President Sonya Christian discusses the future of on campus services

Jocelyn Perez, Reporter

A series of daily forums conducted by Bakersfield College President, Sonya Christian, where she reaches out to BC faculty, students, and community members as concerns continue to rise over the coronavirus. Some topics discussed at the forum on March 16 were financial aid, reduction of faculty, and online courses.

“Numbers of cases are increasing at a rapid rate,” Chrsitian said, as she displayed a graph of the cases that have been commencing over recent time. As of right now California’s number of covid-19 cases is at around 4,000.

Novices are starting to have a better understanding and level of expertise when it comes to the virus, in terms of the precautions and protocols to take. 

Christian stated that if citizens chose to ignore this pandemic it could exceed what the health care system is capable of handling. She suggested that people do not meet face-to-face, in groups of 50 and even even in groups as low as 10. 

Recently BC has put forth most of their efforts and attention toward students and as of today, topics of accommodations have shifted towards employees at BC. The focus is to keep the percentage of employees on campus to as minimum as possible. Other faculty members spoke on behalf of how concerns are being dealt with in their field of expertise. 

Reference Librarian, Sondra Keckley, claims that the library is already accommodating to students in need. Students still may schedule online library confrontations. Those who need help searching the library online, now have access to research-skilled workshops through canvas. Library faculty can get in contact with the students through Libchat. There are plenty of resources available to students, such as ebooks. There are over 170,000 ebooks in the online library. Other resources consist of digital references and audio files. 

Students who need help navigating the library can turn to tutorial through powerpoints, tutorial videos, and libguides. Students and others can stay updated with the library on social media outlets. As all professors transition from face-to-face sessions to online courses, other professors had to think more strategically since their field of subject requires hands-on work. 

Astronomy Professor, Nick Strobel, stated that he has been recording hours of lectures and then posting them on canvas. Many professors like Strobel have begun to use features on canvas such as Conferzoom, which is an online live video chat transaction of communication between students and their instructors. 

Everything that was once done in class is being shifted over to online, such as: quizzes, tests, lectures onto lecture slides, podcasts and, more. An essential activity that is required to have hands-on experience for students to learn are labs. 

Professors, such as Strobel, have been recording themselves using equipment and posting it on canvas or using Conferzoom, expecting students to analyze. Instructors in the department of physics and chemistry have tried a new way of having their students critically think and analyze experiments by designing their own experiments and explaining how they would conduct the experiments and what substances they would use. 

The financial aid office is still continuing to innovate their services but is still working to provide the students of BC. They have expanded to sources such as starfish where students can receive flags and alerts, zoom workshop, google voice, and email. There’s also a chat box at the bottom of the financial aid website, where students can get in contact with the financial aid office. 

Students who are a part of work study will still be paid, even though they are not actively working due to the current circumstances. They will be paid the minimum based on how much the students have worked throughout the year. 

Students and faculty can expect constant updates from the college as they are still innovating according to these unique circumstances all while following the protocols that are being emphasized to follow by the state which is priority, stated Christian.