Introducing CAC

To say that I had a rough start in my major is an understatement. An emotional rollercoaster might be more accurate. I didn’t know my roommates. I didn’t join a sorority. I was surrounded by what seemed like a room full of men who boasted about what trimester in their mom’s stomach they started to code. In a sea of students who were bitter about having to retake the intro class because they didn’t get a 5 on the AP test, there was me. The fact that I was a woman meant a lot of people saw me as the person who’s there thanks to affirmative action which was extremely reassuring.

And the class was wicked fast for someone who only came in with basic programming knowledge. 

My experience is common. But should it be? Or is there a flaw in the system?

overhead view of a woman sitting in front of her laptop Photo by from Pexels

That’s partially how the Computing Advisory Council, a new student organization, came into existence. A conversation about the problems in our community and curricula is only the beginning to change and we’re ready for phase 2 - action. 

Computing Advisory Council, CAC for short, is an opportunity for students to discuss what kinds of change we can make. People who are new to programming should feel welcome within the community, and we’re changing the culture by exploring multiple solutions.  We also aim to address the needs of students who are under-represented in computer science, including women, non-binary people, and BIPOC. We want to work on research opportunities because they don’t feel as accessible as they should be. There’s a lot of work to be done.

Mental Health Hub Hero Rebecca Hoskins / Her Campus Media

The Computer Science Department is something I’m truly grateful for. I regret picking this major every other day due to the rigor, but I’ve learned so much from this program and I never thought I’d be where I am today.