City College Block Party showcases student skills, successes

The semester-ending event aims to demonstrate work and skills achieved by students.

The+Cosmetology+Department+was+one+of+the+many+programs+on+hand+for+the+City+College+Block+Party.+Photo+by+Melisa+Cabello-Cuahutle

Melisa Cabello-Cuahutle

The Cosmetology Department was one of the many programs on hand for the City College Block Party. Photo by Melisa Cabello-Cuahutle

Melisa Cabello-Cuahutle, News Editor

Advisor’s note: As part of their final project for the fall term, students in the DJRN 200, Newswriting for Multimedia, live blogged from Block Party, an end-of-semester celebration of student skills and accomplishments. The content then served as the starting point for this wrap-up story written by 200 student Melisa Cabello-Cuahutle. – Nicole Vargas

As tradition dictates, San Diego City College held its biannual Block Party on Thursday, showcasing student work and inviting them to learn about other classes and professors.

Located in the Curran Plaza, City College faculty organized it for students to join and create their own booths.

The party-like atmosphere included booths from diverse classes and programs.

One of the biggest booths belonged to Umoja. It highlighted the struggles students of color experience at City College, such as engagement and adjustment issues.

The booth’s goal was to get students prepared to thrive in universities. 

Although the booths had diverse themes, more than one covered issues around people of color.

Professor Ebony Tyree’s English 101 class had a booth that showed how racism impacts people. The tri-board asked “How privileged are you?” and included quotes such as “I have never been the only person of my race in a room” or “I have never been mocked for my accent.”

Also from an English 101 class, students hosted a booth addressing immigration issues. Their mission was to raise “awareness about the struggles and risks that immigrants go through to cross the border and Americans don’t want to admit,” according to student Violeta Gonzalez.

Another third English 101 class had a  “Meatless Monday” booth. The group of students in it were not vegetarian, but have really started to question their choices since choosing the topic.

“It’s kind of shocking,” Joanna Lopez said, “us eating that is making all of these companies go destroy everything.”

The booth was complete with statistics and examples of a plant-based diet, and even included a board game made by the students themselves.

On that same theme, City College brought Earth Guardians onto campus and had a booth that educated students on how to reduce waste, creating their own deodorants, and holding a trivia game.

“We wanted to educate people on this issue and how much plastic is wasted per year on it, what harmful ingredients for the environment that are in (the deodorant),” said team member Jazmine Riego de Dios.

Deodorant containers sit in our landfills, which releases greenhouse gases.

Students received the opportunity to learn and create their own deodorants at the booth, using reusable containers and three simple ingredients such as shea butter, non-GMO cornstarch, and baking soda.

Some booths were designed with boards and information, while others had a different way to showcase their skills.

The Information Technology booth was filled with curious eyes as the professors displayed a talking, dancing robot.

“The reason we work with the robot is because he is programmed,” said professor Theresa Savarese.

The department offers many courses from programming to cybersecurity.

The Alcohol & Other Drug Studies department was also there, hanging flyers about its program that prepares students to become certified as alcohol or drug abuse counselors.

While some booths aimed to educate and show, others had de-stress activities.

City College’s English Language Acquisition program created a mood board for students to express their emotions through post-it notes.

Professor Natasha Fricoche saw this block party as an opportunity to spread the importance of balancing health and stress.

“Stress is normal,” Fricoche said. “It’s a part of life.”

Seeing mental health as a stigma that people usually avoid, Fricoche wanted to help students cope with stress and live a healthier life.

If you needed some time to unwind during the Block Party, you could also do that with a giant Jenga set and Connect 4.

The sight of multiple therapy dogs caused people to flock to meet them.

There was a French Bulldog and two German Shepherds. One of the German Shepherds, named Zeppelin, is a rescue and has been a therapy dog for one year.

“Zeppelin was found six miles away from any shelter, so he was clearly dumped because he loves people and he would never stray that far,” said Zona Lai, dog trainer at Sirius K9 Academy.

Zeppelin is trained leashless and showed off his knowledge of his many commands. His skills even attracted the attention of police officers on duty at the event.

Kevin Gossett, or better known as “DJ Shoeshine,” kept the mood lively with music. Gossett is a professor at City and one of the original Block Party organizers.

“I want to bring a fun, relaxing mood for the outdoor day,” Gossett said.

A variety of genres were being played such as original band, hip hop and soul.

In case students needed extra activities to enjoy, the Cosmetology Department was giving free manicures and hairstyling for students. 

“We offer student discounts and not a lot of people know that we have a salon here on campus,” said Leslie Cante, a cosmetology student. 

The Block Party is held at the end of every semester at City College. 

For more information on the program mentioned, visit http://sdcity.edu/academics/schools-programs/index.aspx

DJRN 200 students Sven Domingos, Rachel Finch, Luz Jaimes, Jovani Juarez, Malcolme Morgan, Uyen Pham, Lacey Stefano and Elisabeth Vermeulen contributed to this story.