Tag Archives: Sarayuth Pinthong

Sexual assault can happen anywhere

Even at Central Penn, but awareness is power.

 By Sarayuth Pinthong

Knightly News Reporter

Sexual assault is very common on our nation’s college campuses.

Unfortunately, Central Penn is not exempt, but reports of sexual assault and sexual misconduct at Central Penn are rare.

Even though such reports are rare at Central Penn, with the help of Megan Peterson, Title IX officer and Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) coordinator, students can receive the knowledge that could prevent sexual assault, and possibly save the life of their friends and themselves.

Well developed policy

“Central Penn has an extensive sexual assault policy,” Peterson said. “In our sexual misconduct policy, we go through definitions of different types of sexual misconduct, what constitutes the action and the process that we would go through if a person would bring forward a complaint of sexual misconduct.”

According to Peterson, depending on the type of complaint and how the individual wants it to be handled, sometimes individuals come forward for only resources and support. Sometimes someone comes forward to report to ask for an investigation and hearing, or an informal resolution.

“We have a process for each, depending on how the complainant is comfortable moving forward,” Peterson said. “Our goal is to never force a complainant to handle their case in a certain way if they’re not comfortable.”

Unfortunately, there is an exception. According to Peterson, if a person were to be involved with a violent assault, Central Penn has an obligation to take action for the safety of the campus community.

About our campus

In 2016, Central Penn College had four reports of sexual misconduct, Peterson said. Compared to the amount of sexual assaults occurring on college campuses nationwide, four is a very low number.

2017 had fewer reports.

“If we are strictly talking about sexual assault/misconduct and not other things falling under the Title IX umbrella (harassment, dating violence, etc.), then there were two reported cases of sexual misconduct in 2017, and none so far in 2018,” Peterson said in an email on Feb. 2.

The college publishes an annual security report made available on the college’s website.  Students can view the reported numbers of different types of crimes or sexual misconduct. Individuals can use the report, along with other resources on campus, to be vigilant during their everyday life and better recognize the warning signs of sexual misconduct.

The 2016 report lists two reported violations, under the heading of “Sex Offenses, Forcible (Rape, Sodomy, Sexual Assault w/object and Fondling).” The other two misconduct reports may have been incidents that did not have to be included in the report. Disclosure of reported campus crimes investigated must be reported to the campus community and the public, according to the state’s Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act.

“One in four women are likely to be a victim of sexual misconduct while they’re a student,” Peterson said. “Seventeen percent of men are also likely to be a victim of sexual assault,” she said.

Being aware of sexual assault and the possibility that it could happen can benefit the Central Penn community.

“Alcohol is the number one drug of choice during sexual assault,” Peterson said.

On Jan. 24, the Central Penn College Diversity Committee and the Title IX Office held a discussion forum in the Capital BlueCross Theatre called “Food for Thought: An open, facilitated conversation about sexual harassment,” with two outside experts on the topic – one from the Carlisle YWCA and one from the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape . Chief Diversity Officer Romeo Azondekon and Peterson also participated, with Peterson moderating. Dave Baker, Central Penn’s retention officer and athletics director, took Azondekon’s seat when Azondekon had to depart the panel discussion for a previous engagement.

A universal responsibility

The responsibility of sexual-assault prevention falls on everyone, experts say.

“If you don’t know that sexual assault is a risk, then you don’t know to be mindful and protective of yourself and your friends,” Peterson said. “From an awareness standpoint, we want to bring that issue to light. The more people that talk about sexual assault, the more people feel comfortable to address it.”

According to research, there are only two reasons sexual assault doesn’t happen. One, the person decided not to not move forward with the assault, or two, a bystander decided to intervene.

“If we’re not raising awareness and not having these conversations telling people what red flags to look for,” Peterson said, “the likelihood of knowing what to do and how to intervene is drastically lower than having an informed population.”

Peterson said changes to campus sexual-assault investigation standards from a preponderance of evidence to reasonable doubt that U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has discussed implementing since her confirmation last year haven’t been put in place yet, and it isn’t known when they might be.

For more information, contact Peterson at (717)-728-2398 or meganpeterson@centralpenn.edu.


This episode of the podcast is also available at our SoundCloud page during the month of February at:  https://soundcloud.com/user-511685837/episode-49-megan-cline-and-megan-peterson

To comment on this story or to suggest a story, contact TheKnightlyEditors@CentralPenn.Edu.

Edited by media club co-adviser Professor Michael Lear-Olimpi, who provided some update reporting.

