Fenwick is a highly involved student at BCC looking to make a difference, even after graduation//Iness Rabah

Fenwick is a highly involved student at BCC looking to make a difference, even after graduation//Iness Rabah

By Iness Rabah, Copy Editor

This month, the spotlight is on Andrew Fenwick, a driven young 21-year-old Bergen Community College student with a hunger for change. Fenwick originally did not want to attend school. However, when his mom became sick, he changed his mind, and started attending BCC in the Spring of 2014. “Since she has Alzheimer’s, there’s only a certain amount of time. I want her to see me graduate, I know she really wanted me to go to school, so that’s why I came to school. My first semester, I was really fortunate to have great classes, so I fell in love with school and education.”

The shuttle bus that runs between the Paramus and Lyndhurst campuses became Fenwick’s gateway to getting involved at school. Because he lived near the Lyndhurst campus, he took most of his classes there for his first semester, except for one night class he took at the Paramus campus. One day, the shuttle bus at Paramus never came, which made it a huge effort for him to get home. He later told his professor the situation, and asked to leave early because the shuttle hadn’t been running and he didn’t trust it to arrive on time. Elif Karacayir, the SGA Treasurer at the time, overheard and said, “That’s an issue you should bring to student government.”

This led to his involvement in Student Government; he started going to Board of Trustees meetings even before he became a senator. He then met Juhi Bhatt, the previous Coordinator of Judicial Affairs, at a senate meeting, who offered him a job on campus. “So it was kind of just a ripple effect of meeting one person after another telling me, ‘Do this to get more involved.’” He has since worked as a desk attendant and is now a permanent aide in the Student Life Office.

Fenwick won “Senator of the Month” in September 2014, the first official month of being a part of SGA. “It hit me really hard. This isn’t a club. I become a representation of what administration and faculty members see as students. This isn’t just a school organization, it’s impacting and dictating how students’ lives play out at Bergen.”

This realization is now driving Fenwick to run for Alumni Trustee. Alumni Trustee is a position that allows for a BCC alumni to sit on the Board of Trustees, the major decision-making board at the college. “I would like to have a presence here on campus. I feel like no one knows who the current Alumni Trustee is. As Alumni Trustee, I would like to come here and engage the student body as often as I can. I would like to meet with the E-board of SGA, because I think the main role is to be the student representative to the BOT but also relaying information back to students.”

His inspiration is former Alumni trustee Victoria Tahhan. “One day I would like to be like her, as strong as her. I would definitely love to fill in her shoes as being a strong Alumni Trustee. I still think there’s issues that can affect the student body. I could make a difference being a strong Alumni Trustee.” One issue is the shuttle bus not receiving any funding from the county by the BOT. He now sits on a committee to make sure the shuttle receives enough funding to continue its services.

There have been a few setbacks for Fenwick, especially when expressing a new idea only to have it shot down. Fenwick came up with the idea of having a Student Trustee on the Board. That idea was quickly shot down. But the biggest setback for him was running for SGA President in Spring 2015, but not winning. However, that didn’t knock him down, because he believes that success isn’t measured by how many accomplishments one gains, but by gaining learned experience.

One thing Fenwick says BCC taught him was to be a good student and a leader. Leaving High School with a 1.8 GPA, Fenwick is a History major graduating with Honors and a 3.5 GPA to go to TCNJ or Rutgers, and plans to get his Ph.D one day.