Group receives $500 in funding

Associated Student Union votes to sponsor STEM Café food costs

By Gabriel Quiroz, Advocate Staff

The Associated Student Union Board unanimously voted to sponsor the Hispanic Serving Institution/ Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics  (STEM) $500 to cover the cost of food and drinks for the remaining five STEM Café events at its meeting on Wednesday.

At Stem Café events, students can ask STEM professionals from across the Bay Area questions about their experiences moving through the community college system.

As of now, the HSI/STEM’s operating budget does not allow for the purchase of food or refreshments

Refreshments for previous STEM Cafés were originally baked goods provided by Ramos and other members of the program.

Ramos said she would gladly make baked goods for the STEM Cafés if they did not receive the money, but as the momentum builds, there is an increasing number of students attending and the $500 would help in food costs.

HSI/ STEM Program Coordinator Kelly Ramos made a presentation to the ASU at its meeting on Feb.. 22.

Ramos said than 45 students attended the first STEM Café for the spring 2017 semester and nearly 60 are expected at the next session with Amyris Screening and Analytical Science Director Sara Gaucher on Friday in Fireside Hall. 

At the following ASU meeting on March 1, ASU President Safi Ward-Davis discussed the details of the STEM Cafés.

She said because STEM Cafés bring in professionals of minority backgrounds, students can connect and learn from these professionals’ experiences entering the STEM fields.

The motion to sponsor HSI/STEM for $500 was moved by ASU Vice President of Club Affairs Jose Arebalo.

ASU Finance Committee Chairperson Aireus Robinson was particularly passionate about the idea of sponsoring the STEM Café events.

When Ramos asked the ASU Board for feedback, Robinson said, “As someone who hopes to go into a STEM field these (events) are a big deal for me.

“Hopefully, I can learn more about my major and what programs or scholarships are available,” he said. “It is a learning experience. That’s the only thing I can describe it as, a learning experience.”