By Monica Lopez
Pulse Staff Reporter
The college years are some of the most memorable and impacting ones of a person’s life, where identities are formed and friendships are made.
Whether you are a student right out of high school or a student who came back after a few years off, Palo Alto offers something for everyone. The fall semester kicked off with Club Rush, an event organized by the Student Life Department, promoting different sports, clubs and organizations at PAC.
“Being involved is a great way to network with other students. Another reason is that our organizations are run by faculty, so it’s a great way to get to know them better,” said Erica Muñoz, Student Life coordinator.
PAC has a variety of intramural and extramural sports, along with a Fitness Center that is available to all students. Intramural sports are competitions against students within PAC and include men and women’s basketball. This semester is the first to introduce a co-ed flag football team, too.
Extramural sports teams, such as men and women’s basketball and a women’s volleyball team, compete against other schools. PAC offers recreational sports, as well, including tennis and soccer. Recreational events are held throughout the year, such as table tennis, a 3-point shootout and nerf gun wars.
“Getting involved helps students engage with each other and get to network with other students from other schools to enjoy the college experience more. It’s also a great way to make friends,” said Kendall Navarro, a supervisor for Recreation.
PAC is the only college that offers a natatorium with an Olympic-sized indoor swimming pool. This swimming pool is also used by the community, as well as a training spot for the military and the police.
Other than sports, you may also consider getting involved in the clubs and organizations offered at PAC. Something is available for everyone, whether you’re interested in honors/academics, art, photography, business, gardening, agriculture, history, cosmetology, science, engineering, dogs, drama or dance.
Social awareness groups for domestic violence and groups for saving the environment are also available. In addition, PAC has special interest groups for the gay and lesbian community, future educators, veterans, those with faith-based beliefs and those interested in Mexican-American Studies.
Sophomore Communications major and president of Club Earth, Alyssa Ytuarte, said that she joined Club Earth because she supported the cause to help preserve the environment. It gave her something to do and helped her to socialize more, while helping the community and the environment.
“It’s going to look good on a resume when you transfer to a university, and you meet different people while making a difference on our campus and in our community,” said Ytuarte.
PAC also has its own Student Government with elected officers. Many of the school’s clubs and events are funded by the $1 student activity fee that is collected per college hour each semester. This year, $158,000 is in the budget from the collected fee. Each student organization is allocated $500 for the academic year. Palo Alto is currently taking a poll on raising the $1 fee to $2 to consider having more funding for student activities.
James Nieto, a freshman Kinesiology major, is a member of the intramural basketball team and the faith-based club, Destino.
“I think it’s important because it makes college more fun. Unlike high school, college is just go to class, then go home or work. So clubs and sports offer fun activities to stay active and enjoy college,” said Nieto.
For more information on joining any of these clubs or organizations, you can access them through OrgSync or visit the Student Life Office, located in the Student Center, Room 101. Their hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and their phone number is (210) 486-3125.