Community Service Award

Other Collective

2019 Outstanding Award Winner

'Other Collective' is a nonprofit organization that aims to dismantle the orientalist umbrella that people belonging to the regions that include, but are not limited to, South West and South Asia and North Africa are very often stereotyped under. We express our narratives and tell our stories via our publication, that aims to represent our communities better via artistic expression and student programming.

Being conscious of the fact that the regions we were trying to advocate for have been historically subjected to the practice of being boxed into several separate identities, we aim to maintain fluidity in our being. In other words, we promote our platform as an effort to celebrate our similarities in our struggles and rebounds, rather than distancing ourselves based on the religions and topographies we hail from. Through our journalism and programming work, we aim to alleviate the voices and unique experiences of affiliated international students, first and second generation immigrants and anyone else who feels deeply connected to our regions and Cultures.

Coming together with a team of like-minded individuals to open up discussion regarding fragile social concepts like race, helped us go beyond the strictly academic lifestyles that many of us had long succumbed to. For our cognitive and computer science, neurobiology and disease biology majors, Other Collective was a way to connect with their community outside of the spaces outlined by class syllabi and explore their hobbies, while extending the positive impact they were making to a diverse body of students. With a majority of our staff majoring, or minoring, in fields that promote being politically aware, like sociology, ME/SA Studies, international relations, and American studies, amongst others, our work served as a platform to apply the skills they were learning in classes in a real-time space.

Working with folks in a close-knit cultural organization who have already achieved significant strides like publishing their work and curating their art galleries, gave our team the opportunity to learn from one another and broaden each other’s perspective on advocacy for the MENASA community. Furthermore, we got a chance to interact with professors and other staff members who have been working for years as agents of social change to transform the way we have been perceived and treated over the years. As a part of this team, we get tremendous exposure not only to organizational work, but also event planning and student programming. Working on different aspects of cultivating advocacy content and publicizing it for our audience on campus as a hard copy, entails management at several degrees and employment of the skills of effective budgeting, grant writing, public speaking, resume building, negotiations, and cultural sensitivity. Indeed, we as a team truly believe that Other Collective is playing a considerable role not only in shaping our identities but advancing the scope of our academic success, by creating a space for us to discover ourselves amidst the chaotic hustle of the quarter system.

Other Collective