In an effort to distinguish the student organization from the Fr. Ray Herman Peace and Justice Center, the group formerly known as “Peace & Justice” is now aptly named “DuSomething.” With a new year and a new name come new opportunities for growth on campus. The group held its first meeting of the year last Thursday, the 13th and had a great turnout- a number of freshmen were present before Campus Fest was even held! Different social justice issues were discussed including gender inequality, racism, mental illness stigma and climate change. The group discussed creative solutions to promote peace and justice in the context of Loras and the world at large. Laughs and ideas were shared over a large bowl of salsa and cups of lemonade on the couches in Campus Ministry (room 460 in the ACC). A meeting is held every Thursday at 8:30 p.m. in this location and the topics change from week to week with updates on opportunities for activism to do something.
Campus Fest was also a success for the organization. Dozens of students from first through senior year signed up for e-mail updates, the first of which was a reminder for the social event held this past Monday at the Fr. Ray Herman Peace & Justice House. Salsa, apparently a snack favorite of the student group, was again present as students caught up from over the summer and shared their motivations for becoming involved.
Other notable changes include five student worker positions under the Fr. Ray Herman Peace and Justice Center. Allison Klimesh and Mark Tilkes work in sustainability, Samantha Eckrich works with interfaith efforts, Michelle Kavanaugh specializes in social action and outreach, and Tanner Emerson is working to expand fair trade on campus. The significance of these roles is in their specializations. If five student workers are designated to working in specific P&J areas, then the members and executive board of DuSomething- Louisa Pavlik as President, Michelle Kavanaugh as Vice President, Jacqueline Arroyo-Ochoa as Communications chair, and AnneMarie Elsinger as Secretary – can go to them as resources and collaborators while still exploring other issues and movements. With greater manpower and membership the possibilities for impact seem endless. Please join DuSomething this Thursday at 8:30 p.m. in Campus Ministry to discuss issues in the criminal justice system.