Bridging the Campus - Brooklyn College - CUNY

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					       Bridging the Campus
Jack Ucciardino,                       Your life at Brooklyn College                                                         Volume X, Issue 1

             Town Halls Make B.C.’s
               Voice Heard                                                         by Lenina Mortimer

      Town Hall Meetings have been an           session and provide suggestions on       This year many of the 13 Town Hall
      important part of the lives of Brooklyn   what topics we should focus on next.     meetings were moderated by the
      College community members since           These evaluations help determine how     Speech & Debate Team (BC Forensics)
      2003. Town Halls have helped to           much the Town Halls have helped          which helped greatly to increase
      spread information and are a great        increase knowledge of the topics         attendance and success. The next few
      way to build a sense of community.        discussed, as well as what could be      pages provide a summary of what you
      The Division of Student Affairs           added to                     make        may have missed and what you can
      organizes these community meetings                                                 look forward to.
      around a topic of interest in
      collaboration with other                                                                          POLITICS
      administrators, faculty members                                                         Make Your Voice Heard:
      and student organizations.                                                               A Campus Forum on Politics
                                                                                                 and the Election Process
      BC community members have                                                                   October 16, 2008
      much to gain from Town Hall
      meetings. Students are able                                                                    Planned and moderated
      to voice their opinion and be                                                                  in collaboration with BC
      heard by administrators with                                                                   Forensics, the first Town Hall
      decision-making power and                                                                      of the academic year
      have the opportunity to                                                                       kicked-off with a lively panel
      interact with faculty outside of                                                             discussion surrounding the
      the classroom setting. Staff and                                                            historical nature of the U.S.
      faculty also participate and help to                                                      presidential election and the
      explore the topic from all                                                             importance of student
      perspectives. The regularly held Town                                               involvement. The Brooklyn College
      Halls each feature a panel of experts                                              community convened to discuss the
      on a chosen topic. Discussion topics                                               election process on a national and local
      are generated from student interests,     the events even better. For instance,    level. Special emphasis was placed on
      policy issues, and in some cases,         according to the evaluations, the        the importance of voting and the role
      current events. We saw a broad range      top three reasons students cited for     of BC students in the election process
      of topics in the 2008 -2009 academic      attending the Town Halls were: a)        on campus and in the presidential race.
      year, including politics and healthcare   interest in the topic, b) as part of a   The panel featured speakers who have
      as well as the Middle States              requirement for their club or            previously run for office and faculty
      accreditation process and the search      organization, and c) the free food!      knowledgeable on the topic. Advice
      for a new President.                      However, 79% of all respondents also     was given to students who would like
                                                said that when the events were over,     to do the same.
      All particpants were asked to             their understanding of the subject
      complete an evaluation after each         matter had been increased.                    CONTINUED ON PAGE 2
                                                                                          PHOTO: Speech & Debate Team member
                                                                                          Jasmine Patel moderates a Town Hall session
                              A Message from the Dean
                              Welcome to another new issue of Bridging the            The theme the Division will concentrate on in
                              Campus, the newsletter of Brooklyn College’s            2009-2010 is “Building Community through
                              Division of Student Affairs. Those familiar with the    Leadership and Service”. We will explore that
                              Newsletter will notice its new look. Brooklyn           theme through various Town Hall meetings on
                              College rejuvenates itself every semester with a        campus, in addition to ongoing leadership and civic
                              new batch of enterprising students and additions        engagement programs. This year the culminating
                              such as the new West Quad, and so too does the          event will take place on April 2, 2010 in the Student
                              Division of Student Affairs look to improve itself      Center. We hope you will join the conversations
     Milga Morales,Ph.D.      with every coming year. The new “Bridging the           begun at the Town Halls and help develop new ones
     Dean of Student          Campus” is just one example of that. We hope you        in the future.
     Affairs                  like it and would appreciate your feedback.

