Brave Space Student Forum held by the Cadena Cultural Center on Tuesday allowed students to discuss the challenges they’ve been facing this online semester. Topics ranged from transitioning to remote instruction, challenges being faced at home and the Black Lives Matter Movement.
The reasoning behind creating this forum was for the Cadena Cultural Center to be able to support students by informing them of the resources that Fullerton College has to offer, as well as connecting students who are facing similar hardships. Justine Banal, a professional expert at the center, and Gilberto Valencia, its coordinator, hosted this forum.
To enable everyone to feel more inclined and comfortable to answer each other, Banal and Valencia set up a poll so that students were able to answer questions anonymously. Everyone on the call was able to view the responses.
Jessica King, a sophomore at Fullerton College, discussed how COVID-19 had affected her so far. She depended on her active involvement in clubs that helped build her confidence, but now King feels as if she has lost that. She shared her feelings of isolation from her colleagues and other students, which many on the call related to, as they faced similar challenges since the big change to remote learning.
Students also shared the difficulties that they’re facing at home with their own families. Some family members are not supportive of their choice to continue school, and they are relying on students a lot more than before, which is creating obstacles at home.
Banal then asked the question of what identities and social issues students wanted to learn more about so that the Cadena Cultural Center can create specific resources for them, as they are the ones who plan and facilitate programs related to culture and identity.
Gareth Waughan, President of the Mindfulness Club at Fullerton College, explained that at the start of the protests for the Black Lives Matter movement, it was very confusing to decide whether it was a positive or negative movement because it seemed so chaotic.
Waughan shared that he would want more resources on the background of the movement to be able to understand why it’s an event he should be accepting so that he and other students in his position can be able to progress as well as hopefully find solutions or resources to support the movement.
Several other students also agreed in wanting to receive more knowledge about the background of the BLM movement, as well as becoming more involved in local politics in general.
Throughout the forum, Banal and Valencia reassured students that the challenges they’re facing or the emotions they are feeling are completely justified, which helped them feel validated.
Towards the end of the forum, Banal, Valencia and students shared resources for others based on clubs they were already a part of or what they knew was available. Some mentioned included the Queer Book Club, Mindfulness Club, LGBTQ Club, following the FC health services on Instagram for tips and checking out some of the events that Associated Students is going to set up to help students during these times.
The Cadena Cultural Center will also be summarizing everything discussed during this event, specifically the resources mentioned by everyone, and will distribute it to the Fullerton College community.