Interview by Anna McManus, Visual Arts Education Major
with Claire Riis, Graphic Design Major
What brought you to SUNY New Paltz?
I was very unhappy at my other school; I went to RIT in Rochester. It was a tech school, and I was an art major and so I wanted a more welcoming school that pertained to my major. I also have a friend who goes here which makes it easier because I know someone who I can now branch off on my own!
What issues or challenges are you confronted with?
My school itself was very isolating, people really kept to themselves so on top of Covid, it was difficult to branch out and meet new people. Everyone was very settled in their own tiny groups, and I was unhappy in my own. So, a challenge would be trying to expand myself to meet new people which is a little difficult at this time
Why do these challenges exist?
Covid! It’s been so isolating, just like everyone says, but it’s true. I was in my room all last semester! These challenges exist because of Covid. That’s the answer and there’s no other answer.
What are the blockages?
The rules due to covid given by the school are a little blocking. I know they have to be in place, and they make sense, but they are a little frustrating. It blocks us from meeting new people in an already difficult situation as a transfer student.
What are your most important sources of success and change?
My sources of success… It’s nice to have a good support system, I guess. Everyone is also very welcoming and friendly here which is nice because it was not like that at my old school. It was hard to interact with people there. It’s nice to be in a welcoming environment here which aids to my success.