WNC News and Notes: WNC partners’ donations help address important issue with students
Funding Will Assist College in Launching Food & Hygiene Pantry=
Addressing a need that was revealed during a 2020 student survey, Western Nevada College is nearing completion of a Food and Hygiene Pantry for students and their families.
The food insecurity study showed that more than 40 percent of WNC students experienced food insecurity at some point during the past year. That was before the COVID health pandemic hit, which caused many students to lose their jobs. Many of WNC’s students also face financial challenges in accessing basic technology, internet and use of reliable transportation.
Generous financial support from NV Energy, Visiting Angels and University Police Services helped fund the project through WNC Foundation and envisioned last spring by Associated Students of Western Nevada President Gabrielle Clark and Student Life Coordinator Heather Rikalo.
NV Energy provided WNC’s Foundation with a $25,000 gift for the pantry to help eliminate a barrier to student success.
“Food insecurity in higher education is an overlooked obstacle for many students as they pursue their degrees,” said Katie Nannini, NV Energy Northern Nevada Community Relations Manager. “The NV Energy Foundation applauds Western Nevada College’s commitment to helping ensure that healthy foods are accessible to any student in need through the implementation of the WNC Food pantry. We know this gift will go far to support both current and future students.”
Visiting Angels made a $2,500 donation to the cause because it aligns with its mission in the community.
“Visiting Angels of Carson City is committed to serving the community of Carson City and surrounding areas,” said Visiting Angels CEO Tina Holland. “We help people remain safely, happily and healthfully in their own home. We value teamwork, service, integrity and compassion. Therefore, it makes sense to support our community college where our students can learn professional skills that will contribute to Carson City.”
The pantry, which is set to open in December 2020, will help the neediest students engage in meaningful learning while they are attending WNC so they won’t be preoccupied with worries of when they will eat next.
“We understand in order to focus on learning and growth, students must have basic needs met,” Holland said. “Most importantly, healthy meals that will provide sustenance while studying and focusing on college classes and projects. We hope to provide this basic necessity along with future jobs for WNC students wanting to serve our community before, during and after their courses.”
Earlier this fall, University Police Services raised $650 within its department to contribute to starting the pantry.
“We have seen the impact that COVID has had on our students at the main campus, with student workers having to be laid off, and on our student population, in general, so we’re trying to come up with ways that we can help,” said University Police Services Northern Command Lieutenant John Galicia. “A lot of students have come to Student Services and don’t have a way to pay for rent.”
The department used relaxed grooming standards as an enticement for officers and staff to contribute $40 per month to the pantry.
These much-appreciated donations will provide the startup costs necessary in order to transform a large office space located in student services to a food/hygiene pantry for the WNC community. The space will be equipped with shelving for dry goods, shelving for personal hygiene products, storage units, two commercial-grade refrigerators, two commercial-grade freezers and furniture for student workers.
Funding will also be used to supplement food/hygiene donations that may be in short supply from donations obtained through the Food Bank of Northern Nevada. This is especially important since demands on the Food Bank of Northern Nevada have risen greatly due to rising unemployment following measures taken to protect our community from COVID-19.
This project supports the most vulnerable of populations, allowing financially stressed students the opportunity to stay in school without having to go hungry. While the Food and Hygiene Pantry Project will serve any student that self-identifies as food insecure, the 2019 WNC student needs survey specifically identified students who have aged out of foster care, student veterans, LGBTQ+, low-income students with children and Pell Grant recipients as those at greatest risk.
The initial budget will give WNC and the WNC Foundation the runway necessary to develop relationships with other local donors such as restaurants, grocery stores and private donors that can provide supplemental supplies in future years. WNC will track food pantry use each semester with a required information card for each student.
In partnership with WNC Foundation, ASWN will create fundraising events, identify additional grant-funding opportunities and create campaigns to solicit additional private donations. WNC has already begun discussions with the Food Bank of Northern Nevada in order to receive food supplies on a weekly basis once all of the infrastructure has been put in place.
Clark said that she initially wanted to help fellow students by providing free transportation — until she saw the student survey.
