Club attempts to fill in the gaps in the face of diminishing services at DVC

Instead of just complaining about budget cuts a group of students are actually doing something about it.

This semester these students have started Club A3, whose central tenets consist of advocacy, abilities and awareness with the purpose of helping of disabled students.

Student Michael Burnside founded the club because he believes DVC’s disabled students deserve to have their voice heard and to receive the services that the school cannot provide.

“The biggest thing is making a difference by just doing something,” Burnside said.

Lilian Benipez, a special education major who is also a member of Club A3, said the purpose of Club A3 is to enable the members “to have the ability to help ourselves and each other, to be aware of what’s around us, to know how we can utilize resources to help ourselves and each other, and take the ‘dis’ out of ‘disabilities.'”

Disability Support Services, located in the Student Service Center, provides note-taking, tutoring, High Tech Center hours, testing accommodations, and more, all of which are solely dedicated to disabled students. However, due to budget cuts, many of these services have been cut.

But Burnside said he has plans to start a program where new students with disabilities will get a tour of the school that will include the best routes for getting from one point to another.

The members of this club are also volunteering their time towards note-taking, tutoring, and peer mentoring for the disabled students without accepting any payment in return.

“ASDVC bails out DSS tutoring,” an article published in The Inquirer’s online edition on March 25, reported that Patrick Erhard, vice president of the Inter Club Council, presented a proposal to the Associated Students of DVC for funding, saying more than 100 DSS students were being affected by the lack of tutoring caused by budget problems.

In addition to helping disabled students, Burnside wants to reach out to all the clubs on campus and the community at large.

He is currently planning “Give a Can Day,” a food drive on campus, on Oct. 18 and 19 that will include games for students.

Participants can then play board games and whoever wins will get a prize.

“This way, we are giving back to [students] and they are giving back to the community,” Benipez said. “It is a sign of unity.”

Burnside also wants to include several other on-campus clubs in planning the event and hopes that it will “set in motion a semester of giving to others in need.”

“It is true you will get out of life what you put into it,” Burnside said. “Believe we can and we will change the world.”

Club A3 meets Tuesdays at 3 p.m. in SSC 218.


Contact Taliah Mirmalek at [email protected]