City College president gives update on internet, excusing withdrawals

Serena Guentz, Features Editor

Superintendent-President Utpal Goswami provided City College students with an update on internet access, commencement and emergency grants Friday as the community continues handling the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

With all classes moved to online instruction for the remainder of the spring semester, Goswami said West Campus’s Parking Lot 4D will be open for students to park and use the campus Wi-Fi.

In order to practice social distancing, Campus Security will be monitoring the parking lot and students must remain in their vehicles while on campus.

City College is also in the process of ordering 500 internet hotspots to provide to students based on the highest financial need. Students can apply for one of these hotspot or a Chromebook using the college’s hotspot request form.

With this year’s in-person commencement cancelled, City College is working on putting together a “meaningful virtual commencement” scheduled for May 8.

Goswami also said that an in-person commencement for the future is currently in the works.

“We are committed to having an in-person ceremony at a later date,” Goswami said. “All current graduates will have the opportunity to participate in the in-person ceremony. You will have several months’ notice before this ceremony.”

Details regarding the virtual commencement and the in-person commencement are still to come.

Goswami acknowledged concerns some students have about requesting an excused withdrawal that will not impact their GPA.

Goswami suggested that these students continue with their coursework through the end of April before deciding to request a withdrawal.

More information regarding excused withdrawals, pass/fail options and refunds will be shared at a later date once details are finalized.

The SBCC Foundation CEO Geoff Green will also be sharing details of the foundation’s emergency grant program for students in need on Monday morning.

As for “difficult to convert classes,” Goswami said that the 27 courses that fall under this category will be handled on a case-by-case basis and students will be contacted individually. The college’s last resort is to cancel those classes.

“Thank you for your continued patience — this is uncharted territory for all of us,” Goswami said. “Stay positive and healthy.”

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