COVID-19 has brought new changes and challenges to nearly every organization at Hastings College, but not every change on campus is dictated by COVID-19. Studio 200, HC’s on-campus resource for tutoring and homework help, has undergone several changes unrelated to COVID-19.
“We moved from Kiewit to the library, and the main reason for doing that was accessibility. Kiewit has stairs but no ramp or elevator, and we are the help for academic support but also accessibility and disability services, so it was important to me that we be in a fully accessible space,” said Emily Dunbar, Director of Studio 200.
In addition, Studio 200 is offering individually-packaged snacks instead of popping popcorn due to COVID-19 precautions. Studio 200 has also had to rely on technology to help students with learning and aiding with course work.
“We have Apple TV’s in the studio and now when students bring in assignments, our standard practice is to have them use screen mirroring. Rather than sitting side-by-side and sharing a screen, we can stay socially-distanced and view their documents on the big monitor,” Dunbar said.
In addition to social distancing, Studio 200 has had to find a way to meet the needs of students who are deaf or hard of hearing considering the extra challenges that mask wearing brings.
“For our students who are deaf or hard of hearing, masks pose a real barrier for them. We offered a tech solution for that, which is a live transcription service called Otter. So we have definitely gotten creative with some things,” Dunbar said.
Despite these changes, Studio 200’s goals have not changed. They continue to meet students in person and provide academic services, and their biggest challenges remain the same.
“The biggest challenge for us since the beginning of time is students having the motivation to come in. It’s hard to ask for help and support, and our motto has been to normalize help seeking behavior. We are happy to see any student that could use any level of support,” Dunbar said.
Studio 200 Graduate Assistant Jonathan Wallace agrees. “The best thing is that Studio 200 is right here on campus, and it’s free. If there’s anything that students struggle with or even just want an extra pair of eyes to look over, it’s important to come in and get whatever kind of academic support they need,” Wallace said.