Since August 1980, the Deaf CSUNians work to improve the college experience and services for the deaf and hard-of-hearing students
With more than 200 members and nine committees, it is one of the largest organizations on campus, said Gary Sanderson, interim director of the National Center on Deafness (NCOD).
The organization and NCOD are there to take care of deaf and hard-of-hearing students’ needs and provided them with a voice in the community, said Michael Olivier, president of the Deaf CSUNians and senior liberal studies major.
“Basically, we speak up for our rights,” Olivier said. “We work closely with NCOD along with all different deaf-related organizations on campus.”
The committee for political action is very active and the members get involved in open forums to discuss problems around campus and the services for the deaf and hard-of-hearing, including interpreters, caption writers and notetakers, Olivier said.
The organization has currently gone under a new direction and is focusing to catch up with times and revise its bylaws. The revision, which will involve all members, will take some time and much work to get through, but the process is for the better, he said.
“I think we have rediscovered our political side because we want to focus on getting the best service from NCOD,” Olivier said. “We are doing open forum almost every month now. That’s something new so all members can get together and speak rather than a small group of people speaking up. We are working on revising our bylaws because it needs to be updated.”
When not working on revising the bylaws and taking a stand for the deaf and hard-of-hearing, members of Deaf CSUNians volunteer at the Greater Los Angeles Agency on Deafness, Olivier said.
The group also takes time to organize special events and sports for the deaf and hard-of-hearing. Members can sign up to play soccer and men and women’s basketball, and it is one of the more popular activities for the group, he said.
“We love intramural sports,” Olivier said. “A lot of students participate in different sports.”
A group supported by the Deaf CSUNians is the Thunder Underground Entertainment. TUE consists of 11 student dancers and does different dance routines to provide entertainment, including hip-hop and break dance, said Dani Duran, sophomore sociology major and member of TUE.
The group meets every Tuesday to practice its routine and perform for any event, Duran said.
Other events held by the organization, include the popular Mr. and Ms. Deaf CSUN pageant and traditional Spring Banquet, Olivier said.
Some of the past Ms. Deaf America Pageant winners have been students from CSUN, said Sanderson.
The Spring Banquet is a traditional event for the organization. The event, in its 25 year, allows members to have dinner and dance. The banquet is scheduled for May 5.
The Mr. Deaf CSUNians Pageant will be held on March 24 in the Grand Salon.
Deaf CSUNians is not an exclusive organization for those that are deaf and hard-of-hearing only, Olivier said. Anyone is free to join and those who are deaf and hard-of hearing are automatically in the organization, Sanderson said. The organization has members that are not deaf, most of them being deaf studies majors or studying deaf signs, Olivier said.
The organization funds itself by doing numerous events and fundraisers, Olivier said. Bake sales and ticket sales for events, such as the Mr. CSUN Deaf Paegant and Spring Banquet, provide some funds for the Deaf CSUNians. The organization also writes letters to different companies to ask for donations to help the organization
Oscar Areliz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.