Nearly 100 students packed the Grand Salon of the University Student Union Wednesday evening to hear about campus organization Unified We Serve. This club is part of the volunteer program offered through the Matador Involvement Center.
There were no chairs available for students to sit at the clubs first meeting. Instead they were encouraged to sit on the carpeted floor and to get to know new people. Justin Weiss, volunteer program and services activities coordinator, began the meeting by introducing the leaders of the club and by showing a brief slideshow about events from last year’s community service events.
“We don’t like talking to you about service,” he said. “We like doing service.” With that, he encouraged the students to stand up and participate in various team building exercises involving students names, dance moves and teamwork. One exercise involved students using whatever office supplies were given to them to build a fort that could stand on its own. Some students received everything they need, while others didn’t.
Weiss used this to illustrate the idea that students should help the less fortunate, regardless of how much or how little they have. He highlighted the various events club members participated in, like the AIDS Walk and the Thanksgiving clothing and food drive.
A new event this year will focus on the theme of the environment.
“We’re going to plant community gardens in underprivileged communities in the San Fernando Valley, so that families can have fresh food,” Weiss said, which drew applause from the crowd.
Travis White, programs coordinator for Unified We Serve, said the club helped him make friends and meet new people. “I hope [we] can come together as one big family,” he said.
Students leaving the meeting echoed White’s feelings.
“I love doing community service,” said Brittney Harvey, freshman deaf studies major. “This year they are focusing on the environment and I love that.”
Associated Students Vice President Talar Alexian was also present and said she will continue to support Unified We Serve in spite of her increased responsibilities.
“It was bittersweet leaving my position at Unified We Serve at the end of last year, but I will continue to be involved as a member,” she said.
Events coordinator Penelope Lopez was amazed at the turnout. “This is my first meeting, but this is a great turnout, it’s great to see everybody working together,” she said.
Unified We Serve meets every other Wednesday usually in the Grand Salon. Their next event is a Zumbathon on Oct. 2 in the Matadome. Tickets are available for $10 at the Ticket Office and all proceeds will benefit the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. More information is available on their website or by liking their page on Facebook.