CSU Impact - CSL Newsletter
Volume II, No. 8
Your monthly source of Community Service-Learning News
May 11, 2005

News Stories

Seth Pollack, recipient of the 2005 Thomas Ehrlich Faculty Award for Service Learning

Two Activist Movements

In college campuses across the country and internationally, student groups are leading an anti-Coke movement, citing crimes against humanity in Coca-Cola plants in both Colombia and India.

As part of the TIAA-CREF and Social Responsibility campaign, a national coalition of activist groups are pushing for TIAA-CREF Retirement System to be more socially and environmentally responsible in its various investments.

Engaged Scholar

In this month’s column, Rosario Diaz-Greenberg, faculty from CSU San Marcos, shares her story of service learning and social justice in El Salvador.

In response to the Kent State shooting that took place 35 years ago this month, The Daily Titan headlines then Governor Ronald Regan’s proclamation to close all Cal State campuses.

Photo courtesy of the CSUF's Daily Titan newspaper and CSUF WMNS Studies 450 students

CSL 411

San Francisco State University holds the record for the longest student strike in US history. As a result of the four month strike, SFSU became the first school in the country to establish a College of Ethnic Studies.


Seth Pollack Receives National Award

The CSU service-learning community sends a heartfelt congratulations to Dr. Seth Pollack, Director of the Service Learning Institute at California State University Monterey Bay. Seth was recently named as the recipient of the 2005 Thomas Ehrlich Faculty Award for Service-Learning. Each year, Campus Compact recognizes one faculty member for integrating service learning into the curriculum and for institutionalizing service learning. This is the second year in a row that a CSU faculty member has received this honorable accolade. The CSU commends Seth for his vision, passion and leadership that has greatly impacted the CSU and colleges across the nation.

Is Student Activism Dead in the CSU?

Is student activism dead or is it just laying dormant? It’s neither, reports a group of CSU Fullerton students who were charged to research the history of activism in the CSU system as part of their women’s studies course. Historically, the CSU has been a trailblazer in leading and participating in social justice movements.

  • During the 1960s, CSU campuses “played host to mass, political protests surrounding issues primarily pertaining to the Civil Rights Movement and the Vietnam War…In droves the students organized demonstrations and protests, and helped to create a revolution by the people, for the people.”1
  • In late 1975 and early 1976, Chico students occupied the administration building to protest the arming of campus security personnel.
  • 1970-71, students and faculty from 7 CSU campuses marched, picketed and lobbied with Cesar Chavez in order to provide farm workers with the same rights given to the rest of society, especially education.

So, how active are today’s CSU students? Student activism is slightly greater than moderate (3.5 on a 5 point scale), according to service-learning practitioners and students who participated in CSU Fullerton’s recent study.2

Violence against women, war, politics and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights are some of the most popular activist issues today among CSU students.

As in the past, gatherings continue to play an important role in supporting today’s activism. This spring, students from CSU Fullerton and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo held two systemwide student social justice summits demonstrating that today’s CSU student continues to be engaged, empowered and committed to ‘changing the status quo.’

1. Dixon, Rhonda, Katie Owen and Erin Riebel. “The Education of Protest.” Women’s Studies 450, CSU Fullerton. Spring 2005, pp. 2.
Owen, Katie, Isabel Gomez and Monique Leinow. “Activism or Absence?” Women’s Studies 450, CSU Fullerton, Spring 2005, pp 1.

Community and University - Working Together to Address Violence

CSU Long Beach hosted the second annual Community Issues Forum entitled, “Promoting Safety, Preventing Violence: Harnessing Community Resources to Create a Safe Learning Environment” sponsored by the service-learning center, provost’s office and several community groups. The gathering brought together 250 community members to provide direction towards an action plan to fight violence in Long Beach. Breakout groups focused on what could be done by families, schools, neighborhoods, businesses, faith-based organizations, and the judicial system to improve the safety of our community. The outcome was a broad outline of an action agenda to inform social policy and provide continued exchange among participants.