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The Buzz Around Student Affairs
Newsletter of Today

News for the Month of December 2019

A special message from our Vice President of Student Affairs, Dr. Ed Mills. From all of us, to all of you, Happy Holidays!

Reducing Stress through Final Friends

Stress and anxiety is a common theme twice a semester for our students, we call this time—finals week. Through the leadership of Dr. Beth Lesen, Associate Vice President/Dean of Students, Student Engagement the division has been able to support students through the program Final Friends. On three evenings during finals week, Student Affairs coordinates volunteers across the Hornet community who pass out notes of encouragement and snacks to students who are studying in the Library, the AIRC, and the Union. This unique program allows the Hornet community to interact with our students in a time where they may need a break, some encouraging words from a staff, faculty or a fellow hornet, and/or just a snack.
Dr. Lesen is passionate about this program: “Finals Friends is special to me. I started it in 2012 when I first got here. We were just coming out of the recession and budgets were very tight and I had just gotten to Sac State and still didn’t know a lot of people. But I knew how much stress students experience going into finals and wanted to do something to support them so that first semester I bought some snacks and asked a couple of staff members (Jason Sumi and Melissa Norrbom, both of whom have moved on but are still in contact) who were very high energy to join me in giving them out on the first night of finals in the AIRC building.”
Students find Finals Friends as a pleasant surprise and enjoy getting a quick break from their studies. “I remember how students reacted back then and it kind of broke my heart. Many of them said no thank you, assuming that I was trying to sell them something. They couldn’t believe that someone was walking around giving out food for free just to support them. They were so touched when they found out that it was a gesture of support with no strings attached. Some of them even cried. So then I cried,” said Dr. Lesen.
As a caring campus we strive to continue building this tradition stronger each semester. She feels, “It’s an effort that’s always been special to me and I’m grateful for the many partners across campus who have pitched-in to keep it growing.”
If you would like to be a part of Final Friends, be on the lookout for an invitation in May of 2020 from the Dean of Students office. 
Video courtesy of Jessica Vernone and Hrach Avetisyan

Campus Closed for the Holidays!

Tuesday, December 24, 2019
Thursday, January 2, 2020

Click here for upcoming events!

Victim Advocate Now in Student Service Center

This fall semester, Student Affairs has introduced its new WEAVE Confidential Campus Advocate, alumna, Laura Swartzen to the Student Service Center in Lassen Hall Room 1000. As a confidential advocate for WEAVE (Women Escaping a Violent Environment), a non-profit organization aimed to end domestic and sexual violence, Swartzen strives to aid and assist all students regardless of gender in situations of sexual assault, domestic violence and stalking.
Her position entails providing affected students with resources and actions such as: reporting, walking through the steps of counseling, and following the process of Title IX, if requested by the student. Along with assisting students in privacy, Swartzen also educates the campus on behalf of WEAVE through in-class presentations requested by faculty who express a need for awareness.
Swartzen’s primary goal while holding this position is to ensure students’ mental and physical safety, as well as expressing that all official matters are completely confidential: “I want to acknowledge that students coming to seek services from me might feel really vulnerable and I want students to know that they are protected with privacy and confidentiality when seeking services. I am not a mandated reporter so I don’t have to report to anyone what students disclose to me. This allows students the freedom to share as much or as little information about what they have gone through as they like with me.”
While being committed to the advocacy of domestic violence awareness and prevention, Swartzen brings a level of focus about these issues to the Sacramento State community. No matter the situation a student may be in, the advocate aims to express the safety and commitment to confidentiality that is unique to her position.
Students are welcome to contact Swartzen’s office through telephone or schedule an appointment via email, or at the link below.
Schedule an Appointment

Supporting Students Year-Round:

