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COCC task-force proposes campus memorial

The area proposed for the COCC memorial is south of the Barber Library, close to the track. Photo by Molly Svendsen | The Broadside.

The campus will soon offer an area of quiet reflection and remembrance.
A memorial for members of the Central Oregon Community College community will be set up by summer 2013, according to Chris Rubio, an assistant professor of English at COCC.
“[The memorial] will add to the campus a place people can go to be quiet, contemplative, and maybe even sacred,” Rubio explained. “The sacredness comes from what it was built for.”
The project has been brought up multiple times in past years and is now in the final stages, according to Matt McCoy, vice president of administration at COCC.
“Periodically throughout the past couple of years the question has come up, ‘How should we remember someone who’s passed, who’s been a member of the COCC family?”’ McCoy said. “It just seemed to be an appropriate time.”
The projected cost for the memorial is less than $10,000, which will be funded mostly by student and faculty donations. McCoy believes administration will also invest funds in initially preparing the location.
“By having it funded mostly by donations,” McCoy said, “it helps develop a sense of ownership of the project.”
The Associated Students of Central Oregon Community College will invest $5,000 of the amount, if approved by the ASCOCC budget committee, according to an email by Kelly Huskey, ASCOCC director of student organizations.
The proposed plan is to have a garden-like setting with a walkway and a plaque showing who the garden is dedicated to, according to McCoy.
“It is open to dedication to students, faculty and staff who’ve been on this campus,” McCoy said.
When the project was first introduced, college administration surveyed the campus about which of four locations would be preferred, according to McCoy.
“We’ll be taking the results of the survey and the work of the memorial task force to the executive team with a proposal,” McCoy explained. “We hope to have this part done soon.”
Survey results indicated south of Barber Library, close to the track was the preferred location, according to McCoy.
“The goal is to create this place of reflection, this memorial that is inviting, [and] is in a convenient location,” McCoy said. “Not where it’s isolated, but rather nestled within the campus in a central location where it will be used.”
Another reason the location was chosen was because it is easily accessible, according to Joe Viola, director of campus services.
“This area is close to where commencement takes place, it’s easy to get to and a pretty high profile place,” Viola said.“The location also has plentiful ADA parking and an accessible route that we can connect with the existing route to the library.”
Viola was selected to coordinate the location and ensure it meets American Disability Association guidelines.
“We needed to choose a location that was accessible for everyone regardless of age or disability,” Viola said.
“I think it’s a good idea,” Rubio said. “What’s not to like about having a space where we get to honor individuals who have made contributions on campus.”
In addition to McCoy, Viola, Huskey, and Rubio, the memorial task force is composed of Stella Mackey, COCC senior enrollment accounting specialist, and Christa Gunnell, COCC human resources.
“We wanted to get insights from a broad representation of the campus; students, faculty and staff,” McCoy explained.
If approval is granted, the task force hopes to have the memorial built over summer 2013.

–Molly Svendsen

The Broadside




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