A Student Publication of Lorain County Community College

Welcome Week kicks off semester

Jayne Giese Staff Writer Club awareness, fun activities, and fist bumping robots can all be found during the first two weeks of the fall semester.  Located on College Center Mainstreet, there are 34 tables of various activities and clubs for…

College beefs up safety for students, faculty, staff

Quentin Pardon Staff Writer The safety of the students and faculty are very important to the security team at LCCC. This past summer, new locks and glass had been installed to help prevent any threats of a mass shooting. For…

Students win SPJ, Press Club awards

Oscar Rosado Editor-in-Chief LCCC took second place for Best Student Newspaper in the 2019 Ohio Society of Professional Journalists’ contest behind Kent State Univeristy. Six LCCC students also received nine awards from the Press Club of Cleveland’s 41st Annual 2019…

LCCC awards 2,436 degrees at 2019 commencement

Oscar Rosado Editor-in-Chief “It’s been a long journey, four years in the making,” Lorain resident Omar Vargas said after receiving his Associate of Arts degree through Lorain County Community College’s College Credit Plus (CCP) program at LCCC’s 55th Commencement ceremony…

Path to bachelor’s from LCCC to CSU

LCCC and CSU had made an agreement to have students start their college path off at LCCC and graduate with their Bachelor’s degree at CSU through a new program called UP Express CSU initiative. The program is an extension of…

LCCC awards 2,436 degrees at 2019 commencement

LCCC President Dr. Marcia Ballinger awards a diploma to a graduate at the 2019 Commencement on May 18.

Oscar Rosado

“It’s been a long journey, four years in the making,” Lorain resident Omar Vargas said after receiving his Associate of Arts degree through Lorain County Community College’s College Credit Plus (CCP) program at LCCC’s 55th Commencement ceremony on May 18.

Like Vargas, the 2019 graduating class of 1,641 earned 2,083 two-year degrees and certificates, and an additional 353 students earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees through the University Partnership.

“With a grand total of 2,436 degrees and credentials being earned, it was the most degrees awarded,” LCCC President Marcia Ballinger, Ph.D., said at the Commencement ceremony held at LCCC’s Ewing Center.

This graduation class marks the first to count toward the college’s new strategic plan called 10,000 Degrees of Impact, which includes the promise of 10,000 individuals earning a degree or certificate by 2025.

Graduates celebrating after the ceremony.

The Lorain County Early College High School graduated its 11thclass with 78 first-generation students primarily from Lorain and Elyria, and all earned an associate degree and their high school diploma at the same time. Meanwhile, 58 high school students graduated with their associate degrees through the College Credit Plus program.

Allan Golston, president of the United States Program for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation as well as the keynote speaker of the commencement, recalled a quote Dr. Ballinger had said earlier, “I want to say that again because it bears repeating: Every. Student’s. Dream. Matters.” Golston later said, “That’s what the power of education can do – it can create opportunity, generation after generation – it can make a student’s dream matter.”

Student Senate President Jude Jeon had shared a message, “Success is like a present on Christmas day. Right now the gift wrap represents your obstacles. The paper may be made up of hard times. There may be hardship and suffering, there may be personal and family issues. Any of which could be things that make you not want to unwrap the gift. But please. Unwrap the gift. Push through the hard times. Tear off the wrapping paper and find your goals inside. The bigger your goals are; the more paper you may have to get through. But, please, don’t give up. You can break through the negatives and turn them into positives. And that’s how we can all have a positive impact on our world.”

Vice President for Strategic and Institutional Development Tracy Green, had a few words to say: “What a day, so proud of our graduates. Today was our 55th commencement. There were some special stories and great energy as you see graduates celebrate with family and friends.”

Gissele Lugo, of Lorain, graduated with an Associate of Arts and Spanish. She described her experiences at LCCC to be “long and challenging.” Lugo plans to transfer to Cleveland State University for her Bachelor’s for Spanish as well as a teacher licenser.

