Communication is key

Anaiza Casillas, Daniele’ Evans and Evelyn Martinez talk about creating a possible sorority and tell jokes during their meeting in Juniper 815 at Pierce College in Woodland Hills Calif. on Nov. 8, 2017. Photo: Jose Herrera

From British national debaters to Rate My Professor workshops, the Pierce College Communication Association offers students a myriad of ways to expand their horizons and immerse themselves in the field of communications studies.

The Pierce College Communication Association (PCCA) is a club that serves the Communication Studies Department at Pierce by connecting members and students to each other and faculty through a variety of events held on campus.

Club president Jacqueline Lopez has been involved with the PCCA since 2016, and she said that her goal for the club is to share the significance of communications to students studying other disciplines and offer a sense of community.

“We understand that, at a community college, students might be less eager to get involved than they would at places like CSUN or other universities,” Lopez said. “But the club wants to give the college activities and major events that students will be excited for and will want to come to school to be a part of.”

According to Robert Loy, an assistant professor of communication studies and advisor of the PCCA, giving club members the opportunity to take part in activities and events on campus has a positive impact on their educational careers.

“We find activities and events that pertain to communication studies to spread awareness of the discipline and, perhaps more importantly, give communications students the ability to be active in their major,” Loy said. “When students become involved with their campus, they’re more likely to succeed and identify strongly with the major that they’re studying.”

Lopez said that being a part of the PCCA has helped to keep her focused in school and given her a group to look to for support.

“I’m the type of student who has a tendency to procrastinate; if I’m not involved, I kind of fall off the radar,” Lopez said. “But being part of the club keeps me on track. I have a family here who picks me up when up when I feel myself losing motivation.”

Juliana Huang, the social media commissioner and co-secretary of the PCCA, said that this is her first semester at Pierce, and that she was drawn to the club in the first few weeks of school because of the resources it offered.

“When I came here, I didn’t see many other clubs on campus offering the type of workshops that the Communication Association did,” Huang said. “I knew I needed to become more knowledgeable on things like resume building and how to transfer to other schools, and the events put on by the association really helped me to do that.”

Huang said that being involved with the club has already imparted on her information and valuable skills to utilize in her educational and professional careers.

Club treasurer Ryanchase Balthazar said that this is also his first semester at Pierce. He said that he joined the club to help him settle on campus and develop a group of friends to make him feel welcomed.

Membership with the club offers students opportunities to network and find a greater identity with their school, Balthazar said.

“It really builds a foundation,” Balthazar said. “It gives you a reason to stay here and make connections with your fellow students, rather than going home as soon as you finish with your classes.”

Balthazar said that hosting events is a good way for the club to advertise itself and attract new members.

“Having these activities lets students see that their schoolmates are getting involved with their campus, and it hopefully inspires them to do the same,” Balthazar said. “We want the students to become more engaged and really be a part of the school spirit.”

Balthazar said that being in the club has given him valuable leadership experience that he can use to further his career goals, and it has also allowed him to work with a diverse group of individuals.

Lopez invites any Pierce student who is interested in participating in campus activities to become a part of the PCCA.

“We want our events to benefit everyone,” Lopez said. “If a student wants to get involved or is looking for a sense of community, I think that this is the club for them. We’re always eager to help someone grow.”

The Pierce College Communication Association meets on Wednesdays from 3-4 p.m. in Juniper 815. Official membership costs $15 and includes a club T-shirt and a certificate of recognition.