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May 28th, 2023
L&T Opinions Page

brad bennettGUEST COLUMN, SCCC President Brad Bennett


I always say that the word “community” is in the middle of our college’s name for a reason. 

Community is the core root of everything we do and provides the foundation for our institution. Regardless of the current level of our community involvement, each of us can always build on and seek improvement to better support our community. 

For example, last weekend, our volleyball team helped with the Liberal High School After Prom event, as did volunteers from the Business & Industry and Humanities divisions. After Prom is the ultimate example of the community coming together for a good cause — giving high school students a positive alternative to activities that could so easily go wrong. Parents, businesses, high school professionals and volunteers are the key to making After Prom something appealing and memorable. 

For the international members of our volleyball team, the After Prom Party was a fascinating glimpse into a classic American teenager rite of passage. For the Saints employees who call Liberal home,  the volunteer work gave them a bit of nostalgia. One volunteer said the music was nearly identical to her own 1990s prom experience. 

While this is a small and simple example, it demonstrates the opportunity to support the community better. Being new to Liberal and Southwest Kansas, I challenge each of you to challenge us. 

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We have the ability and the commitment to help with all community projects, so I ask each of you to contact me to help your community group. We will fulfill these duties to the best of our ability, and we are excited to increase our community involvement. That is especially exciting after a long year of lockdown and limitations. In non-pandemic years, our Saints athletes expect to log more than 1,000 hours of community volunteer work at events like the Liberal Chamber of Commerce Duck Race, visits to elementary schools, and International Pancake Day. As we all know, 2020 was very different. We are excited to rejoin community events in 2021. 

One opportunity is taking place this weekend, when the weather is supposed to be a little warmer. Liberal Area Coalition for Families has planned a trail work day at Arkalon Park. Volunteers will work in teams of 10 for three, three-hour shifts between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m. to clear underbrush and spruce up the nature pathways. This city-operated park and outdoor area provides a perfect birdwatching or nature exploration experience. It is a chance to enjoy the outdoors, catch up with friends and neighbors. Volunteers will be served a simple meal provided by LACF. To sign up, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

We have also restarted Saints Days throughout the community every Wednesday. Join our mascot Louie and the Saints family to show support for the Seward County Community Community College Saints and wear your green. If you need a Saints shirt, contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., and I would be happy to provide a Saints shirt. 

Additionally, I am asking all businesses to communicate this with their employees, and “go green” every Wednesday. We are pleased to drop by with Saints gear, posters, and other “swag” items for area businesses. 

We are so excited to continue building on the longstanding relationships that have guided our institution and communities for years. As always, wear your green and Go, Saints!!