Campus Briefs: Oct. 28-Nov. 1
From a documentary on bilingualism to a speech by an openly gay judge elected last year in Bexar County, this week offers a variety of events and activities on campus.
Library to screen 2nd foreign film
By Eric Gutierrez
The Texas A&M University-San Antonio library will show a documentary about four diverse kids on a journey to become bilingual 3:30-5 p.m. Oct. 28.
“Speaking in Tongues” is a part of the library’s international film series organized by Tim Gritten, executive director. The film follows the adventures of four children from varying backgrounds as they learn new languages.
“We live in an increasingly diverse and international culture,” Gritten said. “A lot of us only have our personal experiences, and I’m hoping that this movie series and other activities and programs the library plans to start offering over the course of the next year allows people to break through those barriers that society has sometimes placed between different cultures.
Gritten said it can develop more empathy with others who may seem different.
“There’s more that unites us than divides us, and this is just one of those things that I’d like people to take away.”
Attendees can expect free food along with a chance to meet people from other countries and share their own experiences with other cultures, Gritten said. Admission is free and open to all A&M-San Antonio students.
This is the first year the library has started its international film series; the first film, “On the Way to School,” was shown Sep. 17. A student from Pakistan provided his perspective after the film.
“This campus actually has students from 25 different countries outside of the United States. Not countries that you would necessarily think. There’s somebody from Gabon, there’s somebody from Angola, there’s somebody from the Ukraine,” said Gritten.
The library plans to set up interactive whiteboards asking students to write down languages they would like to learn, language barriers they’ve encountered and what it’s like to learn another language. Students are encouraged to share their own stories with each other.
Gritten wants students to give their input for their film events.
“If there are other international films that they thought would be beneficial, I would love to hear that,” he said. “If there is a particular speaker that they would like us to host, that would be great as well. Whatever we can do to help you be successful, you as a writer, you as a reader, you as a student, our job here is to help you be successful and we need to know more about you.”
The final film in the series is “Kedi,” a documentary about stray cats in Istanbul and their relationships with humans.
For more information, visit https://tamusa.campuslabs.com/engage/event/4989816.
Fellowship invites students to pray, unite
By Ramon J. Martinez
For some students, Prayer Meeting is the place to go when the wheels fall off.
The InterVarsity Christian Fellowship strives to put them back on.
The non-denominational Christian organization is hosting its next weekly prayer meeting noon-1:30 p.m. Oct. 28 in Room 324 of the Central Academic Building.
The fellowship is a group of students praying with other students, faculty and staff about their daily needs and concerns. IVCF is a national organization with chapters throughout the U.S.
“IVCF is here to serve. There will be several club members available for you to pray with at the meeting,” Main Event Coordinator, & Bible Study Leader, Dominique Flores, said.
IVCF offers Bible studies, large group gatherings, leadership training, thoughtful discipleship and mission trips.
The group hosts a prayer meeting every Monday, President Jasmine Zuniga said.
You don’t need to bring anything except yourself and all your troubles, Zuniga said.
Prayer Meeting is not a fundraiser nor is it a political movement. It’s free to all, and “all prayer requests remain confidential,” Flores said.
“There are times during the school year when it gets hard and emotions are tense,” Zuniga said, “and sometimes it’s nice to just share with someone what you have been going through. It helps when you realize you’re not alone and that if someone else has made it through your similar hard time, it becomes certain that you’re going to make it.”
The fellowship’s mission is to share and spread the gospel through the Texas A&M University-San Antonio campus with likeminded students, faculty and staff to create a positive environment.
For more information, visit the event’s JagSync page at https://tamusa.campuslabs.com/engage/event/4894510.
LGBTQ+ judge covers diversity, inclusion
By Victoria Gutierrez
A local judge who overcame adversity and championed diversity as a Hispanic woman in the LGBTQ+ community will speak 7-8 p.m. Oct. 28 in the Ceremony Room of Patriots’ Casa at Texas A&M University-San Antonio.
Rosie Gonzalez, Judge of County Court at Law No. 13, will be the keynote speaker at “Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace as an LGBTQ+ Individual” for Coming Out Month.
Gonzalez, who described herself as Bexar County’s first openly gay judge in a KSAT12 interview in January, will discuss diversity in the workplace followed by a Q&A at the end of the session.
