By Javier Lopez
Making students at East Los Angeles College feel welcome while educating them is what Christian Allan Porfirio sets out to do. Porfirio, who goes by the name of Allan Barcanal, has taught and helped students in little ways that helped them get by in college.
Barcanal used zines that he’s been collecting over the past few years and made some copies of them for students. The zines involved topics such as: politics, feminism, environmental awareness, sobriety, punk culture, race and queer awareness amongst other subjects.
It is a simple but effective way to inform students and make them feel welcome in society and at school. “I would set up behind the food truck at ELAC and distribute them,” Barcanal said.
Students loved the zines that he handed out so much that they would always come back for more. Even long after Barcanal had to stop distributing them because of lack of funds, students still asked him where they could get zines.
“I liked that I catered to the student population. Giving them the information they wanted,” Barcanal said.
Faculty at ELAC noticed Barcanal’s talent with zines as well.
A professor at ELAC by the name of Raeanna Gleason asked Barcanal to come in to one of her classes and teach the students how to make useful zines that everyone would want to and could read.
Barcanal also part took in the organization of visits to classes by important people who had very important lectures to give.
As a member of Collective Revolutionary Autonomous Students in Solidarity (CRASS), he helped the club get into contact with people such as Alice Bag who he came in contact with at one of her book readings. Barcanal got her to come and have a reading from her book “Violence Girl” at ELAC for an event.
Other important figures that he helped the club get in contact with are Cesar Peres and Claudio Ibarra. They are professors from Chile who give lectures on Chile’s industrial Prison Complex and compare it to the complex here in the U.S.
Barcanal made it possible for CRASS to have them come to ELAC and give a class one of their lectures to further inform them of the Industrial Prison Complex.
Barcanal has also introduced the IWW (Industrial workers of the world), RAC (Revolution Autonomous Communities) who help get lower income community’s organic vegetables and fruit and help clean the community.
In his journey at ELAC so far, Barcanal has been able to inform students while making them feel welcome and a bit better about their feelings in general.
As part of the club CRASS, which has been less active recently, he’s helped get them a lot of attention from a lot of important people who are politically and socially aware. He does this all to benefit the students, he hopes that he has helped students feel safer and more confident on campus while teaching them a bit about how the world works.