Minority clubs on the rise

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Illustration by Estefania B. Alonso

Students build organizations founded around common interests.

Grace Reyes

sac-ranger@alamo.edu

Alamo Colleges students are diverse and want to express themselves by sharing their cultures.

“The increase in the minority organizations may correlate with the student’s interest,” John Martin, director of student conduct at St. Philip’s College, said. Students at the Alamo Colleges want to express their cultures by sharing them with the campus community.

“What I have noticed with my campus is that the students are trying to express their cultural identity and secure that with the campus,” Martin said.

Organizations have formed from all types of cultures at St. Philip’s: the Muslim Student Association, Men of St. Philip’s and Future United Leadership for Change.

The Asian Languages and Culture Club was established in fall 2016 at this college. The club was created to help educate students on Asian culture by watching Asian films, discussing the different cultures and enjoying the variety of cuisine.

“I believe that students are interested in the Japanese culture because they can have access to anime, games, A-pop music through the internet, social media and more,” Yuko Kawabe, language philosophy and culture professor at this college, said.

Meanwhile, this college has an anime club, Asian Pop Society, Black Student Alliance, Japanese Club, Somos Chicanx and many other organizations.

Dee Dixon, coordinator of the MESA center, brings an interesting view of this college’s minority clubs.

“San Antonio College had minority clubs dating back to the ’60s,” Dixon said.

In 1967, the Mexican American Youth Organization was established by students, but it was not easy for them at the time.

An article, “Mexican American Youth Organization” by the Texas State Historical Association, states MAYO was a major political organization that addressed three main issues: economic independence, education promotion and political strength through the formation of a third party.

With MAYO’s assistance, students protested this college’s authorities’ treatment of Mexican Americans and presented them with a list of demands, such as the employment of more Mexican-American teachers and staff and the addition of Mexican-American history to the curriculum.

“They submitted their charter to the student life at the time and they didn’t accept it,” Dixon said. “The students ended up joining the Black Student Union and they would have their joint causes that they would fight for at the time.”

Dixon said the 1960s were a struggle for students of all minority groups, but since then, creating minority groups is a lot easier.

“It’s easier now than it was back then particularly based on how these two groups started,” she said.

Northwest Vista has mostly academic, leadership and religious organizations, but also a Filipino Student Association and a Somos Mexican-American Studies club. However, the Filipino group is not active this semester.

“The vice president has a very busy schedule and cannot handle the responsibilities for the club,” Ranel Bautista, computer science sophomore, said.

The group accomplished educating and promoting Filipino culture to students.

“I’d say it was a success,” Bautista said. “There were other non-Filipino members in the club who actively participated in the club and who were able to see the culture, the dances from our country, and eat Filipino food, too.”

Palo Alto College also has mostly academic and leadership organizations, but does have Somos MAS.

Northeast Lakeview has mainly academic and leadership organizations, but no minority-centered clubs.

According to the January 2016 Feedback Report prepared for the Alamo Colleges, the populations in four out of the five colleges result in 66 percent underrepresented minorities compared to the national average of 31 percent. Northeast Lakeview did not provide data for this report.

According to an Online Resume for Prospective Students, Parents and the Public for the Alamo Community College District, 62 percent of the students were Hispanic, 24 percent were white, 7.5 percent were African American and the rest were other for the fall enrollment of 2016.

“The majority of our students are minority so most of our organizations will have the majority of the student members be minority based on the nature of our environment,” Martin said.

“All of our organizations are open to any student, but they have their focus and direction on what they want,” he said.

For more information about clubs, visit orgsync.com for the Alamo Colleges.

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