The Coalition, a student organization for the LGBTQ community, is hosting the event.
John Quiróz, biology sophomore and Vice President of The Coalition at A&M-San Antonio, said the group chose Gonzalez because she is a local LGBTQ+ pioneer, and everyone can benefit from hearing about her experience.
“She paved the way, and she represents so much of what I believe in,” said Quiróz, whose minor is in political science.
Gonzalez, a Texas native, pursued her Bachelor of Arts in political science followed by her law degree at St. Mary’s University before becoming a judge.
The Coalition hosts events during October for Coming out Month and June for PRIDE Month.
Events are hosted “for inclusion, to be seen,” Quiróz said. “To let [LGBTQ+] people know they have support anywhere and everywhere.”
The Coalition strives to create a networking and referral system not just for LGBTQ+ students, but for everyone, including straight students, faculty, and staff.
“Y’all have power as students,” said Rene Orozco, alumni chair of The Coalition, to members during a meeting. “When a team can work, things are amazing.”
For more information visit https://jagsync.tamusa.edu/organization/coalition or follow the club on Instagram at tamusa.coalition.
Workshop to combat procrastination
By Daneka Alcantar
Postponing studying or putting off an important class assignment can damage student success. The Student Academic Success Center at Texas A&M University-San Antonio is hosting a G.R.O.W.L. event to keep students focused.
“Avoid the Last Minute…Procrastination” is at 3 p.m. Oct. 29 in Room 223 of the Science and Technology Building.
The G.R.O.W.L. series is a free resource to help students continue on a successful academic path.
Procrastination is a habit that prevents people from completing or following through on a task. Michelle Anguiano, program coordinator of G.R.O.W.L. and Academic Coach II, says procrastinating is a common hurdle students face, according to surveys and meetings with students.
“We will discuss how it (procrastination) affects your grades, and how it can be a domino effect to other things in your life,” Anguiano said. “Also just building good habits.”
Students can learn key steps on how to procrastinate less and also understand the reason they turned to procrastination. Anguiano said students should be aware of the deeper root causing them to procrastinate. The real issue could be stress, the fear of disappointing parents, being overwhelmed or lack of focus and motivation.
G.R.O.W.L., which stands for “Gaining Resources & Opportunities While Learning,” offers more than learning opportunities for students. The series also provides an environment to interact with peers or get to know the faculty of A&M-San Antonio. Each event also includes free snacks.
The topic of each event is determined by student surveys. G.R.O.W.L. is hosting events throughout the fall semester, including sessions about career success, writing tips and study halls. Students should look for flyers and emails with information on the next series.
Employers offer students internships, job opportunities
By Lizbeth Perez
Students in the College of Arts and Sciences will have a chance to meet employers to gain information and learn about internships and jobs.
The college is hosting a mixer for majors in this career path 2-4 p.m. Oct. 30 in the Vista Room at Texas A&M University-San Antonio, on the fourth floor of the Central Academic Building.
A variety of businesses will attend such as City Air, Austin Fire Department and Hispanic Association of College and Universities, along with non profit organizations. Many of these businesses are prior participants, but the college always seeks new ones, too, said Gabriel Barrientez, career adviser and liaison for the College of Arts and Sciences.
The mixer is not limited to Arts and Sciences majors; students from any major are welcomed. All students are encouraged to attend and see what they could find appealing for a job or career. Tips sheets with questions are provided to students if they have difficulty finding what to ask employers.
Barrientez says the event was primarily created to make students feel more comfortable in a zone that could be intimidating.
“The employers are very approachable as well, even when we get started with the event, the employers introduce themselves and really just let students know, ‘Hey feel free to ask us anything.’ It’s really a welcoming environment.” Barrientez said.
A smaller amount of employers creates a more intimate setting for students.
“You walk into a room and you just see a bunch of people; I know for some people that can be overwhelming,” Barrientez said. “This is more of a smaller number of employers and I would say it’s not as intimidating for students.”
The mixer has been hosted since fall 2018, when over 100 students attended. Sixty seven students went to the second mixer. Unlike previous mixers held at 12:30-2 p.m., this one is at a later time. Barrientez said he hopes a good amount of students are able to show up due to this minor change in time.
Students are encouraged to register through Handshake or JagSync, although those who do not can still join the event while it’s happening.