CCA Forums: An Opportunity for Community | Andrew Gu
As you’re probably used to reading by now, 2020 has been enormously disruptive for our school system, with the continuing vitriolic debates over school reopening making that more clear than ever. For students once reliant on a network of passing-period chatter, the pandemic represents a threat not just to health, but also to information; we’re cut off from information on clubs, standardized testing, college apps, opportunities, and extracurriculars. While it’s a welcome break from some of the toxicity in CCA’s culture, it’s also potentially dangerous; the AP testing season of 2020 was a train crash in slow-motion, filled with misinformation, technical issues, and generally poor communication. Many students lacked access to the resources that would normally be available during AP season, and every student who took an AP test last year has one complaint or another about the topic.
To help mitigate the communicative issues that have cropped up over the course of the year, CCA students Andric Li, Derek Ma, and Grace Luo have created a fully-functional forum for coordinating school-related activities, ranging from carpool services to sports talks to volunteering and internship opportunities. The project is funded by the American Chinese Association in San Diego, though the founders have explicitly stated that the forum is intended for all CCA students.
Their goal is to create a more centralized, moderated area for getting the word out about any news and opportunities that would be of interest to CCA students, and, over the last six months, they’ve developed all the software and functionality needed for running the forum. As the forum is directed towards a very specific group of people, the forum is optimized for a relatively small number of users; for new users, posts need to be verified by moderators, ensuring that the forum avoids turning into 4chan and avoiding clutter, while the development team is patenting facial recognition software they’ve developed to help prevent botting. And because the goal isn’t profit, there is no significant amount of data being collected, and no data is sold.
With the site fully operational, the main issue with the forum is a lack of users, mostly due to its newness, and that can only be solved with time and through greater publicization; the site and its moderators can comfortably handle over a hundred users. For the time being, its main value for any prospective users is in creating posts that will be seen with increasing traffic in the future.
So if you have a club you’d like to promote on a medium that’s more civil than Discord and Reddit, less… evil than Facebook, and entirely directed towards CCA students, give posting on the forum a shot – you just need to register an account. If you’re an underclassman looking for opportunities or someone struggling with the CCA grind, in time, there may be some opportunities for you. If you’d like to get some experience with web development or just help out the community, the team can be contacted under the “About Us” section of cca-forums.net.