thecurrent the student newspaper of green river college
Aart Boer | The Current
Director Of The ODEI Opens Up About The Executive Order
ODEI Hosts A Week Celebration Of Black Excellence
Student Recreation Center Organizes Tournament
Read about its effects on the students of impacted countries.
Learn all about the open workshops to find a voice against racial injustice.
Take a look at the upcoming events planned out by the RAC.
Amethyst McKnight | The Current
The Residential Housing Association members during a meeting.
RHA Discusses Upcoming Events By: Amethyst McKnight Staff Writer The Residential Housing Association (RHA) meets together in the Campus Corner Apartments community room every Tuesday at 4 p.m. These meetings are for primarily resident assistants and Green River students who are a part of student life, but are still open for everyone to attend. “It’s a student club that does programs for CCA. There is no set agenda. The program is whatever students want to do, and whatever fit our community. There are five
students on the board. We’ve had ten to 15 students at meetings at times,” Chris Casey, the RHA advisor, said. Casey has been the advisor for two years. He keeps track of the budget and oversees the events, as well as the students. “When I started at CCA I volunteered (to be the advisor) because
I wanted to be a part of it,” Casey said. “I like the opportunity to work with student leaders.” At the meeting on the Jan. 31, residents discussed food and beverages for one of their upcoming events. They also looked at - Chris Casey the schedule for all of the events that are coming up, and then discussed what preparations are necessary and needed to be done
“We are a social club. We want people to come and have fun,”
for them. “Our favorite are food socials. We get to cook and host, and residents get to come and meet each other. Coming up we are having a murder mystery event!” Casey said. “We have Chinese Food Social on Saturday, February 4th.” “I want to see the students grow, and that takes patience and encouragement. When you have new leaders getting used to being leaders in the program, it takes time to get comfortable.” The only requirement to join is to be a Green River College student; you don’t have to be a resident to be involved. RHA looks for students who want to and enjoy having fun. They do not have advertisements on campus, but do advertise to the CCA community. At the meetings it is typically just the board, but everyone is welcome. This quarter, the RHA elected a new president. Their new president was previously a member and then was elected as president. James Chen is the current RHA president. RHA is based around social programming. They want students to feel like CCA is there home away from home. It’s just about having fun. “Through this club, we welcome any feedback. If RHA had any feedback for how CCA is programmed. We are open to suggestion,” said Casey. This club is a way to create dialogue with CCA about the programs and services that are provided. “We are a social club. We want people to come and have fun,” Casey said. “We want to just hang out with no expectations. It’s just fun.”
Campus Safety Dept. Addresses Lighting Issues By: Isabel Barni Staff Writer
Graphic created by Melanie Bell, Campus Editor
The Green River Campus Safety Department plans to light up college grounds, potentially improving the feeling of security across campus. According to Derek Ronnfeldt, Green River’s director of campus safety, there are plans to enhance the lighting in several entranceways and booths across GRC. Alongside this, professional lighting engineers are expected to evaluate the college. These engineers will determine which areas around campus are in need of more light. With the information that will be provided by the lighting engineers, the decidedly dimmer spots at GRC will be given light sources accordingly. This solution will eventually create a universal illumination system across campus. These ideas to brighten Green River College are separated into both short and long term plans. The former, being the previously mentioned booth and entranceway lighting, are predicted to be implemented in the next one to two years.
The lighting engineers visiting going to help a lot of people feel campus, however, are categorized safer,” Guinevere Warnock, a as a long term plan. They are cau16-year-old Running Start student tiously given the time span of three enrolled in a 6 p.m. art class, said. to five years. Until the day comes where the “Our forest and trees are probably lighting concerns are solved, the main issue of light,” Ronnfeldt students have multiple methods said. The excessive amounts of to stay safe that are available at plants — “unvirtually any time dergrowth” in the evenings. as Ronnfeldt Alongside multiple referred to short-term plans them — work that include addias a naturally tional Blue Light created barriand safety-camera cade. Any light locations, there are - Guinevere Warnock rides that will take that is meant to brighten students to campus the campus locations such as is shadowed Holman Library, because of the undergrowth. the CCA Apartments and stores Ronnfeldt reassures that there that are nearby. are people who can cut the trees To get a ride while on campus, away from the light to solve this call the number 253-508-4590 if issue. Without the undergrowth, you are feeling unsafe. Let them streetlamps can brighten campus know your location and where you and in turn make students feel safe. would like to be driven. The changes to be made in the For anyone interested in the future may bring peace of mind to rides, they are available from those concerned walking on camsundown to 1 a.m. Sundays through pus during the evening. “[They’re] Thursdays. On Friday and Saturday, a great step towards bettering the rides are available anywhere from 5 lighting on the campus. They’re p.m. to 2 a.m.
“They’re going to help a lot of people feel safer,”
Melanie Bell| Campus Editor firstname.lastname@example.org www.thegrcurrent.com
Event Calendar Feb
Presidents Day Campus Closed
Third Annual Safety Fair @ Student Union 1 p.m. Free
Lunch Bytes: Wellness @ SC 239 12 p.m. Free
The Muslims are Coming! - Film @ SU Emerald City Rm 1 p.m. Free
Rent, the Musical @ Paramount Theater (meet at bus circle) 5 p.m. $35/$55
Ski and Snowboard at Snowqualmie @ bus circle 6:45 a.m. Prices vary
Global Tea: Indonesia @ IVC 101 2:30 p.m. Free
I AM Empowerment @ SU Emerald City Rm 1 p.m. Free
Winter Quarter Transfer Fair @ Student Union 10 a.m. Free
Melanie Bell| Campus Editor email@example.com www.thegrcurrent.com
Campus Crime Blotter Campus Safety responded to the following incidents from Jan. 16 to Jan. 27, among others. All information is from Campus Safety incident reports.
1/18 4:16 p.m. Campus Corner Apartments Drug Law Violation
Safety officers responded a request for a drug sweep of an apartment on the G block of CCA. The Assistant Director of CCA reported the smell of marijuana coming from an apartment. The safety office issued a drug violation search and entered the apartment. There were two students and one of their friends inside. During the search, the safety officer found two joint cigarettes. The friend of the two students has been trespassed from CCA for one complete year due to multiple incidents.
