Project Rebound introduced in ASI Senate

A mug shot of a dirty, shaggy-haired confused man holding a prisoner number was featured on the the projector. Meanwhile, a clean-shaven man in a polo shirt and shorts spoke and pointed at the screen. “That’s me roughly 24 years ago,” he said.

Before Dale Lendrum was Secretary of System Wide Affairs, he was the man in the mugshot who spent 10 years plagued by incarceration and addiction. When Lendrum was released, he went into community college – and, eventually, Cal State Long Beach.

“All I had was the passion and commitment to move forward,” he said. “Lives change and can affect other lives.”

Secretary for System Wide Affairs Dale Lendrum introduced Senate Resolution #2017-18, which “reintegrat[es] formerly incarcerated individuals into society via higher education” to Associated Students, Inc. Wednesday afternoon.

The resolution, also known as Project Rebound, was put together by a cluster of formerly incarcerated individuals, justice system-affected people and an assemblage of students from different majors, including social work, criminal justice and communications.

In Lendrum’s presentation, he showed his personal nightmares with the prison system, which included showing his mugshot during the height of his addiction and incarceration.

“I used to live in the alleys of Long Beach Boulevard,” Lendrum said. “The gift of higher education changed my life and gave me a life.”

Lendrum hopes his resolution can give other formerly incarcerated individuals like himself a second chance.

Project Rebound would be a development from an associate’s degree program from California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. The current program offers AA degrees within the prison system and is connected to five community colleges in the state.

“These individuals need to transfer when they get out,” Lendrum said. “Prisoners are most at risk when the [prison] gates open and come back to society. If they have the opportunity to go to school and dedicate to something, their chances of success are 55 percent greater.”

Also, during the senate meeting, ASI Executive Director Richard Haller swore in a new Senator of College of Health and Human Services, Senator-at-large, Secretary for Sustainability, Secretary for Veteran Affairs and Secretary for Women and Gender Equity Affairs.

Leen Almahdi, the new Senator of CHHS, addressed in her interview speech the necessity to fix the facility management issues and to promote the Beach Pantry on campus.

“One of my main goals is fixing the buildings in the CHHS, like the Kinesiology building,” Almahdi said. “People have told me about air-conditioning issues … and falling tiles that need to be taken care of.”

“[Also], one of our biggest problems is that people don’t know about the Beach Pantry” — the campus’ official food pantry that provides non-perishable food items to students. “The pantry needs to be advertised, as it’s a really good source for people to utilize.”

When elected for Senator-at-large, Kishan Patel was commended by other ASI senators for his “passion” and “interest” for the position. Patel listed Indian prime minister Narenda Modi as a role model for continually working and only sleeping three hours a day.

“If a person like him in his sixties can work 20 hours a day, then I can do the same since I’m in my twenties,” Patel said.

Nhan Tran, Danny Helmy and Augustus Krider were also confirmed for Secretary for Sustainability, Secretary for Veteran Affairs and Secretary for Women and Gender Equity Affairs, respectively.

ASI also passed Senate Resolution #2017-17, now known as the Opposing Payment Peaks Act, for its third and final reading. The resolution would put pressure on the California State University Board of Trustees to freeze their current initiatives, thus freezing the tuition increase.

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