QSA Club plans Coming Out day

Queer Students Advocacy Club, formerly known as the Gay Straight Alliance, will be hosting a Coming Out Day on Feb. 29 in the cafeteria area. The event will incorporate information on  gay, lesbian, cisgender and pansexual as well as other ways of identifying.

Posters and brochures will provide the history of how the club started on campus. The club hopes to offer a way to help the UCC community understand how others identify themselves and impress the need for respect.

“We changed the name from GSA to QSA, and so it’s kind of in a way our club coming out as QSA,” said Roger Sanchez, club co-advisor. The reasoning behind the name change was to open the doors to students who identify in ways other than gay or straight and to support those outside the gay/lesbian sexualities.

Sanchez wants the Coming Out Day event to shed light on the lesser-understood identities and help raise awareness of others’ needs. “When we get to know someone on a personal level, we begin to see that we aren’t so different, that we are human and we have a lot of the same struggles. We are no different. At the end of the day we all want the same thing: to turn on Hulu.”

As part of the effort to make UCC more accessible for students, Sanchez helps oversee the Safe Space and the Safe Space training. Safe Spaces are areas anyone regardless of age, race, sexual identity, religion and ability can go to feel safe, comfortable and welcome for whom they are.

According to Sanchez, a Safe Space training lasts three hours and is suitable for students, staff and faculty. Participants will learn about providing safe spaces for LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) and ally students, faculty and staff. After completing the training, participants will be given the option to display an official Umpqua Community College Safe Space sign in their office. Community members are welcomed.

“Obviously we can’t teach a struggle in three hours but [we can] in a way give them the tools for them to become more informed. So by this training, open the doors for them to seek out more resources and to be welcoming to anyone in the LGBTQ community,” Sanchez said.

Environmental Club: Where environmental sustainability grows

The Environmental Club is getting ready to tend the soil for early season crops in the UCC student garden located above the Technical Center. The garden, funded by ASUCC for nearly $4,000 in the 2012-13 school year, has been managed by the Environmental Sustainability Club for about four years.

“I think what is unique about this campus is its natural beauty, and we have an opportunity to set an example of sustainability for our community,” said Jacob Lebel, vice president of the club.

According to Punxsutawney Phil the groundhog, spring is coming early. This means now is the time to begin cultivating the garden area to plant and prepare the greenhouse. Along with managing the garden, the club wants to broaden its program to include composting. Lebel says a lot of material is being dumped around the campus grounds that could be used for garden composting.

A wheelbarrow of strawberries is ready to plant. The club also has two Kiwi fruit trees and an assortment of other fruits and vegetables for planting this season.

Once the garden starts to produce, the club hopes to offer the fruits of their labor to the cafeteria. Lebel would also like to see the garden assist the nursing program with creating a healthy eating curriculum.

The club also wants to improve a campus trail along the river. Right now the trail is overgrown with shrubbery and is in desperate need of restoration. Another objective is to work with groundskeepers putting together a solar project and doing research to improve campus recycling.

“Students who are looking to get involved on a bigger scale with current environment issues will have access to many resources with the club,” Lebel said. “For example, the club is looking to participate in creating a powerful dialogue regarding Obama’s clean power plan.” Obama, in 2015, secured a global agreement to combat climate change. Students from different colleges can form a committee that will be able to meet officials who will implement the plan and have dialogue with them.

The Environmental Sustainability Club meets Mondays at 2 p.m., in Science Hall, room 16. The garden itself is located up the path from the Riverview complex just past the tennis courts.

The group not only focuses on gardening, but is involved with sharing educational programs that broaden the subject of gardening and sustainability.

Phi Theta Kappa needs officers

The chapter is looking to fill all the leadership positions – which are listed below; if you are interested, please respond with an email.

President – Preside over all general meetings; vote only in case of a tie; present business to the organization; represent the organization at all times; develop goals for the chapter with the help of the advisors and other officers; maintain a liaison relationship with college officials; insure all correspondences and awards packages are in to International and Regional Headquarters before deadlines.

Vice-President of Leadership – Perform all duties of the President in the event of the President’s absence; take roll at meetings; make travel arrangements to official Phi Theta Kappa activities; implement parliamentary procedure at all meetings; plan new member inductions; attend ASUCC meetings to report to ASUCC what the club is planning as well as report to PTK what ASUCC is planning.

Vice-President of Scholarship – Implement and plan activities surrounding the Honors Topic; be the Five-Star Program administrator; send monthly reports to Regional Headquarters for Five-Star Program; prepare and generate the chapter’s annual report due to International Headquarters thirty days prior to the International Conference.

Vice-President of Service – Plan and organize activities surrounding the International Service Project; plan and organize activities surrounding the chapter’s service project; plan and organize fund raising activities for the chapter and other fund raising projects

Vice-President of Fellowship – Coordinate and plan activities with other chapters; coordinate and plan activities with other campus groups; plan and organize chapter activities; coordinate with alumni.

Public Relations Secretary – Keep a full record of chapter functions; send press releases whenever necessary to all area newspapers; develop publicity for chapter events; send news report forms to the International Headquarters and the Regional Coordinator; publish a chapter newsletter at least once a term that is distributed to the membership; maintain the chapter’s yearbook.

Recording Secretary – Record and present minutes of the meetings; maintain records of the meetings; maintain a file of chapter correspondence; place all typed records in the official record book at the end of each academic year; keep a record of the chapter’s activities for the academic year; keep any documentation of activities.

Treasurer – Receive all money and comply with the college club accounting system of purchase orders; present a financial report at each general meeting; place all records in the official files of the chapter at the end of each academic year; prepare and present the annual budget for the Executive Committee’s approval.

Membership Officer – Coordinate with Advisors and Executive Committee to invite eligible members to apply; responsible for maintaining membership records; collection of membership applications; coordinate with Advisors and the Treasurer once dues are received; coordinate with Advisors to complete online induction; assist the Vice-President of Leadership in planning and organizing the new member inductions.

Revised February 29th, 2016 — Story was corrected to remove “alternative lifestyle,” an incorrect term that fails to meet Associated Press guidelines.