1/23 3:45 p.m. Kent Campus Auto Theft
A student reported a stolen vehicle to Kent Station safety officers. 911 was called and the student spoke to police. The student arrived on campus at 3:45 p.m. and was in class until 6:15. She found that her red Honda Civic was missing. The student said that the car was locked when she left the vehicle in the parking lot.
1/25 9:00 a.m. Salish Hall Theft: Personal Property
A faculty member reported the theft of a student’s art supplies to campus safety. The student did not immediately report the theft to campus safety, but rather sent an email to the Environmental Health and Safety Committee. The student arrived at her locker on the second floor of Salish Hall and discovered that her art kit was missing. The student did not have a lock on the locker before the theft had taken place. The art kit was valued at $120.
1/25 6:33 a.m. Facilities Operations Disorderly Conduct
A Green River employee was followed by an unknown student into the Facilities compound. The student threatened to vandalize the employee’s car because the student believed the employee almost hit him in Parking Lot P6. The employee explained that he was driving around the student, who was pulling into a spot. The employee said he was about five feet away from the student. Once the employee had parked in the Facilities compound, the student began to yell at him, eventually threatening to vandalize the employee’s car. The employee apologized, and when reporting the incident, said that this is not the first incident with this same student.
1/27 6 p.m. Kent Campus Theft: Personal Property
An employee on Kent Campus reported that her phone and wallet was missing from her office in the Kent Campus room 289. The employee said she left her office at 1 p.m. to instruct class and returned at 5 p.m. She could not find her phone or wallet, which was left in her coat pocket. Her coat had been draped over her chair in her office. Surveillance footage of the area was recovered by Campus Safety to identify anyone suspected of the theft. Campus Safety suggested that the employee report the theft of her belongings to the Kent Police and to cancel any cards that were inside of her wallet.
Lindbloom SU Celebrates Birthday
Student Life Office holds free celebration for all students By: Mollie Clements Staff Writer
Feb. 1 marked the first birthday of the Mel Lindbloom Student Union. The college celebrated its very own Student Union building’s first birthday, hosted by the Student Life Office. The event had free admission, as long as students brought their ID cards. There were bright rainbow balloons at the front entrance of the building, and happy students all throughout the event. The Student Life Office provided free cake, goodie bags and other freebies for the students. Seattle Balloon Decoration
vendors made plenty of balloon creations for the students. Julez Lockridge, a GRC student, was very intrigued by the array of balloons and just had to get one for herself and her son. Another student, Amethyst McKnight, decided to stop by the booth and get herself a flower shaped balloon, which was also available. The event also had face painters available to the students. Amy’s Artistic Expressions provided amazing face painting skills at the event. Lauren Stanton, a GRC student, decided to get a Spider-man design on the side of her face as a friend of hers (whom had already had her face painted) held her hair back.
Another student was getting a flower design painted on his face from the other face painter. At another station, Pauline Elevazo and Lizbeth Perez-Valdez from the Student Life Office were handed out goodie bags to students in exchange for their self-portraits. Most students drew very artistic versions of themselves. An artist had agreed to use all of the portraits that were done at the event and make a mosaic for the college. Many students at the event were overjoyed at the large array of free activities. Including McKnight, who said she “loved all the options of cake, and the balloon animals were so cool.”
Spring Club Fair Displays 39 Clubs tion, while second and third place went to the Pacific Islander Student Union (PISU)/First Nation and Movie Club, respectively. FinalThe Club Fair, held on Jan. 25 ly, the Court Reporting Student in the Student Union, provided Association (CRSA) received an an excellent opportunity for honorable mention. clubs to connect with students Adding this to the event chalof Green River College. Clubs and Organizations staff re- lenged clubs to be more creative in their setup. According to Melissa corded around 300 students at the Archuleta, program coordinator of winter Club Fair, according to Yuki clubs and organizations, the experiOkamoto, the Clubs and Organiment was a success. zations chair. The fair had 39 clubs According to Archuleta, clubs are and organizations’ booths available looking to become more creative. to all students. For example, the Chemistry Club Each club created an informahad a setup that allowed students tion booth, which gave students to perform mini science experattending the event a chance to iments by mixing chemicals. learn about the different clubs that Of course, it received approval are available. In return, the fair beforehand to ensure students gave clubs a would be chance to talk safe and to students on received no how to join bodily harm their club and when testing become an the experiactive member ment. of the club. In terms of According what clubs to Okamoto, - Melissa Archuleta received the Clubs permission and Organifor, Archuleta zations staff decided to let gave students clubs do whata card with ever they want eight blank spots. The students to do, so long as no students were filled in the blank spots by visiting harmed in doing so. “I gave them clubs’ booths and talking to the free reign to introduce themselves club’s members. Students returned to the community,” said Archuleta. the cards to Clubs and OrganizaFor many students, clubs give tions for a chance to receive prizes them a chance to feel like they through a random drawing. belong. The fair helps facilitate this To make the event interesting, desire to feel involved. “They draw Clubs and Organizations added a a lot of students in,” said Archuleta competition for “The Best Booth of about the success of the Club Fairs. the Year” which judged each club “Clubs do a good job promoting on how well they engaged with themselves,” said Archuleta. students and how they decorated The club fair provides a great their booth. opportunity for students to obtain According to Okamoto, the information on how to start a club Taiwanese Culture Association of their own as well. It gives stureceived first place in the competi-
By: Colton Popp Staff Writer
“I gave them free reign to introduce themselves to the community,”
dents a chance to bring people of the community together. “Students have a community here, or they can start one,” said Archuleta. Whether you are a club trying to gain some new members, a student trying to join a club or a student who wants to start a club, the fair had something available for everyone. Attendance is strongly encouraged so that students can get involved in club of any sort and also use it as a mechanism to connect with their many peers. There is a new club fair every quarter with different clubs in attendance.
Booth Of The Year
1. Taiwanese Culture Association
Pacific Islander Student Union / Fist Nation
Melanie Bell | Campus Editor firstname.lastname@example.org www.thegrcurrent.com
The Trump Ban
Across 1. How many days Trump says the ban will last 5. _______ Court - the highest judicial court of the government 6. The majority religion in the countries banned by Trump 7. The number of countries banned 8. _______ Pence - Vice President
Down 2. Order A rule or order signed by the president and is enforced by law 3. The court that halted Trumpâ€™s ban 4. Our Commander-In-Chief with small hands 7. Where the headquarters of ISIL (ISIS) is located
campus Q&A With Interim ODEI Director Marwa Al Masawi
Melanie Bell | Campus Editor email@example.com www.thegrcurrent.com
Masawi addresses the effect President Trumps executive order that banned seven Muslim majority countries
Mariya Mubeen| The Current
The ODEI Interim Director.
