New One-Stop Welcome Center Deals With Academic Concerns

One-Stop Welcome Center pictured in the Atrium. Photo Credit: Asar John

By Tatiana Tait

The return to the York College campus earlier this semester brought many new changes, as the campus had a different aura than when many students and faculty left it in the wake of the COVID pandemic. One of these changes includes
several student resource offices remaining closed amid student return, replaced with the new Welcome Center located directly across from the security desk at the front entrance of the Academic Core Building.

At the State of the College Address on Oct. 28, York President Eanes directly addressed the Welcome Center in her speech. “We’ve taken an extra step and developed a pilot project called the York One-Stop Welcome Center,” said Eanes, thanking the staff who have helped assist students in addressing their concerns.

“At that time we had it spread out and we were trying our best to triage a lot of issues. We serve the students with the
following services noted on the slide [a presentation shown at the address] here and these offices and others have been doing all we can to answer every question possible… in real-time and in the moment.”

Staff members from these offices are continuing to assist students from home. Virtual hours are still accessible and can be found on the York College website for Advisement, Registrar, Bursar, and Financial Aid assistance. The Welcome Center provides students with York website awareness, registrar information, admissions, computer, and printer access, and several other student-oriented services. The facility was created to help students readjust to getting back
on-campus and provide support with new COVID guidelines and entry policies.

“Since you can’t get to the actual offices you need to get to in-person we’ve been able to be a lifeline to help students get through,” said Kiesha Clemens, an IT staff at the service area. “And if you’re just coming out of high school and you’re just starting college this is all a new experience all together and you’re not going to know what to do. So we’re here to make it easier because I know it’s frustrating.” Clemens also says she’s been receiving positive feedback from
students regarding the service area. However, now that the deadline to receive the vaccine has passed and students are in mid-course, traffic has lessened.

Although some may believe the welcome center is taking the burden off of the offices that are closed on campus, others have a different opinion on the on-campus services being out of commission.

“I’m more lost and confused than I’ve ever been and this is my last year at York,” said York senior Jesani Caban. “I reached out to so many administrators for help before they began dropping classes and I was given the runaround. This professor told me to email this administrator, for them to tell me to email this person and in the end, I didn’t
even get the answers I was looking for.” Caban said she fears this may affect her expected graduation date.

Illy Marion, a junior at York College said she didn’t even know the Welcome Center existed. “I have not used it because
I assumed it served as a help center for new students,” said Marion. “York hasn’t brought enough attention to the Welcome Center.”

As the semester is coming to a close and the Spring semester approaches, the One-Stop Welcome Center will remain accessible and open to all students in need of academic assistance.

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