Pierce Pioneer

Resist Hate.

One voice, turning into millions participate in march.


On Jan. 21, 2017, an estimated 2.6 million people marched, some in outrage, some in protest. Some marched to express what they saw as an unfair result to the presidential election. Others joined out of concern for how Donald Trump’s policies were going to affect women’s rights, immigration, and Muslim communities.

In the days that followed, Trump picked his advisers and began to lay out policies that came from his campaign promises. People began to see a growing animosity towards certain groups. The Muslim ban and emphasis on illegal immigration only seemed to add fuel to the hostility.

Here on campus, students have expressed uncertainty and fear. Ishmael Rodriguez, a student pursuing general studies, echoed their concerns. “What I see, I don’t agree with the policies. They create distrust and fear. I can see where their fear about being deported is coming from; I’m Puerto Rican and share the same fear.”

When looking at the news feed on any social media outlets, it doesn’t take long to see the growing divide among people. Accusations on Facebook display a definite polarization. If someone voted for Trump, then automatically that person is labeled racist and supports bigotry. On the other hand, in sharing news reports one can be accused of promoting “alternative facts.”

Dennis Escobar, a student pursuing an AA/DTA, sees mainstream media as a contributing factor towards the antagonistic attitudes. “Media seems to be focusing on what’s wrong, what’s dividing us. I see them manipulating the truth to serve their own interests,” he said.

In his opinion, self-interest groups can also add to the division. By focusing only on their agenda they limit the conversation that could be had to find common ground for a solution. “I see a lot of hate and it is not just one way, but they tend to reciprocate,” Escobar said. “A simple conversation won’t be possible until their leaders stop focusing on themselves and start focusing also on others. People need be willing to sit at the table to ask, “Are you okay? What can I do to help?”

Getting involved in the community is a great way to combat the sense of helplessness many feel. Still, it can be difficult to know how to take a stand and resist hate.

One of the newest members to the college, Oneida Blagg, has some ideas to consider. She is the Executive Officer of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. Basically what she does is bridge the resources between students and their achievement goals.

She had this advice: “Being informed and being respectful of opposing points of view are the best things. College is learning about academic ideas and how to present them civilly. Talking about controversial things is important. Do you want a good idea to be rejected because of how it was delivered? Talking in angry tones can prevent a conversation towards a solution. Learn how to respond rather than react.”

The global march in January grew from a statement one person made on Facebook, “I think we should march.” News reports and pictures show what could happen if one became thousands, then millions. What can one person do? Apparently quite a lot.
















Learn how to utilize your leadership skills to start or join a club

Becoming a member of one or more clubs is a way for students to meet peers and enhance their college experience


Jessica Wyant/Staff Photo

Daniel Dino-Slofer is the President of the Japanese Game and Watch Club. This is the club’s third year running.

Joining a club is an opportunity available to all students; just locate an interesting club, make contact and attend. Starting a club is also an option available to all and the process begins at the student life office.

Clubs and Organization Senator, Allyson-Marie Shoemaker, encourages students with ideas or strong interests to consider starting a club. “Even if you don’t have immediate friends with the same interest there will probably be 100 people on campus who do love your idea,” said Shoemaker “so don’t be afraid to share it.”

Shoemaker recalled a story of a student dinner she attended where one student said she wished there was a knitting club and then witnessed at least a dozen other students respond enthusiastically that they did too. “It just takes a little confidence in your idea,” she said.

The first step to starting a club is to pick up a Clubs and Organizations Handbook at the student life office, which contains an application. Five student attendees and an Advisor (faculty or staff) are required to complete the application.

Shoemaker says she is available to help if these requirements seem out of reach or if a student wants to discuss ideas on how to complete this.

Next, identify goals of the club and how often you wish to meet. When the paperwork is completed and returned to Shoemaker or the student life office, the club will be issued an action item number so that it can be voted on during the next open student government meeting. 

Once ratified, a club is active for the rest of the school-year as long as it meets some simple requirements throughout the year.  The student government is able to offer help through promoting the club around the school and making funds available to them for club use.

A Club Council, which is a committee comprised of at least one representative from each club, meets several times throughout the quarter. This is a requirement to keep an active status. During these council meetings, clubs give reports, members network, share ideas and discuss their needs. “One member might ask how do I throw a pizza party for my club?” says Shoemaker. Funding is available to clubs and is one of the benefits of keeping an active status through participation in the council meetings. The council as a whole votes on funding requests. Clubs can be issued up to $500 per quarter.

In addition to meeting and spending time with students who have common interests, starting a club also offers leadership skills development. “The leadership experience that you get when you start a club is so beneficial. You have an idea, you execute the idea and you lead the club with your ideas,” says Shoemaker. 

Any student interested in joining a club can look for club posters displayed between the Fireside Lounge and the Performance Lounge.  For more information about starting a club contact Allison-Marie Shoemaker at [email protected] or call 253-964-6750 or stop by the Student Life Office.



Current ratified clubs:

Japanese Game and Watch Club

Urban Creators Club

Intervarsity Christian Fellowship Club

Pop Music Club

(there may a few more after Wednesday’s meeting at 1:00 pm)

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