Students, faculty, staff and community members who are interested in finding out about the experiences of a student parent are in luck.
The Student Parents and COVID-19 panel discussion, being offered by Fresno State’s Cross Cultural and Gender Center (CCGC), will feature three panelists who will be covering three different topics.
The panelists are Larissa Mercado-Lopez, associate professor for the Department of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Jamie Pontius-Hogan, Director of Title IX and Clery Compliance and Francine Oputa, Director of the CCGC.
The panel will take place via Zoom on Sept. 14 from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. The event is free for students, faculty, staff and community members to attend.
According to Deyanire Del Toro, Coordinator of Latino Programs and Services at the CCGC, the event was created as a result of concerns involving how student parents are adjusting to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I’ve been talking to a couple of faculty and staff on campus as COVID-19 hit and we realized that as parents ourselves we were kind of struggling with adjusting to the new situation that I think most of us are sort of put into,” Del Toro said.
Del Toro also said the pandemic created more conversations about what the staff as parents themselves were going through, and how students are feeling.
“We wanted to share information with faculty and staff who worked directly with student parents, so that they could have that better understanding of some of their needs and ways that we could support them,” Lopez said. “We also wanted to talk about the resources that we have on campus that student parents could take advantage of to support them during this time.”
Each of the panelists will talk about specific topics, as Lopez will discuss the experiences and challenges that student parents are having with adjusting to the COVID-19 pandemic, including the loss of daycare options and mental health effects.
Pontius-Hogan will discuss Title IX, the rights that pregnant students have, and the changes that are being made in Title IX as a result of COVID-19.
According to Lopez, Oputa will focus on supporting student parents and parents in general from a managerial and supervisory perspective.
“She’s going to be reflecting on her experience of raising children while attending Fresno State and while being an employee at Fresno State,” Lopez said.
Lopez also mentioned that attendees “can expect to hear more about the ways in which [student parents] might be negotiating, privacy and time and space and electronics with their children as [the student parents] attempt to take classes while their children are taking classes.”
“And, they’ll also be hearing about resources that we have on campus that could support them,” Lopez said.
The link to the Zoom meeting can be found on the CCGC’s Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts, with the handle for all three platforms being @fresnostateccgc.
Attendees are expected to log in to Zoom with their Fresno State email address.