“The OCTea” makes its debut

California State University, Monterey Bay (CSUMB) students can keep their ears open, because the Otter Cross Cultural Center’s (OC3) new podcast is here. The first episode of “The OCTea” debuted on Feb. 16, where host Valerie Ordoñez introduced some of OC3’s faculty and student coordinators. Speakers discussed their plans for 2021 and how the OC3 has impacted their lives.

Ordoñez has been involved with OC3 for a year and acts as the organization’s courageous conversations student coordinator. Her intentions in creating “The OCTea” were to create a space for students and faculty members to discuss their personal perspectives and understand others opinions without judgement. 

“I think the (podcasts) central theme is listening to the other side of the table,” Ordoñez said.

Ordoñez began planning “The OCTea” over Summer 2020 after gaining inspiration from one of her favorite podcasts, “AsainGirlBoss.” The latter podcast is hosted by three Asian American women who discuss experiences regarding their sense of belonging in college, dating and womxn’s reproductive health. After the stories from “AsianGirlBoss” led Ordoñez to think about starting her own podcast, she brought up the idea to her bosses at OC3, who happily supported her vision.

“I brought the idea up to my coworkers and my bosses, and they were all for it,” she said. “I am super thankful they have my back and support me through this process – and so, ‘The OCTea’ was created.”

Each episode of “The OCTea” will feature new guest speakers, including CSUMB staff members, OC3 interns and leaders of another CSUMB community podcast, “The Reel Asian Podcast.” Ordoñez said future episodes will explore topics such as online learning, identifying as an Asian and Pacific Islander and mental health. 

Ordoñez has enjoyed elevating her editing skills from working on “The OCTea,” as this is her first time producing a podcast. She said her favorite part of recording the podcast is hearing guest speakers opinions “from different sides of the table.” 

“I feel like as students, we need to also hear from the professors’s side or the professional staff’s perspective during this online school year,” Ordoñez said.

Participating in “The OCTea” has helped Ordoñez connect to others while attending university virtually, and she said recording feels like a “social refresh” since students can’t meet up on campus to talk. 

Ordoñez said the OC3 team is very supportive and allows students to create their own educational programs, all while encouraging thoughtful conversations on typically unspoken topics. 

“The OCTea” streams on Spotify, Breaker, Google Podcasts, Pocket Cast and Radio Public, and is also attached in the weekly OC3 newsletter. The first episode can be found at csumb.edu/osu/octea-podcast

The OC3 is currently seeking CSUMB students to hire. If interested in becoming an OC3 student coordinator, visit csumb.edu/oc3hiring for more information. 

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