A Glance at Some History and Future of the Student Peace Alliance at West

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Students in the Student Peace Alliance pose for a picture at Kick-off Day at the Tri-C Western Campus. Photo by Catherine Cesa
Students in the Student Peace Alliance pose for a picture at Kick-off Day at the Tri-C Western Campus. Photo by Catherine Cesa

By Catherine Cesa
Western Campus Staff Reporter

Brittany Hoogenboom began the Student Peace Alliance four years ago at the Western Campus to promote peace in the Greater Cleveland community. She was president of the club for its initial year.

“I wanted to start a club that could help to change our surrounding communities and teach peace and positivity to our younger generation so they could continue to pass it on,’’ Hoogenboom said.

When it began, the Student Peace Alliance had different activities such as Visit a Mosque with the International Club, Club Kick-off day, and a visit the Juvenile Detention Center and a conversation with the children held there. Some of the club’s members went through the college’s Mediation and Sustained Student Dialogue Network programs.

Tyrone Crew took over as president in 2011, and then the club sponsored the Peace It Forward campaign. Members gave out bands to students “caught” doing a good deed, and club members posted positive statements about the campaign on Facebook. Students receiving the wrist bands were encouraged to Pay It Forward to other students doing good deeds.

‘’The Student Peace Alliance works by bringing awareness and teaching about concepts behind peace and conflict, and by sponsoring speakers that can help people with the understanding of peace,” Crew said. “We in the Student Peace Alliance model the concepts of peace in our behavior with others.”

Last fall 2012 Gregorio Garcia, Josephine Cesa and I became officers of this club. The Student Peace Alliance is one of about three dozen clubs at the West Campus. Its adviser is Susan Lohwater.

“The motivation to be an officer of this club was because I want do something both good and different for students to help them to be successful,” said Garcia, club president and an ESL Level 3 student.

‘’We encourage other students from different countries and cultures to join our club and learn the importance of respect between us,” said Cesa, club secretary and an ESL Level 2 student.

The Student Peace Alliance not only advocates for peace, but every semester its members and officers also promote several visions. For example, the club was a sponsor of the Sept. 19 forum on ways to end the conflict and crisis in Syria. It also holds fundraisers to help The Student Food Bank.

If you are interested in being a member of The Student Peace Alliance Club, contact Gregorio Garcia by e-mail gregorio.garcia001@acad.tri-c.edu or via his cell phone (216) 314-8395. Or you can contact this author by e-mail at catherine.cesa001@acad.tri-c.edu.

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