Alumni club celebrates current, transferring students

Santa Monica College's Alumni Association hosted an event called SMC Everywhere on the quad on Tuesday. The event focused on students who are transferring to other colleges or receiving certificates or degrees from their time at SMC.

The quad held several activities, including two photo stations with a backdrop that read "Congratulations, Young Alumni" and transfer-themed attractions, said Diedre Weaver, assistant director of SMC campus and alumni relations.

The message,"make a plan, stick to it," was exemplified by an inflatable velcro wall and a high striker, which is a game that requires the participator to strike a button with a hammer, sending a bell up a shaft, was used to encourage students to "aim high, reach your educational goals," said Weaver.

"Everything is themed," she said. "Everything's about saying where you're going from here and about succeeding."

The goal of SMC Everywhere is to encourage transferring students to connect with other alumni at their future four-year universities, said Parker Jean, Associated Students president.

"For me personally, when I transfer, I hope to see some SMC students there," he said.

SMC student Noella Kembo has been attending the college for two semesters and will be transferring after this fall. Kembo said her experience at SMC has been better than she had expected.

"Professors here are really engaged [and] really love to teach," Kembo said after she tested her strength at the high striker. "I learned a lot since I came here."

The event also featured a ballon-art booth, which was visited by many students.

SMC student Julia Winoku, member of the psychology club at SMC, said she was excited and ran outside when she heard about the event.

"I think it's a way to bring students together and and have them have fun," Winoku said while sporting her new balloon hat.

The various booths around the quad were decorated with flyers that illustrated a student's journey from SMC to various universities, including New York University, Loyola Marymount University and California State University, Northridge.

Edwin Safaeipour has recently been accepted to the University of California, Los Angeles as a history major after two years at SMC.

"It's a good way to end off the year on a fun note," Safaeipour said. "It's a good thing to have." Mike Tuitasi, SMC vice president of student services, said he believes that all students should feel like a part of the SMC family, no matter how long they attended the college.

"It's just telling all students 'you are SMC,'" Tuitasi said. "So whether you graduate, transfer [or] you've taken a class here, you are part of this institution, so we want to keep you connected."

Weaver, who organized the event, said she hopes that students are able to still be connected with each other even after they move on.

"This is about saying when you leave SMC, you don't just leave SMC," Weaver said, "you take SMC with you."