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The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

‘Your Voice, Your Power’ offers self-healing at City College
Taylor McClure, BSU president and journalism major, adds to the discussion during the Your Voice Your Power with the topic of how to heal in the quad at City College Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2019. (Photo by Kelsey Brown/staff writer/[email protected])

by Kelsey Brown| Staff Writer| [email protected]

Oct. 2, 2019 

The chairs sat empty on the City College quad as the first speaker began to introduce the discussion, catching the attention of a few students passing by. Slowly but surely, students began to file in as they overheard the discussion from the microphone. Though the event started out small, the discussed topic brought students from around the quad into the discussion.

City College presented its fifth session of an ongoing dialogue series called “Your Voice, Your Power” in the quad Tuesday, Oct.1. The event was hosted by two student senators, a manager,  and a counselor, whose goals were to facilitate dialogue and ensure that all students’ voices were heard.

Molly Springer, dean of engagement and completion, acted as the manager for the event. “This is a series that we started last spring, and it’s monthly, and they’re sustained dialogues, really between students and the facilitators,” said Springer. “They’re intergroup dialogues in order for us to hear from students and give that information to the president.”

The topics vary from safety on campus, to creating a community at City College, cycling through issues students expressed interest in during a forum last fall after a series of racist graffiti was found on campus. The October session revolved around healing. The speakers asked students questions, such as; how do you heal yourself, what strategies do you use to destress, how does trauma impact your ability to engage in school, and how do you find balance with work and school? 

Molly Springer, Dean of Engagement and Completion, writes down the answers given during the Your Voice Your Power with the topic of how to heal in the quad at City College Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2019. (Photo by Daniel Perez/[email protected])

Sheku Baryoh, president of the student senate, helped lead the dialogue. 

“Now we create a platform for students to actually come out and express themselves, and also to hear students out is to create that opportunity of dialogue between staff, faculties, but also members of the executive council,” said Baryoh. Baryoh along with other students, spoke of his own struggles with self-healing, which inspired more people to speak up. 

Vice President of the Student Senate, Sabrina Edward, shared her story and received support from the crowd. One woman turned around and offered Edward a supportive handhold. 

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“I think it’s beneficial for students,” Edward said referring to the dialogue series. “It’s a good reflection tool; people can feel like they’re heard. I think that’s very important.” 

For this event, however, many students were uninformed about what the event was all about, or confused by the topic, like the president of the Black Student Union Taylor McClure. 

“I did feel like it was kind of closed off. People had some good statements, but I didn’t see a connection with everyone’s statements,” McClure said. “A mediator would be really helpful.” 

McClure also urged organizers to ensure that future topics revolve around harder questions, acknowledging that topics revolving around race and LGBTQ+ issues are uncomfortable for people to talk about but necessary. 

Staff organizing the event were prepared for suggestions, providing a table in the back with cards and pencils to write down ideas for upcoming dialogues. 

Dahlia Morquecho, a student senator, was grateful for the feedback from students. 

“They shared their suggestions, their opinions. I was glad to hear it because it expands my perspective,” said Dahlia Morquecho, student senator. “Getting to hear the differences between me and another student, it’s very eye-opening.” 

The next “Your Voice, Your Power” forum will occur in November.  Morquecho urged students to participate.

“I’d like to invite students to be a part of that change because they have so much power, and they don’t realize that,” Morquecho said. “I do think we have a lot of students who have the potential to become leaders and implement change. I just don’t think they see it right now. But hopefully, with more dialogues and talks, we can keep empowering them.”

The next “Your Voice, Your Power” will be discussing mental health support Nov. 5 in the quad at 12 p.m.

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