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Rubina Azizdin: A REAL force of empowerment

By Sarayuth Pinthong

Knightly News Reporter

Rubina Azizdin, 35, founder of the Relationships, Empowerment, Authenticity, Laughter (REAL) networking group, continues to share her ethics and dealings with adversities that have made her an empowering female force in the Central Pennsylvania, and the Central Penn, community.

It doesn’t take much to find accolades recognizing Azizdin’s accomplishments throughout her life. Last year, she received the 2017 Shining Star Award from the West Shore Chamber of Commerce as part of its Luminary Awards, created by the Women in Business Roundtable Committee. She has been honored at least twice this year

Her background reveals connection with the Junior Board at the YWCA, West Shore Young Professionals, Central Pennsylvania Association of Female Executives, American Business Association, Board of the Pennsylvania Association of Colleges and Employers, and finally, Women’s Capital Area Networking, and that’s not all.

But to truly understand how Azizdin’s drive, determination and will contribute to her success, despite the obstacles, you must go back to where it all began.

The beginning

Rubina Azizdin, born Rubina Keval in Central Pa., is the oldest of four children. Growing up, Azizdin and her family would visit relatives in Africa. Her parents, Akbar Keval (father), from Ethiopia, and Ruksana (mother), from Kenya, traveled to the United States for their honeymoon.

Azizdin’s father was not formally educated, but very business-oriented. He was a very good mechanic and decided that moving to America would present better opportunities for his wife and future family.

Keval relocated himself and his wife from Africa to Canada, and finally, to the United States, bringing with him only $800. Years passed as Keval worked odd jobs, receiving money under the table to support his family. Keval worked on a farm picking tomatoes, fixed cars, and finally, after receiving his green card, started building his business.

Keval did really well for himself despite not having graduated from high school.  He owned several businesses, ranging from cleaners to a car dealership.  He came to America around the age of 30 and was able to retire at the age of 60 because of the empire he created. He and Ruksana returned to Africa for retirement.

Keeping culture

Azizdin was born in Elizabethtown. Along with her siblings, she was raised embracing the cultures of India and Pakistan. Growing up as a dual-cultured individual, Azizdin witnessed division, being Indian, and not being Pakistani.

She said many Muslims in Central Pennsylvania are Pakistani. Growing up, Azizdin didn’t have the day-to-day exposure to diversity.

“I’ve always been attracted to diversity,” Azizdin said.

The small community of Elizabethtown didn’t allow for exposure to the culture and diversity she longed for. As a child, Azizdin loved the frequent visits back to Kenya. She wasn’t seeing only friends and family, but was also finally exposed to the people who were missing in her daily life back in Elizabethtown.

“People usually gravitate to what they’re used to,” Azizdin said. “With me, it was with what I couldn’t have. I craved it and I still do.”

Azizdin loves her culture.

“My culture is my world, consisting of a blend of everything: African, Pakistani, Indian, and Ethiopian.”

Growing up, Azizdin wasn’t permitted to speak English at home. Her father didn’t want his children to lose the language and culture that comes with being who they were as people. Their language of Kutchi is rare and the one thing Keval wanted to maintain for his family.

Azizdin didn’t understand what her dad was trying to instill in the children. Now, with three children of her own, she understands completely. She teaches her children that they will speak their language because “it’s your language.”

Azizdin believes the challenges she has faced growing up allowed her to love diversity. It gave her the ability to relate to different people while embracing the culture they, as individuals, bring.

“I feel when you have cultural diversity, you tend to be a more open-minded person,” Azizdin said. ­­

Her career dreams always consisted of working in higher education, but her road to a career in that field was full of turns.

Azizdin grew up in a strict home. When she went to college, she derailed and started down a different path. Fortunately, she had people who pushed her back on track. She appreciated the people who assisted her and saw the benefits of wanting to help other people the same way.

Unfortunately, Azizdin said, her father didn’t have the same vision. He envisioned a career in medicine or science for his daughter. Azizdin explained that from her father’s perspective and her culture, success wasn’t reached by being a counselor. It was going into a program like science, engineering or medicine that would bring in the money. That was success.

So began her travels down Academic Lane toward success. She explored being a pharmacist because that’s what her father wanted, but didn’t like it. While figuring out her career path, Azizdin got engaged to her now-husband, Arfaat.

