Otters show out for the Otter Showcase

By Max Guerrera and Nicholas Zuniga

Students poured into the Main Quad as they browsed through clubs at the Otter Showcase on Aug. 30. Organizations manning tables that ran alongside the Main Quad ranged from athletics to chess, and representatives greeted students to promote their clubs that expand students’ opportunities on campus. 

Zachary Theodore, a third-year agricultural plant and soil science (AGPS) major, just transferred to California State University, Monterey Bay (CSUMB) this semester and has already joined the agricultural business club. “Despite the fact that the AGPS major is extremely recent, I like the fact that there’s already at least two clubs pertaining to it, maybe more,” he said while browsing through the quad. 

As curious students approached them, leaders of each club shared a variety of goals for this fall semester.

Chess Club president and fourth-year environmental studies major Simon Aceto said,  “Some of my goals for chess club this semester would be to increase attendance at weekly meetings, and also to hold at least two events… We have the Otter Classical Opening right now scheduled for Oct. 14, and we also have a match against UC Santa Cruz’s [chess club] coming up this semester.” 

The Super Smash Otters Club says it has even more to offer this year and has expanded its library of games. 

“I hope to host a nice environment for people to play games at,” said Giovanni Casteneda, president of Super Smash Otters and third-year. “We do focus on Smash but we’re opening up to all Switch games; we got Mario Party, Switch Sports, maybe Pokemon Showdown – any other fighting game, I think we’re open to that. Our most upcoming [event] is the Randos Tournament, where you just play any random Smash character and hope you win. What I’m most excited about is our Mario Kart tournament in collaboration with Pride Club!”.

For Otters who are not looking for competition-based events but are looking for a sense of community, there are several clubs to choose from.

Karla Vazquez, the a fourth-year student and vice president of the Native American Students United club, said  “[This club is] important because there are a lot of native students… and they’re scared to know that they’re in a new place where there might not be people who they can build a community with or [share] traditions with. So we want to build that safe space for them to feel connected and feel at home.”

In their second semester as a club, the Spanish Club says it is working to create a sense of community for Spanish-speaking students. “Even though there’s a lot of Spanish speakers here, I think it’s important to have an entity or group that brings all of these individuals together outside of school,” said Luis Reynoso, the vice president of Spanish Club and fourth-year Spanish language and hispanic culture student. During meetings, “we play Loteria and other traditional games,” Reynoso added.

Activist groups also appeared at the Otter Showcase, such as the Abolitionist & Decolonial Learning Collective (ADLC). “I think [this club is] important because we’re so conditioned to just call the police for every single thing, and by questioning why we do that, we can look at ways that we can implement safety within our communities that don’t create harm for marginalized communities,” said Leila Ashman, a ADLC officer and fifth-year student. “Abolition is a way to take [institutionalized] power back at a grassroots level and figure out what the people need instead of just investing in what we’re ‘told’ we need for safety.”.

Students looking to join a club can find their desired organization on MyRaft. Those who have an interest in something that is not represented by a group at CSUMB are encouraged to reach out to the Inter-Club Council (ICC) to start their own club. 

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