As a student of Pasadena City College, there are 70 different clubs that one could join in order to be involved in the college community. Amongst many other organizations, those clubs tackling social issues had an opportunity to present themselves and showcase their ideas to students.
Third Wave Feminist Club presented a table providing pamphlets containing extensive information about services available for women in the community. The club’s Inter Club Council representative Giselle Mariel De Silva discussed the goals of the club and spoke of the organizations that would help them reach their goals.
“One of the biggest initiatives this semester is to work closely with charity organizations in Pasadena, because we understand that there needs to be a larger conversation,” said De Silva. “We’re working closely with Planned Parenthood and we’re also working with Shepherd’s door which is a domestic violence research center. We’re trying to bring them on campus to make sure that students know that there are resources for them.”
One of the greatest benefits of clubs promoting social awareness are the resources that the organizations make available to students. These resources purport to help those who are looking for help, as well as aiding those who look to find comfort among others in similar situations.
Homeboy Scholars is a relatively new organization, beginning its second semester, devoted to helping people affected by incarceration in the prison system. The issues addressed in this organization hit close to home for board member Laura Electa Hayes, as she had been directly affected herself, through the incarceration of her father.
“We formed to help support formerly incarcerated students and those impacted by the youth justice system, the foster care system, and the criminal justice system in general,”said Hayes. “Our club has many different members from different walks of life, whether they were formerly incarcerated or have had parents, family members, friends who went through the prison system.”
With clubs of various beliefs seated alongside each other, students walking through the quad are always steps away from differing options.
Inter-varsity Christian Fellowship brings together those interested in participating in a spiritual community of like-minded individuals, while promoting an active lifestyle through sports and other activities.
“We just have an idea to love people and to want to have a community that’s not forcing any type of belief. We have a fall conference this year in a camp on Catalina Island with no cell phone service,”said group member Armaan Kelly. “We take the time to connect with God, connect with each other, and to hear some guest speakers. They have paddle-boarding, kayaking, swimming, snorkeling, as well as basketball, football, and hiking.”
There were several groups that promoted a general concept of coming together, rather than making particular pronouncements about their goals and intentions.
Collegiate Association for the Research of the Principles (C.A.R.P.) Vice President Mika Miyagi talked about her personal connection to the organization, as well as an important political goal they’ve been confronting.
“My mom encouraged my sisters to start this organization again. My mom was actually a part of C.A.R.P. back in her college in Japan, so she wanted us to start it again over here in America because she thought it would be nice for us to have,” said Miyagi. “People have been really inspired by what we are doing. We gathered together with Korean and Japanese C.A.R.P. students and we held a peace rally in Korea where we prayed for the peaceful reunification of North and South Korea. Revival and reunification starts with the individual and overcoming the divisions within ourselves.”
Upcoming events were promoted during club week, as well as meetings where existing and new members will come together to enact change and schedule new events.
Queer Alliance’s first event is on Oct. 16. It is a pride event held here on campus with help from the Associated Students’ Committee for Cultural Diversity. In addition to conferences throughout the year, they will hold their annual Big Gay Prom in the spring.
“Our main goal for the year is to create an inclusive space for people with different sexual orientations and gender identities to get to discuss different topics that relate to our community as a whole. We hope to provide a bit of education as well as a place for people to socialize and have fun,” said Queer Alliance treasurer Daniel Erdody.
With a myriad of options for activities and interests, club week allows a student the opportunity to walk around the quad and search for their particular niche in the PCC community. This environment is helpful to the organizations presenting, as it promotes membership in a pressure-free manner.
After recruiting seven members when their club formed the 14th week of the 2018 spring semester, Young Americans for Freedom have seen an increase in membership as a result of their first-time participating in club week.
“We’re a pro conservative group,” said president Angel DeLeon. “We like to promote conservative values. We’re pro free speech, pro-gun, We’re pro-constitutionalist, pro-capitalist. We’re pro-life. Last semester, me and my friend Philip, a Navy veteran were holding an American flag because the communists wanted to release a convicted cop killer and, because we were holding the American flag, we got called white supremacists, nazis, bigots, fascists. That got me really frustrated, so that’s why I’m the president of this club now.”
Although some may possess vastly differing social and political viewpoints, club week organizations focusing on social issues bring together students in order to form a stronger bond and further the advancement of the ideas they hold close to their hearts.