Dayton Daily News: Wright State student a champion for commuters

Bacon-Velasquez has also served at school’s Latino Center.

Selvin Bacon-Velasquez, a photography major, advocates for commuter students as president of the Commuter Student Association and the Student Government’s commuter senator.


If commuter students at Wright State University had a superhero, it would be Selvin Bacon-Velasquez.

He serves as the president of Wright State’s Commuter Student Association and the commuter senator in the Student Government Association and is a member of the committee for parking appeals.

Bacon-Velasquez, who is pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art with a concentration in photography, fell in love with art in high school and wanted to pursue it further. He is also working on a graphic design certificate through Wright State’s Lake Campus.

They are a combination that Bacon-Velasquez believes fits well together.

“I wanted to pursue something in the arts and as I was looking into Wright State, photography intrigued me the most,” Bacon-Velasquez said. “I was really excited when I found the certificate, graphic arts and photography, they match. It was a neat idea to combine the two.”

Bacon-Velasquez said he finds advocating for commuter students to be an incredibly fulfilling duty. He is involved with multiple groups and organizations around campus but finds the most joy in working with the Commuter Student Association (CSA).

“My work with the Commuter Student Association is so rewarding,” Bacon-Velasquez said. “I have a great team that’s always supported me.”

In the past, Bacon-Velasquez said the association has gone on hiatus and there have been worries about retention. Now, after his work and the work of his team, he feels the association has the capacity to grow.

“Considering Wright State has a large commuter student population, we want them to have an organization to call their own and they can be part of,” he said. “It’s a great way for commuters to communicate with each other. We want CSA to be a place for them.”

In November, the group hosted Commuter Appreciation Week with a different event or opportunity each day for commuter students to enjoy.

The association distributed hot chocolate and donuts and free drink vouchers for the ReyRey Cafe to students in the parking lot; gave out spirit wear at a men’s basketball game; helped the Wright State Department of Public Safety organize a seminar on services available to students; and hosted a board game night at the Dunbar Library and an indoor cycling event.

“It was a whole week dedicated to praising our commuters,” Bacon-Velasquez said. “I feel like it was so successful that we can have this for years to come.”

Bacon-Velasquez has also proudly served at Wright State’s Latino Center. As marketing chair, he has worked to get involved with student affairs, but his current role is the senior student associate for the Latino Center. He oversees the Latino Center’s mentorship program and is a teaching assistant for the Si Se Puede course, a first-year seminar that helps Latino students ease into college life taught by Catherine Hogan-Hernandez, assistant director of the Latino Center.

“I didn’t have a lot of guidance or support, and I felt like I had to swim through college life myself,” Bacon-Velasquez said. “Our goal is to support students so they don’t feel overwhelmed. It’s been an amazing thing.”

Bacon-Velasquez is one of five mentors at the Latino Center. Each mentor works with two new students, and Bacon-Velasquez would like to see the program grow even bigger.

“My goal is to oversee groups and provide individuals to mentees. It’s a great way to build connections to freshman students,” he said. “I want to build students to become better leaders than I ever will be. I want to give them that kickstart and help them pursue leadership.”

Bacon-Velasquez feels his achievements are an example of his drive and determination. He is a first-generation college student and the oldest sibling, so he often felt as if he had to find his own way. He said he is incredibly grateful to his parents and support network.

“I always appreciate them and love them for what they’ve done for me,” he said. “That being said, anything is possible. I’m a walking example of telling someone to never give up, keep going and keep persevering through hard times. No matter what situation you’re in, there’s always people that will support you no matter what.”

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