Pep Club to Promote Campus Involvement

El Vaquero Staff Writer

With a name like Pep Club, one would generally make associations to short skirts and human pyramids.
But founder Jennipha-Lauren Nielsen envisioned a different approach to school spirit when she created GCC’s Pep Club.

A transfer student looking to get involved, Nielsen sought to join a campus organization that had nothing to do with ethnicity, religious beliefs, or political views.

She wanted something community-oriented that would provide a way to meet fellow students. “We may only be here for two years, but let’s enjoy them – make those memories.”

Apparently she is not the only one holding that ideal. In its first semester, the Pep Club has already managed to attract 73 members and is now one of the largest organizations on campus. The main objectives are simply to provide athletic support and civic involvement.

Unlike other campus organizations, there are no mandatory meetings or events to attend, which attracts those students with time constraints.

Members contact each other via e-mail about events and fund-raising.

“Because it is relaxed, I have more people that otherwise wouldn’t have joined,” said Nielsen.
Although members are not required to get involved, the club has been a great success due to its active members.

A club trick-or-treat event during Halloween raised $268 dollars for UNICEF (the United Nations Children’s Fund).

Members raised money for charity during Oktoberfest as well, by selling cotton candy.

During the holiday season, the Pep Club is teaming up with the Marine Corps for the Toys for Tots program. Since toys for boys ages 13 to 16 tend to be more expensive, they are having bake sales to raise money for the specified age group.

The organization is also involved with the food drive currently on campus for needy families all over Los Angeles County.

In addition to fund-raisers for charity, the Pep Club hopes to plan social events. Nielsen said one idea is to raise money for a bonfire beach party as an end of the school year event.

According to Nielsen, club members also will attend some athletic events to cheer on GCC sports.
But she prefers to refer to them as “yellers” attempting to energize the crowd, rather than cheerleaders.