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Multicultural Center continues to serve students.

Updated: Sep 24, 2020



As university officials at the Rochester Institute of Technology have shut the campus down and shifted to distance learning since the middle of an extended Spring Break, on-campus staff were left with more questions than answers concerning what would happen to their students.


“I feel we are making decisive decisions at a time that requires them,” Jonathan Ntheketha explains. “However I believe we will learn a great deal about our preparation to respond while adequately providing support and information to our students.“


Ntheketha serves as the Associate Director of Student Success and Development at the Multicultural Center for Academic Success. After immediately going into self-quarantine upon returning to Monroe County, the first priority for him and his colleagues at MCAS were to take stock of their students in need of assistance and to keep up with ongoing developments.


“At the time,” Ntheketha explains, “I was on vacation with my family and I couldn’t quite place what that kind of decision would mean. Logistically, then developmentally for our students. How would students be kept safe? What provisions would be made for those who either couldn’t travel or didn’t have a safe, consistent place to live? How would this impact the mental health of our students? All these questions rushed to the front of my mind, even before considering how our work in MCAS might change.”


Though MCAS staff have adjusted to social distancing well since the university closed their doors, Ntheketha believes that they will learn a great deal about their preparation to respond whilst adequately providing support and information to their students.


Since April 9, 2020, Ntheketha has been working with fellow MCAS cohorts Bernard Rodgers, Stephanie Paredes and Megan Tornow to host weekly Zoom meetings for students to chat and reconnect with fellow members of the MCAS community.


“At times when it seems the ship is about to go down, Ntheketha explains, “humanity and understanding are oftentimes the first to go. While I know all of campus has moved forward and established themselves for a distant learning conclusion to the term, there were some bumps along the way that we need to be aware of and learn from as well.”


As most of our Tigers are stuck in their respective homes to help try and flatten the curve, Ntheketha remains faithful that we can get through this situation.


“We are all fighting our way through this, and not one of us has a tried and true blueprint. Trust each other along the way. Also, seek out the communities and groups that sustained you on campus and reconnect! Talk with or play a game with someone from campus and just be you. We all want to get through this successfully, so make sure we’re trying to enjoy it. Also, turn off the news and spend that time instead creating!“


Individuals who have questions about these meetings and/or are in need of accommodations for said meetings are advised to email Ntheketha at jxnmcs@rit.edu.

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