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SRJC clubs bridge the gap between the campus and community

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SRJC clubs bridge the gap between the campus and community

Student club members pose for a photo. Many SRJC clubs go above and beyond to cultivate a safe and enriching environment for students and community members.

Student club members pose for a photo. Many SRJC clubs go above and beyond to cultivate a safe and enriching environment for students and community members.

Student club members pose for a photo. Many SRJC clubs go above and beyond to cultivate a safe and enriching environment for students and community members.

Student club members pose for a photo. Many SRJC clubs go above and beyond to cultivate a safe and enriching environment for students and community members.

Rachel Edelstein, Staff Writer

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The Environmental Club, Native American Inter-Tribal Council, the High school Equivalency Program (HEP) and Feminists United are among several SRJC clubs that are bridging the gap this year between the school and the community.

Student Caitlyn Thomasson, 20, is pioneering the first ever Environmental Club at the SRJC.

“This club is created to offer more opportunities for young people to be involved in environmental stewardship in our community,” Thomasson said.

With a high turnout at their first meeting, Thomasson and the four other Environmental Club student leaders are excited to offer more opportunities for engagement.  Students can look forward to discussions on climate change, food, environmental justice and more.     

Two representatives from The Center for Climate Protection kick off the Environmental Clubs’ guest speaker events beginning next month on Oct. 10.  The club meets at 3 p.m. on Tuesdays in the Center for Student Leadership on the Santa Rosa campus.

Another vital presence at the SRJC is the Native American Inter-Tribal Council. This club provides an opportunity for students to connect with other Native American students.

“We live in two worlds, the American Indian world and the western world,” said Dr. Brenda Flyswithhawks, Chair of the Behavioral Sciences Department, psychology professor and Tsalági (Eastern Cherokee Nation).  “When you enter college you’re entering the western world.  This club offers students the chance to have who they are as an indigenous person be validated.  It shows you can have one foot in academia and one foot in the cultural world of being American Indian.”

The club offers a way for Native American students to learn more about their culture from their peers.  Support and peer education from like-minded students is invaluable.

“One of the goals of my club is to raise awareness that education is integral for our tribal members,” said Cruz Martinez, Chair of the Native American Inter-Tribal Council. “Gaming money won’t be there all the time and our members must be self-sufficient.”

Martinez is still determining a meeting time and place for the club.  He can be reached at [email protected]

With similar goals of helping students transition to college life, the High School Equivalency Program (HEP) ambassadors aims to offer a stepping stone for students who would otherwise enter the workforce instead of continuing their studies during or after high school.

Club leader and second year student Yadira Gomez said, “Our club is a place for students to feel a connection with each other and learn from their peers as well as from HEP leaders.”

Gomez found that when the program leaders tell students what they need to do, like how to prepare to get their GED, they don’t follow through. It is more effective to help them in a social and relaxed environment like during the club meetings.

HEP Ambassadors meets from noon to 1:00 p.m. every other Friday in the Center for Student Leadership in Bertolini.

The Feminist United club meets In the same room from 5:30 – 7 p.m. on Tuesdays.

Feminists United’s upcoming Take Back the Night event from 5 – 8 p.m. on Nov. 1 will promote sexual assault awareness and offer prevention and survivor resources.  There will be a catered dinner and an open mic portion where attendees can share their experiences. This event and regular club meetings are open to the community and are not exclusive to SRJC students.

We are about creating a safe space for anyone that needs it,” said club leader McKenna Peterson, “We are dedicated to inclusion, we believe in intersectional feminism and the equality of all people regardless of biology.”

Students can email [email protected] or attend club meetings for more information.

A full list of 2017 student clubs can be found online at studentlife.santarosa.edu/2017-18-club-list.

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SRJC clubs bridge the gap between the campus and community