“1, 2, 3, 4: WE CANNOT AFFORD TO WAIT!”

Members of the Students of Color Coalition (SOCC) asserted their self-determination before the Board of Trustees three different times on Friday, February 28. One... Board of Trustees morning meeting with Soka Student Union Executive Council (EC) 11:10AM Purpose of the meeting: In place of the Q&A session typically held for the entire student body during … Continue reading “1, 2, 3, 4: WE CANNOT AFFORD TO WAIT!”

This is About Us: Students of Color Conference centers student activism

Many questions, both voiced and implied, hung in the air throughout the day Saturday at the first Students of Color Conference at Soka University. The overarching theme posed the question: How do we build a world without empires?  The activists, educators, students and scholars who served as panelists, workshop leaders, and keynote speakers, raised many … Continue reading This is About Us: Students of Color Conference centers student activism

The student movement: A reminder…and an invitation

I wanted to give a shoutout to our fellow peers in Students of Color Coalition in this BuzzFeed-esque article because...well...it's been hell. If you didn't already know, the 1st Annual SUA Students of Color Conference is taking place this Saturday, February 1st. But first, I need to reiterate that this monumental event didn't materialize out … Continue reading The student movement: A reminder…and an invitation

Sea Monsters, Pirates, Girls: A review of “The Abyss Surrounds Us”

By Charlie Robielos, Pearl Staff Sea monsters. Pirates. Girls. If you’re not sold on this book yet, you should reconsider your priorities. Emily Strutskie published her debut novel, The Abyss Surrounds Us, in 2016 while still attending Cornell University. If not for the spicy plot or just to support stories from diverse perspectives, you should … Continue reading Sea Monsters, Pirates, Girls: A review of “The Abyss Surrounds Us”

‘We want better for the future’: SUA alumni create petition with demands for administration

As conversations between the Students of Color Coalition, Black Student Union and administration continue, alumni are beginning to pay attention to the recent push for improvement and accountability around issues of race on campus.  Milly Tamarez, class of 2011, and Aileen Mokuria, class of 2013, have been organizing to demonstrate alumni support for reforms to … Continue reading ‘We want better for the future’: SUA alumni create petition with demands for administration

Dear Mother Africa: The experiences of African students at SUA

In this piece, Africa is addressed as 'mother' to signify her role as the birthplace of the human race. This piece explores what people think about Africa in a personal yet revealing letter to the personified African continent. The letter also includes African students' experiences at Soka University of America concerning certain stereotypes they encounter … Continue reading Dear Mother Africa: The experiences of African students at SUA

Students protest Lions Roar admissions event

On Saturday, Soka welcomed prospective students and their families onto campus for the annual Lions Roar event, where high school seniors can learn about what the university has to offer.  But things did not go according to plan - a group of about 40 current students organized a protest of the university’s treatment of black … Continue reading Students protest Lions Roar admissions event

It’s about more than the n-word

By Abbie Malabuyoc & Casey Chaffin  Students at Soka University of America will be protesting the annual tradition of Soka Fest tonight in solidarity with the Black Student Union. Many still question BSU’s motives in dissenting from the yearly celebration. Racism on campus goes back far beyond a Facebook exchange over the use of the … Continue reading It’s about more than the n-word

‘Our curriculum has always been centered on white voices’: The student push for African & Ethnic Studies

Leaders from the Black Student Union (BSU) and Students of Color Coalition (SOCC) sat in the front row of Pauling 216 Wednesday, waiting for the meeting about African and Ethnic Studies classes to begin.  The meeting had been hastily called by the Dean of Faculty Bryan Penprase and Vice President of Academic Affairs Ed Feasel, … Continue reading ‘Our curriculum has always been centered on white voices’: The student push for African & Ethnic Studies

The Black Student Union and Student of Color Coalition Manifesto

This manifesto was written by Black Student Union and the Student of Color Coalition Addressed to Soka University of America Dated November 7, 2019    BLACK STUDENT UNION STATEMENT:  Due to the recent interruption of SUA’s erasure of Black Students’ lived experiences, which stemmed from a non-Black student using the n-word racial slur, has culminated … Continue reading The Black Student Union and Student of Color Coalition Manifesto

Black Student Union organizes protest of Soka Festival

Kristen Storms, co-founder of the Black Student Union, stood in front of a packed Fishbowl the night of November 5 to announce the BSU’s next initiative: a protest of Soka Fest.  Recent student unrest over non-black students’ use of the n-word has brought long-held frustrations over unaddressed racism to a head. The protest targets Soka … Continue reading Black Student Union organizes protest of Soka Festival

Straight from the Field: Soka Men’s Soccer Game Recap

On a muggy, Saturday afternoon, we kicked off our second match against Multnomah University.  Brimming with confidence after our win against San Diego Christian, we came storming out of the gates. It didn’t take long before we had opened our account. Hunter Stewart played a chipped pass behind the defense to Gerardo De La Torre … Continue reading Straight from the Field: Soka Men’s Soccer Game Recap

