tv Hearing on Returning to College During COVID-19 Pandemic CSPAN June 24, 2021 5:36pm-7:07pm EDT
>> >> good morning. the senate labor and pensions committee will please come to order but today we hold a hearing on supporting the needsc of students in higher education during covid-19 safely returning to campus the ranking member burr and i will listened opening states andnd then we will listen to opening statements presenters will have five minutes for a round of questions while we remain unable to be fully open to the public live video is available on our web site and if you are in need of commendations including closed-captioning you can reach out to the committee or the i opposite congressional accessibility services.
this pandemic affects us in so many different ways. colleges and universities have had to close campuses and services transitioned on line education and implement critical public health measures all while facing budget shortfalls and overall enrollment fell from 16.9 million from 17.5 million mark in a one-year decline of over 600,000 students. meanwhile this pandemic has disrupted students classrooms and housing security challenge their mental health up-ended the economyle and created more and certainty for students who are already struggling to pay for tuition brand food and other basic needs. the pandemic has shown us how much college students are hanging on by a thread. the fact that students with food and housing insecure before the pandemic -- and now these needs have only deepened. the pandemic has also shown us the power of supporting
community that is colleges look to safely reopen their many lessons we can draw from institutions that are thoughtfully and safely reopening. each college will need to take into account the needs of students faculty staff and vulnerable populations and bringing back more people to campus. including mental health and basic needs. the federal relief funds provided to colleges was a powerful and important step forward through the university of washington in my home state told my office the amount of emergency aid requests they are receiving is 20 times higher than what it was before the pandemic. a study from the university of north carolina at chapel hill found first-year students reported significantly higher levels of depression and anxiety in the wake of the pandemic. what's more to in five students
report experiencing food insecurities and almost have reported experiencing housing insecurities and one and six report experiencing homelessness. we know this pain has not been filled equally. >> hardest on his darkly underresourced institutions like hbcus other minority serving institutionsvi and community colleges. it's been a partisan students of color families with low income students with disabilities lgbtq students rural students veterans and first-generation college students and students who have always experienced inequities in our educational system to that's why was so important congress take action and while we have more work to do to see everyone through this crisis we have been able to make student loan forgiveness tax-free and provide more than $76 billion in higher education emergency relief funds including nearly $40 billion as part of the american rescue plan. i've heard from so many people
back in my state were at a lifeline those funds have been for school students. colleges have been able to useth these funds to support vaccination efforts secure protective equipment purchase cleaning supplies update technology for remote learning and cover lost revenue and perhaps most important they have been able to provide students with desperately needed direct financial support as they grapple with the fallout of this pandemic. because of the pandemic washington university is living in tents with their children and now -- an international student at seattle college couldn't pay for their rent or food. those funds are now helping them make ends meet. a student at edmunds college is considering skipping spring quarter so she could afford to s cremated and bury her father. emergency financial aid meant she could keep her classes.
and these are just a few of the many stories of the impact that funding is having on students. colleges have provide emergency funds 1400 students. clarke college 2500 students washington state university nearly 10,000 university of washington has awarded a two over 21,000 students. there are countless stories from heritage university a band university college and other schools than just the ones in my state and millions more from across the country about what thisli aid is meant to students how to help them afford tuition and books and food and housing and childcare and technology for remote learning. whatever was it was they need to continue their education. and i'm pleased we have anthony harris from baldwin wallace university in ohio to share his own story. anthony thank you so much for being here. i hope we take an important lesson away from us about the
difference it makes when someone gives a helping hand during a tough time. students like anthony and students like those whose stories i just shared are in many ways the future and the schools they attend their foundational to local economies nationwide. their success is critical in the success of our country and our communities but if we truly want to help students we have to do more than simply return to normal because t even before ths pandemic normal price tag was far to expensive than out of reach for too many students. normal left too many students hungry and homeless in hanging by a thread i and left them with historic amounts of student loan debt and with empty promises from predatory for-profit colleges. racial -- and at the domick -- endemic of sexual assault in bullying on campuses. this pandemic has taught us anything it is that we have to do better than normal.
that's why colleagues on both sides of the aisle will make sure the legislation we passed last year restored grant eligibility for incarcerated individual students who have been defrauded in students with drug related offenses. it's why we work to provide relief for historically black colleges and universities and to better support working students working families students who are paid low income and parents. i'm working to reverse the trump administration's harmful rule which madeat it so much harder r students to report an incident of sexual assault or harassment easier for schools to sweep it under the red. yesterday introduced legislation to double the maximum amounts for pell grants to expand pell eligibility and i've turned my democratic colleagues to make community college tuition free. back in my state in seattle the promise program is showing how supporting students with tuition
free community college can strengthen communities which is why the city is using covid relief funds to expand this program and help recover more students needs because they understand this is how we help eseattle returned from this pandemic. we have a lot of work to do to make sure every single student has the opportunity to achieve a higher education in a safe environment free from debt and as we continue that work or look forward to hearing from our owitnesses today about what the pandemic can teach us aboutay hw we can get this done and working with my colleagues we will make it happen. i will turn it over to ranking member burr for opening remarks. >> let me welcome our witnesses here today and i'd likeur to highlight mr. harris thank you for being here. you are the only one that is providing testimony today with who got their testimony in on time so if your professors are listening i hope you will get
extra credit for the timeliness of your testimony. the full reopening of the system is important. but i'm very disappointed that we aren't focusing v on k-12 schools for every student first. in the pandemic many higher education institutions reopened by the fall of 2020. more diverted to on line education and hybrid models with relative ease and we know districts learning in higher education works better because we have seenn it around the country for years. i'm not really sure that this is the right focus at this time. congressss gave $76 billion directly to higher education with three laws passed during the pandemic. yet as of the first week of jan $53 billion allocated to institutions remains unspent. that's 70% of the money waiting to go out the door.
