Volunteers Clean up Classrooms

Agnes Constante, El Vaquero Copyeditor

The Associated Students of Glendale Community College (ASGCC) held a campus beautification project Saturday to improve the appearance of five classrooms.

“I was so happy that we got five classrooms fully done and I was happy with the turnout,” said Suzanna Sargsyan, ASGCC president.

Sargsyan estimated that between 30 to 40 volunteers and about 10 campus organizations participated in the event.

The student government originally planned to beautify 10 classrooms, but the cleanup date, which was initially set for earlier this month, was moved to Saturday.
“Because of the date change we lost people that had originally planned on coming,” Sargsyan said.

Maintenance procedures began at noon, and participants spent the day scrubbing desks, dusting walls and painting.

“It is hard work — getting all the nooks and crannies of the room and having to make everything look presentable,” said Kevin Dimatulac, ASGCC senator of activities. “It’s a hard job. You get your hands dirty.”

Students and staff were divided into groups and completed various tasks in classrooms in the administration, San Rafael, San Gabriel, Camino Real and library buildings.
Unexpected events occurred Saturday, including a power outage in the student center and fumes from one of the buildings, so volunteers had to move to other rooms.

“It was tough, those things that happened at the last minute. So much was working against us at first, and it took us a little while for us to get started,” Sargsyan said.

Despite the challenges of the cleanup, Dimatulac said working with others to improve the campus was a motivating sight.

“When you see people work as a team together and you see everyone working toward one unified goal — to beautify the campus — I think that just made you want to work harder,” he said.

There was much positive feedback and support from campus community, including adjunct English instructor Mike Falcon.

“After teaching until 3:30 [p.m.] on Saturday, I came by to peek at my usual Saturday room, LB 210, and I was amazed,” he said. “It was as [if] I had stepped into a room in a brand new building.”

Tzoler Oukayan, student activities coordinator and ASGCC adviser, said that Saturday’s event was timely, as the tough economy makes it difficult for maintenance procedures to be completed.

“It’s so important just how you feel when you walk into a class. It makes such a difference. We do have a beautiful campus but there’s so many flaws,” she said. “It was really nice to get students who cared and wanted to make that difference to come together [for this beautification project].”

Sargsyan said she was grateful for campus community support for the project, but that much of it was moral support. She said she wished it were bigger, but that the turnout was good given that it is the first time the student government has done something like this. She hopes the project grows in upcoming semesters.

“The purpose of the cleanup was to improve the environment and maintain a professional environment for everyone on campus,” she said “I think we deserve a nice place to meet and learn, and I think that affects the success of the students in the classroom as well.”

The day began at 11 a.m. with unlimited tacos for lunch for volunteers. Those who attended also received T-shirts.