Kenny Santiago Marrero, also of Lorain, graduated with an Associate of Arts. He commented, “This is only the beginning of the journey as I’m motivated to go after my bachelor’s.”

Marrero said his experiences here on campus was magical, adding, “Having that relationship with advisers and counselors was truly an incredible feeling. It was like having a family supporting me here at LCCC.”

Astronaut display blasts off in Bass Library

Gonzalez and Substelny building the display. Oscar Rosado | The Collegian

Oscar Rosado

Prepare to be blasted away by the Bass Library’s new astronaut display. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Moon landing, and thus is the perfect time to make such a display. Michael Substelny, Assistant Professor of Science and Mathematics Division who also teaches engineering, here on campus, came up with the idea. 

“The display attracts attention to the books regarding real-world space and science fiction,” Substelny said.

Gonzalez putting the finishing touches on the Lost in Space Chariot. Oscar Rosado | The Collegian

With the help of local model maker, J. Carlos Gonzalez, the vision of having an out of this world display was fully realized. 

The display includes such space objects such as a vinyl cutout of astronaut Alan Shepard which was made in the campus’ Fab Lab. Other real world space objects include astronaut John Glen’s Mercury Capsule of Friendship 7, a model of Neil Armstrong on the Moon, a poster of astronaut Buzz Aldrin, the Saturn V Rocket and an assortment of small space crafts, and objects. 

Science fact and fiction

The display not only includes real life space objects, but also fictitious models, coming from such science fiction series as Star Wars, Star Trek, Lost in Space, Battle Star Galactica, Space: 1999 and even Doctor Who. Pieces include, an X-wing, a Snowspeeder and the Millennium Falcon from Star Wars, the TARDIS from Doctor Who, the Lost in Space Chariot, the Cylon Raider and two variations of the Colonial Viper from Battle Star Galactica, the Eagle One from Space: 1999 and the U.S.S Sally Ride from Star Trek. 

The U.S.S Sally Ride, especially is unique in the display as it has interactive sounds. It was made by Thomas Robertson, a local professor of the Science and Mathematics Division who sometimes taught gaming. The U.S.S Sally Ride is a 3D printed model, and took a few weeks/months to construct entirely, sounds and all. There are multiple buttons on it, which Substelny says anyone could, “have countless adventures with it,” as pushing the buttons not only sound excerpts from the show, but also reenactments. 

Most of the models present were made by Gonzalez, who has been building models since at the age of eight. There are models where he built from kits, such as the Lost in Space Chariot and the crafts from Battle Star Galactica. There are also some models where Gonzalez built entirely from scratch such as the X-wing from Star Wars, and the TARDIS from Doctor Who. Gonzalez said it took seven months and $300 to build the X-wing, and a mere three months with the TARDIS.


Gonzalez said the Millennium Falcon and the Space 1999 Eagle were not finished when Substelny asked him if he’d be willing to show the models for the display. “I take my time when building models, but I only had a few weeks to finish not just one, but two. Meeting the deadline was my biggest challenge,” Gonzalez said.

Substelny says he feels privileged to work on the display, and hopes to more in the future.

The astronaut display is planned to stay in the campus library until the end of the school year.

College sets 10,000 diplomas-degrees goal by 2025

Special to The Collegian

(Elyria, OH, April 18, 2019) The Lorain County Community District Board of Trustees adopted the College’s new strategic plan that declares a bold goal of 10,000 individuals earning a degree or certificate by 2025. The plan outlines five focus areas that will enable the College to reach this goal – Students, Success, Future, Work, and Community.

LCCC President Marcia Ballinger, Ph.D., (third left) with students at the event. Submitted photo

“We are in a talent-driven economy.  With 65% of all jobs by the year 2025 requiring education beyond high school, raising educational attainment is critical for individuals and for companies in our community,” said LCCC President Marcia J. Ballinger, Ph.D.  “Higher education and training provide individuals with greater opportunities to access and succeed in jobs with higher wages.  Additionally, employers are clamoring for skilled talent to grow their businesses.  This plan addresses both of these in a big way.”

