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AISA hosts potluck event, invites other student groups

As part of the 6th Annual Indigenous Awareness Month, the American Indian Student Association and the American Indian Studies Program will host a potluck today to thank volunteers and members who have dedicated their time to the group and CSUN. Prior to the potluck, guest speaker Jimi Castillo, spiritual leader of the Gabrielino Tongva Nation, will be on hand for a presentation. Both events will take place in the University Student Union Pasadena Room, with Castillo’s presentation set to start at 4 p.m. Castillo will speak from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. about the struggles for tribes to protect sacred sites in the Los Angeles Area. After 5:30 p.m., a traditional drum circle will form, the potluck will begin, and the AISA’s first Native American Civil Rights Award will be presented to Pan-African Studies Professor Barbara Rhodes. The AISA will present Rhodes with the award for her contributions to the ethnic studies programs on campus, said Karren Baird-Olson, coordinator of the American Indian Studies Program. “She has been very active and helpful beyond Pan-African Studies,” said Virginia Diego, president of AISA. “She has seen all the struggles.” AISA has invited the Black Student Union, CSUN Movimiento Estudiantil Chicana/o de Aztlan, the Central American United Student Association and other student organizations to the potluck to give them a chance to introduce themselves, get acquainted with one another and network ideas and agendas for the coming year, Diego said. “It is an opportunity to learn from each other’s traditions, and clear up any stereotypes,” she said.

– Melanie Saxe

Another new name for old Student Services Building

The lobby of Bayramian Hall, formerly the Student Services Building, has been dedicated to a San Fernando Valley man, and his wife, who was a quiet supporter of the university’s Center on Disabilities. The Witkin Lobby, named for the late Gloria and Marty Witkin, is located in CSUN’s Center on Disabilities on the first floor of the building. Marty Witkin, who passed away in March 2004, left a $350,000 portion of his real estate holdings to the center. The center each year hosts an international conference featuring assistive technology for people of all ages and with a variety of disabilities. Gloria Witkin died in 1987. CSUN created an endowment with the Witkins gift. Mary Ann Cummins-Prager, director of CSUN’s Center on Disabilities, said in a statement that the center plans to use the money to support the center’s efforts to encourage students with disabilities to go to college and to help provide those students, once they are at CSUN, with the resources to ensure they can obtain their degrees.

– Ryan Denham

Search on for CSUN students for advertising competition

Organizers from the Marketing Department at CSUN are putting together a team of CSUN students to compete in the 2006 National Student Advertising Competition. The CSUN team, which will consist of between 10 and 12 students and be coordinated by Keith Gosselin, professor in the Marketing Department, would produce three units of credit for any students who participated in the competition. Team members must be enrolled at CSUN as of Feb. 1, 2006 and paid 2005-06 AAF college chapter members by April 7, 2006. Five CSUN team members will be selected to conduct a 20-minute oral presentation of the team’s advertising plan at a local district competition held sometime in April, competing against past district champions such as UCLA and CSU Fullerton. The winning team would compete at the national finals to be held in San Francisco in June 2006. The program will be treated as a course offering, with each student being evaluated on their efforts by Gosselin and their peers.

-R.D.