By: Mariya Mubeen Co-Editor-In-Chief
Answers provided by ODEI Director Marwa Al Masawi Q: “How badly has this affected the students?” A: “As you know, Green River has a very diverse student body and we have students from the seven Muslim-majority countries that were banned, so I would say from my interactions with the students and conversations that there’s a lot of anxiety, a lot of fear, there is outrage, uncertainty about, you know, the future. Processing the implications of what this ban means I think for our students who have green cards and legal residency, I think it is a real concern because
now some of them can’t travel, and some of them can’t go back to see their families, or whatever the situation may be. But I would also say that the second-fold of anxiety and concern is even for Muslim-Americans, U.S citizens, American’s here, this is also impacting them because this also sends them a message that their civil liberties are at attack and that ultimately the President will deliver on his campaign promise of a total ban for Muslims from entering the United States. I would say that, regarding legal status, our students are anxious, afraid, outraged. I think at the same time they’re mobilized to really stand up to this and justice – I think even for our non-Muslim students and just campus community in genera l, it’s the recognition that when one group is attacked, then we’re all attacked as Americans. It’s been a very frightening time for our students. Q: “How do you feel when you see people coming together, especially in the airports like SeaTac, or JFK? Does it make you feel hopeful or confident about your standpoint?” A: “Yeah, well I think what’s happening, it’s a beautiful thing, a beautiful reminder of what happens when marginalized communities come together and they mobilize together. I think there is a lot of resistance to this injustice and this oppression that’s happen-
ASGRC Holds Third Annual Safety Fair In SU By: Bryan Daumit Staff Writer
service organizers with you students can communicate to better learn about things they can do to help out in their communities. “I started volunteering at the kidney center The ASGRC is hosting its third annual because of someone I met at the safety fair,” Green River College Safety Fair. This event said Marie Kepler, 21, a former Green River will take place on Tuesday, Feb. 21 and will College student. “I had fun at the fair last go from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Lindbloom year, and if I was still a student at GRC I’d go Student Union, Gator Hall. again this year,” she said. Kepler recommends The Safety Fair will be an opportunity for that any students with even remote interest students to learn about safety and communishould check out the fair, it’s fun she says, ty. Many campus organizations will be taking and if you don’t enjoy it part in the fair as well as you can always just leave some community service so there is really no groups with whom stuharm in trying it out. dents can interact and exThey had a blood If students have plore new opportunities. questions about this In the past, the safety fair donation bus and I ended upcoming third annual has been a success and is up giving some blood fair, they have expected to be this year which was a pretty cool safety several sources they can as well. experience. contact. They should try Steffen Holt, 26, is a - Steffen Holt the student life office Green River student who first, which is located on attended last year’s safety the second floor of the fair. “When I went to it Mel Lindbloom Student last year, I thought it was Union or call their number which is (253) going to be a waste of time but I had a break 833-9111 ext. 2400. If for some reason the stuin my schedule so I thought I’d go check it dent life office cannot be reached, students out,” Holt said. “When I got there though I actually had some fun. Also, they had a blood should be able to find out more information by contacting counseling services at the same donation bus and I ended up giving some number, ext. 2460, or by emailing them at blood which was a pretty cool experience.” firstname.lastname@example.org. At the 2015 health and safety fair, the camThe fair will be held at the student union pus had flu shots and a blood donation bus from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and is a completely free available as well. It is unclear whether or not event. All students are welcome and encourthese will be available again this year. aged to attend. Campus organizations and However, there will be many other resourccommunity services will be featured, and es available. Students will be able to learn the fair will serve as a great learning experiabout disease prevention as well as mental ence, as well as provide opportunities for all health care and resilience. There will be attendees to get involved in their community. counselors available as well as community
ing. In that sense, it’s reassuring to know that there are people who will stand up for what’s right and will stand up for justice even if it’s not impacting them directly. I think from my perspective, where I come from, that this is unconstitutional, unlawful, it violates the constitution and many of the democratic principles that we claim this country is predicated on. In Under-represented populations, and specifically the vulnerable populations, the ones that Trump and his administration have targeted, we have seen a lot of solidarity and community-building, people coming together to say, “We will stand up to this administration and we will hold it accountable.”
3) to the students of the college’s commitment to being inclusive and a welcome environment and safe regardless of one’s religion or legal status, sexuality, gender, etc. We are in the midst of coordinating that, of course the difficulty is trying to be reactive to these events and a lot of organizations working on this are trying to get out to the public and disseminate information about what people’s rights are.”
Q: “Is the college planning anything? Last time there was a discussion board, the small groups where you could sit and talk? Is there something being planned now, for the next few weeks?”
A: “For me, as a Muslim – American, and as someone who believes that this is a Muslim ban, a Muslim exclusion order, and that the countries selected are targeting Muslims – this is about religion, I think him and his administration are trying to depict that this has nothing to do with religion, this is about terror, about national security, and I don’t believe that. I believe that the seven countries selected are actually the victims of the varied terrorism that we’re somehow trying to fight or what not. Also it’s disregarding the fact that many of these countries, the U.S. foreign policy actually had a role in destabilizing a lot of these nations… There has not been an attack on the United States by individuals from these countries.”
A: : “Obviously there’s a need for us as a campus community to decipher what the implications are, and what students need to know as far as their rights and what not with this executive action. The legality of it - there’s a lot of questions up in the air, so we’re trying to coordinate a legal clinic, or a ‘Know Your Rights’ session where we can bring legal experts to campus so that they can help answer any questions. I have heard that the administration will produce a statement today (Feb.
Q: “How does it make you feel about Trump banning only certain countries and not others like Saudi Arabia, or the other countries where his business is?”
