"SMC Everywhere" connects graduating students with alumni

People attend SMC with the intention of leaving SMC. Most come to transfer, and many others try to get in and out with an Associate's in order to get into the job market as quickly as possible. This temporary nature doesn't necessarily foster a sense of community or school pride — a common trait of community colleges.

Hosted by the SMC Alumni Association and the Future Alumni Club, the SMC Everywhere event on Tuesday, May 10 spun this in a positive light.

"We're letting them know that no matter where your next step is, we're still going to be engaged," said Alex Abramoff, an SMC alumnus who transferred to UCLA two years ago.

The purpose of the event was to emphasize the importance of the SMC alumni network.

"It's all about building that network and staying connected," Abramoff said. "Everybody who comes here as a student, we want to let them know that your presence matters. Even as a student, but especially as an alumni."

"It's a wider net than the people that you see most often or the people you think by title would be able to help you," said SMC's Superintendent President Dr. Kathryn Jeffrey.

While the event served its function of emphasizing a sense of school pride, there was still the classic SMC focus on the "next step." Before entering onto the quad where the activities were held, one had to fill out a note card with information like educational goal and transfer school of choice.

"When we have new students who are transferring to those universities, you can say, 'oh this person went here,' or you can meet up with that person," SMC alumna and UCLA student Aurelia Rhymer. "We can build a network around the world and then possibly when you're looking for a job, the person will see on your resume that you went to SMC... so that's kind of the basis of the whole event."

There were plenty of booths and tables set up to hand out memorabilia and encourage students to enjoy themselves, including a table with buttons sporting arrows pointing from SMC to various 4 year schools. There was also an AS booth, a resource for students to learn more about student opportunities to get involved, which according to Abramoff "inevitably lead to better transfer schools."

Aside from the serious stuff, free food and drink were available as well as photo booths, a high striker and a velcro wall.

"It all starts with SMC, and I love that — SMC Everywhere," Jeffrey said. "I kept saying you know, from SMC you can go anywhere."