SBCC’s Cristian Walk talks about current political environment


James Von Essen

Christian Walk stands at the end of the table Sept. 25 in the student senate room in City College. Walk was the runner up for student body president for the 2017-18 school year, but is still active in student government.


The morning dew subsides and the seagulls’ cackle begins to deafen the bluejays’ chirp. Cristian Walk stops to take in the City College scenery as the sun beams embark on the Channel Islands and the Pacific’s mist starts to fade enough to unveil the horizon’s contour.

The morning is coming to a close but the coffee has already set in. Walk, the re-elected Associated Student Government Commissioner of Academics, talks about how he rarely has a chance to enjoy small moments like this.

Just 30 minutes south down U.S. Route 101 is Ventura High School, where Walk served as class president for his final 3 years. As a political science and history major striving toward UCLA, he kept busy in his first year at City College— balancing school with student government. Last semester, he served on three external and five internal committees, all while commissioning academics.

When he tried to leverage his experience as commissioner of academics to the student body president position last semester, he lost. He attributes his loss to burning himself out, although he admits that’s a poor excuse.

“I think [Charlotte] campaigned harder than me, I think she had a better campaign than me,” Walk said. “Of the campaigns I’ve run in my life, I think that was the worst one.”

He now says that he wants to begin to move out of the political realm, at least as a front man.

“It’s a vicious place to be, it’s a toxic place to be,” he said, although he claimed to be devoted to representing the student body for one final semester.

Beyond just seeing politics as vicious and toxic, Walk attributes his likely future departure from public service to an unwillingness to compromise on his core beliefs. He understands the necessity of pragmatism and how important of a virtue it is in order to create effective policies in government, but made clear that his heart lies in teaching history.

This is most apparent when Walk discusses national politics.

When asked who in history was most compatible to the current President and the movement he represents, Walk pondered and seemed to seek guidance from the Santa Barbara sky.

Then in the blink of an eye, he returned back from his browse into a gaze and delivered, “Andrew Jackson.”

Walk offered his perspective on the President’s alleged historical parallel by explaining the hypermasculinity of the time period and offering that as a reason for the public’s affection for Jackson.

That theory goes hand in hand with the disdain for elitism that was present during that time period. “Don’t vote for Adams who can write, vote for Jackson who can fight.” he chronicled. Walk claimed that disdain for elite establishment has been reignited under 45.

Walk is clearly a historical and political junkie, but he wants the world to know that his interest in intellectual endeavors do not stop there. As an atheist, Walk still has reverence for what he called the “pedagogical function of religion.”

“These are the things we learn from religion. You can take what you learn from these myths and apply them to your life because we have tons of psychological thresholds we need to get through all the time,” Walk said.

“If anyone wants to debate religion, they can bring it on,” he added with a smirk.

Philosophy Instructor Mark McIntire has nothing but candid things to say about Walk, who was featured on his podcast “Voices of Santa Barbara.”  

“He can see many facets and viewpoints. His energy, wisdom, and search for truth rather than power, should be an example for his peers,” McIntire said. “One day thousands of students will call him ‘Professor.’ And even some of them will grasp the depth of his historical insights.”

Let’s hope that wherever he ends up in his quest for intellectual enlightenment, Walk learns to take in the scenery of the California coast that raised him.

Clarification Oct. 1, 2017:

This article has been updated to correct grammatical mistakes.