The Marketing Club at Santa Barbara City College put theory and technique into practice on Friday, May 21, organizing a formal dinner party to send recent graduates off into the future with style and good taste, and to celebrate SBCC’s centennial.
Friends came together to dance, sway, talk, laugh, and listen to live music in the lovely parlor of Stella Mare’s Restaurant. The party was considered by all a success. Attended by many international students, it was a blending of cultures, as well as a testament to SBCC’s teaching philosophy of learning through action.
For the past few months, the Marketing Club has been working to put this event together. Members of the club said that it was an invaluable learning experience to apply what they’ve learned in books to the world. The challenges of managing teamwork, struggling with stress, and fundraising were formidable but rewarding. Conor Hayo, the president of the club, said that it has been an excellent experience. “We put a lot of work and planning into this,” said Izumi Murayama, an international student from Japan. “It’s nice to see it come together so well.”
SBCC has been an integral part of the community for 100 years. Julie Brown, the marketing teacher and moderator of the Marketing Club, said that city college is “the best kept secret in education.” It costs a California resident roughly $80 to take a class in a setting Brown described as a “mentorship.” She says that because the classrooms are not flooded with faces, as at a four-year University, she can get to know each student and develop a relationship that continues after graduation. Additionally, the school offers hands-on opportunities for learning, a wide variety of classes, and a diverse student population — not to mention the beauty of the campus, which is often described as a “jewel.”
The dinner was meant to be a prom, and was attended by many international students to whom a prom is foreign. Murayama wanted to have this distinctly American experience and share it with others who see and hear about proms in films and television shows, but never experience it for themselves. In the middle of the event, her boyfriend, Joakim Zimmermann, another exchange student, proposed to her and she accepted.
Julie Brown and Corolla Smith, the Director of International Students, said that one should not underestimate the importance of having a foreign exchange program. They said local students realize how lucky they are by the presence of international students, who pay six times more to take the same classes. A global classroom also exposes students to a variety of viewpoints, and in a sense brings the whole world inside a single room.