Field Trip! Arcade!

As others will remind you, Genesee Community College isn’t just that campus in Batavia. Actually, that campus in Batavia is only 50% of the college. We’ve spread things around as a way to make it easier for you to get to us.

One of the ways we do this is through campus centers. There are actually 6 now (alphabetically: Albion, Arcade, Dansville, Lima, Medina, Warsaw), built up over the years. Lima is the newest (hmm… maybe more about that at some point) but I was invited to Arcade to work with faculty on some of their course materials. Someone (you know who you are!) also told me that the Tim Horton’s on Route 16 is like the best Tim Horton’s anywhere.

TPTB will remind me to say there are also Distance Learning classes that don’t have a physical campus and a ton of high schools in which Genesee offers ACE program courses. But that’s not today’s topic.

So, of course, I packed my trusty camera and took pictures. I suspect a lot of you haven’t been out to a campus center ever, so thought I’d bring a flavor back with me.

It’s fun going out and working with folk I normally only ‘talk’ to on email. Hey! I can be as sociable as the next person! ::pouts::

I did get to work with a number of folk, got some serious work done helping faculty do things in Blackboard or for their courses and had fun visiting over lunch! Thanks, Deb, for lunch if I didn’t get to say so.

Behind the Scenes

The entire collection is on Flickr again, located here. I took pictures of some great student art and ceramics. I didn’t get them all, and my apologies to everyone I missed, but there is some very nice student work on display in the building. Stop by to see it if you’re ever in the area.

If you’re an Arcade student, you probably know Anne Heale, and if you’re on Facebook, you already know to friend her. If you haven’t, feel free to do so, she uses Facebook to post announcements about the campus and events, so it’s a good way to keep in touch!

Probably going back out in, hmmm, March. Watch for it!

Starting a Club on Campus

You have this really great idea for a club Genesee needs to have but you don’t know what to do about it! Here you are! Some, well, rules is too strong of a word but they are more than guidelines. Things you need to do to get a club started.

This is true for Batavia, as well as the campus centers. Just because you’re in Dansville doesn’t mean you can’t start a club! Go for it!

Things to do:

  1. Set up a meeting with Cliff Scutella, the Director of Student Activities, to discuss your idea. He is located in the Student Activities Office in the Student Union on the Batavia Campus.
    • At a Campus Center, set up a meeting with the Dean of the center.
  2. Find a faculty or staff member that is interested in being the advisor for your club. You need an (sorry, but I’m not sure I have a better word, so here goes) “adult” — an employee of the college — to work with you.
  3. Have at least a few interested members. More than just yourself and your best friend that you talked into this. Doesn’t have to be a dozen but 6 to 8 is a good start.
  4. Send an email to David Dodge (ddodge1@my.genesee.edu) and ask him about attending a Student Government meeting to ask about starting your club.
    • Bring a proposed constitution…which is a summary of what you want your club to be. Outline the purpose of the club, who can be a member, if there will be any officers and what they will do, any ideas you have about meetings or activities.
    • Bring a request for any funding that your club may need with the justification to support the funds. What will your club need money for, how much and — most important — why?
    • If you are from a Campus Center send David Dodge an e-mail with all of this information once you have it ready and he will put you on the agenda and you will be informed of Student Government’s decision via e-mail. Or, you may be asked more questions via e-mail before the Student Government can make a decision.

Simple as that!

Got any ideas that you think would make good clubs? Contact David directlly or leave me a comment and I’ll pass it on!

Did you get this letter?

Sample Letter thumbnailEvery registered student is sent a letter in the US mail with information on your student accounts at Genesee.

If you got this letter, great!

If you’re not sure from the teeny thumbnail, there’s a PDF (ok, larger) version available if you click here. It’ll open a new browser window, just so you know.

If you did not get this letter, help us figure out what might have happened?

Log into Genesis and in the “My Banner” channel, click on “Personal Information” and check the address(es) listed there. If you have both a Permanent Address and a Mailing Address, Spring 2010 letters were sent to the Mailing Address.

To correct a Mailing Address: Contact the Records Office or a staff person at a campus center to update your Mailing Address.

To correct a Permanent Address: You need to contact the Business Office directly about a change in your Permanent Address. That address is used as your legal residence and there are more limits on who can change that.

For letters that are returned to us by the USPS, we will send you an email (both your Genesee and any listed personal email addresses — check those pretty much in the same place you checked your address) letting you know that we got it back and why. If it was addressed properly, then it’s a post office issue. But if it was undeliverable for any reason, we’d like to help you get that fixed.

If both addresses are correct and you did not get the letter, send me an email (mjheider@genesee.edu) or leave me a comment here to let me know. Use your Genesee email, please, so I know who you are and can track down what might have happened.

Extended Absences

Generally, an extended absence means about a week. Whether you’re sick or have a family emergency, your instructor is out unexpectedly or the college closes for a week, there are a couple of things you need to be prepared with.

There’s a real college procedure on Extended Absences, Procedure 323. Worth checking out.

Now the things listed in Procedure 323 and the list below are basic ‘being a good student’ but sometimes it’s easy to not pay attention to the details and then you’re stuck.

