As fall semester kicks off, many
student clubs are returning from summer break, ready to welcome new members. Some groups did not take a summer hiatus, however. Case in point: El Centro College. Even in July, when the downtown campus had to close, club leaders continued to gather and prepare for the new year.
“Sometimes just showing up for others is so important,” shared Rachael Royal, president of the Black Student Union. Her words stressed the unique power that student clubs have to support students – especially students who are new on campus, like Cherron Covington. A Dallas transplant, Covington recently moved to Texas from Florida. She is older than most of her twenty-something classmates, but craves community and growth just the same.
“You are never too old to learn," said Covington. “When I moved here I asked God to put me somewhere where I could grow, and He has.”
Rachael Royal and Cherron Covington weren't the only student leaders to attend summer training with El Centro College. In total the group contained 15-20 Chaparrals, including Curtis Lee. A founder of the I-Lead club, Curtis graduated from El Centro in May. He attributes much of his continued success to the people he met through the student clubs and organizations at community college.
"You've challenged me, but you've also helped me grow,” Lee told club leaders. “And I am so thankful for that.”
As his words sank in, Lee passed out leadership applications for the 2016-2017 school year.
“It's all about commitment,” Lee continued. “I don't say this to brag, but I currently work part time at El Centro, work another job on the weekend and go to school full time at UNT Dallas. Plus I have a 10-year-old who is high-maintenance. You have decide what you want to commit yourself to and go all in.”
Back-to-school parties are a great time for students to consider what, or who, they want to commit their time to. Will it be the Film Club? Phi Theta Kappa? A new Service Learning project?
“Explore all of your options,” advises El Centro alumnae Paige Bluejacket. “There are new clubs being added all the time. Like
the new DCCCD Street Team. Find something you're passionate about and dive in!”