ASI Food Pantry

A February 2018 report by the CSU Chancellor’s office found that 41.6% of CSU students experienced some level of food insecurity, with almost half describing their food security as low or very low. ASI’s Director of Student Engagement, Reuben Greenwald says, “We are excited to continue to work with our colleagues across the CSU system to grow and expand our University pantries to meet the growing needs of our student body.”
In the first three months of the academic year, the ASI Food Pantry served 4,000 Hornets, a 33% increase in students over the prior year. Together, these students fed over 8,000 people with the food coming from the ASI Food Pantry. During the 2018 and 2019 academic year, the pantry fed 13,197, up 77% from previous year.
With their new location in the University Union, Room 1246, the ASI Food Pantry has expanded their services. Perishable and refrigerated items, provided through donations and purchased from the Sacramento Food Bank are now available to visiting students and provided at no cost. In partnership with Student Health & Counseling Services, Peer Health Educators (PHEs) do cooking demonstrations, sharing recipes that can be made with the food inside. In addition, the pantry provides basic hygiene products, including menstrual products, which they offer at no cost to students.
“The ASI Food Pantry relies on community support to help sustain the increase in users and help serving Hornets facing financial challenges and limited food resources. There are many opportunities for students, staff, and faculty to volunteer in the Pantry and at the Monday Pop-Up Produce Pantry events. Additionally, we encourage departments to get involved by holding donation drives for non-perishable food or toiletries,” said Greenwald.
To find out how you can get involved, contact Elizabeth Villalobos, ASI Food Pantry Program Coordinator.

CSU Young Men of Color Symposium

The Young Males of Color Consortium (YMOC) was established in 2017 as a partnership between the nonprofit College Futures Foundation and the California State University system. The Consortium addresses the challenging dynamics that young men of color face through their journey in higher education. The YMOC is supported by all 23 CSU campuses, and guided by the California State University Graduation Initiative 2025 mandate to eliminate all achievement and opportunity gaps.
The Consortium hosted their second annual convention, Beyond the Rhetoric: Eradicating Achievement & Equity Gaps for Males of Color, on November 6 in Los Angeles. The event focused on unique challenges within the CSU system, while being mindful of the many identity markers men of color possess, and exploring effective approaches on how to better campus support systems.
Sacramento State senior Andrew Yang had the honor of being a keynote speaker at the event. Selected as a result of his demonstrated leadership on campus and in the community, Yang works in the Division of Student Affairs as a Student/Program lead for the First Generation Institute and Project HMONG. “Having Andrew Yang be one of the keynote speakers and participants in the Young Males of Color Consortium: Beyond the Rhetoric, brings a voice to the Southeast Asian male experience. It’s important to acknowledge all colors and the many barriers that impact access to higher education and the overall campus experience,” says Chao Vang, External Relations with SASEEP.
Representatives from all 23 CSU campuses were in attendance and were made up of administration, faculty and students. The event allowed students, leaders and educators to understand and learn from each other, developing new concepts and ideas on how to better serve, support and guide our young men of color.
At this year’s event, the College Futures Foundation awarded a $410,000 grant to support the work of the Young Males of Color Consortium for the next two years. Sacramento State will share this grant with CSU Dominguez Hills, CSU Fullerton, Cal Poly Pomona, and CSU Bakersfield and continue to make strides in helping students of color thrive in college and boosting graduation rates.

Stay Connected While Working Remotely!

Global Protect is the official Virtual Private Network (VPN) service, which allows you to access your shared drives as well as other on-campus resources such as OnBase and Cognos/University Data Warehouse (UDW) while off-campus. This tool is very useful when you are working while on the road. Please keep in mind that having and running Global Protect is only the first step for accessing Shared Drives. They must also be mapped to your device in order to complete the access setup. If you need assistance setting this up and testing functionality, please book an appointment with our team via
Note: If you ever check-out one of our laptops with the intent to use it off-campus, please let us know what you will need access to. We can then ensure Global Protect and additional items are installed and tested prior to you leaving campus. Global Protect will require Duo authentication, please ensure that one of your authentication methods is available to you while out of the office. 

Global Protect Instructions & Download


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