      TOWN HALLS MAKE B.C.’S VOICE HEARD                                                                        (C ONT GE 1)

Town Hall attendees overwhelmingly agreed      recently raised tuition. Many CUNY                CUNY’s efforts to conserve were discussed
that the panelists were knowledgeable on       students are struggling to make ends meet         at the Town Hall. “Brooklyn College and
the topic discussed and were able to           due to job losses and the rising cost of          CUNY have committed to a reduction of
adequately answer their questions from         living. A Town Hall was held to address           30% to our carbon footprint by year 2017”,
multiple perspectives. The attendees           some of these issues.                             said panelist and administrative
surveyed on program strengths said the                                                           superintendent of facilities, Joseph Nigro.
“responses the panelists gave were well        Recently, 50.6 million dollars was taken out
thought out and informative”. They also        of the CUNY budget and over 1.5 million           The CUNY-wide effort to conserve can be
liked that the panelists were diverse.         dollars taken out of the Brooklyn College         seen at Brooklyn College with the creation
                                               budget, which has affected the                    of the Brooklyn College Sustainability
             HEALTHCARE                        community in many ways such as cutbacks           Council and the implementation of the Ten
       BC Town Hall: Our Healthcare            on student activities, classes, and jobs for      Year Sustainability Plan. The plan focuses on
            December 11, 2008                  faculty and staff members.                        maintaining energy by using energy efficient
                                                                                                 equipment and light bulbs; by becoming
Health care is an essential part of the        Town Hall participants found this program         more efficient in waste management with
growth and development of any nation.          to be informative, interactive and timely.        recycling programs; and implementing the
However, it is often on the backburner of      They also indicated that they became more         concept of sustainable foods, according to
national urgencies that need to be taken       aware of the issues pertaining to the             Nigro, who is also chairperson of the BC
care of. The BC Town Hall on healthcare        economy and its effect on the CUNY                Sustainability Council.
looked at the global health crisis and the     system. In addition, they enjoyed their ability
U.S. health care system as a whole. The        to express concerns.                              Town Hall attendees indicated that the
panelists of health care experts discussed                                                       panelists were very knowledgeable and able
the future of health care in the country and                 SUSTAINABILITY                      to adequately answer their questions from
its effect on CUNY students. Town Hall                        April 21, 2009                     multiple points of view.
attendees appreciated learning more about
becoming active participants in the            The Earth’s sustainability has become a
community all while making a change            major concern regarding our future. In
through education and awareness. A             recent years, there has been a strong
referendum to increase the student activity    movement to promote a worldwide effort
fee was part of the discussion at this Town    to protect the planet and conserve its
Hall.                                          natural resources. This year, BC students,
                                               faculty and staff ended Earth Day festivities
           THE CUNY BUDGET                     with a panel discussion on sustainability at
             March 12, 2009                    Brooklyn College and in the CUNY
                                               community at large.
In the midst of the economic crisis, CUNY
Middle States Town Hall Meetings
Chart Our Course
The Middle States Reaccreditation            colleges and schools that accredits degree                             must renew its
Series of five Town Hall Meetings took       granting colleges and universities in                                   accreditation
place in the fall and spring semesters       the Middle States region. The                                           status with the
(Nov. 6, 20, Dec 2, March 30, 31).           Commission is a                                                      MSCHE every 10
                                             voluntary,                                                      years.
Students were given the opportunity to
participate in the reaccreditation of the                                                          The importance of these Town Halls
college by serving on committees to give                                                     was to make the people of the Brooklyn
input to the Brooklyn College self-study.                                                    College community aware of the
In addition, two of the the Town Halls                                                       reaccreditation process and give them
were held just for students. Once a                                                          an opportunity to give feedback on the
draft a copy of the self-study                                                               self-study report. In addition, community
was completed, it was                                                                        members were able to meet with the
made available to                                                                            Middle States visiting team representatives
students on                                             non-governmental membership          and share their views and concerns about
the BC web                                        association that defines, maintains, and   the college.
site.                                        promotes educational excellence across
                                             institutions with diverse missions, student
The Middle                                   populations, and resources. It examines
States                                       each institution as a whole rather than
Commission on                                specific programs within institutions. In
Higher Education (MSCHE) is the unit of      order to certify the quality of its
the Middle States Association of             academic programs, Brooklyn College