Salma Fathi, a student and immigrant from Iraq, has been hoping to see family members in Baghdad again during summer break. Due to President Trump’s executive order, the hope she once had has diminished. “I was hoping to go back to Iraq during the break to see my grandparents,” Fathi said. “Because of the new decision that we can’t go anywhere even with our green cards, I feel like I am in jail.” Fathi immigrated to the U.S. three years ago and she has been studying biology for two quarters here at Green River. Not only has the ban affected her focus in her studies, but it has also affected her brother who is also studying in the U.S. “Both me and my brother are studying here so we are afraid to hear a new decision that might say that we have to go back and leave everything here,” Fathi said. “We don’t mind going back but we want to finish our majors first.” Since Fathi does not believe that she will be able to visit Baghdad over summer break due to the ban, she is planning to continue her studies during that time. “I think I will study during summer break so I can go in the fall if I can,” Fathi said. “I prefer not to wait for it but it is simply impossible to go right now.” Fathi understands that the ban has affected many families here in the U.S. as well. She shared that her dad’s friend has been waiting eight to nine years to see his mom, who has recently obtained her visa to be able to come to the U.S. before Trump issued his ban. However, since his mom is from one of the seven affected Muslim countries, her trip to the U.S. is now canceled. Despite the chaos that the ban has caused, Fathi remains optimistic about her future here in the U.S. “I can’t judge this country just because of Trump,” Fathi said. Fathi plans on furthering her studies in biology to become a doctor. She also plans to stay in the U.S. for a while so that she can continue practicing in her field to gain more experience. Meanwhile, Fathi will continue to keep in close contact with her grandparents in Iraq until the ban is no longer in effect.
More than 600 students studying at GRC Trump has banned with his executive tr speak up about how this ban has affected fear and anxiety. Many are afraid of what The executive order has been put on h However, it has not be
Aziza Ahmed Ahmed is a second year student at Green River College where she is studying for a general AA degree, for a direct transfer to either the University of Washington or to the Pacific Lutheran University, where she plans to double major in Social work and Urban development and minor in African studies. Out of 10 kids, Ahmed´s mother brought her six youngest children with her to the United States, all of whose ages range from five to 24. The four oldest siblings who stayed behind have ages Aziza Ahmed is one of the hundreds ranging between 25 to 30 years old. Prior of people whose families fled civil to the ban, two years ago, after a long a wars and famine in their countries laborious legal process, Ahmed´s older to seek asylum in the United States. brother came to the states successfully, And since she is Somali, President and her mother´s lawyers had begun the Trump’s recent seven country travel legal process to get her older daughter ban directly affects her and her family. here into the US at the time of the order Ahmed´s family originally hails from the travel ban . Ahmed said that her Mogadishu, Somalia, but after the mother´s initial plan was to bring the rest break out of the civil war they fled to of her children here to the US, but now Kenya, and there Ahmed was born. with the presidential order of the travel Now 18 years old, she has lived in the ban, nothing is certain. USA since the age of five, when her Speaking about the impact of the travel family moved here from Kenya. ban on the Somali community, with a
Somalia look of sadness in her eyes, Ahmed said that there is a lot of confusion because people come here with the belief that America is the land of the free and home of the brave, with first amendment rights and freedom of religion, but only finding so much discrimination and racism. “For us, it´s hurtful, because when we leave our country, there’s war and there’s famine and we’re seeking a better life and trying to escape danger,” said Ahmed. “And so with this ban, there is the assumption that we are going to cause danger, when in truth we just want to get away from it.” she said, voicing her doubts that the travel ban is really not about terrorism and national security as the US is trying to make it seem, since many of the countries that are banned have no records of terrorism in the USA or anywhere else, for that matter. “Let’s just call it what it is,” said Ahmed, “this is a Muslim ban.” When asked what she would say to the people responsible for the travel ban, on behalf of her friends and family, Ahmed
replied that she would like them to know that contrary to the message being sold to the American people “that all Muslims are terrorists”, Muslims are real people with families and friends. And just like everyone else, they work, pay taxes and have dreams and aspirations. Ahmed went on to say that her religion forbids murder, but America is discriminating against a whole people by the actions of the few who actually do promote terrorism. “They have to understand that they are setting our county back so many decades. They need to truly look at the people whose lives they are affecting and realize that our coming here to the USA for a better life is not so different from when their ancestors came here to escape being oppressed in England.” Ahmed continued, “we all want a better world, we all hope for better lives. But separating families and discriminating against an entire people because of their religion, is really not the best way to go. We continue to pray for all of us, and I hope the day when we all can find peace.”
Sumeya Arbi, 19
ents Speak Out
C are from the seven countries that President ravel order. A few students were willing to d them. They have expressed deep feelings of t Trump has in store for them in the future. hold for now by a federal appeals court. een entirely scrapped yet.
Name: Kinzah Mohammed Status: Student Designation: President of the Muslim Student Association Age: 18 Country: Pakistan Double Truck pages are worked on by the entire Staff of the Current.
A Green River student uses her personal story to explain the struggle and harsh reality of President Trump’s travel ban. Sumeya Arbi, 19, is originally from Somalia, but traveled to America for higher education. She lived in Norway for 12 years and completed her high school education there before coming to Green River. Her journey to America wasn’t easy. Sumeya’s parents fled the home they loved due to a civil war that occurred in Somalia. They lived in a refugee camp located in Kenya. After having children, they wanted a better lifestyle. Her parents migrated from Somalia when they had the opportunity. Eventually, they left Kenya and went to Norway. For the short amount of time that Sumeya has been in America, President Trump’s orders have affected her and her family. His travel ban has personally affected Sumeya. Sumeya expressed the struggles of the ban, especially how her family members are scared because many of them want to come to America to pursue their dream of a better lifestyle but can’t now. “It was just really sad and it’s crushing people’s hopes,” Arbi said. “I think Trump created this banner between us and our families and not seeing one another again.” Another frustrating factor in this travel ban is not knowing when she will see her family again. This ban is very unsettling for Sumeya and her family. Many questions get brought up such as: What’s going to happen? Will we be reunited again? Will this be forever? “All of these questions were never there before. It’s created this fear,” said Arbi. Sumeya expressed how creating this travel ban stirs up hatred and negative views of America. She feels that a lot of people in America are opposed to the ban and don’t want to represent it just because of living here. Arbi explained how specifically people in other countries get hatred toward President Trump and America. Sumeya also expressed how the travel ban is not something the President should focus on, but rather other problems in the country. These include the economy, poverty, job opportunities, etc. The circumstances of the ban are frustrating for Sumeya and her family so they participated in a protest. This took place the first day after the ban and was in Seattle. Sumeya loved how the protest brought all people together and showed that those from other countries are welcomed.
