East Bay Action Congress makes moves

Ana Cortez,

Feb. 24 marked the first annual event for a new campus organization at Cal State East Bay: East Bay Action Congress (EBAC).

This new organization, run by students, was initiated this quarter by way of the approval of Associated Students Inc. (ASI). Seven students, all lead directors of the organization, took the initiative to come together and work towards getting proactive students involved in the community.

The driving philosophy of EBAC is to take action and do something for the community rather than just talking about it.

Robert Steggall, senior at CSUEB and director of administration for EBAC said, “Personally making friends here on campus was a big problem when I first started here.” A transfer student from Diablo Valley Community College, he felt that in a classroom of usually 30 plus students, no one spoke to one another, instead opting for limited personal interaction. This organization was created to allow students to meet new people and make friends while serving the East Bay community.

“Being a commuter school really reduces the interaction,” Stegall said. “As far as outreach goes, we have done a number of things. Ryan is actually our director of external affairs who reaches out to other communities, council members and other program people to get some activity involvement like SF ParkOur.”

Ryan Sherring, who is not a student at East Bay and director of external affairs for EBAC, puts his own time into this student organization as an advisor as well as a participant. “For the organization to have a sense of community, we have to create it,” Sherring said.

As a student led organization, they have to partner up with other local organizations to gain a bigger outreach. Sherring attended school in Germany, where he helped form other student organizations. “Personally, I’d like to see [EBAC] grow into a non-profit,” Sherring explained. “Be able to expand it onto other campuses and other communities.”

EBAC’s first event, Discover: Hayward, was held on Feb. 24. In the morning, a group of students and EBAC members met on campus and carpooled to Tyrrell Elementary School in Hayward where they teamed up with the City of Hayward’s Keep Hayward Clean and Green Task Force where they walked around the community and picked up trash. This was followed by a visit to the Hayward Area Historical Society to gain historical perspective of the city.

EBAC meets on the CSUEB Hayward campus every Wednesday at 4 p.m in Meiklejohn Hall room 4011. Their next event, a backpacking trip, is planned over spring break. You can follow EBAC on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/EastBayActionCongress/