Unity and Diversity through Culture Shock

Rips and tears, dirty beaches and internment Camps. The Culture Shock club on campus takes on various projects to explore different cultures through community service.

Partnering up with non-profit organizations, students who are willing to work towards a better future by uniting all cultures and types of people can join Culture Shock’s mission.

Steven Solana, one of the creators of the club, said one of the club’s missions is to “exemplify the principle of unity and diversity through the eradication of social fears and ignorance of various cultures.”

Solana, 21, biology and chemistry major, has been involved with the club since it started late 2007.

According to the group’s Facebook site, the group partners with non-profit organizations and institutions such as the American Diabetes Association, Bear-With-Us, Central Asia Institute, Special Olympics of Southern California, Museum of Tolerance and the Manzanar War Relocation Center.

Culture Shock President, Jonathan Godoy, 22, sociology major, said that the club does several projects at once, yet one that happens every semester is raising funds for the non-profit wildlife organization, Bear-With-Us, where “volunteers in the Mammoth Lakes area help to steward bears and other wildlife in returning to and surviving in the wild.”

A recent project was a clothing drive on Thur., Nov. 12 and Mon., Nov. 16 on campus held to help both Habitat for Humanity and the homeless of Skid Row in Los Angeles. Godoy said, “If anyone would still like to donate more clothes, especially socks and blankets, we will gladly take them for you to a charity of your choice until the end of this semester.” The items can be brought to the club’s meetings on Mondays from 1:30 p.m. to 2:45 p.m. in Bldg. 26D Room 2230.

For Angel Lopez, 21, communications major, being a part of Culture Shock’s trip to Manzanar, a Japanese internment camp, helped him become more aware of America’s history and how fear about the Japanese culture caused us to be biased during World War II.

Students who are interested in getting college credit for being a part of Culture Shock can sign up for the SL 3 (Service Learning/Seminar in Community Involvement) class, or the SOC 99 (Special Projects in Sociology) class. For the SL 3 class students are required to do 108 community service hours, while the SOC 99 class is an alternative option for those who have already taken SL 3 and want to keep working with Culture Shock for credit. SOC 99 requires a professor contract in addition to the 108 hours.

For more information, contact Dr. Linda Rillorta at lrillorta@mtsac.edu or at extension 3919.

Justine Mrsich
Staff Writer