The College’s strategic planning process officially launched last fall at the District Board of Trustees meeting held at El Centro in Lorain. That meeting kicked off a comprehensive community engagement process designed to determine the best path forward for the College and the community. Over the course of nine months, more than 1,700 individuals participated in 80 sessions and offered critical input regarding the current state of the college and the community and generated ideas as to how to achieve a successful future. 

The College’s planning process culminated with the formation of a Vision Network, comprised of 130 dedicated community and campus leaders, who attended four structured meetings held between February and April and carefully reviewed the input gathered during the previous seven months as well as mega-trends impacting the future.  The result of these sessions was the creation of a shared vision for the community – one of a vibrant future with opportunities for everyone and where Lorain County becomes a destination of choice for individuals, families and businesses. 

LCCC’s strategic plan for 2025, 10,000 Degrees of Impact, is the College’s plan of action to do its part in leading to that vibrant community for all.  In addition to declaring the 10,000 degrees of impact, the new strategic plan offers a roadmap to impact individuals, families, the economy, and the community all anchored in expanding accessibility, affordability, and flexibility of higher education. 

To deliver on the goal, LCCC’s first area of focus is on students – both direct from high school and working age adults. Over 80,000 working age adults (25-64) in Lorain County have only a high school diploma or some college/no credential.  To meet the talent needs of the economy and help adults access and succeed in new in-demand jobs and industries such as information technology, biomedical, advanced manufacturing and the creative economy, the plan calls for developing new short-term and degree programs that are aligned to the changing economy in a way that meets the complex lives of working age adults.  This includes greater accessibility through online offerings, expanding time and place delivery, expanding career and job placement services and more.  Additionally, the College plans to expand the success of its

College Credit Plus program as a way to prepare the next generation and reduce college debt. In

2018, 43% of all high school graduates earned college credit before completing high school, saving families $5.5 million in college costs with guaranteed transfer for courses to LCCC and other Ohio public colleges and universities.  The plan calls for working with K-12 partners to expand this program and help students succeed on clear college and career paths after high school graduation.

 “Achieving these 10,000 Degrees of Impact is critical to the success of our region. Ten thousand degrees is an ambitious goal, and I believe we can help our residents achieve these degrees and credentials by providing the support needed to address common barriers people face when pursuing higher education,” said Ben Fligner, chairman of the LCCC District Board of Trustees. 

The adoption of the strategic plan follows a declaration made by the Lorain County Commissioners earlier this month when they announced April will be forever recognized as “Lorain County Community College Month” in Lorain County as a way to localize the celebration of National Community College month and highlight the important contributions LCCC makes to the community and the region.  Additionally, other communities across Lorain County are also participating in the celebration with proclamations of support from 11 other communities.

Student Service Navigator strives to address concerns

McIntosh-Pharms. Submitted photo

Mackenzie Jonke
JRNM 151

Kionna McIntosh-Pharms is the new Student Services Navigator, an ombudsperson-like position newly created by LCCC administration to address numerous student concerns. College ombudsperson’s traditionally listen to student concerns and clarify, point them to resources, departments or people who can help. In her new position, McIntosh-Pharms addresses and resolves individual student concerns related to admissions, academic advising, student assessment, counseling, registration, financial aid, records, and academic policies. In addition to all of these responsibilities, the Navigator serves in a proactive capacity to resolve student concerns prior to filing a formal complaint. Students approach the Student Services Navigator mostly to resolve academic concerns, but sometimes to address their transportation issues as well, according to McIntosh-Pharms.

The Student Services Navigator’s position, functions like an ombudsperson by providing students with an individual who has the institutional knowledge and experience to direct students where to go when they have questions, but don’t know where to start for answers.

