By Eduardo Sanchez
The Welcome Center at East Los Angeles College is offering free resources for students including laptops, hotspots and Metro bus passes.
Abir Abdallah, a student worker at the Welcome Center, presented during the Business Club’s “Speaker Series” last Thursday and shared some of the resources that are being offered to students.
The pandemic forced classes to move online and as a way to assist students with this transition, ELAC is offering resources in the form of laptops and hotspots. Due to funding, these resources are only available for the current semester. Devices are still in stock.
Students can apply via a QR code or link found in the Welcome Center office. The link routes students to the scholarship portion on the website. This connects their student account with the application so that it can be filled out and then revised by Student Services to ensure applicants qualify.
“We do have laptops still available for students,” said Abdallah.
To ensure that other resources are still in stock, Abdallah suggests students ask at either the Welcome Center or Students Services, located in room 213 in the E1 building, as they are the ones in charge of distributing the equipment.
Student Services is also the department to contact in case applicants have not received a response after submitting their applications.
Another resource that is being offered to students are Metro bus TAP cards. Unlike the laptop and hotspots, the only requirement is to be an ELAC student. Students can apply via the QR code or link which can be found at the Welcome Center office. Once submitted, Student Services will get in contact as soon as the pass is available for pickup. Students will have to activate the card before use and must renew every semester to continue using the free service.
The Welcome Center is not limited to on-campus resources for students, but off-campus as well. For Homeless students, the Welcome Center can offer guidance to some of the on-campus resources available like the campus pantry for food and the Health center, which offers certain types of hygiene products. ASU provides items to distribute to non-members. Students can either directly ask them what is available or can get in contact with the Welcome Center for assistance. The Welcome Center has more information on other services on and off campus for food and housing resources.
Services for undocumented students offered on campus include free legal services to renew Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals applications. The Dream Resource Center can help with AB540 applications, Dream Act applications and provide legal assistance.
Another service that Abdallah spoke about was the 10 counseling sessions students are entitled to through the Health Center as part of ELAC’s health fee. Students struggling with mental health can make use of these sessions that are available for support.
Safe spaces is another service that is offered to students on campus. Any office that has a butterfly poster or person with a badge is certified a safe zone. Students are able to speak with the individuals and receive guidance with what services might be needed or just be listened to if that is what is needed.
The Welcome Center can also assist with adding classes, Cleared4 assistance, and offering information on graduating and transferring to ensure students are on track and meet deadlines. “If you are not sure if we offer it or you’re not sure… (if) we have it? What’s the process for it? Who do I talk to? We will provide all of that for you at our office,” Abdallah said.
The Welcome Center is available to students without an appointment or they can email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Emails made after 5 p.m. will be answered the following day. Students sending an email should provide their name and student ID number. The in-person office, located in room 176 in building E1, is open Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Friday from 9 a.m. to noon.