KA-BOOM: Breaking Language Barriers with Comic Books

By Kofi Gyamfi Sarkodie, Contributor I was born in a town called Agona. The only literate adults there at that time were the teachers who had been posted from the city to teach at schools in our town. Since Ghana has over 250 languages and dialects, learning the English language is crucial to breaking the … Continue reading KA-BOOM: Breaking Language Barriers with Comic Books

This One’s About Us: The Push for African and Ethnic Studies at Soka

By Christelle Inema, Victoria Huynh, and Jordyn Saito On behalf of the student group leading the push for African and Ethnic Studies Within the last year, SUA’s Black Student Union has spearheaded a strong and visible push for African Studies.  For many students, this demand may appear to be a recent one, however after archival … Continue reading This One’s About Us: The Push for African and Ethnic Studies at Soka

Critical Perspectives on Soka’s Lu’au

By Jordyn Saito, Freelancer In its 10th anniversary this year, the Lūʻau performance is one of our oldest traditions here at Soka.  The club which spearheads it every year is called “Ka Pilina Ho’olokahi” which, according to their facebook page, means “the coming together in harmony for peace” in the Hawaiian language. Growing up in … Continue reading Critical Perspectives on Soka’s Lu’au

Three Spanish perspectives on Spain’s upcoming elections

By Julian Nazar, Pearl Foreign Correspondent Julian is studying abroad in Granada, Spain Mariano Rajoy, a member of the moderate-right Partido Popular (PP), was elected as Prime Minister of Spain for a second term in the 2016 general election.  In the years that followed, his tenure had been marred with corruption scandals. The situation worsened … Continue reading Three Spanish perspectives on Spain’s upcoming elections

We need more conversations about mental health on campus

  Mental health isn’t discussed a lot on campus. I know mental health might be scary to some, but the word shouldn’t drive us away from the conversation. Mental health isn’t just about sadness, depression, or negative emotions—it’s about the positive ones too. Understanding mental health is an essential step in promoting better well-being for … Continue reading We need more conversations about mental health on campus

‘Many Embodied, One in Mind’: Reflecting on the National Youth Climate Strike

By Shelby Kohn, Climate Reality Club Committee Chair Photos by Tamy Nazha I was talking on the phone with my friend Gianna, a senior student at University of California, Irvine (UCI) when I first heard about the National Youth Climate Strike. We are both climate activists and met at a climate change training held by … Continue reading ‘Many Embodied, One in Mind’: Reflecting on the National Youth Climate Strike

2019 Energy Challenge: Results, Analysis, and Why This Matters

By Lauren Ng, Sustainability Educator As an institution of higher education, our fundamental purpose is to educate students who will enter the world as changemakers for a better future. If we want to see a more sustainable world, we must start by living it and speaking it. Energy is a finite, common good. Energy efficiency, … Continue reading 2019 Energy Challenge: Results, Analysis, and Why This Matters

Review: Solange’s new album is like a warm, breezy daydream

By Connor Busby, Pearl Staff A plain foam mattress pad – the concept of a bed reduced to its bare bones. It is just this kind of simple cushion upon which I lay, closing my eyes and listening to Solange’s new album, When I Get Home (WIGH), for the first time. A very fitting location … Continue reading Review: Solange’s new album is like a warm, breezy daydream

Two recent public-safety incidents under investigation

PHOTO: Soka Public Safety Director Craig Lee in his office on February 27. During this semester, two events concerning public safety have had that effect: a man accused of a lethal hit-and-run was arrested on campus, and someone entered students’ rooms and rearranged their belongings without permission. The Pearl reached out to Director of Residential … Continue reading Two recent public-safety incidents under investigation

Review: “Captain Marvel” charms, but falls short of greatness

By Skyler Wolf, Pearl Reporter Captain Marvel is undeniably placed in an awkward spot within the Marvel movie slot. Off the wave of Avengers: Infinity War— which was insanely popular among critics and audiences alike, earning nearly $665 million in the box office—and released just a month before the highly anticipated Avengers: Endgame, Brie Larson’s … Continue reading Review: “Captain Marvel” charms, but falls short of greatness

An app, a training, and new signs: Updates to campus safety procedures

As far as public safety goes, the 2017-2018 school year was a rough one. In October 2017, a homicide took place not too far from campus and an elevator component mistaken for a bomb brought the Orange County bomb squad to campus; the next month, ex-Soka student David Smith was arrested after threatening to attack … Continue reading An app, a training, and new signs: Updates to campus safety procedures

“I had goosebumps”: Review of Sir Andras Schiff’s piano performance at the PAC

By Michael Giles, Guest Reviewer From one of the most classically polished backgrounds, I was able to attend one of the most incredibly performed piano concert at Soka's Performing Arts Center. Sir Andras Schiff is a 65-year-old Hungarian who speaks with a thick accent, and was trained in classical piano in Britain. He has won … Continue reading “I had goosebumps”: Review of Sir Andras Schiff’s piano performance at the PAC

