Courtesy of Gavilan College President Kathleen Rose:
Hello…how are you? I hope you are continuing to take care of yourself and support those closest to you as the pandemic continues. As I begin to write my monthly column, I am on campus for the day in my role as “on-site supervisor” in accordance with our Emergency Operations Center protocol. It is a solitary task most weeks, and one that continues to feel foreign from the minute I drive on campus, receive my screening at the gate from security and then park at the administration building. There is no bustle of students on campus, our maintenance team is keeping all areas sparklingly sanitized, and the office is quiet. I can’t get used to it.
While on campus today I decided to take a walk to one of my favorite locations…the gazebo in the center of campus. I am proud to say that the Gilroy Rotary Club assisted in giving the gazebo a fresh coat of paint a few weeks ago, and the favorite meeting place for students, free speech and reflection is ready for our students and community to enjoy when we return to campus.
As I was sitting in the gazebo, I thought about the many issues that confront our students right now: politics, climate change, the economy, diversity, housing insecurity, democracy. Now more than ever students are demonstrating their leadership strengths through their voices, their advocacy and their time. It seems to me that every day there is an opportunity for student leadership to develop, even though it can have risk. It is not easy to step forward to make a difference. Yet around the world, students are showing us that empowering leadership is worth the risk.
Our gazebo at Gavilan has always been a refuge for ideas and debate, sharing points of view and delving deeply into multiple perspectives. I know that even though we are living in a digital, zoom-box world that our students are connecting, supporting, displaying compassion and problem-solving by developing leadership strengths. Our faculty, professional support staff and managers support you every step of the way! . The pandemic may be changing the way of our days for now, but opportunities are in front of us, all for purpose and change.
I enjoyed my moment today in the gazebo, but look forward to returning when Sycamore Lane is filled with students…with voices and laughter to keep the culture of Gavilan College alive. Until then, continue to learn, be healthy, and don’t be afraid to lead!