Building another dream

Arfaat left Kenya to attend Harrisburg Area Community College with Rubina.  She later decided to apply to the occupation therapy program at Elizabethtown College and Arfaat applied to the physical therapy assistant program at Central Penn College.  But, during her last two years in the program, Azizdin discovered she didn’t want to be an occupational therapist. Her true calling was working in mental health.

She graduated from Elizabethtown College with a bachelor’s degree in health, and started her master’s degree in counseling and human services. Later, she accepted a family counselor job at WellSpan Philhaven, where she still works after 10 years.

While working with WellSpan Philhaven, Azizdin was able to network with different people and organizations. She was able to meet with families during crisis intervention, and people in homeless shelters, churches, schools and other places where caregivers were needed.

“It was a blessing,” Azizdin said. “It was everything that I loved.”

Azizdin’s career led her to a part-time position at Penn State Harrisburg in career counseling, later to a career services position at Harrisburg Area Community College and then to her current position as a career counselor with Central Penn.

Azizdin wants to prove to women, reflecting on her culture, that they come from the same background, that a woman can be an educated, powerful and respected force in society.

“Just because your husband or your father has a view of you being unequal, that doesn’t mean that you can’t break out,” Azizdin said.

Azizdin witnessed many people being treated in a way she believed was unfair — even her friends. They had their freedom, she said, but at the same time, they didn’t. Some female students of Central Penn, for instance, may not yet understand how to be a powerful woman. Azizdin’s passion for informing other women comes from her experience as a young minority woman.

Getting REAL

This passion of Azizdin’s led her to create the REAL networking group. She decided to make the group women-centered because of conversations among women she heard in the Harrisburg area.

What came out of the conversations was the lack of connections being created. Relationships were superficial. After being approached by many women regarding similar concerns, Azizdin developed the REAL networking group.

The group is a nonbusiness-based one in which everyone is neutral. Members are able to discuss topics, build one another up and support one another, creating the sense of community that goes back to traditional values that are being lost, Azizdin explained.

The group has a Facebook presence of about 300 members and around 20 people attend a monthly Monday meeting, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., to have lunch, hear guest speakers and participate in empowerment activities.

Azizdin imagines the groups she’s involved with, like REAL, sustaining themselves within the community. Developing a strong local community is the goal, she said.

“I think charity starts at home.”

Azizdin believes groups should start out small, and build. Help the local people first and see where and how the groups develop.

Despite being a group primarily for women, REAL is open to anyone.

“I’ve never said that men aren’t welcome,” Azizdin said. “It’s just that women gravitate more toward the group.”

Good and bad experiences happen to everyone. Azizdin believes the experiences shape people. It’s just a matter of how people apply the experiences, she said.

“I say grow with your experiences. Without experiences, we can’t be who we are.”

Always look forward to a pleasant and bright future, Azizdin said. How does she do it? It’s a two-part process.

“Surround yourself with supportive people,” she advised. “The other part is self-discipline. You just have to prioritize. If you want to get something done, there’s nothing stopping you.”


To comment on this story, or to suggest one, contact TheKnightlyEditors@CentralPenn.edu.

Edited by media club co-adviser Prof. Michael Lear-Olimpi.

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The Knightly News Presents Offers College Success Podcast

Can I be a college student? Yes! You can.

By Sherri Long

Knightly News Reporter

Our podcast features current college students Sherri Long, Yuli Sutedjo, Sy Pinthong and Carl Morrow sharing their experiences on what it takes to go to college in different stages of life’s journeys. They talk about some of their personal concerns, challenges and issues, and how they overcame them.

The first segment features discussion of how finances and affordability can be a roadblock for students and potential students. Despite the high cost of most colleges, they share avenues and options that make attending college possible. The segment also includes conversations regarding managing school, family life and the challenges of working while getting a degree.

The second part of the podcast takes a closer look at the internship and capstone requirements for degrees. Long shares her experience as an intern at RG Group while being a single mom, full-time student and working adult. Morrow discusses the capstone option he is completing this term, while working and attending classes full-time. Pinthong shares his thought process as he weighs options and the importance of understanding one option versus the other.

The final segment focuses on motivation. Sutedjo shares several tips on being successful and staying motivated throughout college. Pinthong shares some interesting statistics on the benefits of a college degree. The show wraps up with Long, Morrow, Pinthong and Sutedjo talking about the benefits of being involved in more than just classes, asking questions and — having fun!

Information about topics discussed in “Can I be a College Student? Yes! You can.”