“The offices of the Associate Provost, Provost, and President all take pride in getting students the help they need,” McIntosh-Pharms said. 

McIntosh-Pharms said LCCC is taking as many steps as they can to make the process as easy as possible for students and their parents.     

McIntosh-Pharms has almost 10 years of experience with LCCC in a wide range of roles. She began her career here as a Business Administration Management student holding several Student Senate Office positions, from executive secretary to president. She graduated with her associates degree in Business Administration Management in 2015.

McIntosh-Pharms worked part-time in the Financial Services Department and as the Scholarship Representative for the Foundation Office and Financial Services Department. Her many leadership activities include her role as the current vice president of the Staff Senate here at LCCC .

Time spent as administrative assistant in the Associate Provost Office for Enrollment Management and Student Services provided her with additional knowledge and experience with student issues and concerns. Prior to accepting her new position as Student Services Navigator, McIntosh-Pharms was an executive assistant in the Provost Office. 

All of this student and staff-based experience in various LCCC departments uniquely qualifies her to help others. 

Students can contact McIntosh-Pharms at (440)366-7690 (office) or (440)610-9802 (cell) or at kmcintosh@lorainccc.edu. 

Faculty shares craftsmanship of whisky flavor at seminar

Dr. Regan Silvestri. Submitted photo

Gregory Visnyai
Journalism 151

The science behind the flavor of whiskey was the topic that Dr. Regan Silvestri, Ph.D., professor of chemistry at LCCC, addressed at a seminar at the Zealand Institute of Business and Technology in Denmark, which attracted both college students and members of the community.

The trip was made possible through the Erasmus+ program. Dr. Silvestri spoke at two different campuses at the Zealand Institute of Business and Technology, an international partner of LCCC. He spoke at the Roskilde campus on March 27, and on March 28, he spoke at the Slagelse campus.

“The real underlying purpose of my trip is that we are setting up student exchange programs with them,” said Dr. Silvestri. Students will be able to attend the Zealand Institute of Business and Technology for one semester, fully funded by the Erasmus+ grant, an academic program provided by the European Union. Likewise, students from the Zealand Institute of Business and Technology will be able to spend a semester at LCCC.

Another reason Dr. Silvestri traveled to Denmark was to figure out what time was best for LCCC students to go there. The Zealand Institute curriculum follows a 2 1/2 year, five semester schedule, and with that in mind, he calculated the best time for LCCC students to transfer there would be at the start of the third semester.

While the curricula at both schools are similar, the Zealand Institute’s curriculum is more practical than LCCC’s. While LCCC’s associates program is two years long, the Zealand Institute’s associates program for chemistry lasts 2 1/2 years, comprised of 1 1/2 years of class work (mainly lab work) and a one year internship.

“Right now, students are like, okay, the exchange is available to me. When is the best time to do that? How do I do that? What credits do I get? What classes do I take? What applies to my degree?” said Dr. Silvestri. He plans to develop a package containing the answers to all of these questions, making it easier for students to engage in the program.

During the first week of May, Sabrina Lykkeyaard, director of international initiatives at the Zealand Institute of Business and Technology, will visit LCCC to help establish the exchange program. It will be determined at that time which majors and degrees will be included in the program.

LCCC and the Zealand Institute currently share a memorandum of understanding. This memorandum provides a framework for students to study abroad and have the classes count toward their degree. But after the details of the exchange program are addressed at the May meeting, the process to put the program into effect should move efficiently. The program will permit even more LCCC and Zealand Institute students to study abroad.

“I hope more faculty take advantage of opportunities to travel abroad,” said Dr. Karin Hooks, Ph.D., the director of international initiatives at LCCC. When faculty members travel to other institutions, it helps build relationships and increases global awareness. A portion of LCCC’s classes have an international component integrated into them, and when any of the faculty of those classes travels, it will give them a deeper cultural experience that they can impart to their students. “It’s a means of building relationships with faculty abroad, and then enhance our learning by sharing our knowledge,” said Dr. Hooks.

