University Student Union to offer finance workshops

Jennifer Balao

A Life Skills Institute that focuses on finance, sponsored by the University Student Union, will be offered at CSUN during March, April and May.

The concept of the institute was introduced at the CSUN board of directors meeting, Feb. 20.

Debra Hammond, USU executive director, said the institute will consist of several free workshops that will make up a financial series.

Hammond said LSI will focus on finance first because they noticed many students were in debt after graduating and were never taught how to manage money.

“It’s a skill that you need to manage and navigate your life,” said Hammond.

According to the USU officials, the Emmy-Award winning author and talk show host Suze Orman will be the guest speaker at the first lecture on March 9 at 12 p.m.

Wayne Tokunaga, education, psychology, and counseling graduate student helped coordinate the financial series, developing the topics for each workshop and recruiting speakers.

“I’m going to attend as many (workshops) as I can,” Tokunaga said.

Hammond said that each workshop will be open from 12 to 1 p.m. and again from 4 to 5 p.m.

Students must register online at in order to attend any workshop.

“(Terry Piper, vice president of Student Affairs) helped support funding of this program through the Division of Student Affairs,” Hammond said.

After assessing the results of this series of workshops, Hammond said the USU will try to offer the Life Skills Institute once every semester and possibly branch out into other life skills.

Hammond said the idea for the institute started a year ago, but talk and development really started late last semester.

According to USU officials the co-sponsors and contributors are CSUN’s Division of Student Affairs, CSUN’s Department of Finance Real Estate and Insurance, CSUN’s Department of Financial Aid and Scholarships, Wells Fargo bank, Ed Fund, and USA Funds.

Other workshops include: Investing on a College Student Budget on March 15, led by a Wells Fargo bank representative; Smart Budgeting and Spending Tips for Students on April 4, led by a USA Funds representative; Principles of Successful Investing on April 5 and 25, led by a CSUN professor from the Department of Finance, Real Estate and Insurance; Avoiding the Credit Nightmare on March 14 and 27, led by Gregorio Alcantar, the debt management counselor for the Department of Financial Aid and Scholarships, and Annette Ortiz, a representative from Ed Fund; How to Find Scholarships and Additional Sources of Money on March 21 and May 2, led by Jannaee Brummell, the scholarship coordinator for the Department of Financial Aid and Scholarships; Principles of Successful Investing on April 5 and 25, led by a CSUN professor from the Department of Finance, Real Estate and Insurance.

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