Kelly Fox, Financial Aid Planning Coordinator

Central Penn Financial Aid

Curtis Voelker, Admissions Counselor/ High School Presenter

Central Penn Admissions

Central Penn Career Services

Steve Hassinger, Director of Career Services

RubinaAzizdin@centralpenn.edu, Career Services

Kristin Fike, Internship Coordinator

Central Penn Fall Job & Internship Fair, Nov. 1, 2017

Long’s story about collaborative robot, Sawyer, during her internship with RG Group.

“Dispelling Misconceptions of Collaborative Robots”


 

Sherri Long is president of the Knightly News Media Club at Central Penn College.

Edited by Knightly News co-advisers Prof. Paul Miller and Prof. Michael Lear-Olimpi.

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ATEC evacuated

Some people in the building felt ill.

Fire department finds no danger.

Air-quality testing set for Thursday.

Story and photos

By Sarayuth Pinthong

Knightly News Reporter

More than 100 people were evacuated from the Advanced Technology Education Center (ATEC) just before 11 a.m. Tuesday because of concerns about air quality in the building after some employees felt ill.

Around 9 a.m., Ronald Amoriello, chief public safety director, received a report of several staff members complaining of headaches and dizziness while in ATEC suite 203/205. Amoriello responded to the location and met with the individuals.

Central Penn Chief Public Safety Director meets with firefighters in the ATEC lobby Tuesday morning to discuss checking air quality after the evacuation. Photo by Sarayuth Pinthong

Central Penn Chief Public Safety Director Ron Amoriello meets with firefighters in the ATEC lobby Tuesday morning to discuss checking air quality after the evacuation. 

“I got them out of the suite they were in and did some testing (of the building’s electronics systems) to make sure all our systems were up and running,” Amoriello said.

They were.

After checking the first and second floors, Amoriello decided to call the East Pennsboro Fire Department to have air-quality checks done.

“We just wanted to make sure that we didn’t have any … issues with contaminants in the air,” Amoriello said.

A CP Alert warning was sent by phone and email at 11:07 a.m. to all employees and students, advising them of the ATEC evacuation, and asking people to stay away from the area.

East Pennsboro’s Northeast Fire & Rescue Station #1, Summerdale, was dispatched about 10:30 a.m. The truck and firefighters arrived quickly from the firehouse on Third Street, near the college.

According to Fire Chief Josh Matter, six to eight people who had been in ATEC required evaluation by emergency medical services personnel. One person was transported to a local hospital for evaluation of an unrelated condition, and returned to the college later in the afternoon.

“We got on scene and did multimeter sweeps,” Matter said. “When more manpower arrived, we conducted another sweep with different multimeters.”

Only normal levels of gases were found in the building, no more than anyone would find in a safe home, Amoriello said.

Fire trucks on Valley Road outside ATEC, and in the front lot. Photo by Sarayuth Pinthong.

Fire trucks on Valley Road outside ATEC, and in the front lot.

The “multimeter” tests can detect a variety of gases and other contaminants from fuels in air, according to Amoriello.

Because no readings indicating trouble were found, Matter decided to evacuate the area where people who felt ill had been.

He then instructed Facilities Department personnel to turn on the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system to conduct a test from the affected room. Another test was conducted after about 20 minutes, and no readings indicating a problem were found. Matter told Central Penn officials about an hour after firefighters arrived that people could return to the building and resume normal activities.

A CP Alert at 11:28 a.m. told recipients – employees and students – that tests of air quality in ATEC detected no threat and the fire department declared the building safe to enter.

East Pennsboro Township ambulances at the curb on B Street, checking people who had felt ill in ATEC. Photo by Sarayuth Pinthong.

East Pennsboro Township ambulances at the curb on B Street, checking people who had felt ill in ATEC.

Faculty members whose offices are in ATEC203/205 worked in Bollinger Hall while firefighters checked ATEC. Some faculty members who felt ill in the morning assigned Blackboard days for their classes.

Amoriello said an outside firm will conduct air-quality tests in ATEC on Thursday morning. He stated in an email sent at 12:43 p.m. to employees that the Public Safety and Facilities departments “will continue to monitor the situation.”

The last air-quality test in ATEC was conducted about two months ago by an outside agency. No contaminants were found.

East Pennsboro fire police directed traffic on Valley Road away from B Street while firefighters checked ATEC. Two ambulances from East Pennsboro Township Emergency Medical Services parked on the ATEC side of B Street. Medics assessed people who felt ill.

