The Student News Site of Xavier College Preparatory


The Student News Site of Xavier College Preparatory


The Student News Site of Xavier College Preparatory


The Student News Site of Xavier College Preparatory


Follow Us On Instagram
View this profile on Instagram

Xavier XPress (@xcpxpress) • Instagram photos and videos

Local Weather

Xavier’s Students for Social Action Club shows passion to action

Grace Thomas
Students gather around the Students for Social Action Club’s information table on the death penalty, engaging in discussions and raising awareness about the issue. The club’s efforts reflect its commitment to advocacy and education on pressing social justice issues within the school community.

In today’s world marked by unprecedented global challenges and societal complexities, the need for advocacy and active citizenship has never been more critical. At Xavier College Preparatory, students are rising to the occasion through the Students for Social Action Club (SSA), leading initiatives that champion meaningful change and amplify the voices of the next generation.

The club provides a platform for student-led initiatives and grassroots activism, fostering a culture of civic engagement among Xavier students. Through lectures, information sessions, meetings, and advocacy campaigns, members gain the skills and knowledge needed to tackle pressing issues including Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) and locally-owned businesses, period poverty, mental health, microplastics, gun violence, and the death penalty.

According to its website, the purpose of SSA says, “We aim to create a safe space for students to talk about their experiences and to share their ideas for a wide variety of social issues. Several perspectives are welcome even as conversations will be held in light of the principles of Catholic Social Teaching. As students who have been informed by the Catholic vision of working for a more peaceful and just world through a non-violent revolution of love and by our own experiences, we will attempt to do small things with great love.”

The club offers targeted resources to keep members informed and involved in their chosen causes, presenting educational materials and practical avenues for making a difference.

In terms of BIPOC-owned small businesses, the website features ways to support  companies such as The Coronado, Tres Leches Cafe, Los Reyes De La Torta, and Sugar Jam Bake Shop & Bistro.  

For period poverty, SSA gives viewers a definition of the problem and different initiatives that empower women and girls facing this issue, such as Girls Learn International, The Pad Project, and HER Drive. 

Regarding mental health, the club provides a list of important steps to take care of oneself, featuring sustainability advice, specially-made music playlists, articles on cleanliness and hygiene, and a custom movie list on Letterboxd.

Concerning microplastics, the website defines what a microplastic is, describes events held to raise awareness and monetary donations regarding this issue, and promotes other organizations that specifically focus on this problem, such as Student Ocean Advocates. 

For gun violence, the club wrote a letter to Bishop Dolan prompting him to speak up on the issue of gun violence before the 2022 Arizona Election.

SSA emphasizes the importance of collaboration and solidarity in addressing systemic injustices.

For example, the club’s historian, Hazel Vynalek ‘26, describes how she is able to engage her peers in social action by saying, “There are two important factors I always remember: conversation and personal bias surrounding certain issues. When I’m having a normal conversation with any of my friends, I like to incorporate social action topics. This should not be forced; it should be normal, as it is a part of daily life. Rather than beginning a conversation on a topic head-on or with a deep perspective, it’s easier to discuss the surface details.” 

One of the primary objectives of SSA is to foster a culture of civic engagement and responsibility among Xavier students. Through meetings, lectures, and advocacy campaigns, members are equipped with knowledge, skills, and resources needed to advocate for causes they believe in and drive meaningful change in their communities. 

One of the club’s co-presidents, Avery Heetland ‘25, says, “We recently held an event to spread awareness regarding the death penalty and those wrongfully accused. We included a prayer, statistics, pamphlets, and quotes from the Catechism to educate readers. We also had a poster board that included QR codes linking more information and a website called Mercy in Action to sign up to receive updates and petitions for those wrongfully accused on death row. ”

Second co-president, Annalise “Kiki” Halpin ‘25, adds, “We held a lecture about the death penalty through the lens of the Catholic faith in March and our event occurred on April 10.”

By partnering with like-minded individuals and organizations, the club amplifies its impact and extends its reach, demonstrating the power of collective action in effecting positive social change.

Heetland describes collaborative efforts, saying, “In past years, a clothing drive has been held with St. Vincent De Paul (SVDP) where members or anyone in the Xavier community could donate clothes and receive service hours for their contributions. For future collaborations, we have talked about working with an organization called Back-to-Back that donates backpacks to those in need.”

Halpin says, “In the future, we hope to continue educating our club members through lectures. Additionally, we hope to collaborate with more clubs around school that have similar messages that SSA does, such as XERO Club or Gator-Aide Club.

In today’s rapidly evolving society, the need for student voices and advocacy has never been more urgent. From gun violence to mental health to period poverty, young people are confronting a myriad of complex challenges that demand bold solutions and firm commitment. 

Through initiatives like SSA, Xavier is nurturing the next generation of leaders, activists, and changemakers, empowering students to be catalysts for a more just, equitable, and sustainable future.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

We love and accept all constructive criticisms. We also like to hear what we did good; it's a great confidence booster!
All XPress picks Reader picks Sort: Newest

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