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City College Times

Developing the leader within

MELISSA MARIA MARTINEZ, TIMES STAFF

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Prepare for life after college on campus

There is a leader inside each of
us and there is no better place to
nurture our leadership skills than
in college. It’s the only place we
can safely challenge ourselves and
test the leader within us.
College is fertile ground for personal
development. When we as
students engage in critical thinking,
problem-solving and decision
making, we are applying what we
have learned in our classrooms to
the real world.
Why improve campus life?
While riding the bus home one
day, a student told me she was getting
ready to transfer to San Jose
State University. When I mentioned
that the college provides
eco passes to their students, I can
remember the relief on her face at
the idea that soon she would not
have to spend $70 a month to ride
VTA.
This is the first semester San
Jose City College has offered eco
passes but it would not have been
possible without the many students
who took on the effort years
ago; students who have long graduated.
Making the next step obtainable
At another California community
college a professor kicked a
homeless student out of class, citing
the student’s hygiene as a distraction
to the other students. It’s
safe to assume that this is not the
only student who has come across
this problem and it does not seem
fair that students who are trying to
get an education to better their situation
become unable to because
of their situation.
The incident prompted students
to draft a resolution that would
enable students’ access to locker
room showers. They advocated
California state legislatures who
voted in favor of the resolution,
and Gov. Jerry Brown recently
signed it into law.
Making meaningful change
In the beginning of the semester,
I was enrolled in a PE class
on Saturdays. On my first day in
the middle of class, I started my
monthly cycle and needed a feminine
product but there was nothing
in the dispensers and even if there
was I had no change. I tried explaining
this as briefly as possible
to my male PE teacher who I’m
sure assumed I was just trying to
get out of doing the workout. I had
to choose; either workout for two
more hours, let everyone in class
and on the bus ride home experience
my monthly cycle with me or
get on the bus now and go home. I
went home and dropped the class.
It’s safe to assume I’m not the
only one who has experienced
something like this because just
three weeks ago, when community
college students throughout
the state gathered in Sacramento
to vote on resolutions concerning
California Community Colleges,
the last resolution they passed
would recommend that feminine
hygiene products be made available
to all women on campus free
of charge.
This is the power we have.
Here we get a chance to use our
time on campus wisely and exercise
the leader within, to grow and
develop through participation on
campus and make a difference in
the lives of students who come after
us.

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The student news site of San Jose City College
Developing the leader within