With the University of San Diego being so close to the ocean, sometimes students don’t realize the other fun things they can do with fellow Toreros on campus. As a Changemaker campus, USD upholds an inclusive and diverse community through multiple student-run organizations.
1. Active Minds
A new organization on campus that shouldn’t be ignored is Active Minds. This club focuses on teaching the student body how to perceive mental health. “All of our members are passionate about reducing the stigma surrounding mental health, and we attempt to invent fun and interactive ways of increasing awareness about mental health issues,” USD junior and President of Active Minds Sarah Reynolds said. The group posted ominous posters on campus stating, “The White Balloon is coming.” On the day of the event, they distributed 250 different color balloons and told everyone to find the white balloon that was hidden around campus. No one found it. The white balloon symbolized the perfectly healthy mind of a college student and the absence of the white balloon illustrated that none of us are immune from mental health issues. The Active Minds website is also a great resource for information regarding mental health issues as well as how to cope with them.
2. Colleges Against Cancer
Cancer awareness and support isn’t only a great benefit to improving awareness and medicine, but it’s a great way to build a community.Colleges against Cancer, in collaboration with the American Can Society, has a mission of hope. “The hope that those lost to cancer will never be forgotten, that those who face cancer will be supported, and that one day cancer will be eliminated,” co-president Emma Doolittle said. The CAC puts together student teams for Relay for Life. The 18-hour fundraising and advocacy event brings together the campus community to celebrate those impacted by cancer, remembers those who were lost to the disease and helps fight back against cancer in a meaningful way. “[CAC] trains students in important event planning and leadership skills in an environment that is open to all backgrounds, experiences, and interests,” Dootlittle said.
3. Everthinkers: Philosophy Club
Just like Pooh on his log, the Everthinkers definitely inspire philosophical minds everywhere. “Everthinkers has provided me with a platform to meet students with similar interests and discuss topics that aren’t normally brought up with friends, such as whether or not language is inherently restrictive of our ideas and self-expression,” junior Stephen Pollman said. Recently, the club held the “Ethics of Awesomeness” presentation with Dr. Nick Riggle. He discussed his overall proposal and its applications to our contemporary society. According to Public Relations Chair Mary Sutton, students can use Everthinkers as a resource to find career paths or advice in philosophy. So if you want to embrace your inner Yoda, take the step and be an Everthinker.
4. Rotaract Club
Dreaming of becoming the next Superman? Though you can’t gain superpowers over night, becoming a member of Rotaract Club will transform you into different kind of superhero. This service and business organization connects students to business leaders throughout the area. Rotarians have volunteered at events, such as the Chocolate Run 5k, which raised money for the Ronald McDonald House, and took a trip to Casa De Paz, a local orphanage, where they donated toys, played with children and help painted classrooms. “[Rotaract] is about giving to others, while gaining leadership skills that will help you become a more well-rounded individual in the future,” junior and Rotaract President Ceci Fuentes said.
5. International Student Organization
Assisting all international USD students embrace the USD and American culture, the International Student Organization supports and represents all international students. If you’re interested in learning about new cultures and celebrating USD’s diversity, ISO’s 130 members have you covered. They hold weekly coffee hours to welcome students and help expand cultural awareness in the community. “Two of our main events so far this year were the ISO Holiday dinner and dance and the ISO International Talent show night, which promoted international students to express their diversity and enjoy the company of other cultures around them,” ISO President Khaled Alaskar said. Coming up on April 29 is the ISO Expo and Cultural Fashion Show. Here, international and domestic students get strut down the catwalk in their home country’s cultural attire. ISO is your one-way trip around the world in your own backyard.
6. Outdoor Adventures
Focusing on on outdoor recreation, environmental education, leadership development and teambuilding, Outdoor Adventures puts together different outings locally, regionally and internationally. “We hope we bring an electric energy to campus during the week where you’ll find us outside the Immaculata playing Spikeball and slacklinging,” Outdoor Adventures member Rosalie Plofchan said. From kayaking to rock climbing to hiking to surfing and even skiing, there are a variety of options for you to dive into. Outdoor Adventures operate a resource center and rental shop that provides outdoor recreation equipment and trip-planning information. This group offers fun camping trips, with on of its most recent trips being the Roast N’ Roll bike ride with Students for Fair Trade. Students rode all around San Diego tasting and learning about coffee. Coming up is the Canyon Walk with Dr. Harris, President of USD, on May 10 and a Wilderness Advanced First Aid course. If you’re interested in growing with other Toreros while enjoying the nature, Outdoor Adventures is the club for you.
7. Pep Band
Band geeks unite! Pep band bring together music-loving Toreros. With so much school pride, they can’t help but burst into song and dance randomly throughout the day. “[Pep Band] wants to bring fans together not only for entertainment but to show how proud we are of our USD teams,” Pep Band’s co-preseident Chiara Sutton, Pep Band’s said. “We want to bring everyone together and make going to basketball and football games the best possible experience for both fans and the teams we support.” 10 of the pep band members joined the basketball team in Las Vegas for the WCC Basketball Tournament. “People should join because pep band is the perfect ensemble to be involved with if music isn’t your major. The time commitment is small, the music is fun and you get to watch some great games.” Pep Band member Mylene Macias said. Clearly being a member of Pep Band is rather simple. Step one: Pick an instrument. Step two: Have school spirit. Step three: Take a stand. And step four: Bring on the Pep!
8. The Bull Pit
The Bull Pit will have you cheering like a raving NBA fan in the stands. Encouraging school spirit and devoting time to enhancing the experience for students and the campus community, true Toreros stay in the pit. Putting on events such as tailgates with free food, Torero swag and mechanical bulls, the Bull Pit has a way of amping up the crowd. They constantly collaborate with Associated Students and Torero Program Board to put together some great sporting events. Recently, they coordinated beach buses to take students from Mission Beach to the men’s basketball game against Gonzaga so they didn’t have to worry about parking.
PRIDE provides more than just friendship, alliance and mutual assistance to the USD LGBT community. It gives them a safe place to enjoy their individuality and express themselves freely. Keeping in line with USD’s mission to celebrate inclusion and diversity, every year PRIDE celebrates gender expression through their “Supreme Drag Superstar” event. This yearly event invites speakers to teach about experiences of trans- and gender-fluid communities, including the prevalence of violence. More than 600 people were in attendance this year. “When I joined I instantly gained a huge community of friends that understands a part of my life that other people in my life do not necessarily understand,” senior Michelle Liu said. “It has become a large part of my social life on campus and anyone who is a part of the LGBTQIA community or identifies as an ally will benefit greatly by joining.” No matter what you identify as PRIDE welcomes everyone.
10. Associated Students
If OLÉ Homecoming Weekend, Movie Night Fridays (with free In-N-Out) or OLÉ Music Fest are some of your fav events on campus, you can thank Associated Students. Associated Students is USD’s student government—the representatives that work hard to make USD the best it can be by providing everyone on campus with the essentials to grow together. They signify what being a Torero truly means by promoting growth, expression, addressing student issues and indulging in the diverse and inclusive community. Associated Students member Bryan Tudors said that AS is the governing body for the undergraduate student population and represent the population’s voice. “We have the power to create change around campus and collaborate with as many organizations on campus as possible. We are the connective tissue supporting all student orgs,” Tudor said. Some great events coming up are the Torero Program Board Trip to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios, the last senate meeting where the new AS executive board will be sworn in and the Pop Up Art exhibit. Group members keep students supported, especially through finals with Finals Feeding Frenzy, when they provide free food from all the places you crave like In-N-Out, Baked Bear and Chipotle. Although students must apply to get in, becoming a part of AS is a great experience.