Caitlin Hernandez/Courier A screenshot from the Student Services Town Hall virtual event on Wednesday, May 6, 2020.
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PCC’s Student Services department held their first coronavirus town hall on May 6. During this informational panel, the department discussed its efforts to assist students during the COVID-19 pandemic and the closure of campus.

A focal point of the meeting was the distribution of funds that the college has received from the Coronavirus Aid, Response, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. 

According to Cynthia Olivo, vice president of Student Services, 5,500 students have currently been awarded funds. The disbursement of CARES Act funding to PCC students is based on three factors: their estimated family contributions, unmet need, and their eligibility for federal financial aid. 

Student Services is in the process of reaching out to 990 eligible students that have not yet responded to emails about the funds. 

Olivo noted that some of the school’s CARES Act funding will be reserved for specific at-risk students.

“We’ve put aside a portion of our allocation to make emergency aid available so that we can look at individual circumstances that students are facing and make a decision on how to help,” She explained. 

This money could be used to provide funds to students that have been laid off, or that need to pay for mobile hotspots.

PCC Officials also addressed how students can apply for excused withdrawals and pass/no pass classes. According to Olivo, the deadline to apply is flexible. 

“Until we have a formal meeting and dialogue with the Academic Senate and agree upon a deadline, it’s available for all US students,” Olivo explained. 

Student Services has uploaded a guide on how pass/no pass grading can affect your transcripts on their website.

Olivo also elaborated on food assistance for students in need. Currently, the Lancer Pantry is offering electronic gift cards to food insecure students. 

Student Services has also reached out to students with a list of food banks in their area, as well as trained members of the pantry to assist students in applying for CALFresh. 

Ryan Tam, Associated Students’ vice president of Student Services, announced during the panel that PCC will be having its inaugural Asian Pacific Islander graduation celebration virtually.

The school’s physical graduation ceremony has been postponed to spring of 2021.

PCC officials spent much of the meeting raising awareness for the departments of the college that are still available to students virtually. The counseling office and the financial aid office both remain open for virtual appointments.

According to the Director of the Transfer Center, Tameka Alexander, the transfer center is also open and ready to assist students in the process of transferring schools, as well as hosting workshops.

To stay updated with the services the school is providing during the COVID-19 pandemic, check the Student Services website.

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