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Students Emphasize Peer Support at Winter Quarter Club Days

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Like migrating birds, hundreds of Foothill Owls flocked to the center of campus on Wednesday and to the cafeteria on Thursday for Winter Quarter’s set of Club Days to discover more about themselves and each other. As usual, dozens of clubs showed up.

Many clubs are oriented around peer support, such as Women in STEM, which, according to club President Abby Aquino, “Empower[s] women pursuing the STEM field.”

Other support-based clubs can range from financial support such as the Extended Opportunities Programs and Services to more emotionally supportive groups such as the Gay-Straight Alliance.

“Our club hosts a safe space for our queer individuals on campus, we hope to talk about things — politically or comfort-wise,” said Ky Kitagawa, Inter Club Council Representative for the Gay-Straight Alliance.

“I won’t say join our club because, there’s no pressure — just because you are queer doesn’t mean you need to see us. I’ll just say we are open to you, if you have anything to share, we are here to listen, converse.”

Unlike more academic, or career-oriented clubs, the Gay-Straight Alliance focuses on offering support and a kind listener.

As a last word of reassurance, Kitagawa adds, “For our club, it is all confidential… whatever is said here, stays here.”

Sometimes, peer support does not have to be so specific. For example, many international students whose first language is not English wish to converse and make friends by interacting in their native tongue.

Thousands of miles away from their homelands, people of different colors, races, tongues, nationalities, and religions can find their place here at Foothill College. The diversity at Foothill is made possible by the community building that happens within clubs such as the Chinese Campus Fellowship, and the Hong Kong Club — both of which organize activities for team-bonding and promote a sense of belonging to their members.

As Pak Hei So, a sub-committee member of the Hong Kong Club, puts it, “We actually put in a lot of effort into planning activities ahead… [W]e have dinner together, or we spend a day at the park doing all kinds of fun sports.”

There are clubs that are more academic and career-oriented; as announced during the event, joining a club is a way to “boost your transcript.” Remember, though, that there is more to clubs than just resume building. Pick one, or a few — there are plenty more than mentioned in this article — to share what you are good at, or are interested in, to create your community in college.

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Students Emphasize Peer Support at Winter Quarter Club Days