Kinza Mohammad, an 18-year-old GRC student, is affected by President Trump’s travel ban despite being born in the United States. Mohammad’s family members in Pakistan, allegedly because of the implementation of the immigration ban, have been affected by the order. According to Mohammad, her green card-wielding grandmother has been afraid to travel to different countries. “My grandmother holds a green card and it’s affecting her. [There’s] lots of homeland security and it’s difficult to get past the airport security checkpoint without her being [derogated] because she wears a hijab. My fiancé lives in a Muslim country [Pakistan],” Mohammad said. “He’s trying to come to the United States to be a citizen, but they stopped his visa... I haven’t seen him in a year and a half.” Many of Mohammad’s other relatives are currently residing in Muslim countries as well. With people like her grandmother that want to return to the United States within the next
couple of years experiencing extreme difficulty when in transit, Mohammad grows progressively more upset. Distancing slightly from direct family members and loved ones, Mohammad has multiple friends and coworkers who are also concerned about the travel ban. Being a peer navigator of the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, she is constantly surrounded by other people who are impacted by the order. When asked how many students have family that are currently in one of the affected seven countries, Mohammad said “Almost everyone that I know who doesn’t have their full family here [is being affected]…the majority of my friends, me, including the whole office [of diversity].” Even without necessarily having her own travel abilities taken away from her, the people Mohammad feels connected to are impacted. The issues created because of the travel ban affect Mohammad directly through the people in her life.
M. Kienan Briscoe | A&E Editor email@example.com www.thegrcurrent.com
Green River Jazz Voices take the stage. Photo from the GRC website.
Jazz Voices Scat Their Story By: Jordan Usselman Staff Writer Green River’s Jazz Voices is a group of very talented and hardworking students who use their unique voices to come together and create one beautiful sound. The choral group is an audition-only jazz choir that has 16 singers and is conducted by Kelly Eisenhour, who is well versed in the music field. She has won two Grammys and has also created albums including Seek and Find which became #14 on the JazzWeek national radio airplay charts in 2007. She has taught many classes and participated an award winning choir called the Brigham Young University Jazz Voices. Eisenhour’s successes inspire the Green River Jazz Voices students everyday. “Just her in herself is an inspiration,” said Megan Newman, soprano in Jazz Voices, “There are a ton of us [students] who would love to work in the music industry and to see our teacher still working in the music industry is a really inspirational thing to see.” Many of Eisenhour’s students, whether Jazz Voices members or students of her other courses, can agree that she is very talented and is definitely a well qualified music teacher. Jazz music is not only a very different style to conduct but also to sing. Jazz music incorporates syncopation (shifting accents to the offbeats), improvisation, and typically uses many different chord structures compared to classical choral music. In this sense, jazz is considered by many to be an extremely stylistic genre. Newman’s favorite part about singing jazz is scatting. “It’s making your voice literally sound like an instrument,” Newman said. Scatting is using improvised syllables to sing a melody. Usually, scatting is used to represent the sound of an instrument like trumpets or a walking bass. Jazz has a very unique style and sound. This can also lead to the difficulties of singing it. Jahleel Smith, tenor in Jazz Voices, said that a difficult part of singing jazz is “how tricky it is because there’s so many kinda strange chords that you normally wouldn’t
hear.” Smith believes it is difficult to get the chords locked into place when singing with the choir. Due to its unique style, singing jazz in Jazz Voices is very beneficial. It teaches students music theory, finding rhythms, how to sightread music, vocal technique/control and to blend with other voices. The students who make up the vocal group come from a variety of backgrounds and have different ideas of what their future holds. There are international students, students wanting to major in performing arts, and other students pursuing careers in other fields including dentistry and engineering. There are no limits as to who can be in the choir. Some students did not even have choral background until joining Jazz Voices. The atmosphere of the choir is very positive. All of the students are very close and supportive of one another. “It’s really supportive. We’re like a family,” Newman said. They are very supportive of one another not only in their personal lives but also for each other’s singing capabilities. “Being in a choir, everybody really does encourage you and they really enjoy listening to you,” Smith said, “They really help you out.” Being a part of something allows you to make new friends and take part in a new activity that you could learn to love. Although Jazz Voices is an audition only choir, anyone can audition. Some advice that was given by students in the vocal group was specifically on an audition song. It’s important that when you audition, you should choose a jazz standard to demonstrate what your voice sounds like in this particular style. It is also crucial to pick a song in your range. Depending on what vocal part you are auditioning for (Soprano, Alto, Tenor, or Bass), you should choose a song that can show off that part. Green River’s Jazz Voices is an elite choir that takes on a very different but beautiful style of music. A lot of hard work and commitment is required for this course but many benefits are presented as a result. Kelly Eisenhour’s choir is something very special and has a lot to offer at the college.
Liz Becker (left) talks about the effects of social media. Attendees (right) share their stories about racial prejudice. Photos by: M. Kienan Briscoe
Treat Yo’ Self To A Celebration of Black Excellence By: M. Kienan Briscoe A&E Editor The Green River Outreach program joined forces with the ODEI and Black Student Union this week to offer a series of open seminars as a celebration of Black excellence. In the Green River College Student Union building, each day this week hosts a new seminar from paint sessions, film screenings and even seminars aiding how to deal with the stresses of the recent election, social injustice and prejudices and racism. Ariel Davis, part of the GRC outreach program, is hoping these programs offer a new, more effective outlet for students of color to unite, find a voice, and bring people together. “Many of the programs here [Green River College] don’t really dig into the root,” Davis said, hoping these events will be the beginning of granting more presence to minority voices on campus. Monday, February, 13, students congregated in the Student Union River Room to paint pictures of fists, which in the past have been used as symbols of injustice, unity
and power to the people. “We had a big turn out and it was really successful,” Davis said. On Tuesday, February 14, proceeding these traditions, Liz Becker, a GRC counselor, led a workshop entitled ‘Treat Yo’ Self’ leading students through developing a self-care plan, time management, and how to deal with stress and microaggressions. The self-care plan discussed how to tend to oneself physically, mentally and spiritually, and how to choose your friends and battles in order to alleviate added stresses in life to already stressful times. “I just want one day to turn on CNN and not be in terror,” an attendee shared concerning these conditions. Many attendees expressed concerns over president Trump’s current reign in office, believing it gives rise to a misuse of economic and white power. “If you’re not a heterosexual, white male we are under attack for just being who we are,” another attendee chimed in. Following these sentiments, Becker led the group through a guided meditation, focusing on
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diaphragmatic breathing used in yoga and other meditations. The group closed their eyes and were given a chance to focus on nothing but their breath for a few minutes, allowing themselves to decompress from these concerns. Following the meditation session, Becker covered microaggressions and how to deal with them. Microagressions, as she described, are offensive, often unintentional jabs at someone being profiled or discriminated against. Questions and statements such as “What are you?”, “ You’re so articulate”, “You act white”, etc. that may come from someone who isn’t fully aware of their effect. Wednesday, February 15, in the CCA Lounge, the celebration of Black Excellence will continue with a screening of the documentary film 13th at 2 p.m. The Thursday after, in the Willow Room, hosts a Voter Engagement Workshop at 12 p.m. and the following Friday will be a celebration of Black Excellence in the Gator Hall at 10 a.m. Each one of these engagements are not only open to the public and free to attend, but are encouraged for anyone interested.
