The student body of UC Berkeley is one known for its willingness to engage passionately with a variety of causes, from protesting injustice in the streets to structured service organizations. The theme of “volunteerism” drives many students’ lives outside of classes, and it’s what we at The Weekender chosen to focus on this weekend.
Staff writers Elizabeth Neoman and Fionce Siow bring depthful features on two service organizations. Elizabeth spent time with the Suitcase Clinic, which provides services and resources to Berkeley residents facing homelessness, while Fionce got an inside look at Project SMILE (Spreading Multiculturalism and Inspiring Leadership through Education), which pairs college students with local middle schoolers to serve as mentors.
Meanwhile, stepping outside of Berkeley, Arianna Moss brings a commentary about her experience volunteering abroad in Vietnam — and the way in which such trips can turn into “voluntourism.”
For a bit of campus history, Bailey Dunn sheds some light on the history of the Free House restaurant here in Berkeley. During the ‘60s, the space served as a meeting place for members and organizers of the Free Speech Movement.
Finally, we have a portfolio piece this week — a poem by staff writer Olivia Staser on resilience.