On Thursday, May 13, Seattle Central College’s Library held another Conversations on Social Issues (COSI) session virtually on Zoom, leading a discussion about student survival during the pandemic. This talk focused on student’s feelings and struggles with the online environment during the pandemic.
The event was hosted by Central’s Library staff, Kimberly Tate-Malone, opening the discussion with the Land Use Acknowledgement. Associated Student Council Executive of Student Success, Robert Selfe, started the discussion with an ice-breaker question, “How are you doing this pandemic?” Participants responded with “anxious,” “tired,” “okay,” “languishing,” etc.
Selfe then expanded the discussion expressing that each individual’s feelings are valid, that this pandemic affects everyone. He gave a metaphor of a cup: if we keep filling the cup with our struggles, emotions, the cup will keep getting full until the water brims everywhere out of the cup. He then explained that each one of us also needs to learn to take care of ourselves so the cup does not get full.
The discussion continued with Selfe sharing a JamBoard link to the participants with questions and the opportunity for everyone to make edits. One of the questions was “What concerns do you have (not academic)?” Answers including “finance,” “housing” and “access to technology” were submitted. One raised concern that most students have struggled with housing, and that they need resources to find a way to help them out with rent. A participant jumped in the discussion about Emergency Funding available for students to apply.
Another question on the JamBoard was “What resources do you feel would be helpful for academic concerns?” There were answers such as student programs like student services TRiO-SSS that focus on academic persistence and provide individualized services to facilitate personal, academic and professional growth, and lastly Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA).
The discussion continued with people from different student support services at Seattle Central College giving students an opportunity to reach out to different resources, including Mindful Meditation at Central, Counseling, Library resources, Computer lab, Student Discord Hub and more.
Both Tate-Malone and Selfe ended the discussion by thanking all the participants and staff that were involved in leading the students to the right resources. Selfe mentioned that students should not hesitate in reaching out for the help they need since the pandemic is a struggle for everyone but no one should be doing it alone.