Final Project Pitches

For my video project, I would like to reach out to organizations that are delivering groceries for those most vulnerable to COVID-19. There are quite a few organizations in my neighborhood that are coming together to help out others in the community. I want to interview the volunteers who go out of their way to help others during this time.

Another topic I might cover is the kitchen workers who are out right now still working in restaurants that are offering delivery and takeout during this time. While most restaurants have let go of front of house employees, the back of house workers are still working as many shifts as they can cooking food. I think it would be great to see those still working behind the scenes during these hard times

Online Struggle to Continue School


INTRO: CUOMO: Public education is very important, it’s important to all of us. On the other side of the balance beam is public health. I’ve decided to close the public schools because I believed it was safer to close the schools and reduce the spread. Also, we said that every school district before it closes, had to come up with plans to continue functions that they were doing because school district do more than just educate. It only makes sense to keep schools closed.

HOST: On Wednesday March 11, CUNY had begun to trend on Twitter. Every tweet about CUNY was regarding an announcement made by Governor Andrew Cuomo that both CUNY and SUNY would switch to online classes for the rest of the semester. Students and faculty had not been informed of such action directly until the next day when CUNY sent out its Thursday briefing announcement. All classes were moved to an online environment and there was a five day transitional period where faculty had to fix their curriculum to better suit an online environment. Despite the five day break, online classes have been a struggle for some instructors as a transition to online coursework was harder than imagined. Reporting for Baruch Radio Anthony Tellez covers the story. 

AMBI: Computer keyboards start clacking (FADES OUT)

TRACK1: With the announcement of all CUNY classes to go online for the rest of the semester, there was a race to ensure that both students and faculty would be able to transition to such a drastic shift in education. For some instructors the sudden announcement came as a surprise and left them scrambling to find something that works for them and students. Rosa Guevara , a student at LaGuardia Community College, had recently become a Student Success Mentor. Mentors are paired up with classes to help first year students transition into college life and most of her training was based on in person interactions with the students. Since the coronavirus pandemic forced CUNY to close campuses and go online, she had to make a transition to mentor students through Zoom, an online video conferencing app.

TRACK: ROSA: It was a lot of heavy load training. It required a lot of note taking and it required a lot of communication with students, so a majority of that time we did a lot of hands on or by hands on a mean like communication itself. So we would obviously talk to or have, I guess you could say role play on a student with an SSM. 

TRACK2: While the bulk of her training focused on in class interactions the closing of all CUNY campuses forced Rosa to move all her training to digital learning. In the five day break she would have to find a way to move all her training online as she faced her own problems being able to stay connected outside of school.

TRACK: ROSA: in the first five days they were not enough. There were times like at 9pm when  I’m not even on the clock where I was constantly checking whether students are okay. If  a student needed a specific resource. That I needed a specific resource which was a laptop because my brother, you know, he needed that, also a laptop. And the reason for that is because we share one desktop. So he needs to be in class at a certain time, I need to be in class with students that I’m teaching at a certain time. So I’m not going to fight with him over a desktop that is so slow, that we haven’t had. As a student at a community college you know I don’t have the luxury to take out a Mac or to get this. So it was a struggle for me to get a laptop at the time. 

TRACK3: While facing her own problems in acquiring a laptop in order to keep on working and mentoring her students from a distance, Rosa has noticed that some of her students simply could not keep up with online coursework from home. Some of her students faced problems that impeded them from attending classes online. Challenges students had included finding a daycare for their kids since public schools are closed, others have limited internet access at home and faced a similar challenge as Rosa did being unable to afford or acquire a laptop outside of campus. In one case a student was homeless and living in a shelter when the campus shut down. These are just a few factors that Rosa has felt that her students are facing while in quarantine. 

TRACK: ROSA: You know just stuff like that and even being able to make sure that, I guess you can say my students, that they have that resource and that they have a home, internet, a laptop or even if someone in their family is sick or something like that or if they can’t show up for this class on time. It’s different when you show up to class at a certain time. You dedicate that time for that but it’s also different for someone who has a kid and is all of a sudden saying ‘Hey I’m not able to show up for this 10am course that you’re teaching’. 

TRACK4: Since the initial shutdown of CUNY in March 12, CUNY Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodriguez has announced that summer courses would take place online as well. At the end of this semester students will be allowed to change their letter grade to a Credit/No Credit class. It has yet to be announced if both students and faculty would be expected to continue online classes in the fall semester. Reporting for Baruch Radio I’m Anthony Tellez.

Updated Radio Pitch

There is an organization in my neighborhood that is going out and delivering groceries to those who are afraid or more susceptible to the coronavirus. I would like to interview some of the members and volunteers on why they feel they must help others and ask if they aren’t concerned about their own health being put on the line for others. Additionally I would like it to lead into the video assignment where I follow them around while they deliver groceries to those in need.

Crash Victims Bill of Rights

For my radio pitch I would love to focus on the bike riders of New York City. Last year the city had seen one of the highest bicyclist mortalities rates since 2000 with 29 people being struck and killed while biking. There is now a bill called the Crash Victims Bill of Rights that would ensure traffic violence victims would receive financial help with medical bills on injuries sustained in the accident, funds allocated for burial services, and counseling for family members who lose their loved ones in such accidents. I would like to get the perspective of bike riders and street safety advocates about this particular bill in and what else can be done to improve their safety in the street.

Photo Essay Proposal

For my photo proposal I would like to cover Drag Queen Story Hour. There is an organization that sets up story times across public libraries in which men who are dressed up in drag read stories to children. The aim of the organization is to remove the stigma that is associated with drag queens while also providing a positive role model. I think it is a unique way to introduce children about different people and teaches them acceptance of others. They read at public schools, public libraries, parks, museums and other venues as well. Most are free to attend. I think it could capture not only the message but also the story of the people who read to the children and teach them to be more accepting of others.