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The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

Five SBCC campus clubs and how to get involved in a virtual format

Ryan P. Cruz
Photo illustration using Channels file photos from previous Club Day events at City College.

The change to remote campus activities has been difficult for many, but student culture is still alive in an online format. Many clubs are operating virtually and to get involved, you’ve just got to know where to look.

Latin Dance Club

If a little movement and rhythm is what you’re seeking during quarantine then the Latin Dance Club might be exactly what you’re looking for.

Members are training to start a competitive troupe, but all levels of dancers are encouraged to attend and test the waters. The club teaches the basic building blocks of popular dances, such as Salsa and Horchata, and is an outlet for students passionate about physical expression.

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The club’s founder and President, Angela Petresku, demonstrates the day’s steps, such as a side step or body roll. Then members choreograph and assist each other so that they can dance together over Zoom. 

“It’s a good way to not be so caught up in life,” Petresku said. “Come out, meet friends and dance for a fun hour.”

Meetings are Tuesdays at 6 p.m. Email Petresku to get involved.

Competitive Programming Club

The Competitive Programming Club has been in training for the International Collegiate Programming Competition. Every year, members compete with universities worldwide for cash winnings and global recognition.

“It’s honestly really fun,” said President Monica Aguilar. “If you’re a programmer looking for something else, this club is really for you.”

When not in training, the club meets at 6:30 p.m. every other Friday night to practice programming, data-structuring and different collaboration methods. The club is a stimulating setting where computer lovers meet like minded people and go over coding in a supportive environment.

Before meetings, members agree on specific problems they will focus on. They recently deduced the best possible spot to park if you wanted to visit a certain amount of shops within a specific time frame.

The club is also frequently visited by industry insiders and successful alumni. Members ask questions or make connections for their future.

Email President Aguilar to get involved.

Leadership Club

The Leadership Club is an opportunity for students to discuss different topics covering leadership and what makes a good leader.

Meetings are open forums focused on a single topic, such as team-building.

“The goal of the club is to bring motivation and teach students how to become leaders,” club President Jireh Bitangila said.

Bitangila and his friends officially launched the club early last spring 2020 semester.

It’s common for experts to visit and lecture on different leadership topics, such as dedication and commitment. Professors, SBCC alumni and ivy-league students advise current club members, answer questions and offer professional connections.

Currently the club has about 40 members, but Leadership is growing every day. 

“If you want to try something unique and try new things,” Bitangila said, “then join our club.”

Email Bitangila to get involved.

Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science

Diana Portugal knows what it feels like to not quite fit in.

She said it wasn’t until founding a chapter of the Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science that she felt supported in her educational career, surrounded by people she could relate to.

“SACNAS is a nationwide organization dedicated to progressing Native American, Hispanic and other minority groups into science and professional careers,” said club President Portugal.

During the COVID-19 pandemic it helped students to seek internships and career opportunities, build resumes and prepare for transfer.

The club also holds cultural events, such as a Dia-de-los-Muertos celebration, and hosts speakers. A Native American professor recently spoke on his experiences finding his roots and discovering his new culture.

“Most of our students are Hispanic so we try to find things that help them identify with their communities,” Portugal said.

Meetings are at 1 p.m. every other Friday. Email Portugal to get involved. 

Antiracist Book Club

When Joyce Coleman first started a “How To Be An Antiracist” Facebook club last summer, it gained so much popularity that she was moved to bring it to City College.

Coleman was surprised when 77 people responded to the campus-wide email she sent. The response has been overwhelmingly positive.

The book by Ibram X. Kendi explores different concepts of racism and proposals for antiracist actions and systemic changes.

Club meetings are group conversations where members delve into the book and hold open table discussions about the chapter they read that previous week. A strong principle of the club is that the more opinions and points of view are brought to the conversation, the better.

“Part of eliminating racist behavior is having conversations about what is a racist behavior,” Coleman said.

Meetings are at noon on Thursdays over Zoom. Email Coleman to get involved.

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