Marienne Alvarez “Make every effort you can to talk with other SMC students. The more info you get, the better your chances to get the best teachers.”

Proposition 22 – the initiative that stated that only man/woman marriages were to be recognized under the law – was on the ballot, and Marienne Alvarez was incensed by the hypocrisy of it. “It’s so stupid that two people willing to commit to each other cannot become married,” she railed. “There are lots of gay and lesbian couples who deserve to be married because they love each other. Does it really matter that they’re the same sex? I don’t think so,” says Marienne. “It drives me wild that people can be so close-minded.”

A non-prejudicial mind is what Marienne brings to her Sociology studies. “I have a class with Professor Livings right now, and she really encourages us to speak our minds and not blindly accept anybody’s word. Those classes are very open forums that are pretty much about perception and being accepting of individual differences,” says Marienne, who moved here from the Philippines. “You see so many different types of people at SMC that it’s almost like a sociology experiment. I had to learn Chinese, English, and Tagalog growing up, so I think this gave me a greater tolerance for different cultures than many people have.”

“SMC is a great transfer school,” states Marienne, “and I know that when I have to move on, I won’t have any trouble. But it’s also a great place to sample different kinds of knowledge,” she says. “I took a Marine Biology class and just fell in love with it. This college has no end of nice surprises.”

Read more stories from present and past years in the SMC Student Spotlight Archive.