Student Government Association President Alex Dominguez and Student Pantry Coordinator Gabby Caraballo receive turkey vouchers from California Water Service.
Here is a draft blog post from last year that was not published. Enjoy!
Just in time for Thanksgiving last year, our Student Government Association worked with Senator Jean Fuller and the California Water Service to distribute vouchers for free Thanksgiving turkeys to students through the Renegade Pantry.
Senator Fuller said of the program “To say ‘thanks’ for all of this year’s blessings, I partnered with California Water Service again to distribute 100 Thanksgiving turkey vouchers throughout each county within the 18th Senate District to benefit needy families, veterans, homeless persons, and the elderly. Special thanks to California Water Service for its generosity and all of the other partners who assisted me in the distribution.”
Bakersfield College was pleased to participate in the annual program, and support our needy students and their families with the main part of their holiday meal!
Della Hodson, Chief Executive Officer of United Way of Kern County, Liz Peisner, Dalton Martino, and Shelby Sward.
On Thursday evening, May 15, the United Way of Kern County’s Women’s Leadership Council hosted an event at The Mark, to benefit the BC Renegade Pantry. KCCD Associate Vice Chancellor Dr. Michele Bresso opened the presentation with remarks, and Director of Student Life Dr. Elizabeth Peisner was asked to share some highlights of the BC Renegade Pantry, our proposed expansion of services, and the benefits to our students in need.
We were joined by SGA President, Ms. Shelby Sward, and Renegade Pantry Coordinator, Mr. Dalton Martino, who met with members of the community to share their insights about the Pantry.
Faculty and staff from BC, including Ms. Shohreh Rahman, were in attendance.
Other highlights of the evening included about 100 pounds of canned goods and non-perishable food items donated to the Pantry, and nearly $500. was raised in one night, all to benefit BC students in need.
The partnership began because The Renegade Pantry was the featured community project of United Way of Kern County’s Women’s Leadership Council. To drive home the impact of hunger, attendees answered a questionnaire as an icebreaker, filled with information about hunger in America, food banks on college campuses, BC stats about our students, and the history of our Renegade Pantry.
Community leaders in attendance requested to partner with BC, the Office of Student Life, and the Renegade Pantry, for upcoming donation drives, including Macy’s – Bakersfield.
Many thanks to United Way of Kern County CEO Della Hodson, for reaching out to Bakersfield College in partnership to benefit our students!
During the weekend of May 2-4, Bakersfield College SGA students participated in the Spring 2014 General Assembly of the Student Senate for California Community Colleges (SSCCC), held in Los Angeles. This year’s theme was “Courage to Take the Lead: Inspiring the Future.” BC’s delegation included Acting SGA President, Shelby Ashton Sward, accompanied by incoming SGA 2014-2015 officers, Alex Dominguez (President-Elect), Aeri Kim (Director of Finance-elect), and Reg Autwell (Director of Clubs and Organizations-elect), and advisor, Liz Peisner. Our students participated in a number of breakout sessions, collaborating with student leaders from community colleges up and down the state of California, on topics such as Veterans’ services, the upcoming implementation of SSSP, sustainability, and equity and diversity. Our BC students brought their Bakersfield regional experience to the table for statewide discussion, engaging in debate on matters unique to their region, such as Kern County’s priority of water conservation, and concerns over divestment of fossil fuel industries.
In a move of solidarity with other California community colleges, BC delegate Shelby Sward participated in a heated debate on the GA floor, related to equity and access to academic services and student success for deaf and hard of hearing students.
Incoming SGA president Alex Dominguez reflected on his experience: “SSCCC was a great opportunity for all of us to better connect with other community colleges across the state. I saw it as a great leadership opportunity to represent and stand up for Bakersfield College and Bakersfield as a whole. Not only did I learn a lot, it was a great networking opportunity. I met countless counterparts along with many other college leaders. This also gave me an opportunity to better know my incoming SGA Board along with the existing SGA President. I strongly recommend that we attend this event again and that we bring several resolutions to the table in 2014/15. Bakersfield College has a very open opportunity to be known by establishing strong leadership and advocacy at this event.”
Informed by pre-conference feedback from our own BC faculty in the Foreign Languages and ASL department, Sward spoke up in opposition of dividing one of two resolutions, instead advocating for the importance of equity of access and services in the academic, counseling, and extracurricular environment. Following her sound leadership and advocacy, delegates immediately moved to call the question. The motion to divide failed, and the resolution passed in its entirety. The sponsoring delegation from Los Angeles Trade Tech College asked to meet with our team following the session, for pictures and discussion on best practices as implemented here at BC.
Autwell reflected on his experience, stating “For the most part I found this GA to be an interesting experience, as I have never been involved with student government before. I was surprised to find out how many colleges were in Region 5 and it was interesting to watch how our region works. The best experience I had was with the Spectrum Caucus. I am now Region 5’s interim representative for the caucus, and have been elected to be the representative for the new-year, starting in July. The Spectrum Caucus is very involved in providing information, not only to members of the LGBTQIA community, but also to students, about these groups. I am particularly curious on the plan to spread awareness regarding the Trans Gender population, and how they will support the Trans Gender students.”
Our newly revised constitution and restructuring of our SGA was a topic of discussion, and numerous advisors have contacted our Office of Student Life for best practices, training modules, information on the Renegade Pantry, and other opportunities for future collaboration. Our students entered General Assembly this year, with our continued promise for “Renegade Rises,” and came away with new allies in student representative government, demonstrating the best of BC, Renegade pride, and a fortified SGA.
Stephanie Gibbons, Houchin Community Blood Bank community development account manager presented SGA President Shelby Sward with the 2013 National Cesar E. Chavez Blood Drive Challenge award for 10th place of participating colleges and universities.
Recently, Bakersfield College’s Student Government Association hosted their annual Cesar Chavez Blood Drive in partnership with Houchin Blood Bank. Stephanie Gibbons, our contact at Houchin, sent an update email after the event to let Bakersfield College’s team know exactly how successful the event was.
The results were amazing, with total donations surpassing last year’s blood drive at Bakersfield College by 40 units. Moving the Houchin buses to the Campus Center resulted in awareness among students and an increase in first-time donors. For the two day event, 394 students registered to donate, and 293 units of blood were collected. There were 204 first time donors this year, compared to 167 last year. I am so proud of our Bakersfield College students!
Thank you to everyone who made this event possible, including SGA president Shelby Sward, and Director of Student Life, Liz Peisner. Bakersfield College is committed to the health and wellness of our community.
Let me take this moment to review one of our six Core Values–Wellness.
We believe health and wellness to be integral and foundational elements, and we understand that a holistic education improves all aspects of the individual and the society including the mind, body, and spirit; through education, we will positively impact the health of the natural environment and the global community.
The Student Government Association (SGA) hosted the Student Success Resource Fair, formerly known as “Grow and Go,” for the Spring 2014 semester on Tuesday, February 11th, 2014, in the Fireside Room. The event was a huge success, with nearly 400 BC students in attendance throughout the day, meeting with BC faculty and staff from over 25 different departments and academic support services available on campus. Students accessed information about the different student success resources available to them, all in one spot, spending time with fellow students, their faculty, and meeting some student support staff for the very first time. Students walked away with valuable information, resources, and snacks and lunches provided by our own Panorama Grill. Students who met with 8 or more service providers turned in a form to receive a t-shirt from SGA, listing over a dozen Student Success resource providers on campus, promoting our theme for Spring 2014, “Renegade Rises.” We look forward to future Student Success Resource Fairs, and appreciate the participation of so many BC community members to make this year’s event such a great success.
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