Faculty also discussed the laptop scholarship which has been offered by Pierce.

About 9,400 students in the Los Angeles Community College District have applied for the scholarship and so far, about 1,800 laptops have been given to students. 

They are now discussing the possibility of mailing laptops rather than having students pick them up on campus, according to Faculty Professional Development Coordinator Fernando Oleas. 

For more information about laptop distribution, see the Pierce College Council meeting story.

Vice President Schleicher stated that as of Friday, the plan with parking passes is that those who had bought a parking pass this semester and will not be returning to Pierce College next semester, will receive a 50% refund. Students who purchased a parking pass and are returning next semester will receive a free parking pass. 

Financial Aid Director Anafe Robinson confirmed that students will still receive financial aid and that the college is receiving funds to award additional grants to students in need. The school will receive an estimated $10,000 to give to students and students will receive $100-500 based upon their needs. 

The District frequently asked questions can be found under “COVID updates” on the Pierce website. Students are encouraged to check there before contacting faculty regarding the pandemic and how it affects the campus. 

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