Summer Entertainment at CSUN with a Splash of Doing Good

CSUN community gathers in front of blow up movie screen

CSUN students, faculty, staff and community members gathered at a screening last year for the Summer Movie Fest. Photo courtesy of Associated Students.

The silver screen has made its way to California State University, Northridge for a second summer in the form of Associated Students’ Summer Movie Fest. However, this year will encourage a little more audience participation.

Every Thursday through August 28 will be filled with family favorites, classic blockbusters and college must-sees on CSUN’s Delmar T. Oviatt Lawn. Movies start at dusk (about 7 p.m.) and are preceded by an array of food trucks starting at 5:30 p.m.

“The goal of the program is to provide outdoor activity for the CSUN students, faculty, staff and community,” said Kevin A. Mojaradi, coordinator of marketing and public relations for Associated Students. “It’s also our goal to increase school spirit and a sense of community among the CSUN community.”

In an effort to further that sense of community, Unified We Serve, the volunteer program at CSUN, is teaming up with Associated Students to collect donations of clothing and canned food items for the San Fernando Valley Rescue Mission. The donations will go to the facility to be distributed to homeless Angelenos as the mission’s devastated stock is renewed. The rescue mission lost much of its reserve of donated goods on May 3 to a fire.

A group of students standing on library steps surrounded by canned food

Unified We Serve ran a successful MEND drive in the fall, filling up the steps of the Delmar T. Oviatt Library with canned goods to be donated. Photo by Lee Choo.

“When we became aware of the fire at the San Fernando Valley Rescue Mission, we reached out to the organization,” said Justin Weiss, activities coordinator of volunteer programs for the Matador Involvement Center. “It was essential that we got involved and provided help for our community partner.”

The university has strong ties to the rescue mission, which lost its food pantry, emergency shelter, half of its vehicle fleet and a processing center that held about $250,000 in donated items. The rescue mission has provided CSUN students with volunteer opportunities to work with the LA homeless community, internships with its counseling resources and opportunities to work in specialized fields of social welfare, said Weiss, who works closely with the agency’s directors.

“No matter the time of year, we want to give back to the community. We normally do the clothing and food drive toward the holidays, but people are in need now,” said Penelope Lopez, a junior journalism major who works on campus with Unified We Serve as a student assistant.

Donation stations will be available at the movie showing and on Prairie Street in front of the B3 parking structure (between Darby Avenue and West University Drive). Attendees should look for Associated Students and Unified We Serve members next to bins on the Oviatt Lawn and at the drop-off location.

The items in need of most are:

  • New and gently used clothing and shoes
  • New socks and underwear
  • Hygiene products (shampoo, conditioner, soap, lotion, shaving cream and toothpaste)
  • Food items (pasta sauce, canned chili, tomato sauce, rice, lentils, chicken broth, vegetable and olive oil, flour, sugar and Jello)

“We have students who love to volunteer year-round, and this event gives them a chance to give back in a significant way during a season when many people aren’t on campus,” said Lopez.

This will be the second major joint project for the three entities. At the Associated Students Earth Fair in April 2013, the group worked with Unified We Serve and hosted a booth for participants to pot fresh fruit and vegetable plants and design “warm wishes” tiles to be donated to the San Fernando Valley Rescue Mission.

“We are extraordinarily grateful and appreciative to have a long-standing relationship with AS, and one of the main thrusts that bridged the relationship is AS’ commitment to service and making a profound impact on the CSUN community as well as the community at large,” said Weiss. “[This] comes from the staff and students’ ethics of community engagement that led them to connect with Unified We Serve. AS was willing to commit to providing volunteers and providing marketing, publicity and the financial resources needed to host a drive. They are remarkably committed to supporting this venture.”

April Lindh with the San Fernando Valley Rescue Mission called CSUN one of the agency’s “key partners.”

Help Rescue the San Fernando Valley Rescue Mission

Courtesy of the San Fernando Valley Rescue Mission.

“Dozens of students volunteer and intern with us annually,” she said. “In the wake of the fire, we are grateful for CSUN’s support through the summer donation drive at Summer Movie Fest. The fire on May 3 destroyed our shelter, warehouse, food pantry, and half of our vehicle fleet. There was over $2.5 million in losses. All items donated will help us as we continue providing services to the homeless in the San Fernando Valley.”

In the family-friendly category, June will see “Enchanted,” “Shrek” and “Despicable Me 2,” while July 17 will get a douse of winter with latest Disney favorite “Frozen.” “Monsters University” will show on Aug. 7 and will be accompanied by an expedition for Matador alumni’s “little monsters” to explore the campus.

College student favorites include “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest” (July 10) and “Super Bad” (Aug. 28). The classic blockbuster set will be kicked off by “The Sandlot” on July 3, followed by “Singin’ in the Rain” on July 31 and “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” on Aug. 21.

Those attending are encouraged to bring a blanket or short lawn chair to sit on the lawn. Parking in student lots is $6 without a valid CSUN permit. Pets are welcome when leashed.

For more information and a complete listing of movies, visit the Associated Students Movie Fest website.


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