Skyline Campus Culture

Nikki Santiago, president of the Filipino Sutdent Union, practices on the kulintang for Pilipino Cultural Night alongside Leo Rosales. (Filipino Student Union)

Nikki Santiago, president of the Filipino Sutdent Union, practices on the kulintang for Pilipino Cultural Night alongside Leo Rosales. (Filipino Student Union)

If there is one distinguishing feature here at Skyline College (other than the incessant fog) it would have to be the diversity. We are a campus of many cultures and whether we choose to celebrate these cultures through clubs, or whether we embrace them in other ways they are still a part of who we all are.

There are two major ethnic cultural clubs here at Skyline: The Filipino Student Union (FSU) and the Black Student Union (BSU).

The FSU recently started up early last semester. Nikki Santiago, President of the FSU, posted some flyers around campus for the FSU’s first meeting to see if there was an interest. Thirty people showed up for their initial club meeting, and the club has been going strong since then. Last semester, the FSU did a lot of fundraising through food sales. They also had film screenings as well as book readings. This semester, they are, among other things, working towards a spring show.

“We are going to showcase the Filipino culture and Filipino-American experience,” Santiago said. “We’ll bridge the gap between Filipinos born in the Philippines and Filipinos born in America.”

Vice President of ASSC and leader of SOCC (Student Organization Club Council) Melchie Cabrigas says she believes that the clubs are very valuable for student life.

“I think it gets students more involved, not just in their organization, but it also gets them involved in other clubs as well.”

BSU club member Carl Johnson believes that being part of a club is a great way to give back to the community through his club’s volunteer work. He also believes that culture clubs bring about awareness and a sense of unity and understanding. But Johnson also feels that after hanging around with a lot of different cultures, these differences also create a sense of sameness.

“Everybody thinks they’re different but they’re all the same,” he said.

The Latino-American Student Organization is also in the making, according to club member Shellie Raygoza.

“We’re doing some leadership activities and trying to get a really good base,” she said, adding that they hope to expand their club by adding more campus and community activities.

There have been a lot of successes through these clubs, but there is also plenty of room for growth and room for new clubs.

According to Cabrigas, the reasons behind these lacking areas can be attributed to student apathy, due to Skyline being just a two-year commuter school.

“People are in a rush to go to school and go back out,” she said.

Skyline student Fred McFadden feels that culture clubs are a way to bring people together who have similar beliefs. He likes to see groups that are not solely based on race or gender.

“People who like blue club or something, because then you’d get a diversity: people from all groups or people within individual groups who might like the color blue,” McFadden said.

Cabrigas stresses that you do not have to be of a particular race or culture to become a member in any of these clubs. It’s more about “celebrating the heritage rather than, ‘[These are] my kind of people-I clique with them.’

“In reality, we’re about 99.99 percent similar, so the only differences are the way we look at things. In regards to who we are on the outside, it doesn’t necessarily reflect on who we are on the inside.”