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Local Editorials

GUEST COLUMN: Reflecting on Sauk’s three resolutions for the new year

Improve public service; expand access to higher education; respect worth and dignity of all

David Hellmich
David Hellmich

’Tis the season for reflecting on what is good in our lives and making New Year’s resolutions so our lives will be even better. Oh, how wonderful – except that 90 percent of these resolutions fail. Bummer.

Despite this seeming bah-humbug reality, New Year’s resolutions are more likely to succeed if shared and supported by friends. Thus, here is my public declaration of New Year’s resolutions for Sauk Valley Community College, a declaration that would be impossible without our invaluable Sauk Valley partners who help transform resolutions into reality.

My first resolution is that Sauk faculty, staff and students continue to grow our public service. Part of the college’s mission is to engage the community in public service, and we take this responsibility seriously.

In 2017, Sauk faculty, staff and students volunteered on community boards and events, served on civic and non-governmental organizations, and acted as leaders in their places of residence and worship.

We started the Sauk Serves program, through which college employees volunteered at the Rock Falls Hometown for the Holidays, the Sterling Fiesta Day Parade, and the Dixon Christmas Walk.

Students volunteered at everything from helping educators affected by hurricanes, to highway cleanup, to collecting coats for domestic violence survivors and reading to second-graders, and much more.

In 2018, Sauk is resolved to be an even greater part of our communities. The next time you find yourself at a community event or meeting, ask whether anyone from Sauk is present. I think the answer will be yes. If the answer is no, call me, and we will see what we can do.

My second resolution ties into Sauk’s vision of expanding access to higher education across the Sauk Valley region.

Wouldn’t it be great if every person in the Sauk Valley who could benefit from Sauk services – transferable and technical college classes, community education and customized training, adult education and literacy training, and the Small Business Development Center – had access to these services?

Imagine a Sauk Valley where everyone has the knowledge, confidence and focus to be successful!

With the great commitment from the Sauk Valley College Foundation, partners from across the Sauk Valley, and all of Sauk’s students, staff and faculty, this resolution will not fail.

Respecting the worth and dignity of all people is part of Sauk’s Shared Ethical Values and is the focus of my final New Year’s resolution.

Yes, we live in interesting times – times that threaten to divide us by emphasizing our differences instead of celebrating our common dreams – times that tell us “my way is right and your way is wrong.”

We at Sauk try to show our respect for the worth and dignity of all people in everything we do. It is a foundation of how we treat one another as colleagues and how we work with our students.

It is also an expectation of how students treat one another and how we all behave in our communities. I share this value with faculty, staff and students often and will continue to do so throughout the New Year.

With these attainable New Year’s resolutions, we at SVCC can’t wait to see what we can all accomplish, hand-in-hand, with our friends throughout the Sauk Valley.

Note to readers: David Hellmich is president of Sauk Valley Community College, rural Dixon.

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