Chinese professor sees benefits of teaching at an American college

Professor Zou. Submitted photo

Madelyn Hill
Staff Writer

Dan Zou is a professor here at Lorain County Community College teaching online Chinese language and culture to students. Professor Zou is here on an exchange program with Chang Sha University in Hunan Province of China. This exchange program is more than just a teaching job to Zou. This agreement between Lorain County Community College and Chang Sha University started in June of 2004. Zou states, “It is a great opportunity to be in the exchange program; I get to join clubs, make friends and understand the American culture which makes it worthwhile.” She then adds, “It also helps people to  understand cross-cultural appreciation.” Teaching in America is different than teaching in China.

Zou reports that compared to teaching in China, “There are a lot of benefits here at LCCC.” Zou adds, “Canvas gives a clear outline for both teachers and students, it helps give more opportunity for the students’ learning.”

Zou is very grateful to the many people who helped her transition here in America. She is  currently living with a retired LCCC employee. Zou describes her daily routine. She says, “I walk every day to LCCC which takes about 20 minutes; the land lady drives me when the weather is bad and she makes me feel like I am with my family.” During the holidays, Zou likes to travel. She visits many places in the United States which she states is the “most exciting and most unforgettable part.” Her travels include Niagara Falls, NY, Washington DC, Death Valley, CA and many more.

Zou also wants to show her gratitude to her co-workers. She says, “They gave up free time and weekends to welcome the Chinese delegation.” While the Chinese delegation were here, they were shown how to set up classes and how to be more hands-on with the students. Zou has a hope for this U.S.- China partnership. She says, “I hope that this partnership will continue at Lorain County Community College, to help students learn Chinese and the culture and to also build a friendship between China and America,” says Zou. When Zou returns to China, at the end of the year, she plans to continue teaching as a college professor and use what she learned here and apply it in the classroom.  

AmeriCorps do more than just community work

From left to right: Taiwan Jackson, Ericka Johns, and Jarrod Gray. Quentin Pardon | The Collegian

Quentin Pardon
Staff Writer

AmeriCorps College Completion (ACC) coaches are college graduates who are committed to helping other students attain their educational goals and are also dedicated to community service. Coaches provide intensive support to students in reaching academic milestones that are proven to increase their childhood of success. Coaches also engage students in activities and events that create awareness and address community needs. Coaches who undergo ample training are provided with valuable professional development, networking, guidance and support with career and “Life After the Corps” goals. 

AmeriCorps workers, Jarrod Gray and Ericka Johns, helped students here all school year long. “We’re the go to’s when people don’t know where else to go, either it involves with them struggling financially, lack of food, childcare, can’t afford books or not having the motivation to do the work” said Gray.  Jarrod worked at colleges and universities before but came back to his hometown due to family issues but found an opportunity to work with AmeriCorps. After everything is solved, he plans on moving and continuing his career working with the education system. The most recent major objective they had completed was earlier this year. “The MLK food packing event we held this year, we served almost 900-1,000 meals and had around 80-90 volunteers at the College Center.” 

Obstacles to overcome

With an occupation with so many tasks, there are obstacles to overcome. “Meeting with over one hundred students a semester is so our biggest challenge. Meeting all the students is difficult because some classes require to have two to three meetings with students and depending on their schedule it may be hard for students to come in and meet those requirements but we always seem to make it work” replied by Ericka. Ericka Johns graduated from the Ohio State University with bachelors. She decided to take a break from college but got advice from her old supervisor to take the role with AmeriCorps. She plans on returning back to college to earn her degree in Industrial-Organizational Psychology at Cleveland State University. “We only get to work with them for over a course of a year. Biggest part of the job is to create a connection with the students and that is where we get the most of the feedback. They feel comfortable enough to come to us in time of need and we can talk out their problems and find a solution” she continued.

