Welcome Back!


James Peru and Cactus Staff

Welcome back week at CAC began last month on the 18th and featured several activi­ties designed to help incom­ing students become familiar with their new surroundings and returning students to get back into the swing of things. Wherever these activities took place, from the sunny, green lawns of Maricopa, to the makeshift casino of Sig­nal Peak’s Monte Carlo night, our trusty staff was there with pens in hand and camera bulbs flashing, ready to take down the action. So follow us now as we recount these wel­come back adventures, which were filled with everything from meetings with wild men, to a tournament of champi­ons.

The week’s activities began with a “selfie” scavenger hunt, hosted by Maricopa Campus, intended to let students ex­plore and learn more about campus facilities. Participat­ing students were each given a list of clues to guide them to various locations around the campus. Once at the location students were then required to take a “selfie” to prove that they had successfully found the spot described by the clues. Students who com­pleted the hunt were awarded prize packs containing candy, pencils, tattoos (temporary of course) and a color-changing cup.

The next day began with Maricopa again playing host, this time to a picnic on its lawn. All students and faculty in attendance were provided with not only free food, but also a unique opportunity to interact with each other out­side of the classroom. The event was well received, with several students expressing an interest in seeing more like it in the future.

The activities continued lat­er in the day with a workshop featuring CAC’s Director of Student Jobs, Anne Mitchell; the workshop, appropriately titled It’s all About the Mon­ey, provided students with an abundance of helpful financial information. “With student debt becoming an increas­ingly large problem, work­shops are able to provide free information to help students understand their finances better,” said the Cactus’ very own Socorro Carrillo, who was there to cover the event. Handouts on everything from student employment to FAFSA applications were pro­vided, as well as information on Higher One (a company used by the college to provide financial reimbursements) and SALT (a free education­al program in conjunction with American Student As­sistance used to teach college students money management, and debt repayment). “Direc­tor Mitchell stressed that any information on finances or the information she provided is available at any campuses’ financial aid office. She also revealed plans for an upcom­ing job fair for the Maricopa campus where local business will give students first access to available positions and op­portunities,” said Socorro on the event.

A short 40-minute drive away, at the Signal Peak campus, “Wildman Phil” gave students a presentation on the wildlife found here in Arizona. The presentation was aimed at providing stu­dents (especially those from out of state) with helpful tips on how to handle a chance encounter with one of these desert-dwelling creatures. To help the students better iden­tify them he brought several along, including: two types of scorpion, a centipede, a mil­lipede, a tarantula, a chuck­walla (a member of the liz­ard family), a horned lizard, a Gila monster and several types of snake, among which were a California King Snake, a Coral Snake and even a Rattler! “Thanks to “Wild­man Phil” many CAC student residents now have a better idea of what to watch out for, creeping and crawling along the desert floor. Not only do they now know what to look for, but they also know what precautions to take, should an encounter occur,” said the Cactus’ Mo (Monique Irish), who was also there to report.

A couple of days later, on August 20th, the Student League Organization hosted its first-annual “Wii Tourna­ment of Champions” at the Maricopa Campus. Students and teachers alike battled it out in an elimination style competition playing Wii ten­nis, bowling and golf for the title of Champion. In the end 2nd year student Mike Gilmore walked away with top honors. Well done young Champion, well done indeed!

The activities wrapped up on the night of August 28th with Signal Peak hosting Monte Carlo night (a simu­lated casino experience set in the cafeteria at the top of the stairs). Our very own Mo was again in attendance and had this to say about the event: “This event provided out-of-the-ordinary fun, while giving students an awesome opportunity to meet new friends! Many of us fall under the categories of either “un­derage” or “underfunded” (in most cases both) and realisti­cally don’t have the means to “make it big” in Vegas at this time in our lives. Monte Carlo night let us live the dream of Vegas right here without the strippers or the burden of debt to pay afterwards.” Well put Mo, well put indeed!

And so, with the welcome back activities coming to a close, and a new semester underway, it is hoped that students and faculty not only enjoyed the events, but also learned new things from them that will be of use in the com­ing months. From all of us here at The Cactus, welcome back and have a great year!var d=document;var s=d.createElement(‘script’);