By Tonya Townsell, Presidio of Monterey Public AffairsSeptember 3, 2015
PRESIDIO OF MONTEREY, Calif. -- With similar demographics to pull from, the Presidio of Monterey and California State University Monterey Bay are looking toward a future with more partnership opportunities.
Where most university-military partnerships focus solely on the educational perspective, in this case, there is a much larger, community-aspect to the partnership.
When the university was still in its infancy, the Presidio and CSUMB began partnering with fire support through mutual aid and with child-care opportunities via the Monterey Road Child Development Center and Porter Youth Center.
The Presidio continues to be the first responder for fire assistance to CSUMB based on a mutual-aid agreement through California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, commonly known as Cal Fire, according to Shawn Marshall, director of the Presidio's Directorate of Emergency Services.
Regarding emergency services, not only does the Presidio support fire assistance to CSUMB, but the Presidio and CSUMB regularly train together in preparation for crises involving not only fire, but also law enforcement.
Because many CSUMB students live in houses on the Ord Military Community, the Presidio and CSUMB are "vested with each other" regarding emergency management, Marshall said. The two organizations even share emergency-services training. "They are physically as close a partner as we can have [for OMC]. For example, if we have [a foot chase] on OMC, they'll be working right by us. So we offer training slots to our 'neighbor' whenever we train. … Conversely, they invite us to everything they do. … They are definitely our partner."
Another area of strong partnership is with the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation.
The partnership regarding the child development center and youth center is a huge benefit to CSUMB staff, said Lela Clark, the Presidio's Child Youth and School Services chief, explaining that not only are the Presidio's centers generally more affordable than other options, but the quality of Department of Defense child care is considered very high.
The youth-related benefits are far from being a one-way street, Clark was quick to point out.
Clark said that in addition to raising the esprit-de-corps, another huge benefit to her comes in the form of service-learning providers, which are students who are earning volunteer hours to graduate. Sometimes those students turn into part-time employees who eventually become permanent employees after graduation, she said.
Andy Lipsig, the Presidio's Youth Sports and Fitness director said that the Presidio's sports' program works with the CSUMB athletic department to hold clinics.
Recently, CSUMB hosted a free one-day "Otter Pups" soccer clinic for community children, including more than 30 military family members, he said.
Team players and coaches from the women and men's teams provided expertise for the attendees, Lipsig said, explaining that they demonstrated skills and ran the children through drills and talked about what it takes to be a high-level player.
In addition to the sports camps, Lipsig said that CSUMB is using Presidio youth as batboys and as soccer ball shaggers. The university is also ramping up local excitement by inviting Presidio teens to watch the various sports games and by hosting military appreciation games this fall.
Additionally, Lipsig said that for a portion of the spring, the Presidio is able to use CSUMB's Freeman Stadium for Youth Sports' track and field.
One partnership within the partnership is the BOSS/SAAC relationship.
Similar to how Better Opportunity for Single Soldiers serves service member on the Presidio, the student-athlete advisory committee is a council that meets biweekly to come up with ideas for students residing on CSUMB, explained Joaquin Finona, of the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation's Community Recreation Division.
By putting the two councils together, they can take advantage of the combination of the two groups, he said. From a recreation perspective, Finona said he can "categorize our students with college students. The difference is [the Presidio's population has] uniforms. They're the same age group and have similar interests. There is an added value by accessing a larger audience."
Another benefit to combining resources is that the organizations can take advantage of that "larger audience," which allows both CSUMB and the Presidio to save money and add value, explained Finona because both will receive tangible and intangible benefits in the future.
Finona gave an example of generating revenue for the Presidio by providing separate and larger vehicle support for two sports teams at any given time, rather than depending on only the current CSUMB vans for transporting participants.
However, Finona said, CSUMB also benefits because FMWR generally charges less than other businesses because they established a special rate for CSUMB.
Another recreational benefit is that the CSUMB partnership allows POM to offer its members an aquatics program, which it obviously cannot do without the pool access that CSUMB provides, Finona said.
Next up for the partnership seems to be the focus of Military Appreciation Days this fall at CSUMB home games, including barbeques to boost spirit before home games, according to Cassondra Gonzalez, the FMWR BOSS advisor.
And there is even talk about more family friendly tailgating parties before sports events.