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Keep America Great
sent back home would require detaining The United States is facing a crisis that person or putting them in holding like never before because this is the against their will. first time a president has looked at Third, what kind of message does it the constitution and decided that it send to Muslims around the world? doesn’t apply to his administration. It would seem to say that they aren’t We have already seen him conduct unconstitutional acts, such as his travel ban welcome. Terrorist organizations against America rally supporters by telling people on people from seven Muslim majority countries, gagging White House staff out- America hates them, the same way that Trump fear mongers our citizens against side of his administration from speaking to the media, and threatening to de-fund them. This only gives ISIS more fighters. Trump’s choice for education, Betsy sanctuary cities. Trump said his adminisDeVos, knows nothing about running tration will speak for the people but the schools and has zero experience at all in people of Washington are already speakthe field. It’s ironic that in Trump’s very ing out. Seattle has become a sanctuary own inauguration speech, he claimed city and there’s talk of making Auburn a to support education saying, “An educasanctuary city. tion system flush with cash but which To quote Counselor to the President, leaves our young and beautiful students Kellyanne Conway, “The judge in Brooklyn, the Obama appointee judge in Brook- deprived of all knowledge.” He then hired a person who will divert funding from lyn’s stay order really doesn’t affect the public education. Trump doesn’t care executive order at all because the execuabout good education, he cares about his tive order is meant to be prospective. It’s version of education. preventing, not detaining.” So let’s apply Trump has already fired Sally Yates, the some logic to this line of thought. First, Conway is saying that the judicial acting attorney general for defying him. Obviously, if you uphold the constitution branch has no power over the executive branch, which is wrong because we use a in his administration, you’re not doing system of checks and balances to prevent your job. He has since replaced her with Dana Boente, a man who will truly uphold a dictatorship from emerging. the values of the Trump administration Second, Conway claims that the exuntil Jeff Sessions is elected. ecutive order is prospective and doesn’t It’s at this point that I wish I could make detain people, but to my knowledge, holding someone at an airport until they outlandish claims, as Trump does, but if we make assumptions without proper inhave been “vetted” and either cleared or
formation and research, we are no better than he is. It’s the duty of a news agency to provide unbiased, thoughtful, and truthful information to the masses. We have a duty to inform the people and to fight off ignorance. The “alternative facts” that the new administration peddle are an affront to the nation, to the people, and a slap in the face to journalism. The most ironic thing out of this whole ordeal is that Trump is just keeping his campaign promises. He told everyone what his plans were and what he would do. Perhaps everyone was hopeful that he would be an actual politician and make empty promises or maybe America has become more overtly racist over the years. America was the land of the free and we preached acceptance and cooperation with other countries. We didn’t bow down to fear of a terrorist organization because we stood together. People emigrate to America because it is known as the land of opportunity and freedom where you actually have a chance to succeed. America used to have a dream. America used to be a beacon of hope. “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” Those words used to mean something to my country. America used to be great.
Editorials reflect the opinions of the entire editing staff of the Current.
Online Registration: Convenient But Has Its Limitations By: Kirara Nagatsuka Staff Writer
Registering for classes online at Green River College (GRC) is nothing new anymore. Registration for classes started on Jan. 31. Online registration used to be new and confusing for many students. Nowadays, it has become more of a normal thing, but there are still opinions on how it can be improved. Mohini Khanal, a pre-nursing student, enjoys registering online since she does not have to fill out time-consuming forms. “Filling out the forms might take too much time and might be difficult,” Khanal said. “The concern is when there is no teacher shown on the list.” There are often cases in which
professors are not listed when students are registering. This can be inconvenient for those who prefer the teaching styles of certain professors. Even so, students tend to end up having to sign up for classes even when there are no professors listed. Daniel Ong, 21, a domestic student studying architecture, had a similar issue to Khanal. There are required classes for his major and only a few sections to choose from, so he just had to settle with one. “We don’t have a lot of choices so there is no option but to take the class,” Ong said. There are courses that offer only one section and do not even show who the professor is. This forces students to have to take that class without much time to even consider whether they should really take
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it or not. Ryo Morishima, a Japanese student studying accounting, also had difficulty figuring out what each class is about. The number and title of each class doesn’t give enough information about classes. Even if there is some information about classes on the GRC website, the details aren’t enough or are too generalized. “I ask my friends who already took the class, [and] figure out what they learned in that class and see what kind of assignments they had to do,” Morishima said. Asking other students about classes is not just Morishima’s strategy. It is also common among other students. Not only do students ask each other about course information, but about the professors. “I first look at the professor that
teaches the class and if I am available at that time,” Martin Kim, an aviation student, said. When Kim selects professors, he browses Rate My Professor and asks his friends about their experiences with each professor. Kim, like many other students, is collecting information before registering so that it would be easier during registration. Students are not having as hard of a time registering online as it may seem. They tend to adapt to and get used to the process. The key to making registration easier is to rely on friends and gather information before the registration date. Even though many students do not find it difficult anymore, GRC should still show a list of all the professors that are going to teach each class.
