The introduction of the 2nd Annual CSUN Campus Clothing and Food Drive sparked a friendly competition between Senate members Tuesday as the A.S. vice president challenged them to get involved in the cause.
Neil Sanchez said he wanted A.S. student leadership entities, which consist of the Senate, various executive committees, finance, elections, and the SPACE board, to run the location with the most food and clothing donations on campus.
There are eight donation locations on campus, including the Fitness Center. Sanchez said he added that location after it was suggested by Senator Amanda Flavin.
“I like to see people compete for a great cause,” Sanchez said. “This is a good way to accomplish two things. It will bring awareness to a great cause and encourage positive competition.”
Justin Weiss, coordinator of the Unified We Serve volunteer program at CSUN, said that due to the current economic climate, many families would not be able to put food on their tables this holiday season.
He added the clothing and food drive was a way for students and faculty to combat this problem.
“We teamed up with an organization called MEND (Meet Each Need With Dignity) that service the San Fernando Valley and provides basic needs directly to the families,” Weiss said. “This drive is a way for the campus to get involved and to donate items that will benefit their own community.”
Weiss, who is also a member of the Matador Involvement Center (MIC), said the drive is a campus-wide event beginning Nov. 1 through Nov. 17.
Donation locations include the MIC, Oviatt Library, Community Center (in the dorms), Matador Bookstore, USU Welcome Desk, Bayramian Hall, CIELO (SH 443) and the Fitness Center.
The clothing and food drive’s success last year was due to a collective contribution of 3,000 food items and 2,500 articles of clothing, Weiss said.
The drive this year has a goal of about 2,000 more of each this year, he added.
He said this year’s donations will also include toys and books.
“We started a tradition by displaying all of the donated items on the steps of the Oviatt Library, so we could get a visual of how when everybody gives a little, look at what one campus can do,” Weiss said. “We are trying to show the powers in numbers philosophy.”
William Overvold, USU student representative, said he knew that there was power in numbers and that A.S. and the USU could make a difference with the food drive.
“If more students see their student leaders involved, it motivates or encourages them to get involved,” Overvold said. “I pledge to donate time and goods to the drive.”
Jordan Lopez, senator of education, said he suggested senators decorate a big box to place at their locations to make it easier for donated items to be collected and to send out a vast e-mail to students promoting the drive.
Sanchez said that although the official rules of the challenge will be discussed next week, senators would determine their location by choosing a piece of paper out of a hat.
He added that getting the Senate involved was a way for him to use his influence while in office.
In the spirit of competition, Unified We Serve would challenge clubs and organizations, faculty, staff and individual students to get the most donated items, Weiss said.
“Neil is going to be on our agenda on Nov. 17 where we are going to have a donation celebration by keeping with the tradition of putting the donated items on the steps of the Oviatt library,” Weiss said. “He will award the top A.S. person, as well as the top clubs or orgs, faculty or staff and individual student whose location site gets the most donation.”