CLU channels power of hope

California Lutheran University’s Community Service Center staff and students recently attended the Change the Status Quo Conference from Feb. 21-22 at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo to challenge stereotypes, demand solutions and use education to make lasting social and environmental changes.

Cal Poly’s Dean of Students Office asked, “What if… all of society would open their minds and listen?”

“The CSQ Conference is all about students, non-profits, educators and community members sharing what they are most passionate about regarding social and environmental changes in the form of short workshops,” senior Ryan Glatt said. “CLU students should be aware of major social issues so they can take effective action.”

“In previous years, we have sponsored students to attend the event because it’s a useful conference focused on social justice and motivates attendees to be active on campus,” said Karen Schomaker, coordinator for community service.

Senior Lisa Rowan and junior Berlin Galvan put on a workshop at the conference about a subject they are passionate about.

“Berlin Galvan and I will be leading a workshop on sustainable living, specifically looking at the negative effects of American consumerism and how to fight back ethical living practices and ethical purchases, such as selecting fair trade items,” Rowan said.

Other workshops at the conference cover topics such as college drinking, environmental sustainability and homelessness.

The theme of this year’s conference was “The Power of Hope.”

“‘The Power of Hope’ refers to a sensation we can all relate to. When you become so inspired by something so small that you can turn them into ambitions that have a major impact on the world. The journey between those two points is hope and that is the fire that fuels us to press on,” Glatt said.

The conference encouraged students to take that hope and be an advocate for social and environmental change.

Before the event, students expressed their hopes for the outcome of the event.

“I would like students to know that it is a great opportunity to learn more about how you can become a part of important change and progress on campus and in our community,” Rowan said. “I hope to come out of the experience feeling more empowered and capable of dealing with the social justice issues of our time.”

Glatt said he hopes to hear new ideas, be enlightened and connect with people who want to change the world just as much as he does.
“We hope that this conference will motivate attending students to become more involved in service, although many are already very involved and are motivated to create and/or continue service projects of their own,” Schomaker said.

“I am participating in this conference because I believe our generation is very capable of making sustainable changes to our lives. This sort of change needs to start here, with like-minded and inspired individuals who are passionate about not always going with the ‘status quo’ but changing it when necessary,” Rowan said. “I also believe that this process cannot happen without the sharing of information like what will happen here with this conference.”


Shannon Cullen
Staff Writer
Published Feb. 26, 2013