Vaccination Requirements Update for Fall 2021 term

California State University

Because of the current surge in COVID cases due to the highly contagious delta variant, the CSU is looking to maintain the health and well-being of their students, employees, and visitors to the campuses. Although the CSU is still drafting a vaccination policy, they are urging the CSU community to get vaccinated as soon as possible. According to the chancellor’s office exemptions will be made for students and employees who can not be vaccinated due to medical or religious reasons. But all certifications must be completed by September 30th, 2021. 

Chancellor Joseph Castro mentioned that campus leaders are setting incentives, such as scholarships, textbooks vouchers or prizes, to encourage their students and staff to get vaccinated. 

For further information, please visit the original article or official press release

University of California

In early July, the UC also announced that it would require students, faculty, and staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19 for campus access. The UC policy explains that students and staff must show proof of vaccination two weeks before the start of the fall term. 

Guidelines for how the policy will be implemented systemwide are being finalized and are expected to be issued next week. Look for more information from your campus.

For more info visit the official announcement here

California Community Colleges

Community Colleges Interim Chancellor Daisy Gonzales urged local community college districts to adopt vaccination mandates. According to this EdSource article, at least 29 of the state’s 115 in-person community colleges have announced some form of vaccine requirement for this fall including the Los Angeles Community College District, the largest community college district in the state. 

How to Enjoy Your Summer

How to Enjoy Your Summer

Looking for fun ways to spend this summer? Here is a list of different activities and events that are now available as California Begins to re-open! 

Find a Park: Find your local beach/park (or maybe plan a road trip!) and enjoy the outdoors. 

Summer 2021: In-person fairs and festivals in Southern California through September : Fairs are back! Here are their dates and where they will be this summer/incoming fall. We can smell the turkey legs and fried-everything already. 

Los Angeles and San Francisco museums reopening: The list : Who else misses romanticizing their life as they walk through museums? Here is the reopening list and guideline! Museums are great learning point as well as backdrops for your summer IG posts.

California reopening calendar: theme parks, museums, venues: Missing the thrills of roller coasters? Here is the reopening calendar, don’t let your masks fly off! 

25 Best Things to Do in California (2021):  Still unsure? Here is a miscellaneous list of what to do this summer, find one that best fits you. 

We have all had a rough year, the least we can do is enjoy this summer. Stay safe and enjoy this summer!

What is Burnout?

What is Burnout?

According to Help Guide, burnout is “a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress.” This can happen in any setting: personal life and obligations, work, and especially school. With having to deal with all the changes due to the pandemic, it is no surprise that many of us have checked out long ago. The lack of physical interaction with family and friends, the change between in-person to virtual work/ school, and the losses of family and loved ones to the pandemic have all left us emotionally vulnerable. On top of this, workplaces and academia are still expecting the same, if not, better results from us which makes dealing with personal issues even harder.

Symptoms of burnout include: 

  • Feeling tired and drained most of the time.
  • Lowered immunity, frequent illnesses
  • Frequent headaches or muscle pain
  • Change in appetite or sleep habits
  • Sense of failure and self-doubt
  • Feeling helpless, trapped, and defeated
  • Detachment, feeling alone in the world
  • Loss of motivation
  • Increasingly cynical and negative outlook
  • Decreased satisfaction and sense of accomplishment

If you recognize any of these symptoms, you might be facing burnout. As things begin to reopen in California, you might feel rushed to return “back to normal” however, it is ok to still be processing everything that has happened this past year. We are all experiencing this pandemic in a variety of ways and you should not feel rushed into being okay with everything that has happened. For this reason, we advise you to also take a break this summer from academia if that is something you need. 

Other ways to confront burnout include:

  • Setting boundaries: You don’t have to say yes to everything you are asked to do! Value your needs first. 
  • Use your time off: Use your pay time off, you earned it! In addition, take a break during the summer! This is the time to recharge and prepare for the upcoming semester. 
  • Indulge in things you enjoy: Sometimes we feel guilty for “wasting time” on things we enjoy, but there is no waste in doing something that helps/ betters you! You are investing in your well-being and that is valuable.  

These are just three tips to avoid burnout but the most important thing is recognizing it is happening. By recognizing it, you are then able to pace yourself and schedule yourself back on track! Burnout is normal and we all experience it, you deserve a break. We all do. 