                          Searching for a New President:
                                            Four Town Hall Meetings Held
                                   Earlier this year, after 10 years    challenging economic times.         • Dr. Lisa Staiano-Coico, Provost
                                   at the helm of Brooklyn College,                                         and Senior Vice President for
                                   Christoph M. Kimmich                 In looking for our new President,   Academic Affairs and Professor
                                   announced his intention to           a search committee consisting of    of Surgery at Temple University
                                   retire from his role as President    CUNY trustees, college faculty,
                                   of Brooklyn College.                 and students was convened in        • Dr. Elizabeth Langland,
                                                                        May. A series of Town Halls         University Vice President at. the
                                   The job of B.C. ‘s President is a    were held where members of          West Campus of Arizona State
                                   busy and complicated one. In ad-     the college community could         University & Dean of ASU’s New
                                   dition to being the public face of   meet with the final group of        College of Interdisciplinary Arts
                                   the college, the President works     presidential candidates.
                                   with academic departments to                                             Whichever of these candidates
                                   recruit high class faculty and has   The final four candidates were:     is ultimately chosen, one thing
                                   an important role in meeting         • Dr. Karen L. Gould, Provost       is assured - the next President
                                   with alumni, local businesses        and Senior Vice President for       of Brooklyn College will be the
                                   and government representatives.      Academic Affairs at Cal State,      first woman to ever hold the
                                   He helps ensure that B.C can         Long Beach                          post.
Christoph M. Kimmich               maintain its commitment to be
President of Brooklyn              the best affordable liberal arts     • Dr. Hilary Horn Ratner,Vice
College, 2000-2009                 college in the country, while at     President for Research at Wayne
                                   the same time advancing capital      State University
                                   improvements on campus in
                                                                                                    ’S ALWA
                                                                                       SOM ETHING       BC!
                                                                                               ING AT
                                                                                                     WING E
                                                                                        TH E FOLLO DURING THE
                                                                                        TOOK P 09 SEMESTER

                Health Fair                                        Earth Day on the Quad
     Plenty of student “bodies” turned out for the
           CUNY Health and Wellness Fair                            Enviromental Sustainability was the theme as Earth Day was
                    on April 7, 2009.                                   commemorated on the BC Quad on April 21, 2009.

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*For More Pictures of Campus Events See Page 7
               Multicultural Day at Brooklyn College
                April 3, 2009
                                                         by David G. Wells

                                                  WALKING IN OTHER’S SHOES
                                             The breakfast was followed by a
                                             “Walking in Other’s Shoes Workshop”
                                             where students learned and lived
                                             diversity through service and
                                             volunteerism. In this workshop, led
                                             by Sally Robles and Christina Horner,
                                             there was more of an intimate setting
                                             with about 10 students. These students
                                             were then broken up into three smaller
                                             groups, in which they shared their own
                                             cultural, religious, and national customs.
                                             Each group was asked to complete a
                                             simple questionnaire and when they were
                                             finished they all went back into the larger
                                             group and shared their findings.

                                                       MIX-IT-UP AT LUNCH
                                             The day ended with the Division’s own
                                             version of speed dating - the “Mix it up-at
                                             Lunch”. The students enjoyed meeting
                                             and greeting their peers, and learning
                                             about each other’s culture all in
                                             five minute intervals. Talk about
   CIVIC ENGAGEMENT BREAKFAST                information overload! The students were
Brooklyn College’s first annual              into it nonetheless, and in what can be
Multicultural Day had a touch of             seen as testament to the event’s success,
familiarity to it. The day began with the    we had several students inquiring about
Civic Engagement Breakfast which has         joining the committee to help set up the
been an integral part of the Division’s      event for next year. There wasn’t much
calendar for several years. At the           time for the students to sit and eat and
breakfast the participants, in accord with   there weren’t any chairs so it was
the day’s theme, were engaged in a           interesting to see the feet moving as fast
discussion on the importance of              as the mouths were.
diversity and multiculturalism with a
panel of students and faculty. The           The Multicultural Day was successful
symbiotic relationship between the           thanks to the participation of students,
Division and students started off on         the work of the staff, the effort made by
wonderful footing; the students did not      the faculty and the sacrifice made by
disappoint us with their attendance and      Councilwoman Mealy to show up and
we did not disappoint them with the          engage the students. The second annual
breakfast.                                   Multicultural Day will build on this year’s
Councilwoman Darleen Mealy was also
present amongst the 70+ participants,
taking time out of her busy schedule to
come and share her experience and push
for civic engagement from the students.
                                                                               MAKING THE
Alastair Waithe                                                                DIFFERENCE
Coming from South America at 16,               Being active in so many activities has its     becoming an
Alastair Waithe discovered Brooklyn            own struggles and rewards. Trying to           economic
College by just looking across the street.     balance a healthy co-curricular life with      advisor to the
Living near to Brooklyn College, he knew       academics can sometimes be                     Caribbean
it to be a good school and when it came        overwhelming. Alastair’s solution has          Community.
time for college, it was the only place he     been to pace himself, take things slowly
wanted to go. Since his arrival, Alastair      and to manage his time. In addition to the     When asked
has been engaged as a member of the            trophies and plaques he has                    what he would
Speech and Debate Club, 2-time                 received for all his efforts, the intangible   tell students to
President of the Business Leadership           benefits cannot be measured. Alastair          get them more
Society, a member of Student                   feels he has developed communication           involved, Alastair responds simply:
Government,Vice-President of the World         and management skills and has learned to        “Getting involved helps you to develop
AID’s Day Committee (which raises funds        lead.                                          leadership and communication skills that
for AIDS efforts in Caribbean                                                                 are transfererrable to the workforce. In
countries), the only BC representative         A junior with a double major in finance        addition, being involved is a way to make a
on the CUNY Leadership Committee, a            and economics, Alastair hopes to use his       difference by giving service to the
Board Member of the BC Auxiliary               skills not to earn six figures working in      collegiate community.”
Enterprise Committee.a Peer Mentor. and        a Fortune 500 company but to give back
part of the CUNY Pipeline Honors               to the community by obtaining his Ph.D.
Scholars Program. That’s quite a lot after     in public policy, working with the World
only 3 years at Brooklyn College!              Bank and the UN, and