More than just helping

AmeriCorps does more than just help the students and the community that surrounds them. “AmeriCorps care so much for us. They are always talking about the future with us to make sure we are successful in our next steps ” said Ericka. “They are a great connection for more opportunities after your term here” Jarrod adds. If interested in working with AmeriCorps, here is the criteria. You are required to have an Associate Degree. Skillset wise you must possess problem solving, leadership, effective communication and more. To find out more information about applying and the benefits, please go to these websites to become an AmeriCorps worker. For more information: https://my.americorps.gov/mp/recruit/regristration.

Donating blood on campus saves many lives

Nicolaou donating blood Photo by Gregory Visnyai

Gregory Visnyai
JRNM 151

With a desire to help others, people have been gathering at Lorain County Community College to donate their blood. Vitalant, a nonprofit organization hosted the blood drive where students like Alex Nicolaou and Colleen, a nurse at Fairview Hospital, gave blood.

Vitalant is one of the nations largest nonprofit transfusion medicine organizations and comprises a network of community blood centers. This drive was held at LCCC’s College Center on April 3 from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., and on April 4 from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. 

“Anybody can put money into a Salvation Army pot at Christmas, but donating blood is a great thing. It directly saves a person’s life,” said David Blessing, supervisor of the blood drive. When blood is collected, three products are extracted: red blood cells, platelets, and plasma. According to the American Red Cross website, approximately 36,000 units of red blood cells are needed daily in the U.S. In addition to the red blood cells, 7,000 units of platelets and 10,000 units of plasma are needed as well. 

O negative blood cells are one of the most needed types, both locally and nationwide. This is because it can be given to all the other blood types, making it versatile in trauma situations. It is possible that a single car accident victim can require up to 100 pints of blood, according to the American Red Cross website. Therefore having a substantial amount of O negative blood readily available is essential. The issue is that only 7 percent of people in the U.S. are O negative.

In general, there is a local and nationwide shortage. After collecting blood, the red blood cells must be used within 42 days and platelets within only five. On average, people who donate blood usually only donate once a year. This can lead to an insufficient amount collected. Twice this year there was a critical shortage, which means there was less than a two-day supply of blood, in Northeast Ohio. “If people were to donate three times per year, we would never see a shortage,” said Sarah Wering, the marketing and communication specialist at Vitalant. 

At other recent drives, Vitalant collected 10 to 15 units of blood on average—which was rather low. But at the drive on April 3, they collected 25 units of blood—which was a great amount. The blood collected at this drive will be distributed to local hospitals.

“This is my first time since 1998,” said Colleen, who gave blood on April 3. Everything went well the very first time she gave blood, except she passed out an hour after donating. But from that experience and donating blood numerous times since, she advises first-time donors to not be nervous and to drink lots of water.

Nicolaou, an LCCC student majoring in computer science and art, gave blood on April 4. He has been giving blood for four years, but the first time he donated, he became dehydrated for an hour and a half after because he did not drink enough fluids. “I think it’s like a nice thing to do—I have plenty of blood,” said Nicolaou. He says to first-time donors that it does not hurt that much.

Facts about giving blood

Before giving blood, one should eat a healthy meal and be well-hydrated. One should also know what medications they take and what conditions they may have. Since there are many requirements for giving blood, Vitalant has made the process more efficient. One can go online to Vitalant.org, and under Donor Express, one can register and answer questions. From there, one will receive a barcode and will be able to schedule a time to give blood.

One common misconception is that veterans from Operation Desert Storm are barred for life for giving blood; however, the truth is that they are only barred for one year. This is due to diseases that can remain dormant in one’s blood. If a person traveled to a country where malaria is known to be present, they will not be able to donate blood for a year since malaria can remain dormant in a person for that duration. But if a person traveled to certain parts of Europe at particular times, there is the potential that they could be barred for life from donating blood.

