All posts by Chaya Sandler

5 Ways to Fit in Student Life…and Why You Should

As another semester approaches, it’s time to start planning what you want to accomplish as a student while at Parkland. A great resource for getting involved and becoming a part of the Parkland community is the Student Life office. Can’t see how Student Life fits into your adventure as a Parkland student? Here is quick example from this fall.

Last week, as many students were rushing around campus studying for finals, a small group took 90 minutes to stop rushing and instead took time for themselves. These students focused on stepping out of their comfort zone and participated in a group painting led by two instructors from Lola’s Brush. The initial feelings of panic after being handed a blank canvas were calmed by helpful coaching through the painting of each element within the picture. Each student approached the painting in a slightly different way, but they all came out wonderful.

At Parkland, each student approaches their journey in a different way, but what makes Parkland such a special place are the diverse options each student has to spice up their experience.

So why should student activities and programs be important to you as a student? The easy answer is because these programs are fun! But when you get down to it, students also learn and cultivate transferable skills and professional lessons as fully engaged members of the Parkland community. As a Parkland student, you have the ability to experiment by planning and participating in what happens on campus, such as:

  • Plan healthy activities with the Wellness Coordinator
  • Join a club based on cultural or academic interests
  • Participate in an improv show (the next one is at noon in the cafeteria on Jan. 27)
  • Dance with your friends on Feb. 12 in a transformed Student Union
  • Volunteer with local children in our community

Each of these opportunities provides a way to gain and polish skills that will help you as a leader in your future workplace or community. I invite you to stop by U111 in January to learn more about the various student life activities Parkland College offers. Become a well-rounded member of our community, and have some fun while you do!

[Chaya Sandler is the activities program manager for Student Life at Parkland.]

Lessons from Adventures with Student Clubs

Parkland Student Government VP Kellyn Cuevas gives us the scoop on a fun event student groups took part in last month. [Featured photo from Prospectus News]

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Student Government was excited and thankful that we were able to run a contest with our campus student clubs this November. We issued a challenge to see which club would escape from the Champaign-Urbana Adventures in Time and Space escape room and save the world!

The following clubs participated:

Club Latino
Equine Riding Team
Phi Theta Kappa
Pride
The Prospectus
Respiratory Therapy
Student Government
Student Services Directors
Surgical Technology
Veterinary Technology

As a student organization, we all agree that students learned the following skills while at the Adventure Room:

  • the best way of communicating with each other
  • the importance of listening and following instructions
  • the importance of efficiency when working under a given time
  • to problem solve effectively
  • to manage our emotions and stress when working under pressure
  • to overcome adversity
  • to trust each other intellectually and in decision making
  • to take ownership in difficult situations
  • to recognize and accommodate to each person’s talent(s)
  • to use our resources wisely

Overall, we had a fun experience, and we were really excited to have maintained the lead until Parkland Pride beat our time!

This is definitely one of those events we hope to bring back yearly to students.

Parkland Day 2015!

Students, Alumni, Faculty, Staff, and Retirees!

Join Parkland College on Saturday, September 12 at 9 a.m. for our annual  “Parkland Day” tailgate!

  • A $10 tailgate ticket includes Italian beef or veggie wrap and iced tea/lemonade. Coolers are welcome.
  • Purchase a $10 football ticket* to see the  Western Illinois vs. Illinois game (11 a.m. kickoff).

Student-Only Special: $10 for both the football game and tailgate!

The tailgate will be in Lot 31, off of Kirby Avenue.  Attend both events or buy tickets for the tailgate only. See you there!

*Football tickets will be on sale in Room U111 until 9/10. Call the Office of Student Life for more information: 217/351-2492.

The End is Here: Smoke-Free Lunch at Parkland College

Have you heard? Parkland College is going tobacco free! Because health is always a reason to throw a party, join us in celebration!

If you have seen “The End is Near” images around campus, then you know a smoke-free campus has been a while in coming. There are many reasons for our campus to go tobacco free, but the greatest reason is to build a healthier campus community!

So now, the end is here! Join us Wednesday, July 1, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. outside the Student Union (U) by the bus stop, and enjoy lunch on us! Bring your friends, too, for free food, music, and lots of information about the reasons and benefits of a smoke-free campus.

Questions? You can reach out to the Wellness Center on campus for more information. You’ll find them inside the Student Life office (next to the big green wall in the Student Union lobby).

Don’t forget!

Smoke-Free Lunch at Parkland College

When: July 1, 2015, 11am–1pm
Where: Patio at the U building circle drive
(In the case of rain, location will be inside the cafeteria)
What: Lunch for the Campus and Community
Why: To celebrate the beginning of the end of tobacco product use on Parkland College’s campus!
Details: Free lunch, music, and information on Parkland College’s newest step toward health, a tobacco-free environment!

Sexual Assault: “It’s On Us” to Start Talking

College is a place to learn, right? Well, what if the topics we begin to learn about make us feel uncomfortable? Is it okay to ignore those topics? Or should we press on and educate ourselves by learning why those topics make us uncomfortable?

Like many colleges across the United States, Parkland College has decided that the topic of sexual assault is one we can no longer ignore—in our classrooms or other social places. Last September, President Obama and the White House launched the It’s On Us campaign, asking Americans to pledge the following:

To RECOGNIZE that non-consensual sex is sexual assault.
To IDENTIFY situations in which sexual assault may occur.
To INTERVENE in situations where consent has not or cannot be given.
To CREATE an environment in which sexual assault is unacceptable and survivors are supported.

