Fireside Chats: Let’s talk about our fears

Until the end of November, California Lutheran University’s Community Service Center will be hosting one Fireside Chat each week. The chat held on Oct. 19  focused on facing fears. From clowns and snakes to stopping sex trafficking and accomplishing goals, many topics were brought up throughout the night.

The Fireside Chats were named because the event occurs at Jack’s Corner by the fire pit. According to The Hub posting, the goal of the chats is to help cultivate relationships by giving individuals the opportunity to talk about their different viewpoints.

Widening Perspectives: Juniors Tristan Arndt (left) and Matthew Trujillo (right) listen intently at the Fireside Chats in Jack’s Corner.   Photo by Aliyah Navarro- Photojournalist
Widening Perspectives: Juniors Tristan Arndt (left) and Matthew Trujillo (right) listen intently at the Fireside Chats in Jack’s Corner.
Photo by Aliyah Navarro- Photojournalist

Madeline Liberti is the coordinator for community service in Student Life and has oversight in the creation of these events.

“Each chat will have a different topic that hopefully is a topic everyone can kind of relate to and then be able to just have discussions that they maybe wouldn’t normally on campus. Hopefully it’s going to be a mix of students and staff members and faculty to kind of just bring in their ideas and their perspectives on things,” Liberti said.

Junior Tristan Arndt attended the event.

“I liked it a lot more than I thought I would,” Arndt said. “I thought it was going to be a bit more awkward, a bit more forced, maybe religious forceful, but just hearing everyone talk really opened my view.”

This is the kind of impact Liberti is looking to bring to not only students, but the whole Cal Lutheran community.

“Each of the interns are inviting different clubs on campus to join to kind of share their perspectives on things. I think it’s a great opportunity for everyone to sort of take a break from life, and bring different pieces of campus together, which I think is just really valuable in general,” Liberti said.

Each Community Service Center intern has the responsibility to host one event, with direction from Liberti. One of the interns, Laura Willits, organized the facing fears edition.

At the event she began with a preface on Interfaith, which is a way for religious and nonreligious groups to come together.

“In the last couple of days, I’d been researching questions, I’d been getting my introduction together for what Interfaith is and what we do at the Community Service Center, etcetera,” Willits said.

Liberti and Willits expressed enthusiasm for what is to come from the department as they continue to experiment with events.

“We’ll have to see how well [Fireside Chats] do this semester, but I definitely think it would be great if we did them next semester as well,” Willits said. “I know that we have a lot of different, other Interfaith events we’re planning as well, such as a bunch of dinners we’re thinking of putting on for different holidays for different faith backgrounds.”

Willits mentioned that she thought Interfaith was not something many people on campus knew about, and wanted to spread the word about it.

“It’s just another perspective. It’s another way to widen your view of the world and other people, too. People aren’t always their stereotypes, so it’s nice,” Arndt said.

According to The HUB post, upcoming Fireside Chats will feature handling adversity, friendship, shared values through service, relationships and cultural competence and inclusivity.

Lara Santos