Source: HelpGuide – Burnout Prevention and Treatment

COVID-19 Relief: CARES Act & Executive Action Impact on Student Loans

COVID-19 Relief: CARES Act & Executive Action Impact on Student Loans

What is the CARES Act & Executive Action?

The CARES Act provides relief to some student loan borrowers during COVID-19 by mandating that federally-held, direct student loans are automatically placed in an administrative forbearance that suspends both payments and interest until September 30, 2020. President Joe Biden used executive action to extend this relief until September 30, 2021.

Who qualifies to have loans paused?

Under the CARES Act and executive actions, federal Direct Loans all qualify as well as Federal Family Education Loans (FFEL) that are held by the Department of Education. The only loans that do not qualify are commercially-held FFEL Loans, Perkins Loans owned by your college, and private loans.

Is the pause automatic or do I need to opt-in?

The pause on most federal student loans is automatic and you DO NOT need to opt-in. Eligible federal loans are automatically placed in administrative forbearance from March 13, 2020, to September 30, 2021. If you made a payment after March 13, you can request a refund by contacting your servicer.

How does the pause work with the grace period upon graduation?

Existing rules allow for students who leave their program or recent graduates to not begin making payments on their federal student loans until 6 months after leaving school – this is called the “grace period.” Those whose “grace period” ends during the pause on federal student loan payments will automatically have their payments paused as well. Those whose “grace period” ends after the pause on federal student loan payments expires will immediately enter repayment.

How does this affect Public Service Loan Forgiveness?

The Department of Education states that suspended payments WILL be counted toward Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) if you meet all other loan forgiveness requirements. These requirements include if: (1) you have Federal Direct Loans, (2) continue to work for an eligible employer, and (3) were on a qualifying repayment plan prior to the implementation of the CARES Act.

What happens if I am already in default?

The Department of Education announced a pause on debt collection against defaulted borrowers, including wage garnishment, reduction of tax refunds, and reduction of Social Security and Social Security disability benefits. Recent guidance states that the pause on debt collection applies from March 13, 2020, to September 30, 2021. If collections against you were being processed after March 13, you are eligible for a refund on that amount.

What happens after September 30, 2021?

At this time, federal student loan payments will resume on October 1, 2021. If you are concerned about your ability to make payments, the guidance states that your federal loans are eligible for an income-driven repayment (IDR) plan, setting your payment based on your income for the next 12 months.

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5 Ways to Connect With Your Classmates in a Virtual Setting

5 Ways to Connect With Your Classmates in a Virtual Setting

By MONICA AGUILERA

Boba-drinking, Zelda-playing, Horror-watching brown girl from Oaxacalifornia.

During our Let’s Go to College LA launch, we found out that one of the biggest concerns college students had during this online transition was “how do we meet other people?” While prior to this semester, all it took was a “Do you have a pencil I can borrow?” to spark up a conversation with your classmate, that interaction is not very convenient now in an online setting. Meeting other people is important in order to establish connections, build study groups, and create long-term friendships. We have gathered some ways you can connect with others as we continue online learning! 

 

  1. Facebook Groups: 
    • Yes Facebook is still useful! Did you know some college campuses have Facebook pages and Facebook groups where students sell textbooks, recommend professors and classes, and share different events going on at campus?
  2. Wildfire: 
    • Wildfire is similar to Facebook but on a separate app. In your bio, you can share your major, your graduation year,and your residence hall. This is for folks looking for a more close-knit social network of their campus! 
  3. Zoom: 
    • Fellow introverts, use Zoom private message to your advantage! Respectfully reach out to your classmates asking if they want to form a study group for that class. You can share notes, discuss class topics, and fill each other in if an absence occurs! You can also ask in the chat box if anyone wants to start a Group Me or if one already exists! 
  4. Clubs: 
    • Clubs are still meeting during COVID, preferably check their Instagram pages to follow up on their meeting dates and times. You can also look up the different clubs your school offers and their contact info on your college’s club directory page!
  5. Campus Events: 
    • Campus events are still happening online as well! Apart from clubs hosting activities, campus resources like your Women’s Center, LGBTQ+ center, Black Resource Center, etc hold events too! Explore the different resources you have on campus and connect with them to attend their events and meet others.