Susquehanna Township’s Heavy Rescue unit 37 and the Hampden Township Fire Department assisted, as did East Pennsboro Township Police.


To comment on this story or to suggest a story, contact TheKnightlyEditors@CentralPenn.edu.

Edited by media club co-adviser Prof. Michael Lear-Olimpi, who contributed to the reporting.

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Women’s Leadership Conference Stresses Empowerment and Education

Conference keynote speaker Robyn Hatcher addresses Women's Leadership Conference attendees at the Conference Center at Central Penn. Hatcher encouraged the audience to "let your light shine" and to "embrace your albatross." Photo by Sarayuth Pinthong

Conference keynote speaker Robyn Hatcher addresses Women’s Leadership Conference attendees at the Conference Center at Central Penn. Hatcher encouraged the audience to “let your light shine” and to “embrace your albatross.” Photo by Sarayuth Pinthong.

Over 200 women educated, encouraged and energized one another

By Sherri Long

Knightly News Reporter

Education and empowerment for women were the main purposes of this year’s Women’s Leadership Conference, held last month in the Conference Center at the college.

Rubina Azizdin, career counselor and part-time faculty member at Central Penn, organized the event, which was geared toward women in all stages of their career paths.

The conference featured women leaders in the community and businesses. Attendees ranged from current college students and college leadership, to business employees, leaders and entrepreneurs.

Della Archer, director of employee relations for Harrisburg Area Community College, said she was attending the Women’s Conference because she “looks for ways to network with other women professionals,” and she values hearing “stories of other women to find out how they got to where they are.”

Archer’s coworker, Stephanie Maben, executive assistant to vice president of student affairs at HACC, explained she was attending because “working women face so many challenges. Any opportunity to network with other women is great.”

Albatrosses and rock stars

The conference started off with the breakfast keynote message from speaker and communication expert Robyn Hatcher. Hatcher encouraged attendees to “let your light shine” and to “embrace your albatross.” The albatross, Hatcher explained, is deadweight or a burden. By identifying it, you can reframe it and turn your misfortune into your mission.

Attendees were told to “get your sparkle on,” stood up by their tables, put their hands on their hips, heads held high and shouted, “I AM (after which they inserted three strengths from a list that was at each table)!” This energized the group, and kept the positive and energetic momentum going throughout the conference.

After the uplifting message from Hatcher, attendees went to the breakout sessions of their choice. Sessions were themed with such titles as Knowledge is Power, Financial Literacy, Achieving Your Dreams, Live Your Truth, and Interview Like A Rock Star.

Sharon Kelly, an accounting major student at Central Penn, said, “When I had my first interview, I was really nervous. They gave me this paper to review and asked some questions and I kind of stumbled through it.”

The main reason Kelly attended the conference was for the breakout session How to Interview Like a Rock Star — How to Slay Every Interview for Every Job You Ever Wanted, presented by Amanda King, owner of PeopleSavvyHR Group, to better her chances at her next interview.

 

Tiffany Chang Lawson, executive director of the Governor’s Advisory Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs, encourages attendees to “Live Your Truth” during her breakout session at the Women’s Leadership Conference at Central Penn College. Photo by Sarayuth Pinthong

Tiffany Chang Lawson, executive director of the Governor’s Advisory Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs, encourages attendees to “Live Your Truth” during her breakout session at the Women’s Leadership Conference at Central Penn College. Photo by Sarayuth Pinthong

Etiquette and power

After the breakout sessions, attendees participated in a five-course luncheon during which Kathy Christopher, general manager for Bridgewood Catering at Central Penn, gave a presentation on proper etiquette for each course of a meal during networking events and luncheon interviews.

During dessert, an energetic fashion show was presented by designer and local business woman Amma Johnson, featuring her AMMA JO fashions, which were modeled by several Central Penn employees, including President Karen Scolforo and Vice President of Academic Affairs/Provost Linda Fedrizzi-Williams. The luncheon ended with the presentation of the Student Leadership Awards.

The conference concluded with a Powerhouse Panel, featuring local women leaders from the government, business and nonprofit sectors. After each panelist made introductory remarks, attendees could ask questions. Questions attendees asked covered discrimination, balancing family and career, and being compassionate, empathetic and successful.

The panel was well-received by attendees.

Azizdin closed the conference by thanking everyone for attending.

From left, Central Penn personnel Adrienne Thoman, Sandra Box, Dr. Linda Fredrizzi-Williams, Megan Peterson, Karen Scolforo and Krista Wolfe ham it up in some clothing they modeled at the conference.

