California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

    New Rotaract Club on Cal Lutheran’s campus

    Officially recognized as a club at the beginning of the spring semester, the Rotaract Club of California Lutheran University is off to a quick start in its efforts to adhere to its motto: “Service above self.

    The club, which is one of 10,904 groups spanning 184 different countries, wrapped up its first service event on Saturday, Feb. 24 with a hike along the trail leading to the cross located at the north end of campus. Members of the club spent nearly two hours picking up glass and trash littered in the area.

    “We want to make that a monthly event,” said sophomore Francheska Tanglao, who serves as secretary of the Rotaract Club.

    Cal Lutheran’s Rotary Club is a part of Rotary District 5240, which is made up of 3,300 members from 72 clubs across four different counties within California. The Rotary Club of Westlake Village Sunrise is one of five sponsors for the university’s club, which is a nonpolitical, nonsectarian group.

    “The number one quality we’re looking for is commitment,” Tanglao said. “We want people who are serious about giving back to the community because that’s what this club is all about– giving back to the community through service.”

    The club outlines five goals in Article II of its constitution, including to “develop professional and leadership skills”, “emphasize respect for the rights of others” and “provide opportunities for young people to address the needs and concerns of the community and our world.”

    There is no admission fee for any prospective or active members, as the club does not require any annual dues. However, to maintain club membership, one must attend at least 60 percent of the club’s meetings held on the first and third Tuesday of each month from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Pioneer House.

    Helen Hong, a junior at Cal Lutheran who serves as vice president of the club, holds a key role in these meetings along with club president Ekaho Maekawa, a senior transfer student from Japan.

    Hong said that meetings typically start with Maekawa relaying information from other Rotaract meetings around the community.

    “She brings back information and events that we can participate in as a club,” Hong said. “Then, if any of the members have any volunteering ideas, they can pitch it to us, and then we’ll consider everyone’s ideas and projects.”

    Maekawa said she has been involved with the Rotaract program since 2014 when she held the title of vice president and chair of international service committee for two years at the Rotaract Club of Higashi-Osaka in  Japan. She said her passion for volunteering and her desire to open up networking opportunities inspired her to get involved in Rotaract activities.

    “When I came here [from Japan], I was looking for Rotaract clubs around this area, but I couldn’t find it,” Maekawa said. “So I asked a Rotary person who I was close to, and he said that he can sponsor my club if I make the school-based club here.”

    The process of creating an on-campus Rotary club is not a quick one. According to, a club needs “a sponsor Rotary club to provide support and partnership,” a faculty or sponsor club adviser to provide guidance and mentorship, club leaders and people between the ages of 18 and 30 from the school or community that are interested in joining.

    “We started the process of making the club in August and we had a good group of people with us when we began the process,” Tanglao said. “Throughout the time we were creating the club and planning on what we were going to do, the people who were really committed stayed.”

    Tanglao was one of seven members that received official pins and certificates of membership to the Rotaract club last Thursday at the club’s chartering event. Meanwhile, the 15 other people who signed up for the club at Cal Lutheran’s Spring Involvement Fair on Feb. 20 will have to remain consistent in their attendance to meetings if they want to earn theirs.

    Maekawa, who is on pace to graduate this spring with a degree in biology, will be ineligible to return as president of the club when the new calendar year for university-based clubs begins July 1. When that happens, Hong will take over as president and Tanglao will assume the role of vice president.

    “We’re not setting any limit to where we can help,” Hong said. “However we can help, we will.”

    Jake Gould