                                                                       STOP COMPLAINING AND
Jessica Huang                                                            START CAMPAIGNING
                              Now entering     Always active in high school, Jessica          incoming freshmen with BC juniors and
                                 her junior    wanted to take part in co-curricular life at   seniors, helping the new student navigate
                                   year,       BC as well. She got involved with              college life with the help of a “peer” who’s
                                     Jessica   NYPIRG, the state-wide, student-run            been through it before.
                                      Huang    advocacy organization and learned that
                                      is       if you have problems on campus and you         Jessica believes all her efforts have made
                                      one      think changes should be made, then you         her a more focused person and taught her
                                     student   have to step up and make your voice            a lot of skills, including the ability to
                                    who        heard. You have to “stop complaining and       manage her time, to speak in public and to
                                  knows        start campaigning”. For instance, this past    lead others. To those who are hesitant or
                               where she’s     semester Jessica helped to lead the cam-       too shy to be part of student life, Jessica
                          going and how        paign against the proposed CUNY                would say to take the risk and just go to
to get there. With two sisters attending       tuition hike. In the end the battle was        an event. You might be interested and
college at the same time, Jessica wanted       not a victory, but it was not a loss either.   want to do more. You might even want
to go to a school that was highly rated        While CUNY tuition will go up, thanks to       to organize an event yourself. Love it or
academically, as well as affordable. After     the work of Jessica and others, it will be     hate it – you won’t know unless you try.
visiting Brooklyn College she came away        offset by increases in financial aid.          Jessica Huang decided early on to
impressed and decided this was where                                                          jumpstart her life, take the risk and be-
she wanted to be. She is now a double          In addition to her work with NYPIRG,           come more pro-active and it has, in her
major in Physics and Spanish and on a          Jessica is a part of the Golden Key Honor      own words, made her a “better student
pre-Med track.                                 Society, volunteers off-campus, and will be    and a better person.”
                                               part of the Peer Mentoring Program this
                                               coming semester. It is a program that pairs
       SUSTAINABILITY ON OUR MINDS                        President Kimmich voluntee
                                                          time alongside students.
                                                                                     rs his

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                                       Theme for 2009-2010:
  Building Community Through Leadership and Service

Tuesday, August 25, 2009 - Undergraduate Orientation
Wednesday, August 26, 2009 – Graduate Orientation
Tuesday, September 8, 2009 – Greek Rush
Tuesday, September 22, 2009 – Club Fair
Tuesday, September 29, 2009 – Welcome Back
Friday, April 2, 2010 Student Affairs at the Table Conference

For more information or to volunteer contact:
The Center for Student Development and
Leadership at

    Have a Comment on the College? Got an Idea to Improve Campus?
           Send it To the Presidential Suggestion Box!
                      The Presidential Suggestion Box is           The Presidential Suggestion Box is located on
                       available for students, staff and faculty   the 1st Floor of Boylan Hall and the suggestions
                        to recommend the continuation or           are collected every Tuesday, Wednesday and
                         suggest a change to different aspects     Thursday. Whether your idea is to improve the
                          of campus life.                          campus, or just improve your experience here,
                                                                   slip us a note, and make your voice heard!
                           These suggestions help to make the
                           college more efficient and
                            responsive to the needs of the
                             community. Suggestions are read
                             by those who have the ability to
                             put them into action!

Brooklyn College Division of Student Affairs

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