A certificate of recognition from Assemblyman Jay Obernolte’s office was presented to the Region IX of the Student Senate for California Community Colleges (SSCCC) during a meeting at Victor Valley College on September 20th.
VVC’s Associated Student Body (ASB) Council falls within the ninth region of the Student Senate, along with 12 other community colleges in Southern California. SSCCC exists to “promote and safeguard access for current and future students to California public higher education,” according to its mission statement.
Christopher Scott, a field representative for Obernolte, presented the certificate during Region IX’s regular monthly meeting, which rotates its location between the colleges.
“We just wanted to stop by, express our gratitude, and thank you all for advocating for and giving our students a greater voice throughout our region,” Scott said.
Student delegates represent each of the colleges in the region, including Maria Soto, VVC ASB’s Student Advocate. Two of VVC’s Council members also serve on the Region IX Executive Board: ASB President Gabriel Kelvin as the Treasurer for Region IX and Student Language & Development Senator Joseph Salama as the Region IX Communications Officer.
“SSCCC is the recognized student voice by the state,” Kelvin said. “Not being active at a regional level makes your school fall silent in important discussions being held that affect all schools.”
Scott called SSCCC “an impressive organization” and gave it credit for pushing several resolutions and bills through legislature.
“But specifically we wanted to give a shout out to Region IX for being so active in their advocacy efforts for our students,” Scott said.
The certificate from the 33rd District Assemblyman’s Office reads: “In recognition of your many contributions to our community. Thank you for advocating for and giving our community college a broader voice throughout the region. Congratulations and best wishes!”
Kelvin said the meeting had perfect attendance, some in person and others over conference call, a respectable feat since the 13 member colleges of the region sprawl over 250 miles, from Blythe to Barstow.
“It’s fantastic that the state assemblyman’s office recognizes the hard work we do and the advocacy we do for students,” Kelvin said. “For a representative and legislator to commend a group centered around representation and legislation, it was a great honor to receive such a certificate.”
The Region IX Board is currently discussing with the Chancellor’s Office the idea of organizing a student-led survey to gather information on Guided Pathways and student retention. They are also working with constituent campuses to ensure they are active in participatory governance.