“The student survey results were shockingly alarming,” Clark said. “It shapes the ideology of ASWN today and it gets students thinking that, ‘Oh, there is a need here for this school and I as a student have the power to change that or break the stigma that we all need help sometimes … break that stigma that students eat Top Ramen all the time.’ That’s what I’m hoping to change with this food pantry. Students can help one another.”
WNC is the final institution in the Nevada System of Higher Education to provide a food pantry for its students and their families.
It’s a ‘No-Brainer!’ Virtual Team Trivia Night on Dec. 10
So, who knows it all?
Western Nevada College aims to find out Thursday, Dec. 10 in Virtual Team Trivia Night — a special no-brainer holiday challenge that can be entered from the comfort of your own living room.
Since everyone claims to know a lot of trivia, why not test your family’s knowledge against others in the area?
Prizes will be awarded to the top two teams. Come up short in the team contest, you can still win raffle prizes and enjoy the interaction with other families in the region — all while staying at home to protect Nevada.
Proceeds will benefit WNC’s emergency fund, which allows WNC Foundation to help students and faculty who are facing challenges brought on by measures taken to stop the spread of COVID-19.
Your host for the evening will be Nevada System of Higher Education Vice Chancellor for Community Colleges Nate Mackinnon, who will entertain and challenge your team to come up with answers to questions you may (or may not) have learned in college.
All ages are welcome! The cost is $30 per team; $50 for a team and 20 raffle tickets; $100 for a team and 30 raffle tickets along with WNC winter beanies; or $350 for a team, 50 raffle tickets, eight WNC beanies, eight drink tumblers and a recognition letter and appreciation certificate from WNC President Dr. Vincent Solis.
Sold separately, raffle tickets are $5 and WNC beanies are $20.
Only 30 teams can participate so sign up today. On the night of the contest you will be able to join the contest via phone, laptop or iPad using Zoom technology. Instructions will be sent to you following registration.
To enter, email Foundation@wnc.edu, call 775-445-3239 or go to the website at wnc.edu/foundation/events.
Registration Opens for Winter, Spring Classes
Winter and spring class registration started Monday for current and returning students, while new student registration begins Monday, Nov. 16.
Get ahead with online winter classes, which start either Dec. 21 or Jan. 4 and conclude on Jan. 22. Choose between Art, Biology, Education, English, Mathematics, Environmental Science, History, Social Work, Management Philosophy, Sociology classes and more.
Spring semester commences on Jan. 25.
View classes offered for winter and spring sessions at https://www.wnc.edu/class-schedule/.
WNMTC’s Show, Virtual Choirs Keeping Audiences Entertained
Western Nevada Musical Theatre Company’s virtual choir and show choir are working overtime to ensure that its audiences can enjoy musical theatre during these challenging times.
Broadway Rising! recently completed technical work on the virtual choir’s first fall release after debuting last spring.
Enjoy the performance of “Somewhere” from West Side Story by going to https://youtu.be/Unm0liXeGmc. It features music by Leonard Bernstein and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim.
Broadway Rising’s next choral production, now in progress, will be “For Good” from Wicked.
WNMTC’s new Broadway show choir, That’s Entertainment, filmed segments of its upcoming release, “Seize the Day,” on WNC’s campus and at the state capitol in late October. Dancers were seen leaping and turning all around Carson City.
“This work is from the musical Newsies and is one of the favorites with musical theatre dancers,” Arrigotti said. “The directors chose to do an outdoor work for this project because it works well with COVID restrictions.”
This is That’s Entertainment’s second project. Its initial project, “One” from A Chorus Line, is in its final technical stages, with videographers fusing the individual videos from indoor recordings.
Arrigotti appreciates all of the hard work, adaptability and versatility of WNMTC’s performers.
“Virtual performance is at least 10 times the work of live performance, requiring multiple technicians, different choreography and far more challenging rehearsal protocols,” she said. “Nevertheless, our performers and directors are determined to keep musical theatre alive during these challenging times, reaching our audiences in spite of all restrictions.
“We are actually developing a new art form with these projects. While they felt daunting initially, the cast is starting to love them.”