Diablo Valley College's San Ramon satellite campus has taken several recent steps toward offering students and the surrounding community the services and experiences generally taken for granted at larger college campuses.
On Friday (Nov. 19), DVC and district officials are set to host a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new library and academic support center at the San Ramon campus, designed with student input and community building at the forefront of considerations. The event also marks the 15th anniversary of DVC's current San Ramon campus.
"It really started with meeting with students and hearing what they needed to feel like this was a comprehensive college," said Kenyetta Tribble, senior dean of DVC's San Ramon campus.
Tribble said that the process of figuring out how to best use funds from Measure E, which was passed by county voters in 2014, was kicked into action by soliciting the input of a group of more than 25 students of the campus's roughly 5,000 student body. The desires of students made a lot of sense, Tribble said, although they might not necessarily have been front and center in the minds of officials.
"Their number one thing was 'there's no food,'" Tribble said.
This input led to the decision to incorporate a café adjacent to the new library and academic support center. The result, Tribble said, has been a central space for students to research, work on assignments, and find academic support, and attend to basic needs such as nourishment and relaxation, all in one place. This has been key to getting students to spend more time at the San Ramon campus, and strengthened a sense of community, Tribble said.
Library services and a campus librarian are other key components of larger campuses that are often taken for granted, which Tribble said have been critical for making steps towards the comprehensive college experience she wants San Ramon students to have.
"It basically dawned on us that wow, this is something that we were missing," Tribble said.
In addition to input from students, Tribble said that the library and academic support center were modeled after what had worked at DVC's larger Pleasant Hill campus. Central to this has been combining the two campus services in one space, where students can access traditional library services, as well as services intended to answer all of the other questions they might have about their particular academic or career pathways.
"Students should be able to come in there and just ask any questions and get any help that they need," Tribble said, adding that this includes things like emergency help with finances and food.
"It's allowed us to really think about what the students need," Tribble said.
In addition, Tribble said the new campus library is also meant to serve the same role as a public library in the surrounding community.
"We have books, we have subscriptions, if people from the community want to just come and sit in the library, we want that; we want that presence," Tribble said. "When we think about it, it's really for the community."
The ribbon cutting for the new building at DVC's San Ramon campus housing the library, academic support center, and café, is set for Friday at 1 p.m.
The event will include tours of the new building, as well as the rest of the campus. It is open to the public, with an RSVP required. More information is available here.