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Students explore Objectivism with STRIVE club

STRIVE+members+table+at+the+Spring+Club+Fair.+STRIVE+has+clubs+on+different+college+campuses.
Courtesy Joseph Corona

STRIVE members table at the Spring Club Fair. STRIVE has clubs on different college campuses.

On the UA campus there are dozens of clubs to join for a multitude of reasons, whether it is to learn new things, make new friends or kill time.

One of those clubs is STRIVE, Students for Reason, Individualism, Value, Pursuit and Enterprise.

Founded on Aug. 24, 2015, UA’s chapter of STRIVE is dedicated to helping UA students “develop into young people with a clear, first-handed purpose in their own lives,” according to the club’s Facebook page. The club’s website said they focus on helping students hone their leadership skills, develop a sense of meaning and help their writing get published.

STRIVE is inspired by Objectivism, a philosophy of Russian-American philosopher Ayn Rand, according to returning STRIVE member Jackson Cassidy, a sophomore studying philosophy, politics, economics and law.

RELATED: Ayn Rand Institute fellow to speak at the UA

“I gained an immense appreciation for the philosophical values of reason, purpose and self-esteem, which are more or less the pillars of Objectivism,” Cassidy said.

STRIVE has clubs and affiliates on over a dozen college campuses. The club has even gone international with objectivist clubs in Guatemala, Peru and Argentina.

Jennifer Minjarez, a senior studying philosophy, politics, economics and law, is the head of student executive for the Arizona branch of STRIVE.

“My role is building up other people,” Minjarez said. “Trying to give the leadership positions, asking club members what they are interested in doing and then giving them the tools to succeed.”

It was Minjarez who got Cassidy into the club a few semesters earlier, and he has stuck with it since.

“I met Jennifer during fall of 2015 while she [was] on the UA mall for STRIVE during the club fair,” Cassidy said. “I can honestly say that day changed my life forever. Jennifer and I hit it off from the start and have become close friends. I’ve been involved with the organization ever since.”

Last Wednesday, Strive held its first meeting of the year in room 136 of the Social Sciences building.

“Our first meeting was fantastic,” Cassidy said. “Jennifer, our club leader, gave a great overview of STRIVE and we covered the basics of what we do on and off campus.”

STRIVE prides itself on its ability to give its members life skills.

“It offers students something they normally don’t receive in a regular classroom setting,” Cassidy said. “They get to engage in rigorous intellectual discussion about challenging ideas and to gain leadership positions and valuable, real-world experience useful to their personal goals.”

RELATED: How to get involved and find your place at UA

Minjarez said some people have attended conferences that led to jobs and internships with policy and philosophy through the club.

“Some people have changed their majors because of the discussions we have had and they have seen new things and learn more about their interests and purpose,” Minjarez said.

For Cassidy, the club has shaped his college career so far.

“Like many freshmen, I entered college with only a vague sense of what I wanted to do with my degree,” Cassidy said.

He said there was a gap between him and his career goal, which is to become a lawyer.

“Through STRIVE’s many events, the organization has helped me to realize my purpose in life and has given me the moral certainty about my right to pursue it.”

For those interested in learning about STRIVE, Cassidy said people can visit their website at www.striveclubs.org or like the “Strive at the University of Arizona” Facebook page.

Strive meets every Wednesday in the Social Sciences building, room 136.


Follow Ivan Leonard on Twitter.


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