by CHRISTINE NAPPI, Staff Writer
From collecting reusable mugs to use in Locke’s Loft, to organizing clothing drives on campus, this club works to make not only Manhattan College, but the whole New York City community a better place. By bringing awareness to injustices of the world, this club educates others on how to take action; this club is none other than JustPeace
JustPeace is a student run organization on campus that discusses current issues in the world today and offers solutions on how to solve them. The organization conducts various social-issue events and collects items such as clothes and health care products to donate to the less fortunate throughout the year. Education combined with action are essential aspects of the club as seen through their various endeavors.
“The goal is to be a student run organization trying to address issues that we see our issues, and giving a voice to students who want to try and create change,” said senior Carly Brownell, President of JustPeace.
JustPeace is most known for their annual spring clothing drive for New York clothing shelters, and most recently their reusable mug initiative to make the dining hall more sustainable and eco-friendly. Each fall semester the club participates in the Period Project, where they collect donations of pads and tampons for Part Of The Solution homeless shelter in the Bronx.
Although actions such as this are conducted on campus, according to sophomore Sydney Waitt, special projects coordinator, the club’s actions impact more than just MC.
“The changes that we make are affecting the entire state of New York. They’re small changes but they do make a difference; it’s the drop of water you need to make an ocean.” Waitt said. “Everyone doing their part is what makes the campus and New York City as a whole a better place.”
In addition to these annual events, JustPeace also hosts events that pertain to what is currently happening in the world, holding about four a semester. Some events for the upcoming year are the Peace Tour on Sept. 28 in which club members will travel to various landmarks in the city related to social justice, such as the World Trade Center and Ellis Island. They also plan to attend a Peace Action New York State conference Oct. fourth through sixth to hear various discussions addressing social justice.
According to Brownell, JustPeace also promotes “awareness raising events” such as bringing in various speakers, hosting events and conducting panels related to injustices of the world. In the past, these events showcased issues ranging from the opioid crisis to solitary confinement. The decision to have these events on campus are prompted by students’ desires to learn more about a topic that they find interesting and fits the mold of solving injustice.
“We leave it open to the students who come to the club,” said senior Joe Perez, Media Outreach for JustPeace. “The opioid crisis and the solitary confinement, those were ideas that were brought to us and we made it happen.”
The club also collaborates with campus organizations that have a similar purpose, such as the Muslim Student Association, Sanctus Artem, Psychology Club, and the LGBTQ Student Group. At their meetings, they promote some events that other groups are holding to highlight what’s going on around campus.
JustPeace hopes to promote peace on campus in any way, shape or form, and encourages students to get involved because their actions can make a difference.
“I really found my voice through JustPeace and I found my passion,” Brownell said. “it became a way to realize that you actually can do stuff, you can make changes, you can take actions, and also it raised awareness to me about a lot of different issues that need addressing.”
Members of the club find JustPeace to be an essential component of the college community for all it has to offer. Not only is it an outlet for students to give back, but as junior Khaitlyn Figueroa, JustPeace secretary describes, the idea of peace and justice can be seen everywhere and in everything students do. With that in mind, she sees the club benefiting all types of students.
“We all have to take responsibility, especially because a lot of these issues are systematic and we’re all part of the system,” Figueroa said. “It’s important to educate yourself in these issues because you can bring what you learn into any field.”
JustPeace is open to all students and according to the members, is hoping to grow in membership. They encourage members to partake in events they host as well as peace oriented events that other clubs host, in an effort to better the community.
“I found myself going one day and then I just kept on going, and it was a way for me to be aware of what’s happening around me,” Perez said. “I really liked listening to all of these social issues all all of the ideas that people have to make a change, and at one point you go from listening to being a part of the change.”