it makes me question such an institution truly needed all this money. as former harvard president noted two decades ago and that quote university share one characteristic with compulsive gamblers and exiled royalty end quote. there is never enough money to satisfy their desires unquote. with all this free money i'm concerned about the lack ofed accountability that it brings to higher education. the four-year graduation rate for four year degree is just 52% according to the national center for education and business. we kid ourselves and have decided to talk about the six-year graduation rate instead. that's just 62% completion rate. we lie about expectations for completion and that we lower those expectations so that 62%
is somehow comforting. where i'm from 62% is ad and i guess d stands for diploma yet push and keep writing and tuition fees at four-year private schools jumped 44% over the past decade. 55% of four-year public schools in some graduation rates are terrible. tuition is up and democrats have refused to engage in a serious conversation about changes and instead they want to talk about how to grow more money to save the problem as the new government programs will somehow solve the problem of the last government programsob created. they college free cancel debt may be good talking points that back home i north carolina we have already made community college very affordable in west virginia and arizona they have made community college tuition
less than the average pell grant. i'm not sure the so-called solutions make a lot of sense and i i don't think we should reward states like california and massachusetts with their sky-high community college tuitions and give them an new taxpayer money. on top of that colleges and universities are themselves becoming more and more isolated from reality with regular assaults on free speech and returning to segregated programming such as race specific graduation ceremonies and counseling sessions. institutions are harming society at near communist island dr. nation that any idea that offends you must be banned from the classroom or at least any idea that offends if you are a liberal i should say. then there's the threatou from china. too many institutions of higher education roland students in china to pay for their books within these same institutions don't understand the concerns
about efforts by china's government to steal or intellectual property and subvert their resorts -- research base. that business while this is change in university needs to take the threat from china much more seriously. some people areus toying with student debt forgiveness games that are breathtaking in its embrace of reckless financial responsibility and has zero regard for the deep moral hazard we are creating for borrowers institutions had taxpayers through the biden in this duration despite the fact that each year of the loan cost taxpayers more than annual budget grant. all adults that have the chance to get vaccinated and to get back to work. there is no reason to extend the nonpayment at this point. i agree that there should be discussion about helping people who don't earn enough to makele full payments.
there's a bipartisan solution and i've worked with angus king called the repay act. we are ready to get to work if only someone from the white house would pick up the phone and call. you should have my number but if you don't it said burr. senate.gov will give you my telephone number. why are we having a discussion on k-12 reopening? are we concerned with the teachersrs union what they will save we demand the schools reopen this fall quick lesser publicans are blocked in our efforts to demand school reopenings. will we be blocked again and will union say they don't want to go back s to school this fal? the children are must -- much less likely than a dirt dad told stays suffer severe masses. teachers can be safely vaccinated thanks to operation warp speed we got safe and effective vaccines approved in record time and every adult in thisn country including every
teacher has had plenty of time to get vaccinated at this point. science tells us to win over 12 be vaccinated and hopefully this fall and winter the vaccines will be approved for younger children as well and until then we know the steps to take to keep everyone safe for in person learning. so there is no excuse. schools were not to fully reopen this fall could stay will hear about the troubling mental health consequences of the pandemic on college students who have had more opportunity to get back to the classroom than america's schoolchildren. what do we know about massive surges in anxiety and depression because of unnecessary school closures? in april less than half of all fourth-grade and asian economically disadvantaged english earning students were in fully in person learning could as of april less than half of
all eighth-grade students nationwide were enrolled for in person learning and less than a third of all black and asian eighth-graders were in person learning. emergency department visits were suspected suicides were up 22% of the summer of 2020 and 39% in the winter of 2021 and for children ages 12 to 17. science shows a schools can open safely. it's on the adults the school board superintendent's that make decisions to keep them close. most of our countries private school stayed open and made plans and they follow the science and serve their children far better than the public system. i strongly encourage every member of this committee to read a powerful op-ed in yesterday's "new york times" about an experience teaching deaths last
year in a charter school in washington d.c.. >> she speaks powerfully about the harm done by school closures to children pitch page he speaks about the power of education. it's an eloquent essay. it's as elegant an essay as i have ever read and i hope all of you will take the time to read it and to reflect on it as well. madam chairwoman i yield back. >> it thank you senator burr and i assure you we agree opening her k-12 schools is an incredibly important issue and the goal of everyone i know on my side and i intend to work with you to have a reopening of k-12 schools as we get closer to the fall when schools will be back in sessions so i look forward to working with you on that. there have been more students coming back in school including my. bash granddaughter which i'm delighted about and we all share that goal. with that weha will introduce today's witnesses.f
youlanda copeland-morgan oversees the university's office of a undergraduate admissions financial aid and scholarship strategic partnerships and community engaged went in the early academic outreach program. ms. copeland-morgan welcome and let me turn it over to -- >> thank you madam chair. my pleasure to introduce a man i consider a friend reynold verret dr. verret is a leader and has been a leader throughout the pandemichr finding a way to reon reopen schools and universities safely providing students the opportunity to learn in a way that is suited to their needs and circumstances. under his leadership they will continue to be a top feeder school in the nation producing
african-american physicians. he has increased in xavier savior's freshmanhy enrollment y 21% and improve retention rates by 3%. he's an accomplisheded biochemit and immunologist participating in the covid-19 disease trials and has been an advocate for vaccination of all in my state. he worked for local health agency in hospitals to post tesa fully operational covid-19 testl communities and to serve savior. before joining savior dr. verret was the provost at wilkes university and is the dean of the university of sciences in philadelphia and department of chemistry at tulane and clarke atlanta university and adjunct professor of immunology at tulane and warhol schools of medicine and conducts cancer research at m.i.t.. his leadership over these past
few months in p reopening savior has been impressive and with his background he understands the science behind the virus in the pandemic and because of this they made a decision to reopen xavier that allows students to be educated in person. he knows the benefits for students on the individual level and onon the community level tht outweigh the risks associated with reopening. by the way he also kind of if i may thought about the social aspects. restarting baseball as savior which has not been there for 60 years. the savior not only reopened and not only gave students normalcy they had a great season 27-11 making it to the world championship at universities like xavier had showing us the path forward on how to reopen colleges and universities safely while giving students the education and learning environmental they deserve. without i yield.
