Better Together Week uplifts CLU community


Photo by Hannah Anderson - Reporter

Melissa Dennin hands out t-shirts to tie dye at open mic night.

Hannah Anderson, Reporter

Better Together Week is a series of events that occurred from March 28 to April 1 to improve inclusivity around campus and to maintain the school’s welcoming environment. This was put on by Service and Leadership Programs, who made these events possible this week.

The goal of these events this week was to create a stronger community on campus. The events hosted this week included “We’re not really strangers” night, the SEEd Garden, the blood drive, and Open Mic Nights to get students involved in the activities put on. 

Vice President of University Advancement, Regina Biddings-Muro talked about how Cal Lutheran Cares day is what helps make some of these events possible. Cares Day is a fundraising event that helps support student success. The money raised for each program the school has goes towards different categories, but all lead back to improving the university and its community. 

Biddings-Muro mentioned that Cares Week is a big way for students and staff to see the improvements and events they want to make the school happen. When families donate, they can choose the program they specifically want to donate to. This week, Service and Leadership programs were able to host these events because of the fundings that was provided to them. 

Better Together Week were able to use their funds by hosting inclusive events open to all students. This program aimed to create a welcoming environment that encourages students to meet new people and have a chance to get to know each other at these events.

The SEEd Project Garden is a garden located on campus that allows students to work with sustainability, along with growing local produce. The SEEd Project garden was meant to bring students together in efforts of helping out sustainability on campus.

“I found out about the garden while at a volunteer event during orientation. I knew I wanted a job on campus and this seemed like a great opportunity. I have learned so much while on the job and it has been great for my mental health. It feels great to learn about and work with nature and get outside. It’s very peaceful,” said Zoe Monge, first-year student and helper at the SEEd Garden

This project provided a space for students who share a passion for sustainability at the school. It also gave the students a chance to connect with staff, faculty, and members of the community. 

“We are excited to have more campus organizations, students, and classes host events in the garden again and it is really encouraging to see our reconstruction efforts come to fruition,” Monge said. 

The final event of Better Together week was called “Open Hearts. Open Arms. Open Mic night,” which took place on Friday, April 1. This event was meant to provide a sense of community to students while creating an open social setting. This event consisted of live music at Jacks Corner, which created a lively atmosphere. 

“We wanted to provide space for students to come to a community night where they could enjoy delicious food, tie dye shirts, and listen to music. We had food from Cafe Rio and then students were able to enjoy some ice cream from SubZero. We then had shirts designed by a CLU student that demonstrated the message of Better Together Week for students to tie dye,” said Melissa Dennin, Peer Adviser and Community Service Center Intern.

Dennin also mentioned the value of community that’s created at this event.

“I think this culminating event demonstrates the type of community Cal Lutheran has. People were able to laugh with one another and enjoy each other’s company. Students were also able to write on ribbons their commitment on how they will co-create an inclusive and welcoming community which serves as a visual of what our campus stands for,” Dennin said.

Better Together Week was able to provide many students with a sense of community, by hosting activities that allow students to show their passion for what they care about.