The first Aztec Unification Project took place at the beginning of this month.
Three student-run, San Diego State organizations traveled to downtown San Diego to volunteer at the Monarch school, serving dinner to grade school students impacted by poverty and homelessness as a part of the project.
Through this community work, the Afrikan Student Union, Hispanic Business Student Association and Sigma Phi Epsilon are three organizations that would have otherwise not been likely to work together so closely.
“So many student organizations are passionate about the same things but we get so caught up in what we are doing individually that we neglect to look outside of our regular communities,” Channelle McNutt, president of the Afrikan Student Union, said. “This community service allowed people to unite with one another and showcase a different side of their organizations that aren’t commonly seen or appreciated.”
The AUP was a two-day event. The first day was informal and instructional, set up to be an opportunity for the three student organizations to meet and mingle. During the first AUP, Dr. Tanis Stark from the Monarch School came to speak to the organizations about the philanthropic work they would be doing the following day.
“It was a great presentation and she helped me feel more comfortable with members in the other organizations,” a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon said.
On day two of the AUP, the three groups worked side by side making a visible difference in the lives of impoverished students. McNutt said the experience invited many of the students to step outside of their comfort zones.
“The actual service day really allowed students to understand the struggles and hardships of others, while recognizing our responsibility to give back to the community. Every aspect of the project allowed students to get to know one another,” she said.
There will be an Aztec Unification Project every semester, which will involve three different organizations volunteering at a unique location in San Diego. Student organizations interested in getting involved in a future program can find an application form on the Student Life & Leadership website at sll.sdsu.edu/leadership.