>> thank you center cassidy. next they will introduce anthony harris that got us testimony and onwe time and we appreciate tha. he's a senior at baldwin university pursuing a bachelor's degree in fine arts. mr. harris is a resident assistant on the campus and a member of the lack civil alliance. thank you for joining us to share your personal experience and to speak about some of the challenges that students have been facing during this pandemic. we are glad to have you with us today. finally madeline pumariega. did i say it correctly? are you there? she's the first woman to come president miami-dade college. before that she was the executive vice president and provost of tallahassee community college and the both those positions she's played a key
role in seeing students of this pandemic. we are glad to have you with us and lookan forward to your testimony and with that we will begin with vice president copeland-morgan ema begin your opening statement. sammy thank you chair murray ranking member burr and members of the committee for inviting me to appear before you today. i appreciate the opportunity to provide testimony in a significant impact of the congressional higher education emergency relief fund. the funds enable students to continue their education just when their dreams of a college degree seems shattered by covid-19. funds also proven to be a powerful investment or covering growth of our economy. my testimony g will address that it does not mean increased federal -- need for federal aid will end.
the needs of students may change but they will not diminish. in fact the opposite is true. to help meet these needs university of california systems have not increased tuition for the last eight years.or also 2019/20 the state of california warded $950 million in state grants and the uc system awarded 800 million in new grants to undergraduate students compared to the 400 million in federal pell grants. despite these efforts funding from the state and the uc system along with generous philanthropy it is not sufficient to meet the needs of students need for food adequate housing health care affordable transportation and other emergency needs. federal financial aid will continue to be critical in providing a college education to students who are the future
engine of the country's economic growth.ou in march of 2020ic would covid-9 began to rise dramatically in los angeles easy alike students especially from low income rural udin underserved communities had difficulty studying remotely without computers internet service or other basicfa technology. students in low and middle income families tried to find work to help their families pay the bills and keep food on the table. anyone who watches television and saw the long lines of cars of people waiting to get boxes of food for their families knows how widespread food insecurity is. the federal government helped by allowing flexibility in the federal work study program. we created new jobs so students could work remotely and we gave students their work-study payments in the form of grants if they were unable to find work but thank you for this
flexibility. funds authorized by congress were a lifeline. at ucla from april 2022 march march 2021 grants of nearly $18 million were warded to 22,695 students to cover specific pandemic related expenses.ed they provided a needs-based expenses on n it with a particular -- in early june 2021 ucla awarded student grants of 17.3 million to over 13,000 students. an additional 600,000 will be awarded throughout the summer. the process of forwarding the american rescue plan exceeded 46 million is already underway. without those funds oppose pandemic covid future would be extremely challenging for higher education institutions. funds enabled students to
continue their education graduate on time and work towards their dream of a college degree. funds have an even greater lasting impact. they are ann investment in the country's economic recovery and growth. research shows as workers educational attainment rises unemployment rates decrease in earnings increase. and as earnings increase tax revenues also increased. importantly college graduates provide government with a disproportionate share of tax revenue. at ucla we are eagerly looking to the future. when ucla opens in september 2 new classes will arrive on campus at the same time. theid class of 2020 and the clas of fall 2021. they will become a part of ucla's 43,000 student body. with their ongoing support the graduation rate will continue to be higher than most colleges and
universities across the nation. we are extremely proud of our undergraduate and her extraordinary record of achieving a four year graduation rate of 84.2%. after this terrible year the future finally looks bright again for a nation students. they need and deserve our support. thank you. >> thank you very much. >> chairman murray ranking member her members of the committee thank you for the opportunity to testify today. i am the president xavier university. my situation is a historically black university hbcu and a catholic institution. the ultimate purpose of xavier's two contribute a just and humane society but having students assume role a of leadership.
