By Naira Gonzales Aranda
With mixed emotions running high on the week of inaguration, students gathered informally to express their concerns. Whatcom Community College’s office of students organized a meeting earlier this month called “Whatcom Listens” which both students, and staff. Everyone there got a chance to express what was important to them.
According to Curt Freed, Vice President for Instruction if a student at Whatcom is feeling threatened they can call the Evening Friendly Escort Program. Students and staff may request escorts to their cars by calling 360-383-3390 during business hours, or 360-715-2418 after hours. In case of an emergency, he said, call 911 and then report the emergency to the campus operator by dialing 360-383-3000 and then pressing 0. Whatcom also has a Behavior Intervention Team. You can file a report directly online. More information on campus safety can be found at Whatcom’s website.
“Beyond that, it’s about connecting with their community,” Freed said.
An outlet for that is “Stone Soup” a meeting held Wednesdays from noon to 1 at the Intercultural Center, Syre 217. According to the Whatcom website the Intercultural Center is “a safe place to connect through a culture of inclusion and respect,” as well as helping provide help with academic achievement.
Stone soup is a space to talk, and become more connected with the Whatcom community.
The Intercultural Center also holds affinity groups such as the Black Student Association, the Latino Leadership program, who help and hold WAFSA (Washington Application for State Financial Aid (WASFA) and DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) workshops, the Muslim Student association, and more. DACA is a policy that protects certain undocumented young people who meet the requirements and came to the U.S. as children, WAFSA is potential financial aid to those children. More information on affinity groups can be found by visiting the center, as well as WAFSA and DACA.