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Garcia emphasizes accountability in convocation address

“Accountability, or Blame it on the Alcohol” was the title of Jerome Garcia’s convocation speech to ring in the new school year. It centers on the lack of responsibility many people take toward their own lives and toward the lives of others. Garcia, an associate professor of biology in the College of Arts and Sciences, graduated from the University of La Verne in 1998. He completed his doctorate at the University of Southern California. / photo by Rafael Anguiano

“Accountability, or Blame it on the Alcohol” was the title of Jerome Garcia’s convocation speech to ring in the new school year. It centers on the lack of responsibility many people take toward their own lives and toward the lives of others. Garcia, an associate professor of biology in the College of Arts and Sciences, graduated from the University of La Verne in 1998. He completed his doctorate at the University of Southern California. / photo by Rafael Anguiano

Julissa Cardenas
Web Editor

This year’s incoming freshmen were welcomed and introduced to the campus at this year’s University of La Verne convocation.

It took place Sept. 2 in the Sports Science and Athletic Pavilion Gymnasium.

University President Stephen Morgan hosted the event and was glad to welcome in the 2009 incoming freshmen. He also welcomed Jerome Garcia, associate professor of biology who was the convocation speaker. Garcia delivered a speech on accountability titled “Blame it on the Alcohol.”

Accountability means to take responsibility for your actions and not make excuses and blame others for the mishaps in life. All choices require accountability as well as much needed responsibility.

“I remember coming to La Verne and thinking that I did not need any of the required classes. I was a biology major and I did not understand why I needed any extra classes,” Garcia said.

“Now I understand that those extra classes make a whole individual, they give you a whole perspective on life and they teach you accountability.”

As a student of the University of La Verne, Garcia knew the pressures of passing classes, and one day those pressures pushed him over the line.

“I got caught cheating and thought, ‘This is it. It is over.’ And let me tell you the professor was mad,” Garcia said. “But instead of having me expelled, the professor and I sat down and we had a long conversation on accountability and character.”

That was a life changing experience that taught Garcia about taking responsibility for ones actions and not jeopardizing the future because of foolish decisions.

Following Garcia’s speech was the New Student Com­munity Honor Pledge, which consisted of the participation of every new student in the room.

All new students arose and repeated the honor pledge. Then followed by singing along to the University of La Verne’s Alma Mater.

Morgan was impressed by the turnout. “I am happy to see that there is no parking available near Founders Hall because that means enrollment is good,” he said.

Morgan was also pleased to see that along with new students, the University has added many new things this year.

The Abraham Campus Center opened to students and faculty with a grand opening ceremony on Thursday Sep. 10; Miller Hall is now dedicated to the staff of the University; and plans to remodel Founders Auditorium later this year are in place. The auditorium currently has no air conditioning.

Rocio Torres, a freshman criminology major, was pleased to attend the convocation.

“I thought it was interesting and it was nice to see the staff in their robes,” he said. “It feels nice to be welcomed into the University of La Verne.”

Julissa Cardenas can be reached at julissa.cardenas@laverne.edu.

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