this includes research community services. i was asked to testify to the committee today on utilizing federal funds. i will speak for me to tuition but you may infer to other hbcus in this country. i began discussing the covid-19 virus with my leadership team in late january 2020 and soon after began planning for the eventuality that this virus might be -- and they are great 25, 2020 we had one of her iconic celebrations. on april 2 there were 745 cases of covid-19 in the parish. the population.ew 91,000 roughly. the data would later prove to us
that the health disparities that have ravaged the african-american community have been exacerbated and now will be revealed to us in special ways. african-americans especially in the city of new orleans were bearing -- i created task force with the following options for the spring 2020 semester. one is can to continue instruction the other is vacating the campus and sending people on per my decided to offerou classes remotely and for the spring semester continue through the summer. the fall semester we returned to its mixed modality in person on campus with special public health considerations. the maturity construction took place in person and we had
hybrid instructions for students whichtio allowed choices as to their preferred mode of instruction. especially academic support at at -- and those who remain at home. all facilities became single occupancy. 44% of our students normally live on campus. xavier is fortunate to have no layoffs and maintain the hiring freeze. savior will repopulate the campus in fall of 2021 for students faculty and staff resuming instruction and interactions that wereum commono us before the pandemic and nonetheless modified public health policies who can speak to those another point. i would be remiss ifoi i didn't-
for passing last year's congressional h.r. 70 for aids relief economic security act known as h.r. 1 33. and also h.r. 2019 pass by this congress the american recovery act. because of the cares act students have access to a total of $3 million in direct allocations. noting that our students are in tough economic times with unique challenges especially students of color many of the economic activities of our students have change compared in november of 2019 because ofo family situations. additional allocations to historically black colleges and
universities tribal colleges and universities and minority served institutions i've like to thank the congress for the hbcu capital finance program appropriation acts. many students benefited but xavier along with nine other institutions benefited and a m marginal way because relief was predicated on funding or the obligated. i'm grateful to funding the student population directly that is else. black americans are disproportionately affected by thect pandemic. lastly i have clear recommendations i would race raise for the committee per provide current relief for hbcu capital finance program for many hbcus that word not eligible
and 2020. two doubling pell is important for those students struggling in higher institutions and coming from low-income families and backgrounds. thirdly support demonstrations planned for job and infrastructure family plan especially the foreign at $9 million line item threatening hbcu programs that i want to thank you very much. >> thank you. >> i love a strongly worded and ago. it is an honor to be testifying before you today. i'm a senior at -- university that proud member of an
organization without that i would not be sitting before you today. to begin like to thank you for the opportunity to speak on behalf of higher education students from all of the country of benefit from funding and i felt the impact h in many ways y this devastating pandemic and i'd like to speak on behalf of students who could benefit from federalt funding but forward evr reason don't have access to the necessary means in order to reap the benefits. like many students across the country that hides have an unorthodox life experiences a lease began by being accepted in the credit program that offered the opportunity to take college-level students -- classes to get a head starte in my collegiate endeavor. again not only college credit but the imperative knowledge about higher education that i would use for the rest of my college career. i was introduced into the leadership program key club and
circle k that encourage students and prepared them for college readiness. the harsh reality as individuals can go to college if they can afford it. this unique organization provides students with personalized scholarship opportunities and additional support services designed to aid students in their transition to higher education. through college now is offered assistance in filling out a free application for student aid. an application form that i knew nothing about. after learning about this form and being given access to the support that i needed i discovered i was eligible to receive pellen grants hunting tt offered students just like me thousands of dollars toward their education. several funding was life-changing. attending college became more attainable for students who are financially disadvantage is and made it available for me to
transfer to universities and offer peace of mind to my family and myself because this federal funding will follow me to any university want to go to but i was able to transfer with financial cover. these programs and then it became more imperative when news of the covid-19 pandemic became public during spring break. students said let's campus to go home were t asked to stay in the trajectory of our semester change dramatically. her physician and struck jurors were given just one week to redesign their entire syllabus to meet the needs of distance learning. it was hard for faculty and staff and difficult for students as well. i've had no access to a personal computer or laptop. the college pulled together resources it provides students like me with the computer for distance learning. i was passed to keep in comment with all of my residence and i
realized how the pandemic has affected all of them. i found many students struggle with a wide variety of topics.bl some students didn't have access to computers like myself and others had no access to the internet at all and some didn't feel they had a safe place to call that they could even home. iron checked it was some students who lived off campus and out of the country who could not make it home to see their families. it was very bleak until students got word of the cares act funny that they were being offered. this funding can be used for wide variety of things. i use the funding to get books and for internet access. other campuswide uses include transportation foods tuitionns d savings even the cares act funding disbursement continues -- students continued to find waysiv to continue at al
costs. baldwin wallace has adopted a new and more complex way of learning for platforms are students or at being asked to attend classes on line and in-person at their professor's discretion. i applaud this new way of education. all studentse were given test before returning to campus and masks for the entire semester. furthermore the university conducted randomized testing teg until students at random could be tested for the coronavirus and vaccines were offered that all these measures worked because we are able to remain on campus for the entire academic year. the thing i find c most importat of the access to federal funding continues to go out to organizations like college now and they continue to go up as the world continues to evolve. i believe the world of higher
education would benefithe from a pell grant and the support of covid relief funds. i thank you all for your time and for listening to my long story and it has been an absolute honor. >> thank you very much. really appreciate your personal perspective today. thankpe you. president pumariega. >> good morning madam chair rank you member burr and members of the labor and pensions committee. thank you for inviting me here today to testify regarding funding for colleges. my name is madeline pumariega and i'm the president of the college. i must say since the first day that i arrived on campus might. he has been to ensure not only the physical safety of our students but also the physical safety of our organizations and on behalf of the 1100 community
