Ben de Ayora, junior television broadcasting major, took University of La Verne’s message of diversity and put it into action by forming the first ever Hip-Hop Club.
“We want to educate and inform people about hip-hop and expose them to the hip-hop culture,” de Ayora said.
With a total of 45 members, the club is a group where performers and artists can come together. The club offers members a sense of unity and affirms that there are other people that feel the same way about hip hop as they do. De Ayora founded the club because he felt that the school is always talking about diversity and nothing is ever really getting done, so he felt that the Hip-Hop Club was a step forward.
“The Hip-Hop Club provides people with an outlet to go out and do things and learn about the hip hop community,” de Ayora said. “It’s about time La Verne had a music club.”
Members of the club like Erica Pembleton, junior radio broadcasting major, feel that the purpose of the club is to unite those who have a passion for hip hop.
“I joined because I love hip hop and I wanted to be with those who shared the same interests,” Pembleton said. The Hip-Hop club was almost not approved because they couldn’t get an advisor to support them and without an advisor here at the University a club cannot exist. De Ayora went to professors from the music department and they wouldn’t commit because they were skeptical of the club.
Finally Brian Armstrong, leadership development and transition programs director, came forward and took the advisor position.
“I am supportive of students who do things that interest them,” said Armstrong, who is going to be the temporary advisor until the club finds someone else.
“I don’t have the time to be a full-time advisor for the Hip-Hop Club,” he said.
With events planned for the end of this year, Armstrong is still going to challenge the club members to find a new advisor for next semester.
The Hip-Hop Club is planning a trip to the Coachella Music Festival and will be hosting an open mic night at the end of April to raise money for charity.
“I’m really looking forward to the shows we are going to have especially the freestyle battles,” Pembleton said. “I am big on lyrics and the flow of words.”
Christine Moitoso can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.