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Empathy: Walk a Mile in Another Person’s Shoes By: Colton Popp Staff Writer
Empathy is the ability to understand another person other than ourselves by seeing the world from their perspective. To put it another way, it is the ability to walk in another person’s shoes. It is not possible to experience empathy without getting to know someone else by seeing their world through their eyes. This requires time, effort and good listening skills. To develop a friendship and truly understand each other as human beings, we must learn to listen and work to understand one another. Empathy is important because for a species to survive, the members of that species must learn to work together. If we want to survive as human beings, we must learn to work together and help each other. To do this effectively, we must
first understand one another. We can do this by looking at life from each other’s perspectives. It is only when we learn to embrace our differences that we can begin to work together to make progress and thrive as a species. If we as human beings don’t learn to help each other, we aren’t going to be around for very long. According to a study completed by Psychology Professor James A. Coan and some of his colleagues from University of Virginia, human brains are hardwired for empathy. The study was conducted with 22 people who underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRIs) to monitor brain activity, according to an analysis of the study by Fariss Samarrai. According to Samarrai, participants were faced with the threat of mild electrical shocks to themselves, a friend or a stranger. The researchers found that
regions of the brain responsible for threat response – the anterior insula, putamen and supramarginal gyrus – were active under the threat of shock to self (Samarrai, 2013). When faced with the threat of shock to a stranger, the brain activity of a participant was minimal. However, when faced with the threat of shock to a friend, the brain activity of the participant became essentially identical to the activity displayed under threat to self (Fariss, 2013) This suggests that threat-responsive regions of the brain can represent others in a manner that is very similar to the way they represent the self but tend to do so only to the extent that those others are perceived as familiar (Beckes et al., 2012). In other words, empathy displayed between friends in this study was so strong that the boundary between self and other began to
break down (Beckes et al., 2012). As this study demonstrates, empathy is something that everyone can experience and is also one of the many things in this world that bring us together. The key to empathy is breaking down the barrier between self and other. It is the recognition that we, as human beings, have more in common than we think. It is important for all of us to look around and notice the one thing that is always around us: people. All we really have is each other. If we truly want to accomplish something worthwhile in our lives, it is going to require working with other people. We’re stuck with each other. No matter how hard we try, we can’t just make other people go away. Instead, let’s try and learn something from someone else by getting to know them. Find what makes people who they are.
Critiques on Our Campus’s Study Spots By: Annie Chan Opinion Editor
With finals coming up at the end of next month, I am already anticipating long study sessions. For me, study sessions can mean skipping out on dinner because I am still on page two out of five on a study guide and drinking at least two cups of coffee in hopes that I can make it to 3 a.m. Over the past few quarters, I have realized that my work ethic at home is poor when it comes to studying endlessly. My family constantly watches dramatic movies and they just can’t seem to lower the volume because they want the best experience. When I’m in my room, my bed is basically calling
for me. Nonetheless, it would be 2 in the morning and I would be at the kitchen table, attempting to cram in some studying. “Any amount of studying is beneficial,” I would mutter to myself. To fix my effort in studying, I have attempted to take the studying onto campus instead. This quarter, I have been staying late after school to remain focused and get the more studying done. I may have been too desperate because I think I have studied in nearly all of the buildings at some point this quarter. This is because the environment I study in really impacts my focus. Since I am particularly critical of everything, there are both good
and bad aspects I can point out according to my own experience in specific study spots. First of all, I always go to the Holman Library because I assume that it is the quietest spot given that it is a library. The best aspect of the library is that I can always access a table right away given that the library is spacious. However, I hardly get much work done here. Even when I find a quiet spot in the library, I can’t find many outlets to charge my computer. When I find an outlet in a more open space, the environment is suddenly louder. On most days, constantly maneuvering around the library takes time out of my study sessions. The spot I also often study at would be the Technology Center.
The second floor of the Technology Center is probably the quietest area on campus, given that it is a designated “quiet area”. Once I walk in, there are always a good amount of computers readily available for me. While I can easily claim that this is my type of study area, I feel that there is never enough space for me to space out paper while I use the computer. However, this is a “technology” center so my accessibility to a computer should be my primary concern. On the other hand, the Salish Hall has never really met my standards. The open area on the first floor provides a good amount of round tables, but I find this area incredibly distracting. The doors are constantly opening and there
Let us be mindful the next time we decide to judge someone based on appearance. Instead of being judgmental, we could walk a mile in their shoes. Sources: 1 Samarrai, Fariss. “Human Brains are Hardwired for Empathy, Friendship, Study Shows.” UVA Today, 2013. Web. https://news.virginia. edu/content/human-brains-arehardwired-empathy-friendshipstudy-shows 2 Beckes, Lane et al. “Familiarity promotes the blurring of self and other in the neural representation of threat.” Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 2012. Web. https://academic.oup.com/ scan/article/8/6/670/1611749/ Familiarity-promotes-the-blurring-of-self-and#
are always loud conversations being held by the tables. Sometimes, I would make move upstairs where it is a quieter environment, but the Salish Hall has never really served as a “study area” for me. Finally, I can’t forget to mention the Student Union Building. This building is usually for student life and lunch breaks, but I often attempt to put in some studying while grabbing lunch. However, every little area in this building seems to be too lively to even focus on my study material. When studying for finals, I would avoid studying here due to the loud environment. When finals approach, I will most likely stick to one designated study spot. As of now, there is no particular spot that I am overly fond of.
