On Thursday, June 13, Student Programs hosted their End of the Year Celebration. This party is dedicated to honoring clubs, advisers, events and programs that made a significant difference at Bellevue College in the last year. “[The event] is made to acknowledge and congratulate students on the most excellent work,” said Faisal Jaswal. “[Among] student leaders [and] students who made a difference on the campus, some are volunteers, some are paid positions, but what they have in common is they provide a service to other students.” Students from most branches of Student Programs showed up, including Peer 2 Peer, PALS Center and the Associated Student Governement. Student employees from the PALs Center, ASG, BSU and the Watchdog were some of the employees to receive honors.
This year, the Club of the Year award was given to the World Food Diner, a club devoted to letting students taste authentic, homemade food that is common in other parts of the world. “When these students started, they took on something that they did not know anything about,” said Nora Lance, associate director of Student Programs. “Most of the students are international students. They didn’t know how to cook, but they were in the United States. They wanted to take on a new project, and so they looked around, and they decided that most people were just eating junk food and not eating quality food. So they took it upon themselves to learn how to make this food and then do a bake sale. They originally wanted to do it on a more permanent basis, but our policy is only one bake sale a week, and a club can only have three per quarter.” The club continues to meet weekly to practice and refine their recipes.
The Event of the Year award went to Arab Heritage Week, hosted by the Arabic Culture Club. This club is fairly new, having only been formed this quarter. “We were totally shocked when we won,” said Ryanna Kiswani, one of the four members who planned the event. “We only started planning the event April 28. Our event was from June 2 to June 6. We had about a month to get this all done.” The event included an open-air market in the courtyard, as well as daily Arabic dancing and music in the cafeteria. “We wanted to make an event that everyone was invited to, and I think […] that’s part of the reason that we won.” In addition to Kiswani, Orchideh Raisdanai, Wesam Alkhani and Anna Brocsius helped to make Arabic Heritage Week possible.
In addition, Denise Vaughn won the award for best adviser. “The amount of time that she donated is incredible,” says Lance. “If you are an adviser to a debate team, you have to spend a lot of time with the students. She takes the students to weekend tournaments and works with them. [The debate team] is going up against university level students, and we are doing very well.”
The final award went to APISA, the Asian Pacific Islander Student Association. “Last year was the first year that APISA was a club, and this year was the first year that APISA was a program […] Because they became a program so late, they got no funding whatsoever. So, [for] everything that they did, they had to get funding from elsewhere. They went to San Francisco for [an] API conference [and] they did the APISA potluck… I was really impressed that they were able to pull a lot of [that] as a new program.”