On Oct. 23 students and faculty filled the gym to watch the Associated Students of GCC (ASGCC) take on the Organization of Latinos for Higher Education (OLHE) in a basketball game aimed to raise funds to save classes that were lost to budget cuts.
ASGCC came out firing as they took an early 9-3 lead. However, the lead was not enough as Kevin Meza from OLHE made three consecutive baskets, which led to a halftime lead of 14-9.
The start of the second half proved to be all ASGCC. Sparked by wild crowd support and a flurry of baskets, ASGCC regained the lead and ended up winning 29-27. “We won because we trained for it and were happy to win and be participating in this event,” said Arin Dersarkissian. “It’s for a good cause.”
Oct. 15 marked the beginning of the second annual Save The Classes basketball tournament that was started by student Peter Braganca. After watching a game between the social science and math departments, Braganca thought of the idea of students and faculty coming together to compete in basketball games while helping raise funds depleted by the state budget.
All the proceeds from the tournament go to a special fund set up by the foundation at GCC named Save A Class. This fund was started in response to the state government’s budget cutbacks.
With a total of seven teams entered into the tournament and an entrance fee of $50 per team, the tournament has raised $350. Also, an additional fee of $1 is charged to those who attend the games to help raise more funds. The tournament has managed to generate just under $500 dollars.
Last year, the tournament included teams from both students and faculty. The clubs competing included Alpha Gamma Sigma, the Pep Club, the Scholars Club and the International Students Club. This year, clubs that joined were the Armenian Students Association, Scholars, ASGCC and OLHE.
The 2003 faculty roster had two repeat entries with the instructional technologies and social science department.
Now that Braganca is no longer a student, the responsibility of organizing the basketball tournament fell on the shoulders of Alex Leon and ASGCC Student Activities Coordinator Alen Andriassian. Although $500 is not enough money to fund a class at GCC, Andriassian felt that the tournament does much more than just help to restore classes.
“The tournament is designed to raise awareness of problems on campus, especially the budget crisis,” said Andriassian. “$500 is not much, but if there were 10 or 20 different events like the Save A Class basketball tournament, then the impact would be a lot greater.”
This year’s tournament varied from last year because the advisors from the student clubs were allowed to play with them. Besides a way to raise money the tournament is also a good way for students a faculty to come together. “[The tournament] creates a sense of community and helps students interact with the faculty and increases club interactions as a whole,” Andriassian said.
The atmosphere created by the interaction between the clubs and the faculty should help promote the campus’ awareness of the problem with the school budget cuts.
The championship between top faculty and student club will be on Tuesday at noon.