By John Michael Guerrero
Riverside City College’s Students Orchestrating Change Club (SOC) is a strong-willed community striving to raise awareness, provide aid and service to the community.
The club is focused on studying current issues within select communities and helping raise awareness about them, both domestic and internationally. Many of the core values revolve around ideas taught to sociology majors.
President of SOC, Madi, who wished to be referenced by first name only, intends to promote a sense of pride for members of the club through tackling local community issues.
“There is a general interest (at Riverside City College) to improve the community and better the world,” Madi said.
The name of the club serves not just as a name but also as a mantra reflective of a collective initiative its members and student board aim to achieve.
“The idea of SOC Club – SOC is a play on words and is short for sociology, but is also an acronym for Student Orchestrating Change – and we go in both directions, where we will do some sociology oriented things,” Tim Gutierrez, club adviser and sociology professor at RCC, said. “But we also work on social justice-oriented things.”
Madi and Sonia Rana, the current vice president, chose to focus on international issues and humanitarian crises this fall semester. The club has set up a fundraiser to help Pakistan rebuild following recent floods. The fight for women’s autonomy from the Iranian government is another topic the board members aim to educate and spread awareness about.
On campus, the club has also had a huge influence on many events and propositions to the Associated Students of Riverside City College (ASRCC). Madi hopes, through the help of ASRCC, to establish a women’s self-defense class to help educate women about ways to protect themselves further.
Their drive to give back to the community through hygiene bags for the homeless and various partnerships with clubs like The Sustainability Club, cements this club as a leader of social awareness in the RCC community.“What I want for this club is for members to feel proud of what they have done (both here within the community and internationally),” Madi said.