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Students First: The Student Experience

July 30, 2021

What can students of the Long Island and New York City campuses expect as they return to campus this fall? According to Assistant Provost for Student Engagement and Development Tiffani Blake, M.Ed., and Dean of Students Felipe Henao, Ed.D., much is in store.

On July 22, Blake and Henao joined New York Tech students for the first discussion of the Students First: Community Conversations series, a multi-departmental initiative launched in 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic, to provide students with information, resources, and engagement tools to help them thrive academically, socially, and personally.

The virtual July 22 discussion, “The Student Experience: From Campus Life to Career Services and Beyond,” was moderated by Lilly Pratt, Student Government Association (SGA) president for the New York City campus, and provided important updates on a variety of topics, including campus life, clubs, and many other student-focused areas.   

What Students Can Expect

The discussion kicked off with an exciting preview of the common areas and campus spaces that students can expect to see upon their return to campus. Henao was happy to share that the Long Island campus fitness center will reopen (operating under New York State COVID-19 protocols) and that students can have their meals at reimagined dining halls in Salten Hall and the Student Activity Center (SAC), among other updates. Meanwhile, New York City students can expect to see renovations to facilities such as a new café option at 1849 Broadway and upgraded student lounge areas, in addition to a variety of other renovations. Suzanne Musho, AIA, NCARB, vice president for capital planning and facilities management and chief architect, will share additional updates on these renovations and other reimagined campus spaces in more detail at the August 19 Students First series event, “The Campus Experience: New and Improved Spaces.”

Henao and Blake also invited students to attend the Week of Welcome, which kicks off September 8 and will feature fun events such as a welcome back barbecue, “whodunnit” murder mystery game, and many other ways for students to get involved and meet their classmates. Students expressed enthusiasm in starting their own New York Tech clubs, with Henao noting that some clubs may also be able to resume on-campus meetings. The speakers encouraged all students to receive their COVID-19 vaccine, if they have not already done so, to ensure the health and safety of all those who attend on-campus events and activities. While all students will be allowed to attend events regardless of vaccination status, those without a vaccine will be asked to wear face coverings while on campus.

Career-Building Opportunities

In addition to club and event participation, students were encouraged to seek out resources offered through the offices of Career Services and Experiential Learning, which will offer a combination of in-person and remote resources and workshops for résumé-building, internship skills, on and off-campus employment, and opportunities to develop their civic engagement and involvement in the community. Blake highly encouraged students to also participate in Consultants for the Public Good, an initiative that connects New York Tech students, faculty, staff, and alumni with non-profit organizations for community-based volunteer opportunities.

The speakers also provided resources for Long Island off-campus housing options and New York City residential halls. When asked if guests will be allowed in the residence halls, Blake noted those policies are still being finalized, but that information is expected to be made available to students by the end of August.

Students were also provided with resources for the Grizzly Cupboard, a food and resource pantry available to students at both New York campuses through the Bear Bytes initiative and the Nassau Inter-County Express (NICE) bus pass, which provides New York Tech students with public transit to and from the Long Island campus within Nassau County.

The Students First: Community Conversations Series features discussions aimed at informing students about changes to be made at New York Tech during campus reopening and the support systems available to members of the New York Tech community. Tune in on Thursday, August 19, for the next discussion, “The Campus Experience: New and Improved Spaces.” Visit Students First to find videos of our previous summer 2021 sessions.