sports RAC Organizes Sports Tournament Aiman Ahmad | Sports Editor email@example.com www.thegrcurrent.com
By: Annie Chan Staff Writer
Intramural sports at the Recreation and Athletics Center (RAC) creates an environment for students to come together for a bonding experience. Students who enjoy playing particular sports and are willing to play on a voluntary, free basis are given the opportunity to take part in sports tournaments. Four to five sports are available for students each quarter. Tournaments for this quarter include basketball, volleyball, badminton, soccer, and Ping Pong. The Doubles Ping Pong tournament for this quarter took place on Jan. 24. It was the RAC’s first Ping Pong tournament and there were a total of 32 participants. Anh Quang “Adam” Hoang battled through five games to become the champion. Winners of each tournament are presented in the Wall of Fame set up by the entrance of the RAC. The prize for each champion is a t-shirt that reads, “Recreation and Athletic Department Champion.” To Student Intramural Coordinator, Haik Pijs, the bigger prize is getting the opportunity to be in the Wall of Fame. The beginning of the Ping Pong tournaments was tough last quarter since it was held on a Sunday and only 10 students participated. More than 30 students were playing oneon-one this quarter. The five vs. five Indoor Soccer League began on Jan. 25 and will last for five weeks. Both a referee and score counter are provided for each soccer game. More than forty
students are taking part in the soccer league this quarter. Pijs enjoys preparing for soccer because the students who play soccer are used to being in teams and are good at inviting new people. “They know a lot of people so they invite their friends and create teams together,” Pijs said. “The new students also invite their friends, so it is like a network that grows.” The six vs. six Volleyball League began last Monday. The RAC is cooperating with the Volleyball Club to prepare for volleyball tournaments this quarter. Pijs enjoys changing the sizes of teams each quarter to get students to come out of their comfort zones. The Full Court Basketball League is now at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 9 at the RAC. The first tournament was supposed to be held last Thursday, but it has been pushed back due to Advising Day. For past quarters, there has been tournaments with two vs. two, three vs. three, and six vs. six. There will be five vs. five tournaments this quarter. Students have until Feb. 9., the day of the tournament, to sign up. If students decide to email Pijs, they will need to include the names and student ID numbers of all team members, as well as their team name if they would like to make one. Basketball is the most popular which causes the gym to be filled during most of the tournaments. An increase of about 100 students were shown in the RAC’s visitors log on nights that basketball tournaments were held last quarter. Pijs shared that basketball tournaments are usually very diverse.
Tim Tsai, an international student from Taiwan, holds high interest in basketball outside of mechanical engineering. “I like playing basketball because it is competitive and physical,” Tsai said. “I might join the tournament because I can play with my good friends and we get to play against other people that are really good and competitive.” The last tournament held this quarter will be the Doubles Badminton. It begins at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 21 at the RAC and will last for three weeks. Students are welcome to sign up for free anytime before the day of the tournament. To participate in the Doubles Badminton Tournament, students must email Haik Pijs at hpijs@ greenriver.edu. They will need to provide the names and student ID of both participantsas well as a team name if they wish. Pijs has been planning and providing free tournaments for students at Green River College (GRC) since the RAC opened last February. He tries to provide sports that has high demands. The most popular sports are basketball, volleyball, soccer, and badminton. Every quarter has different sports tournaments since Pijs enjoys mixing it up to provide more variety. For spring quarter, students can have the opportunity to take part in basketball, soccer, volleyball, and ping pong tournaments. Students are also suggesting weight tournaments so Pijs is working to try that out for next quarter. If students have any other suggestions, Pijs is available through his email or at the RAC from 6-9 p.m.
every Monday to Friday. Pijs is also testing out something new this quarter called “Mid-Quarter Madness.” This will be a triathlon with multiple sports including bicycling and basketball. Students can find out more information through the RAC’s social media. Pijs believes that participating in intramural sports is a good way for students to meet new people and bond. One of his favorite parts about being the coordinator is experiencing the diversity among the students. “Students with different backgrounds come together to participate,” Pijs said. “They come from different countries and have different cultures. People who are new to the school makes friends easier.” A good proportion of both international and domestic students participates. Pijs also notices that many of the students have fun and come back for more tournaments. “Students who win our t-shirts like to wear them around and show people that they are champions of our sports,” Pijs said. The RAC continues to get busier as the intramural sports tournaments are taking place. Over 400 students continue to visit the RAC on a regular day. Students who would like to participate in intramural sports can contact Pijs through email or stop by the front desk at the RAC for more information. Students will need to show their student ID upon entering the RAC. Students can always access the RAC’s social media accounts for further updates on future events.
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Athletic Department Prepares for Budget Presentation By: Alec Downing Staff Writer Green River Athletic Director Bob Kickner is hard at work preparing for the upcoming budget presentations on Monday, February 13. All Green River clubs and organizations including Athletics, The Current, Student Life, KGRG, Diversity, and more have submitted their budget requests and are preparing for their annual budget presentations which will be held on Monday, February 13. All of these organizations are fully funded by student activity fees, also known as the 522 funds. The process itself is driven by student government, who decides where to allocate the funds. According to Kickner, the presentations are largely the same year in and year out with the students who decide the budget being the key difference. This means the yearly
resource,” said Kickner. “It’s your changes in the student government can drastically affect the funding of guys’ money... the students get to dictate to me how big our athletic specific programs in short periods program is.” of time. In his 13 years as Director of In recent years, the total funds Athletics, Kickner has worked has dropped due to a decrease in student enrollment. With less and with 35 coaches at a turnover rate of roughly two coaches changing less money, all programs are faced every season. This high turnover with increasingly tight budgetary rate can largely be attributed to constraints. For Athletics, costs are budgetary issues. wide ranging and increasing. With the “My coaches get paid the tightening “Anything that the exact same budget and inamount as a creasing costs, college has its name work study Athletics was on, if it’s doing well, student who unfortunately markets the college as an works at the forced to cut front desk,” the softball excellent place” said Kickner. program last - Athletic Director Bob Kickner All curyear. rent Green In previous River Coaches have full time jobs years, the athletic department has also lost tennis and men’s soccer. elsewhere or are retired. Kickner is the only full-time employee Green “As an athletic director, I’m never River has to service the athletics prepared [to cut a sport], but I department. am a fiscal steward of the student
“Many of our sister colleges are finding coaches full-time positions on campus in roles such as career and advising,” said Kickner, who hopes to eventually implement this but is uncertain about its likelihood in the near future with the current budget situation. Kickner believes that having an athletic program that invests in its coaches will see more success. Successful athletic programs provide numerous benefits for an entire campus. “Anything that the college has its name on if it’s doing it well, markets the college as an excellent place,” said Kickner. “This helps not only recruiting in sports but attracting students of all types to a college.” Adding good athletic programs also excite, engage, and unite the current student body. The athletics department is not just about varsity sports, but is a three-pronged program including recreational and
intramural sports as well. The Athletics Department celebrated the Recreation and Athletics Center’s (RAC) 1st Birthday on February 1st. Interestingly enough, Kickner mentioned about one of its most popular features: The RAC, was not a part of the original building plan and was only included after gaining massive support from students during a budget meetings two years ago. Now, a year after opening, the RAC serves over 400 students a day, a testament to the importance of student engagement and the process that got it built.
The Current writes about the effects of Trump policies on GRC students. Check out the feature story on pages 6-7 that shows how scared stude...