If a person is healthy and meets all the requirements, anyone from ages 17 (or 16 with parental consent) to even one hundred can give blood. Blessing urges people to give blood and realize the life-saving power of it. He also would like to see more young men giving blood because women outnumber men in giving blood. “That’s right up there with jumping in a river and saving a drowning person—I mean, to me it does,” said Blessing.

Graduating students reflect on path at LCCC

Quentin Pardon
Staff Writer

All that hard work had finally paid off and you can finally walk across that stage with your family and friends in the crowd cheering you on as they announce your name and you grab your degree. No one knows the struggles and sacrifices you made on your journey to try and achieve a successful life. You had witnessed many of your closest peers dropout either because of personal problems or temptation. Throughout the troublesome years you had faced, you showed resilience and fight even in their darkest hour. It’s a day to celebrate your academic efforts so enjoy it.

The students’ reflection

Sara Specht spent two years here at LCCC. “It was a challenge. I’ve been out of school for about ten years” said Sara on how difficult it was at first. “Everyone here was very helpful, kind and caring. The availability of tutoring and that the professors actually cared was a great thing.” She plans continuing her studies at the Ohio State University to earn her bachelor’s degree in education.

Aaron Davis took classes at LCCC for three years. Davis’ reflection back on his time here in his own words was an “Interesting ride,” and said, “I did online schooling for most of my life so it was a whole new experience. It was incredible yet challenging but it was a lot of fun.” He added, “I’m studying to be a teacher. I just switched to an education major. I’m considering going to Ashland or Kent State but I may just do something through the University Scholarship,” said Davis on what he planned for himself in the future.

Amaya Robinson is an Early College student and is graduating with her associate’s degree and then her diploma from Lorain High on the 21st of May. “The program pushed me a lot because the work wasn’t easy and knowing that I was gonna receive an associate’s of arts with my high school diploma was motivation for me,” said Robinson. “My biggest obstacle was my depression and anxiety. I let it bring me down a bit but I overcame it greatly!” she exclaimed on her path through high school. She plans to major in radiology so she can go on to study and be an MRI technician. After graduation she is staying at LCCC. “The benefits are the reason I’m staying. Basically getting two free years to get things done is great”.

Student lounge opens for students to recharge

Students unwinding in the lounge in UC 122. Oscar Rosado | The Collegian

Oscar Rosado

The campus’ own student lounge officially had a grand opening on April 17. Saul Aguilar, executive secretary of the Student Senate, said that there is “definitely a big difference between this year and last year,” and is pleased with the progress the lounge has made. He said the funding had come from the Operation Council, and has been approved by Dr. Marcia Ballinger, president of the college.

The grand opening of the Student Lounge was located in UC 122. 

There are more than 25 board games in the lounge, such as monopoly, Uno, giant Jenga, and giant connect 4 to name a few. There is also a ping pong table, an air hockey table, a mini basket hoop, as well as ski ball, and also a pool table which was already there. There is even a Nintendo Switch gaming console where people could play fun simple multiplayer games like Just Dance. 

Aguilar said that the items present in the lounge isn’t what the senate came up with alone, but rather the input of what students wanted to see in the lounge via word of mouth, or by survey. The purpose of the lounge is for students to “go in, have fun, and forget about stuff.”

This has been a project two senate groups ago, and is still a progress as Aguilar assured “it’s not the end of it.” It is a continuous effort to always make the lounge better. As the current senate members leave and the next group comes in, they are passing wherever they leave off at, essentially passing a torch from one senate group to the next.

Aguilar commented that in the end, it is a “student effort, not just the council.” He adds that the council is always open, and if students have any suggestions for things to be included in the lounge in the future, things can always be added.

There was food, drinks, and snacks at the grand opening and everyone was “encouraged to have a good time,” said Aguilar. He added “the goal of the grand opening is to show it’s a place students can go.”