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The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

Women for Success club creates a welcoming space for all students

President of the Women For Success Club, Andrianina Rajaosera (center), laughs with her fellow club member, Divya Ramesh (right) on Nov. 3 on the Great Meadow at City College in Santa Barbara, Calif. Rajaosera started the Women For Success Club in April.

Andrianina Rajosera expected to be engulfed in a campus rich with active students when arriving at City College, but instead was met with a quiet buzz of disconnected individuals. Now, she sits side by side, unified with a group of women from her club on the grass of the West Campus Great Meadow at a colorful, picnic- styled gathering, filled with laughter, bonding, and painting.

Rajaosera’s yearning for a vibrant sense of community motivated the inception of the Women For Success Club in April.  

As president of the club and a student trustee for the Associated Student Government, her clear passion for advocacy produced her drive to foster a bond between women through their aspirations for success. 

“It’s just great to see how all the club members want to succeed in something, and it’s so diverse, and we all have different interests,” Rajaosera said. “For example, I’m a mathematics major, but I get to see another member trying to accomplish goals in a complete other subject, and it just opens myself more to lots of things.”

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The 132 members joined to reinforce the goals of the club; to provide a space where everyone, not just women, can experience a sense of belonging, while also acquiring knowledge about achieving financial, academic, and mental success. 

Rajaosera provides events for her members that are designed to broaden attendees perspectives of success for women by covering varying aspects of it through discussions, expert guest speakers, and interactive activities such as yoga sessions.  

“This year, I would really like us to just continue to be active, and do events that are efficient, and events that really support the goal of the club, which is leading to success,” Rajaosera said. “For all of our events I just want to focus on all of the branches of success, not just academics or financially, but also mental health, just everything that covers success.” 

The club’s Oct. 3 painting event involved each attendee adding a piece of art to several canvases that rotated around a circle of women, being passed in five minute intervals. The event made for a symbolic representation of the interconnectedness of individuals in the club as the finished canvases were connected through each person’s artistic contribution. The paintings of the eight club members in attendance came together in the end to form a series of larger pictures. 

The gathering inspired moments of bonding for the women through conversations covering success and personal connections. This was the first event for new club member Elizabeth Wilmer, who joined to build connections with women she could relate to. 

“I thought it was a great opportunity to meet other students at SBCC, and meet other women who are driven,” Wilmer said. 

In a time where the insecurity of women’s rights across the globe is increasing, such as in Iran as Rajaosera acknowledges, having a space with open doors can be a foundation of security for women who may lack it elsewhere. Providing a place where women can gain knowledge on techniques for success is a step past the historical exclusion of women from certain opportunities. 

“In the world in general, I feel like it’s more than ever a time for women to support each other, and when someone feels like they are being victim of any type of injustice, we can just support each other,” Rajasoera said. 

The lasting goal Rajasoera hopes to inspire in women who are club members is a sense of confidence in themselves.

“Specifically on campus, I just want them to feel confident when they are talking to their instructors or faculty,” Rajaosera said. “Sometimes we can feel like we don’t have a say, and we can’t accept injustice just because it’s from an instructor, or someone that is older than us, or just from the opposite gender.”

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