CSUMB communities continue to build at the Otter Showcase

Hundreds of California State University, Monterey Bay (CSUMB) students and staff members attended the university’s semi-annual Otter Showcase on Jan. 29. Dozens of student-run clubs, associations and organizations had booths spread across all of CSUMB’s Main Quad to display their values and interests to students.

The organizations at the Otter Showcase ranged from sororities and fraternities to cultural, artistic and athletic groups. New member of the Disc Golf team, Christain Chan, was tabling for his sports club during the event. Chan started playing last semester after the sports club president, Dustin Johnson, introduced it during pledging in a CSUMB fraternity.

“I fell in love instantly,” Chan said. Chan’s teammate, Michael Renfro, has been playing disc golf for 10 years prior to attending CSUMB. Renfro was “excited to look for the club after finding the two disc golf courses on campus,” and “happy to find CSUMB offers a one-credit disc golf P.E. course.”

The team placed a disc golf basket on the Main Quad’s grass area during the event, where many students had fun trying to putt discs into the basket and play the game.

Across the quad, the Asian and Pacific Islander Association laid out various instruments and garments that represented their clubs cultural values. A club member of four years, Michael Vang, said their association “focuses on culture and community.”

“There is less than 10 percent of Asain and Pacific Islanders in the area,” Vang said. “We are all here to create a welcoming community, even for those who are not of Pacific Islander descent.”

A few booths down from the Asian and Pacific Islander Association, the Spanish Club had an organized display of all kinds of different flags, each from a different Spanish speaking country.

The Spanish Club displays the flags of different Spanish speaking countries. Photo by Sydney Brown.

“We do language practice and study the culture of different Spanish speaking countries,” member Ben Kalstron said.

In addition to many culturally based groups at the Otter Showcase, there were also many based on making and enjoying art. The Design Club put examples of the work that they do during their club meetings, where students could see the books, stickers and photos that they created. 

Design Club president, Ariana Nalbach, said the club “focuses on graphic design and using Photoshop” and “adapts the club to meet the levels of the beginners and the experts.” 

“We love stickers!” Nalbach said, emphasizing the creativity and fun she hopes the club will bring to its incoming members.

Design Studio president, Arianna Nalbach, discusses the plans and meeting times for her club. Photo by Sydney Brown.

While Design Studio focuses on creating art, the Anime Club focuses on enjoying it. Anime Club has been running for 17 years, making it one of the oldest clubs on the CSUMB campus. The club watches anime on Wednesdays and Thursdays, but doesn’t limit their activities to just that.

“We also have game days, beach trips and movie nights,” said Club President Carlo Battaglin, who was happy to speak about the way Anime Club members can bond together.

While various clubs and organizations pitched the fundamentals of their clubs to students, the CSUMB mascot, Monte Rey, walked through Main Quad, bringing an extra sense of school spirit to the Otter Showcase. Many students received high-fives and fist bumps from Monte Rey and happily attended an event that gave every student a chance to build their own unique community.

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