colleges0 across america i know that we serve as economic and workforce engines for our community. tymiami-dade college is the nation's most diverse institution of higher education with the student body representing 167 nations and one of the largest if not the largest community college in universities across the country serving 120,000 students. there has been a great impact on the region's we serve in miami-dade county which has more than 2 million of our student alumni offering more than 300 career pathways miami-dade college is at the cutting edge of technology with hundreds of strategic workforce partnerships with partnerships that include
global companies. miami-dade county 85% of arab businesses of have less less than 50 employees that we serve is that conduit for workforce training. since the beginning of the pandemic miami-dade college amos andrew rhame remained open for a brief period when staff wanted to work on redesigning courses that we could put up in virtual platforms for students. we did that and we have remained open. we provided support for students whether it's in person or virtually. all of our courses were being taught in multiple platforms not only in person but also hybrid telepresence in this past jamboree we launched nbc live
lab learning and interactive environments of students in the distant format can interact with each other and faculty. the coronavirus aid provided almost $14 billion in higher education institutions to support the cost of shipping and from urgency financial aid plans for food housing technology and many other components related to the students cost of attendance and from urgency caused due to the virus. when funding was announced early this year my college received more than $50 million during the first round which went to students. we provided aid to thousands of students not only in scholarships but also an emergency grant funding security
dollars as well as opportunity for retraining. nbc played an important role in terms of recovery from the pandemic by not only offering free and low-cost courses and programs in an emerging industry and helping those who have been reading place to retool and get back to the workforce and also a federal vaccination site très to date we have administered over 350,000 vaccines leading the southeast. miami-dade college took a different approach to prepare and respond to the pandemic in early january that the college had launched an emergency program that supported the continuity of operations and quite frankly today we have seen are on romance bounce back
aligning with our people centric mission to the workforce program that we know our community needs and their workforce partners need as well. research shows many students are food and housing insecure and the dollars that help support her students. we have aligned the dollars tont ensure that we are bided ppe the right safety measures for all of our campuses and have returned everyone back to work offering in person on line virtual courses. thank you for this time and allowing me to share the way that miami-dade college has supported our community and the way that art colleges are working together so that we secure our promise toward the future that help students pass
the power of education in aligning our program to those areas that are workforce partners and to support university transfer pathways as well. >> thank you douala for witnesses for your important testimony. we will begin around the five-minute questions of nick and oscar collies to keep track of the clock and stay within your five minutes.et ms. copeland-morgan what is their review. students have faced unprecedented challenges over the past year as you know, you're not have actually from the pandemic and the economic recession. with a lot of her students experiencing significant financial harm. according to hope center study reviews the smart 60% of college students do not have what is called a sick need security during the pandemic due to lack of access to nutrition and sufficient food safe secured adequate housing health care to promote physical and mental well-being technology and transportation hygiene and
childcare and other related needs. these challenges are more severe for black students and the gap between black students was 16 percentage points. further confirming the disparities we have long known to be true. on may 2021 survey released by the national association of student financial aid administration shows students continue to make increased requests for professional judgment of professional judgment allows administrators to make changes to his unusual circumstances on a case-by-case basis so ms. copeland-morgan can you share how ucla uses of federal funding to make sure students financial and basic needs were met? >> thank you for the question. first of all is the topic
institution that responsibility and their mission is to make sure we are serving all students across the state of california that means we have a disproportionate number of students that are first-generation college students who are outstanding and are graduating from the university at rates that are not seen enough across our country. the first -- we got was all about technology. students were safer at home and studying from home but that was not true for somebody for students so we put a lot of money paying for computers internet service and other technology specifically for graduate students forra example who are at the end of their graduate work who studies require they be in laboratories with complicated scientific research and so we reached out broadly across our graduate and
undergraduate g students to ense that they had what they needed. food insecurity as i stated is a huge problem in our nation and our cities and certainly in the city of los angeles. the students were struggling priorg to covid-19 and the funds could not have been more timely. the university of california system my colleagues who oversee financial aid we all got togetherhe and got the suns out quickly so students would not drop out of college because that presents another problem if they would drop out and stay out. i just want to emphasize how important these funds are and if i might take a moment to share with you in the 70s i was one of those first-generation college students. i got into this profession because of federal work study job that i had for three years.
i know the plates that are students face in the investment will relieve the obligation of investing in the future. >> thank you very much. >> mr. harris thank you for your testimony. in addition to the financial challenges i'm concerned about mental health challenges that students faced throughout this pandemic. recent study found higher levels of depression were reported in anxiety and black students were more likely to report concerns relateddes to isolation. you service a resident assistant and can you speak to us about some of thehe challenges you've seen students experience as they return out the campus? >> thank you for the question. students found t themselves at a
disadvantage because they were detached from the people who they are typically able to interact with like fellow peers and because they weren't able to interact with each other i durig the pandemic that could speak to their advisers and teachers in person and i think that affected them in a very negative way. i've worked with students over the past year who had ideation because they felt alone and detach from their universities and their peers. i think we could benefit from more access to more resources and to have more access to resources so they can overcome these challenges. thank you. >> thank you very much for that response. c senator burr. >> thank you madam chairwoman. mr. harris when you graduate?
>> i should have graduated this past spring but because of the problems i spoke amount moments ago i had to postpone and i will graduate this spring. >> what is your major? >> ima or. >> you are going to be successful at whatever you choose too do. i can tell it. keep it up. as i understand it the savior requires students faculty and staff to be vaccinated before you return this fall. what led you to implement this requirement collects >> we have learned many things from the pandemic. we havede optimized away to be fully remote and we also benefit
from -- we have an opportunity with the vaccines and now that we know the vaccine protects individuals and we can if we have maximally vaccinated campus we can return to normals activity. xavier has worked with physical sciences and has for decades. being in person is very important to students. vaccinations will allow us to do that so all students in all employees can be vaccinated. in doing so we have to make sure we do not allow it to be a danger to those because faretta for medical reasons -- we have a small p percentage of people who are not immune.
