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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 CESJ advisor creates plans to meet students where they are

Selena Martinez poses in front of decor surrounding the Center for Equity and Social Justice on City College’s East Campus on Thursday, April 27 in Santa Barbara, Calif.

The City College cafeteria stands in the middle of East Campus, with a spot right inside for students to feel comfortable studying or hanging out during their downtime. This small and quaint spot named the Center for Equity and Social Justice welcomed a permanent student program advisor on board after just over two years of interim filling the position. 

Selena Paloma Martinez took on the advisor role about a month ago over spring break. 

City College placing someone in this advisor position impacts more than just this one role as it has not been permanently filled since 2019.

Student Program Advisor Alondra Lazaro Gonzalez, affected by the vacancy of the position, was the CESJ student program advisor for some time during the pandemic.

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“Believe it or not, we are finally all in permanent roles. In the office of equity, we weren’t for a really long time, we were all in interim or substitute roles,”  Gonzalez said. 

Moving advisors from interim roles to the positions they originally had before the pandemic and the hiring of Martinez, created the ability for attention from a specific advisor to be placed on each individual program. 

“We couldn’t have asked for another program advisor that sees and wants the same vision that we want for all of our centers,” Gonzalez said. 

The future of the CESJ looks bright with ideas. Martinez is currently setting goals for improving the space on campus for students to feel more welcome and comfortable amid stress and workloads of school.

“I know sometimes it gets difficult just continuing to come everyday and go to class, remembering imposter syndrome does happen, but you’re meant to be here and this is a space for you to be, to succeed,” Martinez said. 

Additionally, the new advisor is striving to create an atmosphere of inclusivity for all students seeking a place of common ground to connect with other students of the same interests.

“It’s not just one type of student that the center is for, it is for anyone and everyone, it’s a space to feel welcome, and it’s something you can add to as well,” Martinez said. 

The widespread color throughout the CESJ welcomes the students that walk in, along with events that are often held such as a ‘paint and sip,’ which provide an area for students to express emotions and relax.

Events such as the ‘paint and sip’ gave students the time to paint something for themselves or leave their art to be hung up in the CESJ.

According to Martinez, throughout the process of setting goals, the team of advisors in surrounding programs have been an encouragement to her throughout her start at City College.

“Working with such a strong team and I’ve only been here for a month and I already feel the support,” Martinez said.

With such encouragement from the team, the program’s main focus meets Martinez’s hopes for the centers, which is to help students with basic needs and meet them where they are. 

“We are all here for the students, we all acknowledge that and we want to work towards that,” Martinez said.

In full support of the new student program advisor for the CESJ, Gonzalez has full faith in the creativity that will be brought to the program for the benefit of the students and future City College events.

According to Gonzalez, it’s going to be exciting to see Martinez do great things and she can’t wait to see things get moving in fall semester.

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