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The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

New equity director hosts post-election support groups for SBCC

A small group of students and faculty listen to Claudia Johnson, director of dual-enrollment, discuss and give advice on social anxiety at the Brownbag lunch dialogue on Wednesday, Nov. 23 at the Maxwell Overlook at City College. The Brownbag lunch dialogues are a series of discussions aimed at creating a safe campus climate.

Students and faculty circled together on blankets in the grass sharing pizza, popcorn and other treats during a “Brownbag Lunch Dialogue,” which is aimed at building a strong campus community.

The results of the recent election are difficult for some to process, especially those with racial-identities targeted by President-elect Donald Trump. The Student Equity Committee collaborated with the Wellness Connection to create the series, where all of City College is invited to channel any post-election emotions.

“What we are doing is not a complaining session. We are building community and changing this campus,” said Luis Giraldo, director of the equity, diversity and cultural competency. “This is equity.”

Giraldo hosts and prioritizes the dialogues, which are meant to give students and faculty negatively impacted by the recent election a place to feel that they are not alone.

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“Self-care” was the topic of the most recent meeting held on Wednesday, Nov. 23 at the Maxwell Overlook on East Campus.

Student Gavin Thatcher is a pure health educator with the Wellness Connection. During Wednesday’s dialogue Thatcher emphasized the importance of engaging students with faculty to promote mental wellness on campus.

He also compared his mental wellness to a pancake.

“The fluffier the pancake, the better. I’m someone who says yes to everything,” he said. “I’ll say yes until the point where my energy is diluted and my pancake isn’t fluffy anymore. Last week I was a crepe.”

Faculty reassure Thatcher that they want him to feel like a Belgian waffle.

Chelsea Lancaster, Extended Opportunity Programs and Services adviser, believes in a strong bond between faculty members, noting an importance of building these connections on campus.

“Students appreciate how much we do for them, but they really don’t realize how much they do for us,” she said.

Participants of the dialogue agree that the campus culture being built is a huge success. Companies that support wellness tend to show success.

Faculty members voiced that they want a page long wellness mission statement to ensure to the community that City College recognizes the need for campus equity.

“There is a difference between acknowledging someone on campus for kudos and saying, ‘Hey, I genuinely see you,’” Giraldo said. “These are people standing up to campus climate.”

The next dialogue is titled “AB540 and Our Students,” and will focus on the California law that exempts certain undocumented students from paying out-of-state tuition. It will be held from 1-3 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 30, at the Maxwell Overlook on East Campus.

“We are more than just a pancake. We are a pizza,” Giraldo said, gesturing to the Little Caesars

in front of him. “The cheese holds us together.”




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