(Jan. 24, 2012) -- UTSA student Rene R.J. Rangel was elected to the student advisory committee of the BACCHUS Network at the organization's general assembly Nov. 3-5 in Reston, Va. BACCHUS is an international organization that promotes peer education regarding healthier behaviors among college-age adults.
As newly elected president of the UTSA student organization Be A Responsible Roadrunner (BARR), Rangel will represent BACCHUS Network Area 6 (Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Louisiana and Arkansas) for one year. BARR is UTSA's BACCHUS Network affiliate. Rangel is a junior history major from Edinburg, Texas.
"Running for and winning the position of SAC was a great experience," said Rangel. "It's easy to want to make a difference when you have the support coming from advisers, friends and family. I'm thankful to have the opportunity to represent UTSA on a national level."
Alex Rivera, a junior communications major from Cibolo and Kristen Pina, a freshman engineering major from Rosenberg also attended the general assembly in the Washington, D.C., suburbs. All three students attended multiple conference sessions provided by peers and professionals from institutions across the nation that enhanced their knowledge on prevention and education topics as well as leadership development.
"Attending the conference was a great opportunity to network with my peers from across the country from universities like Harvard and Columbia," said Pina. "It was really interesting to hear how they share health promotion information on their campuses and learn ways we can incorporate some of the ideas at UTSA."
The students were accompanied to the assembly by Kelsey Bratcher, UTSA associate director of risk education and campus programs, who helped organize the assembly's silent auction, which took place throughout the event. Bratcher serves as the Texas state coordinator for the BACCHUS Network.
"Student attendance at BACCHUS General Assembly is very important for Be A Responsible Roadrunner and UTSA," said Bratcher. "It is an opportunity for the students to see they are not alone in their mission to promote responsible and healthy decision making. They are able to see the big picture of health promotion and risk reduction, and bring back ideas and resources to assist them in their programming and leadership development back on campus."
At the conference, students attend sessions and keynotes and also participate in a national meeting, sharing their voices regarding the national organization and voting on important topics.
According to BACCHUS bylaws, each year at the national conference, one student from each affiliation in attendance represents his or her campus as a delegate. The delegates meet, discuss issues of importance to the network and vote on important decisions. This year, the delegates discussed and voted upon a new membership plan for the network that includes an annual membership fee. The BACCHUS Network has never had a membership fee in its 36-year history, so this was a historic vote.
The delegates, including Rangel, debated for nearly two hours the pros and cons of instituting a membership fee. Many students spoke with passion about the importance of the network, the support it provides to individual peer educators and campus groups, and the loss to the collegiate health promotion field should BACCHUS have to reduce its services. BACCHUS has seen a 60 percent decrease in funding support in recent years with the downturn of the economy. The delegates passed the new membership plan with 85 percent in favor of the fee.
"I am glad to have represented BARR in the membership fee vote and see it pass," said Rangel. "The cost of the BACCHUS membership fee is minimal when you compare it to saving someone's life. That is what we do in peer education, save lives."
The BACCHUS Network includes more than 32,000 student leaders and advisers who work with more than 8 million peers on more than 900 campuses around the world to promote healthier behaviors and raise awareness on issues surrounding topics including alcohol, drug and tobacco use through peer education and community leadership.
The annual Center for Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship (CITE) 100K Venture Competition and Exposition will be held on the Main Campus on Dec. 1. Twenty-eight teams from across the university will exhibit their project; six teams will compete for a prize pool of more than $100,000 in funding to launch their new venture / company. More than 650 students have participated in launching new technology ventures.
Biotechnology, Sciences and Engineering (BSE 2.102), Main Campus
This concert features 50 community children performing music in the UTSA Downtown String Project Winter Concert. The children, led by UTSA music students studying to be music teachers, will join together in playing the Theme from Batman at their concert. The Batman of San Antonio, a local celebrity figure, will make an appearance at the concert. This event is free.
Buena Vista Theatre, Downtown Campus
Graduate student uses storytelling to highlight important issues facing children
As touch screens and e-books demand more and more attention from both casual readers and scholars, many people say the handwriting is on the wall for the printed page.
At UTSA, the handwriting is on the wall for a library that doesn't have any printed books.
Since March 2010, the bookless library in the Applied Engineering and Technology Building has given UTSA students an innovative way to read, research and work with each other to solve problems.
With ultra-modern furniture and a décor featuring desktop computers, scanners and LCD screens, the AET Library is designed to engage students in an online format. But it also offers group study niches and study rooms with whiteboards and glass walls on which students can write. The space encourages teamwork, communications and problem solving for the next generation of scientists and professional engineers.
Did you know? The UTSA AET Library is the nation's first completely bookless library on a college or university campus. It served as a model for Bexar County's first-in-the-nation public bookless library system and one of its branches, the Dr. Ricardo Romo BiblioTech.
The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.
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