About the Social Activism Speaker Series (SASS)
The goal of the Social Activism Speaker Series is to expose Caltech students, as well as the community at large, to the many diverse issues that face us, both locally and globally, so that the scientists of tomorrow may use their skills, ingenuity, and leadership to address these issues. The speakers we bring to campus are from varied backgrounds and have dedicated their lives to important social struggles. Their ability to share their experiences with students-bringing new awareness and stimulating thought and discussion-is part of what makes the Speaker Series a success. Many speakers are also scientists themselves who have spent much of their career examining the social and cultural implications of their work. The series seeks to develop in the student population and other community members a respect for diversity, a confidence in one's ability to affect social change, and the knowledge of how to do so.
The Caltech Y Social Activism Speaker Series was inaugurated in recognition of the grassroots efforts and collective power of individuals to make a difference in our world. We consider the Caltech student population to be a critical audience to reach because many of these students will become the scientific leaders of the future. It seems vital, therefore, that we create an environment at Caltech that encourages reflection on the ethical and moral issues scientists face in our society.
About the Caltech Y
The Caltech Y is about creating environments that provide students with the chance to own ideas, try them on, internalize them, and take them into the world. The Y is about helping students see that they can make a difference in the world. Because of the excellent education Caltech provides, students become leaders in the scientific community. Research shows that much of what is important about how to live life is learned outside the classroom. Relationships with peers, being exposed to new and different ideas, different kinds of people, and the opportunities to become involved in one's own community are all significant aspects of a college education.
Through a variety of programs and services, the Y seeks to create an environment in which students are encouraged in their out-of-classroom interests. They are given opportunities to practice their leadership skills, create activities for their peers, and build relationships with each other and Caltech's faculty and staff.