Calbright Students Form the College’s First Student Body Organization

Last month, Calbright students formally launched their new student body organization, designed to make sure all student voices are heard, express student priorities to the administration, and to ensure that Calbright students can represent themselves within the California Community Colleges system.

Calbright IT student Jeremy Cox was elected the first president of the Calbright College Student Body Organization (CCSBO), and CRM Platform Administration student Mekhala Hiriyanna was elected as its first Vice-President.

Both of them said they want to prioritize finding more ways for Calbright students to connect and get involved.

“My leadership program is not aimed at the students who are already active, but all the students who are not yet,” Hiriyanna said. “Most Calbright students are focusing on changing a career, getting a new kind of career, or re-starting a career after a long hiatus, and that means they feel they have very little time to put into getting more involved. To ensure we have more student participation, I want to make sure we can connect our activities to their needs, so that every student feels empowered and seen: ‘they are working on what I want to work on, so I can invest my time in this.’”

Cox agreed.  

“The whole idea of this college is to be able to do it at your own pace and in your own time, and many students have a full plate with work and family life already, so doing any extra on top of studying is hard,” he said. “I plan on working with the rest of the CCSBO team to develop additional student support and opportunities that go beyond the curriculum, to spark more interest in the students and increase engagement.”

CCSBO Vice President Mekhala Hiriyanna and President Jeremy Cox

That could take the form of offering more informal study and learning sessions, as well as more ways to connect students to the industries they hope to join.  

“I’d also like to look at ways to offer additional learning resources in the form of audio/visual aids, and offer more informal study and learning sessions that focus on specific topics or sections to review,” Cox said.

Officers in the CCSBO will also represent Calbright at California Community College’s Student Senate.

Collaboration is considered a core value at Calbright, and the creation of participatory student organizations is one of Calbright’s 2023 goals for collaborative governance, as outlined in the college’s strategic vision

“We are so excited to have this small but dedicated group of students to represent and advocate for our community and be direct liaisons with Calbright College employees,” said Amna Jara, Calbright’s manager of student and alumni engagement and relations. “They are committed to their positions and the important work of helping the student community reach their goals. I am thrilled to serve as their advisor and provide them with the training to be leaders in their communities and to empower them to make a difference at Calbright College!”

Currently eight of 10 CCSBO positions are filled. Calbright students who want to get involved in student body organization can reach out on Slack or contact student officers through their personal student support specialists.  

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