Local woman protests against Aliso Viejo city council partisanship

By Julian Nazar Following the November midterm elections, the Aliso Viejo City Council convened on November 9 for its bi-monthly meeting. At this meeting, similar to others, both local individuals and businesses were recognized for their outstanding service to the community. In this case, Kaylin Maddox, a graduate from St. Mary’s School, was awarded a … Continue reading Local woman protests against Aliso Viejo city council partisanship

Art and Education, an Interview with the New Performing Arts Center Director

By Skyler Wolf  Renee Bodie has recently taken the position of Director of the Performing Arts Center after Soka’s founding PAC director, David Palmer, retired last year. Bodie formerly directed the Levitt Pavilion, where she programmed and produced hundreds of shows, and helped the Pavilion win the “Best Live Music Venue” award multiple years in a row. Bodie hopes to enrich the education of Soka by … Continue reading Art and Education, an Interview with the New Performing Arts Center Director

Local Author Ties it All Together in New Book

Soka University featured in a chapter of Ties That Bind, by local author Suzanne Chun, the wife of Aliso Viejo city councilman and Soka Bistro frequenter Ross Chun, recently published a book Ties That Bind: Tales of Love, Family, and Friendship which contains several short nonfiction stories that represent some of her most treasured memories. … Continue reading Local Author Ties it All Together in New Book

ASB Fosters Connection Between Students and Houstonians

By Reina Strauss, Harumi Koga and Saori Konishi Alternative Spring Break is a service learning program for Soka students to travel and learn about a variety of human issues and engage and serve communities during spring break. This past year, students participating in ASB went to Houston, Texas to aid in disaster relief in the … Continue reading ASB Fosters Connection Between Students and Houstonians

Deported: A Story from the U.S. Immigration Crisis 

By Mercedes Corrales In January 2018, after living in the U.S. for 25 years, my grandmother Maria was deported to her home country of Mexico.   Her deportation was an unexpected one. In 2005, my grandma was detained and was going to be sent back to Mexico. However, her youngest son needed medical attention and required yearly surgeries until … Continue reading Deported: A Story from the U.S. Immigration Crisis 

A Conversation with Newly-Elected City Councilwoman Tiffany Ackley

Tiffany Ackley didn’t expect to go into politics. After receiving her law degree from the University of San Diego School of Law, she decided to become an environmental attorney. Since then, she has advocated for stronger environmental standards on behalf of Orange County Cities and Water Districts. Nine years ago, she decided to move with … Continue reading A Conversation with Newly-Elected City Councilwoman Tiffany Ackley

Feeling the Heat: How Climate Change Hits Close to Home 

By Lauren Ng, Student Sustainability Educator  Over the summer, I had the opportunity to work on campus as a Sustainability Assistant. It was a fantastic experience. I received a great deal on summer housing, and my job allowed me the flexibility to create my own projects and do fulfilling work. However, I had to bring a winter jacket … Continue reading Feeling the Heat: How Climate Change Hits Close to Home 

Building a More Sustainable Soka, Building a More Sustainable World

(Photo by Alena Koval from Pexels) In the face of global issues like climate change, natural resource depletion, and pollution some students are wondering how to make an impact. There are currently sustainability projects in the works on campus, but there are also individual ways to help. So how can students live more sustainable lives … Continue reading Building a More Sustainable Soka, Building a More Sustainable World

Freedom Writers’ Journey

The Freedom Writers Foundation emphasizes overcoming adversity – whether it be social, economic and interpersonal – through education and the promotion of an inclusive pedagogy. The foundation began with Erin Gruwell, an English teacher with a steadfast commitment to equality in education. Gruwell spent four years teaching a group of underserved students at Wilson High … Continue reading Freedom Writers’ Journey

SEED club releases survey about freedom of speech on campus

Submitted by Zaw Lin Htet, on behalf of Social Entrepreneurship and Economic Development (SEED) Free speech is one of the core values of a democratic society. Across history (even in many countries today), the freedom of speech threatens and dismantles existing totalitarian regimes as it enables ideas of justice and equality to spread and helps … Continue reading SEED club releases survey about freedom of speech on campus

University leadership responds to student protests and demands

Photo by Saanika Joshi These statements precede the “Building a Community of Trust, Equity, and Inclusion Open Forum" on Friday. Most of campus will shut down in order to allow all students, faculty, and staff to attend. “The intention is to create an open space for the community members to engage in conversations with the … Continue reading University leadership responds to student protests and demands

I Never Saw Another Butterfly

As part of Professor Allinson’s Good, Evil, and the Holocaust course, on October 27th, I, along with my classmates, attended a play titled I Never Saw Another Butterfly at the Laguna Playhouse. Professor Allinson assigned this play to personalize the information we had covered in class about the Holocaust by seeing living children perform the roles of those murdered by … Continue reading I Never Saw Another Butterfly