From left, Central Penn personnel Adrienne Thoman, Sandra Box, Dr. Linda Fredrizzi-Williams, Megan Peterson, Dr. Karen Scolforo and Krista Wolfe ham it up in some clothing they modeled at the conference. Photo by Sarayuth Pinthong

Reflecting success

“Everything went really well. Actually, it went better than expected,” Azizdin said about the event during a recap phone interview.

This year’s conference was the second annual Women’s Conference Azizdin organized. Attendance increased from 125 last year to 200 this year. She is “definitely planning on a 2018 conference.”

When asked what she’s learned or any improvements she’ll make for next year, Azizdin spoke about the technology of event planning. She is researching a new registration tool to use because some of the payments did not go through and because of lack of notifications when someone registered. She also advised planners to confirm what technology is in each room a presenter will be using.

“One of the rooms we used had new computer and presentation systems installed over the weekend,” Azizdin said.  “Thankfully, we were able to have someone from IT help with getting the equipment running.”

Azizdin recommends having one or two presenters as back-ups, “just in case.” One of the presenters could not attend due to a family emergency. One of the Power Panel participants, a friend of Azizdin’s, was able to present in that speaker’s place.

Azizdin continues to get positive feedback from attendees and through responses from emailed surveys.

She has several ideas for next year’s conference topics and planning, including looking for more corporate sponsors to help fund the event and for more giveaways at the conference.


Sherri L. Long is president of the Knightly News Media Club @ Central Penn College.

To comment on this story, or to suggest a story, contact the KnightlyEditors@CentralPenn.edu

Edited by media club co-adviser Prof. Michael Lear-Olimpi

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The Central Penn College #IAM Campaign

Knightly News Secretary spearheads PSA Campaign for Initiative

By Paul Miller and Sarayuth Pinthong

Knightly News Secretary Sarayuth Pinthong offers a fantastic look at the #IAM campaign from The Office of Diversity and Global Education at Central Penn College as part of a project in his COM225:  Writing for Public Relations course.

The #IAM campaign is in support of their “Our Diversity” messaging in the fall term of 2016.

The campaign informed students and staff members about “going beyond the optics” and understanding our similarities and commonalities. Everyone’s responsible for diversity on campus.

For more information contact: Office of Diversity and Global Education at Central Penn College

Romeo Azondekon: 717-728-2437

romeoazondekon@centralpenn.edu

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A Sit Down with Jasmine Harvey, New SGA President

A New Year Presents New Adventures as Students Select New Class President to Lead the Way Forward

By Sarayuth Pinthong

Knightly News Reporter

Nov. 8, 2016, marked another change in our nation. That was the day Donald J. Trump was elected the new President of the United States.

Central Penn College also elected a new representative of the student body. That person was Jasmine Harvey. Knightly News reporter Sarayuth Pinthong had the opportunity to sit down with Harvey as she shared some details about herself and her new position as Student Government Association (SGA) president.

KN: Central Penn College is a very diverse institution. Where are you from and how did you become a student of Central Penn?

JH: I’m from Philadelphia. I became a student because I received a letter in the mail about the school. I just took a chance and got accepted. I decided to come here to see how the campus was. I didn’t know that my cousin was attending (at) the time.  We did a tour and I liked it. I enjoyed that it was a small campus and everything was so close.

KN: How long have you been a student at Central Penn and what do you enjoy about the college?

JH: This is my sixth term here. What I like most about this school is that they give their students opportunities to do what they like to do. If you really want something to be done on campus all you have to do is email somebody and they’ll get right back to you. For example, we have a cheerleading club on campus. We didn’t have that before. That was something (students) really wanted to happen and they did their best to do it.

Jasmine Harvey, student government association president at Central Penn College, poses for a photo in the ATEC building, February 8, 2017. Photo by Sarayuth Pinthong

Jasmine Harvey, student government association president at Central Penn College, poses for a photo in the ATEC building, Feb. 8.  Photo by Sarayuth Pinthong

KN: Central Penn College offers a variety of academic programs. What is your major and why?

JH: I’m a corporate communications major. I selected it as my major because I love writing. I know that in the communications field there’s a lot to do. There’s always an opportunity for you in any field with the major and that’s what I love the most. I like doing and trying new things. I didn’t want to be stuck doing one specific thing for the rest of my life. I want to branch out and learn.

KN: What would be your dream job?

