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President's Corner

As I wind up my term, I’ve been reflecting on the time I’ve spent as president of OLLI-CSULB. It’s been a wonderful, challenging year, and I want to share some of its highs and lows.
       I’ll begin with the problems—because I’m basically an optimist and the lows are far outnumbered by our accomplishments. Perhaps the biggest problem that we have yet to solve is (I bet you can guess)—parking! Not only do the costs go up, but space seems to go down. It’s important to recognize that OLLI has no control over on-campus parking. The Executive Council and Barbara White, our Executive Director, have been exploring a number of alternatives, including some off-campus sites with support for getting to classes. So far, we haven’t been successful, but we haven’t given up. In the meantime, we’ll commiserate with everyone—but also suggest using public transportation and carpooling as much as possible.
We also hit a snag with our classes at Leisure World. Leisure World is examining its club use policies, and during that re-examination, OLLI classes have been suspended despite our many efforts to convince them to keep us on site. Again, we continue to work with our Leisure World members to make sure they maintain access to our offerings—whether on campus or in our satellite locations. And, as discussed below, we are looking into multiple alternatives.
        Our final challenge came this spring, when it became clear that our financial position required us to make some adjustments. We were able to maintain our low membership fee ($40 for a year), and our tuition changes were minor. We brought technology and other classes in line, with a minor fee increase for the lecture, art, and music classes. The changes will keep us fiscally sound and able to provide the wide variety of experiences our members are used to.
        On the positive side, OLLI continues to grow. Even with the fee changes, I believe we will hit an enrollment of 2,000 members in the next academic year. We continue to offer new courses and make sure the courses that always draw large enrollments remain in our program. Potential instructors seek us out for the opportunity to teach our interested, aware, and involved students. As an instructor, I can attest to both the challenge and joy of teaching at OLLI. Our volunteer instructors work hard—and our members reward them with their participation!
       During the past year, we’ve also revised our Strategic Plan. See page 5. (thank you, Len Jacobson, for your leadership on this). In addition, we have established a Marketing and Public Relations committee as part of the Communication Working Group (thank you, Jeff Protzman for your leadership). The committee is making great progress in developing a PowerPoint presentation that members can use with their organizations and a Speakers Bureau so we can respond to requests for presentations about OLLI.
       We’ve also extended our reach in the community. We’ve begun classes at American Gold Star Manor on the west side of Long Beach. The challenge of opening a new site is clear, but both AGSM and OLLI are working to meet those challenges (thank you, Donna Hawk and Becky Low).
In addition, the City of Long Beach, through the Department of Parks and Recreation, has funded additional programming for senior citizens. Parks and Rec has approached OLLI about offering some classes at various sites, joining the LifeFit Center at some of the parks. One good aspect is that most of the parks have adequate, free parking!!

So, overall, despite our challenges, it’s been a good year. Personally, I have enjoyed—and learned from—working with the members of the Executive and Governing Councils. And now, as they say, it’s time to pass the torch.
I’ll remain a member, take courses, and teach at least once
a year. The new leadership will keep OLLI growing and strong.


From the Executive Director

By Dr. Barbara White

As a new addition to our campus classroom area we have an Automatic External Defibrillator (AED). It is located in the hall between our HSD 101 classroom and the Physical Therapy large classroom, HSD 103. While we hope never to have to use it, our office staff are trained. Likewise, as in other public places, anyone can easily use it as it gives you audible step-by-step instructions. Be a good samaritan and help to save a life.
One of the most common causes of sudden cardiac arrest is atrial fibrillation. This is an abnormal behavior of the heart that results in the upper chamber of the heart contracting erratically, thus not sending blood into the ventricles and out to the lungs and body efficiently, or at all. In cardiac arrest, the heart can also just stop beating altogether due to a variety of conditions. Though we don’t know what the cause is by looking at a person who has fainted, the best chance for survival of a cardiac arrest until professional help arrives is defibrillation with an AED and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
Your first action is to check for pulse and breathing and verify by shouting, shaking, or pinching to assure unresponsiveness. If there is no response, enlist help to call 911, start CPR and get the AED. The battery-powered AED monitors the heart rhythm and, if appropriate, will send an electrical pulse to the heart in an attempt to restore normal rhythm. If this is not effective, the AED will tell you to continue CPR until help arrives. If you haven’t taken a CPR class, now is time to do it. If you are interested in a class, please let the office know. And thank you for your commitment to saving a life.