we will have to have special conditions for those who cannot be vaccinated on campus. >> you have a unique background because you are in immunologist. >> my experience -- .. you explain this policy to your faculty comments your students to the parents? >> we have had conversations. many people have had questions and we have to respond to the questions. in the early days a we were both in one of the clinical trials. how could you give the example of the clinical trials? we explained we have cap meetings and why was it important that some people have to be in the trial so others can benefit therefore altman like me
have to roll up their sleeves. we explained that. >> what advice would you give other colleges and universities as they plan for the fall when they are faced with the decisions you've been faced with and made from would-be your advice to him? >> top the truth, have been used to answer people's questions and know what we are facing. the simple fact thatta washingtn state as an example, washington state published data for death rates unvaccinated versus vaccinated people. it allows calculations that allows you to see basically the risk of b death is 17 to 20 tims higher for undocumented people. anything like that should explain to people this risk we will begin to see especially new variant delta. i'm much more transmissible, unvaccinated people will suffer a great talk so we have to tell
people the truth, we are here to protect you. it appears, when i say is we were founded with a mission to serve not just the nation but also each other. it's not we do not want the risk from each other in other words you are doing this to endanger your neighbor. that mentality reversed, it purely what's in it for me? >> it has shocked me through this pandemic and transition that it seems the faculty members that fought pre-pandemic online education as a new avenue of the ones today that only want to teach online. what a transformation click on through. i commend you and other institutions that have looked at the challenge in front of us design of structure to go
forward. i think it truly is because are focused on your customer which is the student author and the value of what they get from any other school. i think all of our witnesses. >> thank you, senator kaine. >> thank you ranking member, this is a very important hearing the testimony of all missus is appreciated. chair murray, you asked the question, our wonderful student about mental health and i want to direct that to the educators and administrators as well. department of education and updated guidance about higher education relief fund they issued may 11 clarified for funding can be used for additional mental health support systems for college students. i'd like to hear you talk about how your graphing providing mental health services to deal with the isolation financial pressures kids are facing, their worriesal about the health of dtheir parent and people they care about.
if you could each address that, that would be great. >> thank you for your question. as you all know, mentall health has been a growing concern in higher education for the last 20 years. we are seeing more of more ofnt our students coming to us needing services. that said with the pandemic, everyone, if we are honest, everyone has suffered during this pandemic so our institution portion of the cares and one into funds to put money in to mental health services for our students, we encourage students to reach out even normal year when theynt are suffering anxiey or feeling depressed or isolated because we know students cannot focus on their studies if they are dealing with those issues for these funds were critical in both our ability to say to all
students we have the resources to serve you. our mental health folks across the system, telephone appointment so students can have easy access to the services not have to come on campus we would not have been able to do that. higher education has suffered immensely financially so these funds are making a huge difference and the thing that i really appreciate about students reaching out and getting these services, they become. advocates for others to do that because when one student stepped up and says i'm having difficulty managing home and work, i'm having difficulty as a parent, foster youth who make it a large portion of our students in the system, they didn't have anyone to go to to help them understand and navigate the
challenges of covid-19 so we used those funds not only for mental health services but for other services returning vets, parenting students and those students from rural communities who again, i think have, from our experience, greatest impact on them becausese of the lack of technology. >> thank you. >> i have to agree with my colleague mental health needs increase in covered but even before covert we had been dealing with increasing needs. we are establishing, we have established student at risk committees to begin to seek not only student would come when these arrive but as many as on campus when i need comes in. student behavior is creating flags, many eyes and counselors can bring in and make sure we are proactively meeting those
needs. we clearly increasing telehealth services? expanding capacities to have these available to students so we provide services much more diverse and wider and i can say much of what we have learned in the pandemic, some of this will keep think that accessible. training not only in student affairs side but also giving fundamental b tools to recognize and get information to the right people. those resources are clearly needed. i think we also have issues using academic support because many of what i call anxieties of being a student may not be clinically considered but also having the support staff to give students, academic need which is
creating a need is important as well scream of my time is expired but possibly one of my colleagues might ask president a similar question about her offe- >> we would let her have a minute to respond. >> okay, thank you. >> thank you, senator. that's a wonderful question. we at miami-dade mental health services by adding more to help specialists on the ground helping student, faculty and staff. the second thing we dido h is wh our county 211 helpline so we could ensure we have 24/7 and the third is we added telehealth services so students could get to a counselor both virtually andd in person. last, we have added a system where faculty members who are the first, sometimes see the
change of pattern in a student or withdraw, be able to get mental health counselors an early alert that we can provide intervention. thank you for the question an opportunity to answer. >> thank you. >> thank you all. mr. harris, i echo what senator said, good job and what a great story. i think what mr. harris also said, some of his peers, because of the pandemic are facing some of the health challenges. i would argue one way to treat this is re-create the community, which is not create a resume created by people sitting next to each other going to baseball games and otherwise participating life. resume atomized this. schools bring people together.ze doctor, are you all requiring
immunizations for your students and faculty as ucla and goldrush. >> no, sir. >> why not? then i have a a follow-up so first, why not? >> want to ensure we provide access to vaccinations but that we don't any barriers to individuals being able to come back to college, get the squirrels and skills -- >> i have limited time, sorry to interrupt. i gather a little bit from her testimony that if you are vaccinated, you have greater freedom and if not, perhaps you will be required to wear a mask, he did say that but implied that would be something. will school, knowing people coming back reconnect community, improves educational experience, while those who are vaccinated have extra freedom as opposed to those who are not?