JH: I probably would go more to the public relations side, like marketing. Recently, I’ve found that it’s interesting to me once I took my advertising class. Afterwards, I’ve learned to enjoy the process on marketing a product, how to get it out there and how to sell it.

KN: What does “SGA” stand for and how long have you been affiliated with SGA? What roles did you hold prior to being elected as the new SGA president?

JH: SGA stands for the Student Government Association. I’ve been a part of it for about a year now. Before I became president, I was the vice president.

KN: Individuals in positions such as yours research the actions and qualities of past members so they can develop a plan of action of what works and doesn’t work toward the future. With that in mind, who was your predecessor and any reason why he/she is no longer the SGA president?

JH: Sebastine (Virella) was our SGA president of 2016 and was supposed to be for 2017. Unfortunately, he had to take some time off from school to deal with some other matters in his life. Before I stepped up to the role to take this position, we were very good friends. We had a conversation about how to move forward with SGA, like the plans he wanted to fulfill before he left the school. He has my back 100 percent and I have his. He still helps me out with meetings and event planning. I always go to him to ask questions.

KN: How were you selected as the SGA president? Was there an election of some type held for the student body?

JH: We had Morgan Littleford, our secretary, and Yuli (Sutedjo), our treasurer. Our bylaws state that if our president, or anybody, resigns, the next person up will take control. Since I was vice president, the control was assigned to me. In the fall term we had an election where the students decided who they wanted as class president.

KN: What experiences do have that can help you as the next SGA president?

JH: Being around Sebastine provided the opportunity for him to take me under his wing. I feel like just being around him and seeing how he does everything, from planning to budgeting, gave me the chance to learn how to take on the role.

KN: Can you explain the roles and responsibilities of the SGA president?

JH: If the student body has any concerns, they can come to us with the problem. During our meetings we talk about issues that were brought up to us to find solutions on how to fix them for our students as fast as possible. Recently, we had an issue about the cafeteria. We decided to go and give out comment sheets for the students to fill out which provided us with suggestions on what food and style they wanted the cafeteria to have. We took that and went to the president of Central Penn for a meeting just to discuss issues about the cafeteria and what the students wanted to see. Just from that meeting the cafeteria did change.

KN: What is your view of the Central Penn student body and are their voices being heard?

JH: I would say that the voices of our students are being heard. I feel like the staff here does care about the students. They want things to change for the better. The staff is willing to help out any way they can, as long as you bring the problem to them by stating the problem and what you want to see changed. We have comment boxes that we put out during our events. During that time, we communicate with students by asking if they have any suggestions or comments they want us to present. We have an email address on our Blackboard page as well.  You can even come directly to me if anything is bothering you.

KN: Last term involved some negative incidents that attracted the attention of the staff of Central Penn along with the student body. Would you comment on that?

JH: As far as the past incidents, it just seemed like a bunch of miscommunication and not stating the problems or exactly what you wanted to see changed. It was a lot of stating opinions. When you want to see something changed, instead of opinions, state the facts … and have a plan to implement campus procedures accordingly, and in a better way.

KN: The whole picture of what’s going on isn’t always visible during certain situations. When negative situations develop, how can the SGA positively assist both the students and the staff of Central Penn?

JH: For SGA, we just take action as soon as we can. We go directly to students and staff to see what they want, and talk with both sides to come together to see what we feel needs to be brought up to the president during a meeting. If we handle the situation as soon as it happens, rather than waiting, the outcome could be better.

KN: What are your goals toward the future as SGA president and how can students get involved?

JH: My goals are for SGA to get more involved with all the clubs on campus. We do have a few plans to attend more club meetings to see how we can help other clubs, like trying to get them a budget, help with fundraisers or just be more successful. When it comes to students being involved with us, hopefully, when we go to other clubs they would see that we’re trying to help them out. Other than being the voice of the students, we also help out with community service hours. We do fundraisers to help out with the Education Foundation that gives scholarships to students.

KN: What would you like to say directly to the students of Central Penn College to help them better understand the roles of their SGA?

JH: SGA is here to help you guys out. If you don’t want to address a problem yourself, you can come to us so we can help. If you just want to start a club on campus and you need help, you can come to us. Whatever you need help with, we can help you out with it. That’s what we’re mainly here for – to help the students out in any way possible. We’re here to make your college experience the best one you have. I know that a lot of students want to do similar things that other colleges do. That’s what we’re here for. We’re here to make sure that whatever you want done on this campus, if possible, can be done so you can have that great college experience to share with your kids later in life – making good memories.