This pledge is a call to action for men and women at Parkland not to be bystanders to sexual assault in our community.

On January 28 at noon, Student Life is bringing a free, interactive improv show to the Parkland Theatre. Sex Signals uses humor and audience participation to educate us on what can lead to sexual assault and how our actions can improve our relationships.

Sex-Signals-Flyer-e1380055525101-294x300Please plan on attending the show to begin this important conversation at Parkland College. If you would like to sign the pledge, go to: http://itsonus.org

PTK Helps with Hunger

[Jenny Olmsted, regional president of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, invites you out to the Student Union this week to give back to your community.]

Did you know that 1 in 5 children in eastern Illinois struggles with hunger? Did you also know that currently 28% of the land slated for agriculture is used yearly to produce food that will be wasted or lost?

This is food, free food, that could be going to hungry mouths.

An even scarier fact is that our global population is predicted to rise to roughly nine billion people by 2050 from our current seven billion, and we can’t even feed all the people we have now with our current agricultural practices.

Yet we can surely try, and we are!

Phi Theta Kappa food drive boxes.
Phi Theta Kappa food drive boxes.

Parkland’s chapter of Phi Theta Kappa —the largest and most prestigious honor society of two-year colleges—is hosting a Food Drive and an Environmental Awareness Table this week, November 17–21, in the Student Union. Please come out and donate some food or funds, or just stop by to learn something new about the environment and what you personally can do to help. The table times are listed below:

MONDAY: 8:30 a.m.–2 p.m. (Green-out day)

TUESDAY: 3– 5 p.m. (Ecosystem day)

WEDNESDAY: 8:30 a.m.–2 p.m. (Skip a meal)

THURSDAY: 11 a.m.–2 p.m. (Trash day)

FRIDAY: 10 a.m.–1 p.m. (Farmer day)

All food will be donated to the Eastern Illinois Foodbank on December 2, the “Day of Giving.” This means that the food you donate will stay in our community and be directly donated to those who need it in our area. Since Parkland’s Phi Theta Kappa chapter will not be donating the food until December 2, please feel free to make donations up until then. A donation box will be placed in Parkland’s Student Life office in the Student Union after this event. Food items needed most are beans, canned fruit, canned veggies, cereal, jelly, macaroni and cheese, pasta, pasta sauce, peanut butter, soup, and rice.

Also have you heard of kiva.org? This is where 100% of your monetary donations will go. Kiva.org is a nonprofit organization “with a mission to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty.” Check it out for yourself. (Here is Phi Theta Kappa’s team link.)

Parkland’s PTK chapter is also spreading awareness about food production and how it has impacted our environment over the years during this time. Each day of the week will present a new theme with new action items that we all could do to help out. So if you can’t donate, still stop by to learn something new!

Monday’s theme was Green-out day. People came to campus dressed in green to show their support for our environment. Tuesday’s theme highlighted our ecosystem and how the species within our environment have been impacted both positively and negatively by agricultural practices.

Wednesday is Skip a Meal Day! Parkland’s chapter is not encouraging people to skip a meal but rather to raise awareness in regards to how a lot of people have no choice but to skip a meal or two. After your lunch purchase, you have the option of donating your leftover change!

Thursday’s theme is Trash Day. Do you know how much trash is generated by the food you purchase? Stop by to find out! And lastly, Friday’s theme is Farmers Day. With the increasing global population, more food has to be produced somehow and somewhere. Stop by to learn more. Our farmers work hard to ensure that the production of our food is efficient and sustainable, so don’t forget to thank a farmer this Friday!

Parkland’s Phi Theta Kappa Chapter hopes to see you there!

What Makes “SADHA” So Special?

[SADHA President Mary Liesse and members of the Parkland Dental Hygiene program would like to share with you a little about what they do at Parkland and for its communities.]

We love SADHA!

SADHA stands for the Student American Dental Hygiene Association. As Parkland College Dental Hygiene students and proud members of SADHA, we try to have active community involvement by volunteering with the Smile Healthy organization and Frances Nelson Dental Center and participating in community activities. What we do to help others is pretty rewarding.

SADHA raises money every year to host a free clinic day. This year, we raced in the Car X Crazy K, which consisted of a 5K obstacle course; we raised $6,300 and donated more than half of it to our charity of choice, the Smile Healthy/Frances Nelson Dental Center. Our next free clinic day will be held April 11, 2015, and treatment we offer to our Parkland patients includes, fillings, extractions, and some tooth replacement with mouth flippers. Many dentists, Carle Oral Surgery employees, nurses, Regal Dental Laboratory technicians, students, and dental hygienists also volunteer their time and skills to help during this event.

SADHA also sponsors a local family in need for Christmas. We help make their Christmas wishes come true by filling their Christmas list!

Our community involvement is just one real-world component in Parkland’s two-year Dental Hygiene program. The program also features a clinic on campus, where Dental Hygiene students fully assess and clean a patient’s mouth.  Cleanings are $10 and include an oral cancer screening, blood pressure screening, medical history review, full intra-oral and extra-oral assessment, caries detection, nutritional counseling, X-rays, deep and regular cleanings, and an exam by our dentist. We also sell professional strength Crest White Strips for $35 and electric toothbrushes ranging in price from $20 to $85. 

We are looking for patients who haven’t had their teeth cleaned in five years or more. Appointments are about three hours long, and some patients may require more than one appointment.  Our clinic phone number is 217/351-2221 to make an appointment for a cleaning.