Club Row, Homecoming Pep Rally Attract Diverse Range of Students

Ghouls and ghosts wandered up and down Club Row Thursday October, 29 while the DJ played music loudly in the background as booths of Santa Monica College's clubs enthusiastically hollered for students attention in the direction of their booths.

Elaborately decorated booths attracted and intrigued students with gruesome Halloween gore and unique attractions. With great enthusiasm, the American Sign Language Club gathered a large crowd with their high energy casino and gambling theme.

Covered with poker chips and candy, students printed their e-mails on a sheet for a chance to fling a small ball into the spinning roulette.  Some won candy and soda while others won t-shirts with the American sign language alphabet printed largely on the back.

ASL club member Ali Nikolic spoke with hope that, with a larger gathering the club (made of SMC sign language students), they could manage to do something about the winter and summer cut of other sign language courses. "We are hoping to bump it up" said Nikolic.

A creepy faced ghoul held a sign for the Gaming Animation & Effects Club (GAX), spookily pacing and advertising their luring mechanism of a walk through of scary animations and portraits of students being drawn in real time by GAX artists. The group directly to the left of GAX, the Anime Club, gained attention with their members decked out in Japanese frills and traditional anime attire topped off with animal ears.

Students walked up and down the crowded row taking up foreign personas, all dressed up channeling the spirit of Halloween. "Thriller" played from every which way, but SMC's Japanese Club made the most out of the song. Three charismatic members jumped into the center of the row and proceeded to break into the complete choreography flawlessly.

The large crowd that gathered around them, tapped their feet and mouthed the lyrics as they watched consumed and amused at the sight in front of them: a perfect Halloween homage to the late King of Pop. Behind the entertaining attraction, the Japanese Club sold traditional meat rice balls, salmon rice balls and miso soup.

On the walk down one could overhear conversations on what makes things kosher in front of the "Chabad of SMC" booth, who entertained with their take of Jeopardy: Jewpardy.

Further down, humorously dressed-up members of the Gender Sexuality Alliance danced around pulling students in to dance with them and join their cause in the process.  The German Club lured in males with their beer garden girls and others came seeking further knowledge in the German language. High-energy loud voices and laughs filled the crisp air.

Stray candy flowed freely through the campus, but it was the fantastic smell of that food filled the air coming from the Latino Student Union (LSU).  Tacos and tamales covered the clever tablescape of the club's booth.  Split right down the middle, LSU member Jenifer Alcaraz explained that one side represented American Halloween; ghosts pumpkins and candy, yet the other half represented the Latin American "Dia de los Muertos" or Day of the Dead.

In the same area SMC-goers took information from the professional looking booths of the SMC Pre-Health Association (PHA), a student organization that furthers the interests of students who aspire to be successful in fields of medicine, dentistry and pharmacy.

As opposed to other clubs that focus on one field such as nursing, the PHA offers information and knowledge that can better prepare members perusing careers in multiple medical fields. PHA member Eric Kwok emphasized that first year students should jump on the opportunity.

Very close by the First Year Student Hub Club (FYSH) attracted first year students with their helpful services. From mentoring, social activities, facts about the "Do's and Don'ts" of adding and dropping classes, to tutoring and facts about the transferring process, the club acted as a harbor for lost first-year students easing the transition from high school to college.

The SMC police had their own booth at Club Row as they stood authoritatively and with purpose: promoting their new idea of bike registration. Many students ride their bikes to and all over the SMC campus, tie their bikes to racks and trees and unfortunately get their bikes stolen.

Registration of bicycles is now available. Officer Jerry Romano explained that a sticker with a barcode would be administered to students for free when they registered their bikes if they paid their ASB student fees.

"We are not only trying to protect bikes but laptops and cell phones too," said Officer Romano. He pointed out the second bar-coded sticker in the small yellow packet that is intended to go under the battery of a phone or laptop computer.

He continued, "Sometimes we get phones in but we have to way of knowing who to return it to." This way students will have more safety for their most valuable and expensive possessions.

Through fun and fright, SMC's club row offered students the opportunities to win prizes, receive aid with collegiate endeavors and to learn about the many clubs offered at Santa Monica College.