Pomona: School is Cool!

I like the expression “Too cool for school”, but school can also be “cool.” At least that’s what the kindergarten version of myself thought: school doesn’t just mean classes, but also an interesting amalgam of academics, extracurriculars, fun events, etc. As I grew up, the elements that formed my perception of “school” have increasingly complemented each other well (for example, BCIS Roots & Shoots, an environmental conservation club I started in high school, strived to blend what we learned in class with the “real world” by applying knowledge and theories to our projects). At Pomona College, I’ve found many opportunities that do the same!

Kindergarten version of me...
Kindergarten version of me…

Apart from what I’ve talked about in my previous entries (resources, the people, professors/academics, etc.), the organisations I’m a part of are definitely also a plus to my experience at Pomona! Keeping myself busy is always fulfilling. Here are some of the organisations I’m involved with:

1. “Pass the Mic” is a relatively new event series where members of our community are invited to share their stories, thoughts, or experiences. We aim to create an open space where marginalized voices can be heard, where people who wouldn’t usually be considered “speakers” can speak out to the community. The planning is done entirely by students–we started the series as a group of friends aiming to facilitate dialogues for marginalized voices on campus. Having been involved in the planning committee since the birth of this project, I am so excited to see how ideas from a group of friends can become a reality and make a difference on campus.

2. Journals (Most of the things I do outside of class are editing/writing-related. If you are also interested in writing or editing, there are so many options! Here are three of them.)

  1. The Keck Journal of Foreign Affairs focusses on international relations. As regional editor for Europe, I contribute monthly blog posts (usually op-eds) and edit our staff writers’ work. During this process, I have learnt a lot about current affairs and international relations as applied to our world today. It is always interesting to hear what other people have to say, and journals like Keck bring together very different voices. Although this journal is based at CMC, Pomona students can contribute as well–an example of the resources we have at the Claremont University Consortium. The number of clubs you can choose to join is quite vast for a liberal arts college with a student population of around 1600. When the five campuses are joined together, all kinds of creative ideas emerge.
  2. I enjoy working for the Claremont Port Side (the progressive publication of the 5Cs) because it’s a newsmagazine. This means it publishes some fun, investigative reporting that allows us to delve deeper into the issues we write about. The journal includes articles about campus, national and international (I’m the section editor this year) topics.
  3. At the Journal of Law and Public Policy, we have a strong sense of community. We meet weekly to discuss ideas about marketing/recruiting/organising events at the CMC’s Athenaeum or in upcoming publications.
At Little Bridges, one of my favourite buildings on campus
At Little Bridges, one of my favourite buildings on campus

3. Oldenborg: As some of you may know from campus tours, the Oldenborg Center for Modern Languages and International Relations is both a dining hall and a residence hall, in which I am currently living (Yay! Español Hall!). Naturally, all hail to the language tables (I usually eat at the Spanish table, but have also visited the modern Greek, Mandarin, Cantonese and Japanese tables — beginners’ tables on Wednesdays offer a friendly, not-at-all intimidating atmosphere for those who are curious about a foreign language), our awesome language fellows and residents! It’s been a joy to call this place home. If possible, I hope to see you at the Oldenborg Luncheon Colloquiums (OLCs), which I help to organise on an ad-hoc basis! Past speakers have included Spanish film directors, Hong Kong democracy movement experts, climate change scholars, etc.

There are so many other exciting things that you can do once you become a Sagehen, of course. Truly, the possibilities are staggering!