The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

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’ series returns for spring semester

Tammy Moua, left, sociology major, assists Kimberly Scott, nursing major, with a survey during the Your Voice, Your Power discussion held in the quad at City College Thursday, Feb. 4, 2020. (Jesenia Hernandez/[email protected])

City College continued the dialogue series “Your Voice, Your Power” Feb. 4 on the quad, a way for students to have their voices heard and to improve relationship building in the community. 

Alexandra Torres, business major, was one of two facilitators for the event. She is part of Puente, a campus community for Latin students has attended City College for three years and will graduate at the end of this semester. She plans to transfer to a four-year university. 

“This is an opportunity to hear more from the students and about what matters at Sacramento City College,” Torres told the audience. “Each session topic was determined by students who participated in the campus forum from October 2018 with the college president. These dialogues are meant for the campus president and his team to understand your needs better.”

Virginia McReynolds, associate vice president of Instructional Services, also facilitated the event. She has worked on and off at City College since 1986 as both faculty and administrator, at one time teaching speech and journalism, as well as advising the Express. 

“This whole forum was created by students,” McReynolds told the audience. “The students’ voice. They said that they wanted to have the opportunity to talk to each other and to talk to the college and talk about how they feel about being here. That’s how this was created last year. We like to keep doing it so people can come talk about what would make this a better place for them—what kind of things people need and what you need throughout your day.”

McReynolds asked the crowd what community means to them. 

Alejandro Mejia, an engineering major in his second semester at City College, responded, “Me and a group of people who have similar interests meet up and play video games and have fun.”

McReynolds said she believes that when people get together, it’s because they have something in common.

“They have a common desire to relax, play a game and have fun,” said McReynolds. “So that helps us feel connected. That’s what we want when we join a community.”

McReynolds asked the audience how many people felt as if they give back to their community. 

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Counselor Dr. Anh Nguyen, right, gives the mic to Norma Casini, human services and english writing majors, who speaks about how the school can give back to students with an idea about having concerts during the Your Voice, Your Power discussion held in the quad at City College Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2020. (Rigoberto Alvarado/[email protected])

Norma Casini, majoring in human services, said, “We aren’t expected to give back to our communities. [The college] talk[s] about it all the time… because that’s how we make connections. Like they say, no man is an island.”

Though this is her first semester at City College, Casini also has an A.A. degree in English writing. 

“I’m new to all of this. I’m originally from Long Beach. So up here I think it’s terrific,” she said. “I think Sacramento is great. The people are great, very friendly, very open, and really having events like this is great.”

Casini said she thinks the event is, “more than just about bringing students together. I think staff, too. So that gives me an element of trust, especially being an older student, 60 years young.”

Casini said that she is a veteran and receives support from the Veterans Resource Center on campus. She said she also suffers from PTSD and gets support from the Disability Services and Programs for Students on campus.

“I never knew this kind of stuff existed, that I would get help like this for free,” said Casini. “I’m amazed. I’m extremely happy. It’s a great college. It’s beyond supportive.”

After the event, Torres said that “Your Voice, Your Power” went well, and she was glad to see people participating in the event despite the small number of attendees. 

“We have had more, but it was a good group, and people were talking, so that’s always a good thing,” said Torres. “Even if it’s the same person talking because it’s a smaller group, it’s still good to have people still listening.”

City College President Michael Gutierrez also attended the event, he said, to show his support, adding that he has attended a majority of the “Your Voice Your Power events” on campus. 

“It’s a really great opportunity for us to listen to our students,” Guitierrez said. “In this case on community, and we got some really good information from the students in terms of building community.”

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