Fall Begins With A Bang

Shaneece Dixon


By Shaneece Dixon
Valencia Voice

With the first week of the Fall semester came the return of new textbooks, professors, homework, and other school related stress. Of course to relieve the stress of the semester jitters was the SGA sponsored Unified Diversity Welcome Week, which took place on Thursday, Aug. 28th, on the SSB patio on West Campus.

“I’m glad that SGA cares about the students to make such an event,” said Zia Ansari, Executive Secretary for SGA West Campus, transferring from South Florida’s Nova Southeastern University.

Livelier than ever, the cookout had all the types of fun filled themes needed to create a successful event for Valencia students, from crazy hula-hoop contests to freshly made kettle corn to two very animated parrots.

“It’s really nice to come to this campus,” said CJ Singh, a representative for Volcano Tiki, a company
that is notoriously known for their bird shows, “We like doing community service, working with local colleges, and doing bird shows for public schools as well.”

But perhaps the most exciting part of the event was the highlighted performance from Ocoee High School’s marching band. Making their way past the crowds of students and faculty, the high school band easily got everyone excited and amped for the festivities.

“This reminds me of a high school pep rally,” said Nicole Hampton, a graduate from Gainesville High School, “Last year’s show had no spin on it, but this year is much different.”

Even so the high school students received a lot of worthwhile information and memories while visiting West Campus, making it a worthy learning experience. “It was really cool for the kids to be on the campus,” said band director Bernie Hendricks, who encouraged his senior students to be actively engaged in their collegiate futures. “They even had like a freshman orientation where they were taken on a tour of the entire campus. It gave them a lot of information.”

But the fun was not over. Both the Ocoee kids and some of VCC’s students,including new SGA West Campus Treasurer Melanie Bergerson, participated in a dance off battle.

“I like to have fun as a whole. To have fun, I need to stay involved,” Bergerson said.
Even long-time partner for SGA’s West Campus’ events, radio station Power 95.3 couldn’t deny the quality of the show.

“I’m having a blast,” said David Dyer, an intern for the hip-hop and R&B based radio station, and VCC East Campus alum, “I should definitely start visiting more.”

What really made this event all the more interesting was its defined objective, which SGA President T.J…. Cole is all too familiar with.

“The cookout was definitely a great success,” said Cole, “Not only did we see students and faculty come together and socialize with one another, but we feel like we got the message across with Unified Diversity, which is where Valencia students can come from differentwalks of life, backgrounds, and cultures but can come together as a united West Campus.”