Welcome Day at LBCC: filled with excitement, nerves, and clubs trying to recruit new members.
LBCC, there is a rich tradition of building clubs that are inclusive, and help build positive experiences and friendships for all students.
These clubs and co-curricular groups are a way for students to meet outside of class and spend time discussing common activities or events.
LBCC has created over 30 diverse clubs and co-curricular groups. These clubs are designed for every student at LBCC to find a place where they belong. There is everything from chess and drama club, to an equestrian and livestock judging team that competes in national contests throughout the country.
Heather Morijah, Program Assistant of the clubs and co-curricular groups at LBCC believes these organizations are extremely beneficial to the environment at the school. As the individual who oversees the regulations, budgets, training, and the overall smoothness of all the clubs she has had a lot of interaction with those who help run the clubs.
“I love these clubs and co-curricular groups because it really helps our students. Clubs give everyone a place where they can belong. If students feel as though they belong, they are more likely to enjoy and finish school,” said Morijah.
If students wish to start a club, they will need a faculty adviser and at least 8 members who are willing to begin their club.
According to Jenny Strooband, faculty adviser and team coach, the LBCC Equestrian Team has had a lot of participants over the years. This co-curricular team has been at LBCC since 1998, with Strooband being the adviser since 2002. Currently, there are 12 members on the team. However, there have been up to 30 at a time.
The team competes in numerous contests throughout Oregon, Washington, and some into Western Canada. The contests consist of students riding horses and being judged on their performance. They compete in challenging competitions under the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association.
What makes these contests challenging is that the students have never ridden these horses before. Their true handling skills are put to the test when they are given horses that do not know them and are asked to ride and perform in front of quality judges.
Another challenge the Equestrian Team faces is that they compete against many university teams. The contests are not divided between junior colleges and universities. Instead, they all compete against each other.
However, this has not stopped the success of several of the team members over the years at LBCC, with members ranking at the top of their competitions.
This success is not handed to them, however. The team practices a couple times a week to master their skills on the back of a horse. Team members are pushed to work hard and to achieve their best in competitions. With all the time spent together, the team can get to know each other and create strong friendships.
“These students are not just competitors, they become friends and we really enjoy spending time with each other and travelling,” said Strooband.
LBCC Equestrian Team member, Dana Sanders, said she “Absolutely loves the equestrian team,” and explained how her coaches do a fantastic job when it comes to pushing her to be her best.
Sanders explained that even though the team and competitions are fun, it can be challenging.
“Sometimes the competition horses are just done wanting to work with you,” said Sanders.
She believes this team has been a successful investment to her knowledge of horses and riding, as well as creating a fun and memorable time in college with people who share a common love.
Story by Juan Gavette
Photo by Elliot Pond