>> that's what we have unfermented right now. if you're fully vaccinated on campus, you do not have to wear a face covering. we are asking if you're not, that you continue to wear a face covering on cap us today. >> you have been successful, 350,000 people vaccinated through your programs it appears you have a fair amount of those thought of as acting vaccine skeptics, and one less than 25, particularly men tend to think of themselves as invulnerable so how are you so successful at implementing this vaccine program parts. >> i think it was several sites that came out, the vaccination center along with state utemergency management but becae miami-dade college is so trusted in the community, i believe we have that type of success, we
probably impacted every household and we continue vaccine sites on every campus as well. >> so i'm hearing something similar to what doctor said, that you have trust, you build communications but you also have a long track record being involved in the community so the trust is already there. i am a doctor, i'm very sensitive to personal health information, you can plead the fifth if you want but if you happen vaccinated -- have you been vaccinated? >> first, i do not take offense to invulnerability,. [laughter] but yes, i have been vaccinated. >> what about your peers? are your peers openar to immunization or not? >> many of my peers are open -- >> let me stop you, many is an elastic word. so would you say, give me a percentage.
10% or 90%? >> i'd say 80%. >> what's the message to get them vaccinated? i do find those below a certain age tend to be a little less concerned about getting things such as immunizations. >> one, hearing from your peers being almost pure pressure by peers is one thing so week being a member of the community, they want to get a vaccine because they saw me get one. also because people were young want to live their lives, believe it or not so with restrictions, people not being able to do as much or have more research and, people want to get the vaccine -- >> what i think i'm hearing from you, requirements such as ucla actually is a positive -- not coercive but is a signal that you can live life more freely if you are completely immunized? >> it is an encouragement. we encourage people to get
vaccinated. >> it's one thing to speak about these smallng schools but ucla huge. i can't imagine how many students ucla has so if you are putting in this mandatory vaccine policy, how is that being received by tens of thousands of people who attend? >> senator, it is being received well. there are couple of things. i one, we tried to be honest, open and transparent to all of our constituents. we have great partners in the community and university of california system has benefit of world-class system so have called upon those professionals in our area to help us get the right messages to our students, communicate with parents and i should say that we have a history of requiring students to be immunized against -- >> that's important, you can't role in higher education without being humanized and other
things. >> exactly. >> paradigm was already adopted. >> exactly in our student body and student leaders have endorsed this, they are part of everything we do including distribution -- >> i ask you one more thing? typically hepatitis b is included in the vaccine immunization system so if somebody is vaccinated at birth and enroll in college and the make it lockdown at the school and say you've been vaccinated for hepatitis b, you don't need -- are you putting in information regarding students immunization history into your california vaccine immunization system flex. >> we are. three to four here's educating students on this requirement. it gives the opportunity comply with those intimate t it mandaty year after that it is a culture, students want to be safe and hang out with their peers, they
want to have the freedoms with fact. parents ase well, we found the thoughtful communication plan across the university ofha california system hastf over 200,000 students and as mr. harris said, along with that campaign and their peers, students have been quite willing to get vaccinated and of course we do respect the rights of others who choose not to be vaccinated remember to stop you there because the chair is about to shoot mee for going over. >> i always learn from you. [laughter] >> thank you, monitor remark senator -- >> thank you for holding this important hearing to discuss how covert has impacted higher education and students and have a $40 billion provided in american rescue plan helping colleges to reopenon safely andi want to make each and every witness for being herei today as well.
as the president of miami-dade college, you know full well the needs of those who are hispanic serving institutions, rounds of higher education emergency relief fund, only $7 billion, much less than the 183 cost incurred by colleges during the pandemic. understand your institution received more than $50 million during the first round which went almost entirely to student aid. yes or no, has the funding from the covert recovery packages covered all costs incurred by your hispanic serving institution campuses? >> yes, sir. as you said, we put the eight r2 students help students be able to come back, stay in college, finish your degree earn that credential to go to work. >> president, the question i asked was, is the recovery package covering all the costs
incurred by your hispanic serving institutions? you pointed to student aid. >> correct so i think there are three buckets of the federal aid dollars that come in. one, the student aid that goes directly to students and then emergency funds and the second aspect is the institutional aid in which miami-dade a college reused much of that institutional aid to help students to support students with their educational cost. the other aspect of it, utilizing it for technology infrastructure, utilizing it for revenue and ppe and protocols. >> do they exceed from the federal government? >> as of right now what have
done, that would say we be operating at a deficit and for college in our position with our board is not to operate in a deficit. we, in turn, have not only had a freeze in positions at the college but also many steps to reduce our budget and cost to balance our budget. >> you have major decisions to reduce services because of increased cost to meet your mandate of not operating in a deficit? >> yes, sir. >> would you agree hispanics before funding to counter the effects of the pandemic and years of chronic underfunding? >> absolutely. when you think about miami-dade college, 74% of our students are hispanic. when you thinknk about this at miami-dade county, the percentage of students secondary credential, which wepo note is a path to prosperity to compete for life-sustaining jobs.
