July 8, 2020
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Story tips, concerns, questions?

The Bulletin Managing Editor, Taylor Helmes was interviewed for the “Today” show on NBC to discuss virtual learning in the fall semester at CSU Dominguez Hills. Photos by Jasmine Nguyen.

By Jasmine Nguyen , Editor-in-Chief

Updated 7/1/2020 at 10:30 a.m. PT

Bulletin Managing Editor Taylor Helmes was interviewed yesterday for a segment that aired on Wednesday’s NBC morning showToday” about distance learning in the California State University system.

You can watch her interview and the entire story, here.

Helmes was interviewed by NBC news correspondent Tom Costello over Zoom yesterday, after a producer direct messaged her professional Twitter account earlier in the morning asking if she’d be interested in being interviewed for  a “story on how students felt about the fall semester [being online],” Helmes, a senior journalism major, said.

Another producer contacted Helmes an hour later to schedule the interview, followed by the Zoom chat with Costello later that day.

“The interview seemed focused on CSU’s all being virtual this fall,” Helmes said, describing it as a “fluid, candid, good conversation.”

Among the questions, Helmes said, were her thoughts on online learning, how she feels her senior year will pan out and whether suspending in-person classes at all 23 CSU campuses was overreaching or not.

The CSU system is the largest university system in the nation, and closing all 23 in response to the coronavirus pandemic is unprecedented. Helmes explained how she thought closing the school’s was, “done in hope to protect the majority of [our] community.”

(Last Friday, CSUDH President Thomas A. Parham informed the campus community via email that 96 percent of fall instruction at CSUDH will be held virtually. Of the 4 percent that will be face-to-face, the majority will be “clinical placements in health and education,” he said. He also said that 168 students will live in housing, about a 15 percent occupancy, dining services are not planned to open and there will be no athletic competition).

Helmes, who said she made sure to mention the Bulletin twice in the interview, said that as far as her opinions on health and safety, she “emphasized how our campus is a community that is extremely diverse, with a wide variety of ages among staff and students.”

“I’m disappointed, I mean what student wouldn’t be,” Helmes said to Costello when asked about how she felt about in-person classes being cancelled in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

“I was at the point where I was enjoying going to school, enjoying learning and going to classes” she said. “[That] was taken away from me, so that’s upsetting. But I understand.”

The story aired on the “Today” show, Wednesday July 1, on NBC. You can watch the full story on NBC’s website.

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