Now more than ever, the subject and act of activism are active at CSUSB with the influence of certain campus professors and clubs.
Activism is the act of bringing awareness to political and social issues. Through planning events to promote change, fundraising money to donate to a cause, and many more different ways; activism is additionally active on campus in comparison to other school years.
The reason activism has played a bigger role at CSUSB, is due to recent major events in America. Gender, race, sexuality, and other minority groups have spoken out nationwide about their sense of security feeling thin, and the constant emotion of feeling threatened by an upper power.
Professor Liliana Conlisk-Gallegos is one of the many professors on campus who pushes the subject of activism in her classes.
This is a video posted by the Coyote Pack in 2017 that explains their purpose and reason for their push for activism at their “Art of Dreaming” event.
Dr. Conlisk-Gallegos’ focuses her class on the everyday issues of the Latino community. From the severity of border control, the risk undocumented students live with now, and so much more, she dives into these subjects with real-life examples based on the students and staff she’s met on campus.
One of Dr. Conlisk-Gallegos recent and most popular event was the “Art of Dreaming”. This event was put together by the Coyote Pack and the Undocumented Student Success Center to raise money for scholarship funds for undocumented students.
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Conlisk-Gallegos does not sugarcoat the issues occurring either though. She is brutally candid and upright with her students with the hope that the honesty she brings to class will motivate her students to join her fight with activism on campus.
Melissa Cardonato is a Communication senior whose career goals were influenced by Dr. Conlisk-Gallegos’ class. She was inspired by the lectures on Latinx resistance in her upper division communication class that it’s led to her goal of becoming a Spanish translator for undocumented people in the United States court system.
[su_quote cite=”Melissa Cardonato”]Learning about Latino history and being able to see the differences when Latinos were being pressured then and how they’re being pressured now; that really affected what I wanted to do in my future.[/su_quote]
Conlisk-Gallegos efforts and work have also captured the attention of new staff member, Alfredo Cruz.
Cruz is the new Coyote Radio Operations Manager and open ally to the professors and clubs that promote activism on campus.
With years of experience in the journalism field on his resume, Cruz, in his short time on campus, has still been overly impressed with the works and efforts from the staff and students on their work in activism.
[su_quote cite=”Alfredo Cruz”]I’ve been very inspired by everything that I’ve seen here on this campus, not just by the students and their activities but also by the administration’s support and the culture that’s been established.[/su_quote]
Cruz plans on using his platform and resources at Coyote Radio to help promote events and issues of activism on the airwaves. To him, letting the students and staff tell their story is the most important thing.
Marlo Brooks, the President of African American Brotherhood, leads another activist group on campus. Since his arrival on campus, social issues brought him to the SMSU Cross-Cultural Center to bring about any sort of change he could.
[su_quote cite=”Marlo Brooks”]I wanted to find a way to be a part of, show our support for, speak out against issues occurring to give students a way to deal with it all.[/su_quote]
The African American Brotherhood has the support of campus officials and multiple professors because of its ability to include more than just the black community but anyone who chooses to be a part of it.
They focus on contributing to multiple social issues, by donating to activism, helping other groups in any way that they can, or simply just showing their support by attending events.
Brooks believes his group’s impact on the activism on campus “has had a big reach from the community because after events people will call him expressing their gratitude and unawareness of how many student participation they have.”
With so many different outlets, groups, professors, and just posters on social change being plastered around campus. Activism is always being promoted and present.
Dayna Doidge, a new transfer student on campus, thinks the push for activism can cross boundaries.
She explains that she’s felt pressured to participate in activism more than she normally would because of the impact it would have on her grade.
Doidge expresses that after college her participation in activism is discouraged because “I don’t really follow in that way… I sometimes don’t agree with them (Professors) in some ways.”
Cardonato also sees the negative impact the constant push for activism can have on students who aren’t ready.
[su_quote cite=”Melissa Cardonato”]There’s a lack of education in the subject that really affects everyone, so if you don’t know about… resistance or a professor who’s going to back that, then I don’t think people will be understanding to talk about things like that.[/su_quote]
Dr. Jo Anna Grant, Director of the CSUSB Teaching Resource Center, sees a positive impact of activism on campus as well though.
No matter the impact or message being sent, staff and students at CSUSB are investing their blood, sweat, and tears to bring a change on campus through activism.
They vow not to be silenced until change is brought.