Political activists promote diversity

COPA club holds first meeting, seeks open minds


Christian Urrutia / The Advocate

Political science major Casina Butler (left) listens to political science assistant professor Vanna Gonzales as she introduces herself during the COPA club’s general assembly meeting in LLRC-107 on Thursday.

By Christian Urrutia, Editor-in-Chief

The Community Organizing Political Action club (COPA) held its first general assembly meeting in LLRC-107 to attract like-minded students on Thursday from 3:30 to 5 p.m.

During his welcoming address, Contra Costa College COPA President Wali Khan said, “I believe as students we should do more for our community (and include student input).”

Khan, an economics major, said that a few of the things the club wants to provide is a volunteer base for political action purposes related to social issues such as minimum wage advocacy and health care coverage.

“Many of us face a lot of issues, but we do not have a voice in (which) we can be heard,” Khan said.

He also said the club serves as a platform to protest other issues students may feel are relevant and promote community action or social justice causes.

“This club is a platform to create relationships, build social awareness around community issues and give (students) good insight on how the political system works,” Khan said.

COPA Vice President Nora Rodriguez said many clubs on campus go unnoticed because a lack of awareness is present. Rodriguez said it is her intention keep political apathy out of COPA.

She said COPA aspires to develop the next generation of community leaders as part of its ideology that students at CCC should harness their online presence and voice.

The meeting’s agenda featured a PowerPoint presentation outlining COPA’s goals for the semester that was introduced by the advisers, Dr. Vanna Gonzales, political science assistant professor, and political science professor Leonard McNeil. They included concepts like a greater organizational capacity as a club and access to school resources.

Other concepts presented included empowerment of individuals to catalyze change through social and political activism. Another one featured educating through events, speakers and experiences that raise political awareness and build skills.

Political science major Xenia Rivera said the diversity of the club, along with its open-mindedness, gives students a boost of knowledge about what is going on in the current political arena.   

Another element of COPA is working in concert with community political organizations to learn and receive training for ideas for involvement like minority empowerment and providing information for voter registration.

History major Nathan Patterson said he attended the meeting out of political curiosity and he is interested in community involvement.

Patterson said, “I would like to see the club garner more supporters. A lot of students on this campus are out of touch and it behooves them to be socially and politically aware.”

Patterson said the club’s activism could bring certain aspects to light, such as upcoming electoral candidates or social justice issues and talks about how important it is for students to be self-aware of their own communities.

After a meet and greet session, potential members were shown some future agenda items, such as the Club Rush event, the next film forum date on Nov. 18.