We Are a Part of Your Campus Community…Chico State's Faculty and Staff Associations

By: Eden Wylie

Having an inclusive environment for every person on campus is essential. There are groups on campus to help everyone succeed, no matter their background.

The Black Faculty and Staff Association, the Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgender/Queer Faculty and Staff Association, and the Chicano/Latino Council are three dedicated groups formed to foster community and provide resources for everyone on campus.

Each group wants to provide a welcoming, safe, and inclusive environment within the campus community for all faculty, staff, and students.

Black Faculty and Staff Association
The Black Faculty and Staff Association (BFSA) strive to form relationships with and among Chico State's black students, faculty, staff, and community. The BFSA has created specific goals to build and strengthen its community each semester since it was created in the early 1980s.

BFSA group shot
Dawn Frank, Tracy Butts, Mazi Noble, Victoria Bass, Tray Robinson, Melanie Mitchell.

"Let's build a community, let's join efforts and get the students involved also and be a resource for them and a resource for one another," said Deanna Pierro, BFSA chair. Deanna Pierro : headshot
Deanna Pierro

The BFSA members put on several events to engage students. Every fall, the association hosts an ice cream social to welcome incoming students. The association participates in a number of other events, especially during Black History Month, such as film showings, an annual Rent Party, and the Spoken Word.

"The mission right now is to make the BFSA more visible," said Mazi Noble, BFSA social coordinator, "simultaneously building and cultivating the relationship with the campus, with African American students, and with the larger African American community outside of campus."

The BFSA is a small group of people who are trying to accomplish a lot. It welcomes anyone to participate in any way they can—the first step is to get in contact with the group.

"This work belongs to everyone," said Pierro. "We by no means have sovereignty over this type of work."

Anyone can help black students on campus by reaching out to him or her. If you know someone who is new on campus, struggling academically, or just looking for someone to talk to, reach out to them, Pierro said.

LGBTQ Faculty and Staff Association
The LGBTQ Faculty and Staff Association (LGBTQFSA) want people to know that it is here and a part of the campus community. The association creates a welcoming environment of acceptance for LGBTQ students, faculty, and staff to feel safe and supported within the campus community.

LGBTQ group shotShawn Brackett, Casey Dinsmore, Brian Riendart, Lana McKnight, Carmelo Miranda, Andrea Mox, Lindsay Briggs, Kijeong Jeon, Tray Robinson

"It's good to have a network across campus for any type of community," said Casey Dinsmore, LGBTQFSA's social chair. "We are here to support anybody that identifies themselves along the LGBTQ spectrum, as well as any allies."

Casey Dinsmore : headshot
Casey Dinsmore

Not only does the association have social gatherings such as potlucks, it also is trying to expand its horizons by doing more outreach in the community and on campus.

"Right now we are just trying to build up and organize," Dinsmore said. "We want to possibly have more events, maybe even a mentoring program for LGBTQ students who can pair up with a faculty or staff member."

There are numerous ways for people to get involved with the association. They can work at tabling events, participate in upcoming mixers, volunteer for upcoming mentorship programs, or offer any new ideas for an event on campus.

Lindsay Briggs : headshot
Lindsay Briggs

People can contact the association through its website or Facebook. They also have an email list. Anyone is invited to come to its general meetings that are held about once a month, Dinsmore said.

The association wants people to get involved to support, advocate and mentor the LGBTQ campus community.

LGBTQFSA Vice Chair Lindsay Briggs, said the group wants to create a positive image of LGBTQ people on campus, and to create a positive experience for anybody who may identify as LGBTQ.

"We want to promote Chico State as a place that offers diversity and embraces diversity; we want to provide resources for faculty and staff as well as students," Briggs said.

Chicano Latino Council
The Chicano Latino Council (CLC) is a group of passionate faculty and staff who want to serve Chicano and Latino students and address their concerns on campus. Its members want to represent the Chicano and Latino community in all areas of the University.

"We are a group that is genuinely and wholeheartedly invested in the recruitment and retention of Latino students so that we can become a Hispanic-serving institution," said Aurora Soto, CLC chair.

CLC group shotLisa Saldano, Angelica Magana, Carmelo Miranda, Adelle DeMasi, Aurora Soto, Diana Parra-Villaseñor

CLC members take part in a lot of events on campus. It annually sponsors the Bienvenida to welcome incoming Chicano and Latino students. The Bienvenida helps incoming students to meet faculty and staff members they can reach out to. The council is also working on a resource data clearing house to become more accessible to students.

Lupe Jimenez : headshot
Lupe Jimenez

"The goal is to have a one-stop-shop site of information for community members, faculty, staff, and students for anything that pertains to Latino resources," Soto said.

The council also helps Chico State's Summer Orientation Committee in meeting the needs of Spanish-speaking parents during Summer Orientation. "It's a pretty open group," said Lupe Jimenez, CLC treasurer. "People that are supportive of the group's efforts are absolutely welcome to be a part of it and assist in whatever way."

Our Common Goals
The three faculty and staff groups have a goal to collaborate with each other by having a potluck, Soto said.

They want to network to see if they have any common concerns, goals, or obstacles that will promote any further programming and engagement between the groups.

The committed and engaged people that make up these three faculty and staff diversity groups are also looking to collaborate with other entities on campus to further student success.

BFSA, LGBTQ, CLC group shot
Dawn Frank, Casey Dinsmore, Tracy Butts, Shawn Brackett, CC E. Carter, Diana Parra-Villaseñor, Melanie Mitchell, Lisa Saldano, Aurora Soto, Victoria Bass, Angelica Magana, Mazi Noble, Brian Riendart, Adelle DeMasi, Tray Robinson, Lana McKnight, Krystal Tanga, Carmelo Miranda, Andrea Mox, Kijeong Jeon, Lindsay Briggs