CSUN establishes first student Peace Club in the nation
One of the great aspects about attending a university is the numerous clubs and organizations offered on campus, especially here at CSUN. While many clubs aim to help students become more interactive with each other on campus, there is one in particular that focuses solely on easing the minds of preoccupied students.
The CSUN Peace Club was established in October 2013, making CSUN the first university in the US to have a Peace Education Program (PEP).
According to The Prem Rawat Foundation, “the Peace Education Program (PEP) is to help participants discover their own inner resources, innate tools for living, such as inner strength, choice, hope and the possibility of personal peace.”
This educational program is an interactive workshop which is facilitated by showing a series of 10 videos by Prem Rawat. The videos address fundamental aspects of the inner-self ranging from topics including peace, appreciation, inner strength, self-awareness, clarity, understanding, dignity, choice, hope and contentment.
Rawat’s words inspired one CSUN student to take action on campus.
“One such fundamental aspect of our individual self is peace, and through Prem Rawat’s inspirational talks to discover and address this peace within oneself, we started a peace club at Cal State Northridge,” said Victor Kamont, Peace Club president.
In addition to being club president and university photographer, Kamont is a CTVA major studying electronic media management with advanced cinematography.
Earlier this semester at the annual Meet the Clubs event, about 82 students signed up to be a part of the Peace Club. The club holds its meeting twice a week on Wednesdays and Sundays, and aims to grow and become more active this year.
On Words of Peace (WOP), World Peace Ambassador Prem Rawat describes peace, saying, “Some say peace is the absence of war; some say peace is when you are free from all the problems of the world. Peace is more than political peace. Peace is a fundamental experience of existence within every single human being.”
The WOP organization holds public events worldwide to gather audiences together to listen to Rawat’s message of peace. Overall, the organization strives to address fundamental human needs.
“I feel this is the greatest gift you can ever give to another human being,” Kamont said. “Even though we call it Peace Education Program, it is really about reminding people of what they already have. This program is about reminding people of their innate strengths.”
There are several theories, philosophies and organizations that teach about regulating emotions to attain improvised decision making skills, or ways to maintaining a happy life. Such theories and philosophies could benefit CSUN students.
Usman Khan, vice president of the Peace Club, said they discuss more than the philosophies of peace.
“(This) program is about your feelings inside, and not philosophies,” Khan said. “As students we have so much to deal with: studies, jobs, relationships, family, so many things we are trying to figure out. To be able to handle such tasks makes it more important for students to be peaceful within, and to be aware of their inner resources.”
Khan, a junior consumer affairs major, first met Kamont at the gym and was instantly inspired to spread the message of peace through this club. He aspires to be a peacemaker in society, as he feels that peace is a fundamental, innate desire that everyone must be aware of, he said. Both Kamont and Khan established the club at CSUN together.
The word peace can have different meanings for others, including Khan who finds peace through gratitude.
“I find peace by reflecting and discovering it within myself and appreciating life, being grateful for what I have,” Khan said.
Ani Chobanyan, senior psychology major, is one of the members who signed up for the Peace Club.
“One can make significant positive changes in their personalities by finding peace within yourself,” Chobanyan said.
“So, if there’s something in your life that isn’t going the way you expected, it would only be logical to try something different,” Kamont said. “Maybe finding peace within yourself might work out after all.”