More information, inquiries or concerns can be submitted to SGA at sga@centralpenn.edu

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To comment on this story or to suggest a story, contact KnghtlyEditors@CentralPenn.edu.

Edited by Media Club President Sherri Long and club co-adviser Prof. Michael Lear-Olimpi.

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WRAP IT UP!

Condoms can prevent STDs.

By Sarayuth Pinthong

Media Club Reporter

Ah – picture it.

The mood is perfect. Everything is going right. You look at your partner and then it hits you: You have no protection.

What do you do?

Really, it’s no game

Central Penn students participated in a sex-ed Jeopardy parody game during a recent common hour near the end of fall term with guest speaker Kelly J. Gainor of Planned Parenthood of Central Pennsylvania, in the Capital BlueCross Theatre, to raise awareness about HIV infection and AIDS, for World AIDS Day.

As lead coordinator of the event, Central Penn Counselor Megan Cline reached out to Planned Parenthood for support to help educate students about safe sex to prevent infection with HIV and sexually transmitted diseases.

“My goal in having Planned Parenthood come to campus was to get the word out,” Cline said. “Planned Parenthood is a great organization that does amazing work for people of all ages.”

Gainor, senior community health educator at Planned Parenthood, spoke on topics that allowed students the opportunity to explore their knowledge of sexually transmitted disease (STD), preventive measures against STDs, including HIV infection and AIDS.

Gainor talked about and answered students’ questions about the proper use of contraceptives and different methods of exposure to HIV, and concluded the presentation with a demonstration of how to apply a condom properly.

About 40 students attended the session.

Watch the accompanying video from Whitman-Walker Health in Washington, D.C., for instructions on how to use a condom properly.

Use self-assessment and common sense

Take a second and ask yourself whether you know how to apply a condom correctly, what personal female contraceptive choices are available or what other barrier devices to prevent STDs, and protect yourself or partner against contracting HIV, may be available.

And here’s a sobering thought: When was the last time you were tested for STDs, if ever?

“The most important thing is getting checked,” Gainor said. “Because of the current medication available, the sooner you know, the longer you have to live (with HIV) – period.”

Getting checked is just the beginning. Knowing the ins and outs of self-protection is also important.

Gainor informed her audience on how to properly inspect a condom before use. She also explained the various ways of transmitting STDs and, of course, the precautions necessary to protect oneself when engaging in sexual activities.

“Certainly, in a college campus, having safe sex and making safe sexual decisions, is something that’s very important,” Central Penn Activities Director Adrienne Thoman said. “It’s going to have ramifications for the rest of your life.”

It happens – a lot!

Becoming exposed to STDs is still common. Taking a serious stance on the matter is just as important as using protection. Despite what you may believe, exposure to and infection with these ailments can happen to you.

“I don’t think they believe that they can catch it so easily,” said Lester McMillan, an entrepreneurship major. “I beg to differ. It’s quick to get ‘burned.’ I feel it’s just best ‘to wrap it up.’”

“Students seem to be aware and understanding of general knowledge about sex,” Cline said. “But they don’t always seem to accept the reality of if you’re having unprotected sex, your chances of unplanned pregnancies and/or transmission of sexually transmitted infections increases significantly.”

At Central Penn, condoms are available in Thoman’s office and in the athletics office, in The Underground, and in the Residence Life Office, in Bollinger Hall. They are also available in many stores, particularly drugstores, such as the Rite Aid in the Enola Plaza, and in most physicians’ offices.

Gainor explained that World AIDS Day, which was observed on Nov. 30, is to raise awareness of HIV and the to make people aware that it’s still a problem

“We want people to be aware, so they can get checked and maybe protect themselves,” Gainor said. “Getting tested is something I wish people would take more seriously.”

So, think back to the scenario at the beginning of this article. What would you do? Would you continue, and hope for the best? Or would you take a stance and protect yourself and your partner?

So – what would you do?

It’s all about getting tested, protecting yourself and not getting HIV or another sexually transmitted disease in the first place.

Planned Parenthood helps people plan parenthood through education and medical services. For more information go to www.plannedparenthood.org


 

The resources below provide STD testing, and other health and sexual/reproductive health services.

Planned Parenthood in Harrisburg

Alder Health Services, Harrisburg


 

To comment on this story, or to submit a story idea, contact the editors at KnightlyEditors@CentralPenn.edu.

Edited by media club co-adviser Prof. Michael Lear-Olimpi.

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