  • Make a printed copy of your syllabus and assignment schedule and make sure you know where this information is.
    • With a syllabus and assignment schedule you can work on your own for quite a few days; it will help you catch up if you have to miss class or let you keep working if the directions from your instructor are “work on the next assignment.”
  • Your textbooks. If the class uses a textbook, don’t leave it in a locker or in your car. Make sure you know where it is so you can actually complete those assignments.
  • Know how to contact your intructor.
    • This may sound silly but make sure you know your instructor’s full name. It’s amazing how many students don’t know who their instructors are and we can’t help put you in contact with him/her if you don’t have a name.
    • The syllabus should have your instructor’s email address and maybe a phone number. Check for it; which do they prefer that you use?
    • Many instructors have Genesee office phone extensions and, therefore, voice mail boxes.
  • Know how to submit assignments.
    • If your instructor is using My Courses, where are assignments to be submitted? As attachments to email or a discussion. Or via the Assignment Tool?
    • Will your instructor accept assignments sent to their Genesee email. Some won’t, so check!
  • Use your Genesee email. If your instructor needs to leave messages about missing classes, that’s one of the places that a message might be left for you.

The most important part if you’re going to be out of classes for more than two days: TELL SOMEONE.

  • Tell your instructors. They know all about colds, flu, car accidents, sick kids, sick parents and life in general. Don’t go on and on about it but a message that you’re going to miss class for the next couple of days, and whether you can do work while you’re not in class (most will understand if you can’t get work done when an immediate family member is in the hospital). Keep your instructor(s) informed as events go on.
  • Contact the Dean of Students Office and leave one message with the folk there and they will contact your instructors for you. Call 585-343-0055 x6314.
  • If you will be out for more than a week and need special considerations (i.e. to be able to make up tests or missed work), you need to be prepared with appropriate documentation. Doctor’s notes are always useful for illness but gather whatever may be appropriate to your situation.

Information for All Students

An email is sent to students’ Genesee email address with “Information for All Students” every semester. This email has information on how to find dates, withdrawal information, testing and everything administrative anyone needs to know about attending Genesee.

Here’s the same information available on the college Help Desk web site: http://www.genesee.edu/gcc/helpdesk/ifas.cfm

If you think there is something that would be useful on that page, do leave me a comment!

Yeah, I know, snow happens…

So I’m driving in the snow to work today and, whammo, occurs to me to talk about it. This blogging thing can be addictive.

The school works really hard to balance the reality of it’s Western NY, it snows, deal with it and it’s dangerous out there — it’s not easy. There will be days the various campuses close (and they are all independent decisions, more in a bit) that you will think is a no-brainer, yet other days we will be open and you will wondering what anyone was thinking.

There’s no making eveyone happy.

On the other hand, your job is to not do stupid. If it’s really bad and you think you’re not safe going out, stay home. If you have kids who have a snow day that can’t be left home alone, stay home.

For students, before snow happens, find out from your instructor(s) how he/she will leave messages if class is canceled but your campus is not closed. Blackboard, email, voice mail? Can you get those messages? It’s okay to tell your instructor that you don’t have internet access at home, honest, not everyone does.

If you’ve stayed home, make every effort to contact your instructor. Leave a voice message, use that Genesee email or the mail inside Blackboard and leave a message about “snow, sorry, what did I miss?”

For everyone, if we close campuses or just cancel classes (and those are two different things), this is how messages are left:

So there is a non-computer option, just call campus, listen to the message and see what is closed or cancelled.  Don’t call the poor Public Safety person, he or she is probably busy managing other things.

Or wait for the TV / radio announcements, although they have a record of getting it not-quite-wrong; we’re working on that. But if they say classes are cancelled, that’s what you’re looking for.

Campus centers make local decisions based on local weather. Cancelling classes on the Batavia campus has nothing to do with decisions made in Warsaw. Heck, it might be nice there! Na-a-a-ah….. But that means you have to pay attention to the full message, not just Genesee Community College has cancelled classes. Which campus? Or all of them?

Early morning decisions are generally made by 5:30 am. Web and phone postings are going up as the various radio and TV stations are being called. Decisions about evening classes (when, not if, it snows during the day) are made as soon as reasonably possible, generally by 3 pm, but no promises there.

So, talk to your instructors. Instructors, talk to your students. Have an idea of how to get a message out (and what do you do when you’re stuck in a ditch an hour before class?)

Brrr….. I dislike snow…. but I deal. Tell me your snow story!

GCC ID Cards

Often the question is “why should I bother to get a GCC ID card?”

Well, the ID Card machine is currently broken and won’t be available until February 1 😦 and that gives me a chance to tell you more about what you need to do if you don’t have one yet.

Most of the offices on campus need you to prove who you are with a picture ID. Sure, you can use your driver’s license, but the GCC ID card works just as well. It also has the advantage that it has your GCC ID Number (aka “800” number) printed on the back.

There is the conundrum that you need your 800 number, which is printed on the ID card, to get an ID card. ::snicker::  But you can get your 800 number inside Genesis; log in, click on “Personal Info” and then on “What is My GCC ID” and voila! There it is.

To get an ID Card: In Batavia, go to the Student Activities Office in the Union and you can get your ID card there. At a campus center, ask a staff person about an ID card; they can take your picture at the center, send us the picture and the card will be delivered to the center in a couple of days. ACE program students can get and ID card but you have to come to us.

Here’s what to do this week and this also serves as a “What’s a GCC ID Card good for?”

  • Meal Plan – Students with meal plans can use their student number and a photo ID to access their meal plan.
  • Books – To purchase books at the Bookstore, students can use their student number and a photo ID
  • Bus – To ride the B-Line Bus, please notify the driver that you are a GCC student. Drivers are aware that the ID system is out-of-order.
  • Library
    • To check out materials from the Library, students will need a photo ID and a printout showing their “800” student number. Printouts from Genesis, Business Office, College mailings are all fine.
    • To use Reserve items, a photo ID or driver’s license is sufficient.

See? Lots of things!

Check back after February 1 about that ID Card system and I’ll leave a note about whether it’s working or not!