we seek but-s is a lot in our communities, especially in areas miami-dade county, the south area may be in the heart of urban downtown. >> so currently there are 559 hispanics serving institutions nationwide, 24 new mexico alone. financial burdens in these firms have been exacerbated by covid-19. expressing a decline inen enrollment revenue working harder to bring students safely back to campus in the aftermath of the pandemic. for example, northern new mexico college and h as i state had to transform his approach to student services offering financial food from rent assistance over the past year. how can federal government and our support further assist hispanic serving institutions to ensure they are adequately and safely serving 5.4 million undergraduate and graduate students returning to their
campuses. >> i think it is a multipronged approach in terms of looking at financial support, pell grant pell grant eligibility. short-term is also an important aspect. some of our students want to come back and level up or retool rapid response credential or stack up against maybe an associate they may have. strengthening seamless transfer is another important aspect 80% of georgetown's demonstrations, 80% of latinos across the country and open access institutions like our community colleges. then required to transfer to a university so anywhere we can
strengthen is very important for students. hispanic students across the country and also looking at aligning pathways to work and making sure our programs also have an aligning our degree program to the workforce and the jobs that are there. those are just ahe couple varios but i think policies would help enhance and accelerate student outcomes and success. >> mr. harris, i had a question for you, i apologize i could not get to it. our department into the record. thank you for looking up your voice especially with your leadership with the black student life as well so thank you for being here. i yield back. >> senator hicken wilbur. >> thank you, madam chair.
ranking member birth. thank you all for being here, i always find so eliminating. we have seen in this pandemic, a number of innovative breakthroughs and technology track the covert outbreak, vaccination rates in various, in the western slope area of colorado entering into a successful partnership the answer to had mit and harvard. the app called scout to track symptoms and possible outbreaks on campuses as they are happening in real time so i'd ask your and maybe president, is this partnership between a research institution and university system something you guys have considered on your campuses, how are you going to
go about monitoring any possible flareups when you reopen this? >> we have had a number of collaborations not only here but also for health disparities are city and region. what i would say is the kiwi have is to have surveillance testing, testing routinely is monthly to 10% of campus populations and faculty members to see what it was. the major part for us was initiatives with one of the large device manufacturers in massachusetts and friendly where we have these machines. the federal institutions in our region in both texas and our region as well. they are being shipped to us and
resulting returned for those within 48 hours. tracking the illness and being able to decision, if we are all turning to remote instruction from one of the other reasons we have students in the dorms, we are not sending them home because they would infect their communities so they remain until the search process so we are trying to make sure you're not becoming a danger not t only in our community but large communities as well. surveillance testing is important. the state and also other organizations as well. >> similar? >> a great question have partnership with international university, many of our universities in florida launched covert ops so i felt it was much
better leverage those partnerships but i do think one thing we did at public testing on our campuses that really does help in terms of the doctor said, monitoring the right alongside and working closely the county and sister institutions because our colleges are commuter campuses, average is 26 for age. our students are working while studying, not living on campus, we have to rely on partnerships with the county, positivity rate and work in concert with them. >> i appreciate that. i don't think i have to ask because you already are a major research institution, i guess all of you are in your own ways. i do think this cap application came out the institute, it does
help follow they talk to and allows you, in real time if someone does come out with symptoms turn out to be covert positive that you can track quickly impact and i think really stamp them a flare up. rip quickly, in terms of serving students, another thing at the university they tried, i think with great success with students on campus, this is a school with the majority of all low income and any missed campus experiment absence would be margaret. your institutions have the students as well, how have you prioritized campus experience cost of making sure ensure that safety more federal level could be doing and what could we be
doing to make sure we are not putting kids all through the crooks? >> crucial, great value to our t students so we need to bring them back from making sure everyone masking important to keep transmission from occurring. it's important to do that but keeping the campus safe, safer than where they came from, we have to make sure we are not creating a problem. once we comply with maxi we can carry on campus. the premise exceeding 1.6% so we kept not being able to transmit the virus on campus. >> thank you, senator. what we have done, following the guidelines in terms of distancing, masks and also
temperature checks and other preventive measures so we can maybe if somebody is coming on doesn't come into our lap but what we didrn do, once we unfermented preventive measures, we remain open, all of our learning support student centers, we launched an early college summer program where our high school students graduated this past week on monday. we will be offering for they can begin college early on campus, take credit towards their associates of arts programs sargon alongside with preventive measures,, cdc guidelines, masks requirements we have continued to bring students on campus and provide in person support services we know are critical to the majority of our students at
miami-dade college for their families to attend college. >> thank you so much. i appreciate all your work. good luck to you, i thank you for your services i yield back. >> thank you, let me once again to say thank you for all the witnesses who have come before us today. ... all three buckets that weth talk about are already vaccinated. if they enter the education system the united states in kindergarten they were required to be vaccinated. current vaccination requirements
in l.a. county a child can do to the system without diphtheria tetanus pertussis polio and measles-mumps-rubella. a student can't enter miami-dade without tetanus pertussis polio measles-mumps-rubella and chickenpox. for some reason the older we get we think that that is not important and if we all had to go back to the beginning of covid in its first 90 days, if a vaccine had been available we will all would have taken it and as time goes on our memories become to use dr. cassidy's term at elastic. we sort of forget some of those things. i say this for the record and i
party said it and they say for the record because i want other presidents t chancellors and faculty to realize we are not asking for something that's unreasonable. weng are asking in education rit to begin a process for things we have known for years we don't want those things to come back and we don't want it to infect their population of students. it is not unreasonable for us to consider whether we require it in higher education whether we find a modification but for goodness sakes don't look at this and say this isn't something we shouldn't consider. we partiedet down that and we do it today. the requirements are much greater than whatti we are applying to the vaccination of covid. thank you madam chair. >> i want to thank our colleagues and their witnesses.
oladipo gave great testimony and they does appreciate everyone's input. for any senators who wish to ask additional questions question for the records will be open until then for members to submit additional materials for the record that this committeewoman meet next on tuesday june 22 at 10:00 a.m. and at 4:30 for hearing on how we can help people get the information they need to get vaccinated so we can end this pandemic and without b the committee is adjourned. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]