Point Park University's Student-Run Newspaper

Point Park Globe

Point Park University's Student-Run Newspaper

Point Park Globe

Point Park University's Student-Run Newspaper

Point Park Globe

Students for Change meets in Solidarity with Palestine

Point Park Students for Change hold first meeting in solidarity with Palestine

by Cilia Catello on February 16, 2024


Last Monday, the Point Park Students for Change (PPSC) held their first club meeting. They

started at 7 p.m. on the fourth floor of Academic Hall with ten students in attendance. 


Founding members include Rich Calabrese, Joy Chatfield, Tyler Yurek and Isabella Menchen. 


The club is represented by Robert Ross, professor of social justice studies and community

engagement. Ross left Wednesday for occupied Palestine.


After introducing themselves and showing a PowerPoint detailing the goals of the club, PPSC

showed a short film called “The Present.” Released in 2020, the film follows a Palestinian father

and daughter pair on their journey to and from the store as they encounter multiple Israeli

military checkpoints.


During their presentation, PPSC stressed the importance of consuming Palestinian art.


According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, referencing information gathered in early 2023, there are 565 movement obstacles in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. 


Karam Daas is a senior international studies student at Point Park University. He was in attendance at Monday’s meeting. Daas is from Jordan and has family in the West Bank that he visits.


“There are places you can go, but it is Israeli occupation,” Daas said. “There are places inside the West Bank where you also can’t go because of the multiple checkpoints.”


Daas’ family in the West Bank are unharmed, but he said that a friend of his from Jordan lost 17

of his family members who lived in Gaza.


Calabrese, Chatfield, Yurek and Menchen are all freshmen and met at the beginning of the year

during orientation. Calabrese said the club stems from their passion for social justice. 


“It is the least we can do, especially with the privileges that I have myself as well as all of us,” Calabrese said. “We are in a position to speak for people who can’t speak for themselves and throughout history, these kinds of people with this privilege often do not exercise it.”


Ross said that students around the world are traditionally at the forefront of movements for justice and peace. Some examples include protests for civil rights in the ‘60s, against the Vietnam War in the ‘70s and for gender and sexuality equality in the ‘80s. 


All of the PPSC leadership stressed the importance of education and dialogue as the backbone of the club’s purpose.


“It’s a safe space for everyone to discuss their opinions and have a big conversation so we can all

learn from each other,” Menchen said.


Yurek said the club wants to provide a sense of community no matter what. “You don’t have to be nervous to go if you’re not that educated,” Yurek said.


The members hope to branch out in covering many more instances of injustice, locally and

globally. Their goals for the club, as stated in the PowerPoint presentation from Monda, are

community building, raising awareness, fundraising, activism and advocating for those who are

unable to advocate for themselves.


Chatfield says that the group aspires for longevity, hoping that the club will be around even after the founding members have graduated. 


PPSC said in an official statement to the Globe, “We want to make it explicitly clear that in our

solidarity for Palestine, we are not anti-Semitic. We are opposed to Zionism and the loss of all

innocent lives.”


The club closed its first meeting with many thanks to everyone who attended.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All Point Park Globe Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *