Attending the guided trip to Big Lagoon, Justin Valenzuela’s first moments on the water Sunday, March 6, 2022. Photo by/ Kris Nagel

The 28th annual Social Justice Summit concluded with paddle-boarding to Big Lagoon.

Rocking the boat at Big Lagoon

by Kris Nagel

An almost-spring chill in the wind convinced almost all of the attendees present to wriggle into one of the wetsuits piled on the warm sand. The Social Justice, Equity and Inclusion Center (SJEIC), in tandem with Center Activities, hosted a kayaking and paddleboarding trip to Big Lagoon for students on March 6.

Photo by Kris Nagel | Attendees of the 2022 Social Justice Summit trip to Big Lagoon suited up with life preservers and splash guard gather on the beach on March 6, 2022.

The event capped off a week of activities as part of the 2022 Social Justice Summit, which was themed around climate justice and intersectionality. Part of a 28-year tradition, the annual Social Justice Summit is a place for students to get directly involved in making our community more inclusive. Frank Herrera, the SJEIC coordinator, helped oversee the student leaders who put together the week’s schedule with accessibility in mind.

“Big Lagoon is a cool spot. I would imagine that it’s probably going to be transformational for some,” Herrera said. “Hopefully in a positive way.”

The summit was one of the first programs to be offered in person now that COVID-19 restrictions are starting to be lifted. Herrera said this year drew a smaller crowd than it had before the pandemic hit, with around a hundred students attending events over the week.

About 16 people went to Big Lagoon on Sunday. In part, the limited itinerary was due to this year lacking a credit program for student organizers of the summit. Normally, a class credit is offered through the Critical Race, Gender and Sexuality Studies (CRGS) department. However, Herrera’s request for the program was denied this year.

Photo by Kris Nagel | Aelis Hanson, a guide with Cal Poly’s Center Activities, walks a program participant through their launch at Big Lagoon on a paddleboard March 6, 2022.

The summit was a work in progress for months prior to the first speaker taking the stage at the end of February. However, some accommodations took on-the-ground problem solving by the event coordinators.

One student registered for the Big Lagoon trip had requested additional assistance in transporting their mobility aid before arriving at the pickup location. Not having planned for the additional cargo, organizers scrambled for an additional vehicle. Fortunately, another van was available that morning and the student was able to join shortly after the first kayaks launched.

Photo by Kris Nagel | Center Activies’ Mairead Sardina educates program participants on water safety, showing how a tight life vest helps keep the head above water March 6, 2022.

Mairead Sardina works for Cal Poly Humboldt’s Center Activities and helped plan the outdoor programming of the summit. Sardina hoped that the trip would help re-establish a sense of normalcy on campus, now that activities are held in person again.

“It gets them out and engaged with the local environment which helps with student retention, makes them feel safer, makes them want to get out and care about protecting the environment and see what a beautiful place Humboldt is to live,” Sardina said, promoting the Center Activities center where students can rent outdoor gear at low or no cost.

Cal Poly Humboldt student Tatiana Gamboa joined the journey out to Big Lagoon. A second-semester student, Gamboa was drawn to the school behind the redwood curtain because of its emphasis on the local environment.

“It encourages [students] to come out and do something different, without having the funds to rent gear and the previous knowledge of how to paddleboard and kayak.” Gamboa said. “So it kind of gives that gate to students exploring something they might like and I think that’s pretty special.”

Share This Post

More Stories

Nina G uses comedy to start conversations

During the virtual comedy event held by the SDRC, Nina Ghiselli tells her story and emphasizes the importance of student disability resources within schools.

It’s not just the Capitol Police

As the world watched from their televisions on January 6, we witnessed scenes unfold before our eyes that were, to many, unimaginable: supporters of President Trump swarmed the steps of the U.S. Capitol Building, then proceeded to break in and

The San Jose State University Football Team Comes to Humboldt

On a day’s notice from administration, the SJSU football team spends a week and a half in Humboldt practicing because their county did not allow it. Students react to their presence on campus in the midst of a pandemic. Directed

Homelessness in Humboldt, CA

This is the first trailer of a homeless documentary created by HSU students. We have spent months filming and will continue to film throughout the next year. Follow the heartbreaking stories of the homeless community around Humboldt county and the

Thrifty Arcata

Taking a tour of the local thrift shops in Arcata during the COVID-19 pandemic. Directed and produced by Skylar Gaven.

House Plants Generate Peace and Meaning During the Pandemic

Three different people with the same love for plants! House plants have become quite popular these days especially since we’re all basically stuck inside during the pandemic. Not only are they aesthetically pleasing, but these beautiful green oxygen-makers provide more

Prop 22 represents political favoritism of money over workers’ rights

California’s passing of proposition 22 on Nov. 5 represents a frustrating history of workers’ rights being trampled by the overwhelming influence of greed in politics.  This proposition forces app-based workers to be classified as independent contractors, rather than employees. This

Remembering Evelyn Andrews 10 months after her passing

By Katelyn Dendas It has been 10 months since my friend, teammate and freshman year dorm mate, Evelyn Andrews, passed away. I don’t remember what the grief counselor said or what transpired after that Monday, but I do remember arriving

Protestors seek to defund HSUPD

Two local, activist organizations work together to stage a sit-in against Humboldt State’s police department.

Getting stuck on the Trump train

Writer Anthony Aragon details his experience of accidentally joining a pro-Trump car rally.

Justin Turner exposes the World Series to COVID-19

Justin Turner didn’t need to be the story in the wake of the Dodgers’ first World Series victory in 32 years. Instead here we are, wondering what sort of, if any, punishment Major League Baseball will decide to hand down

Four more years of fear

News Editor Carlos Holguin explains why he is worried about the next four years.

Dismal democracy

The Lumberjack editorial staff comments on America’s flawed electoral system As the world watches the United States 2020 election results, waiting for our pseudodemocratic process to churn out a new president, historically unprecedented voting methods misrepresents the reported Election Day

The Mario triple pack invokes a nostalgia attack

When I was a child, the first video game system I owned was a Nintendo 64. Among the games I played was Super Mario 64. I played it all the time and when I wasn’t playing it, I was lying

Women’s lacrosse drops their competitive season

Greta Roberts, president and player of Humboldt State University’s women’s lacrosse team, made the decision with her coach and teammates to cancel the upcoming spring season. The team decided that not being able to recruit in the fall would be

Dobby’s proposition opinions

Haven’t voted yet? Well, you’re running out of time. Here’s a quick rundown of California’s propositions on the ballot this year

Corporations buy out propositions

In a series of general and misleading advertisements, corporate backers of Propositions 22 and 23 show their grubby hands

CDOR continues virtually

The Campus and Community Dialogue On Race returns covering global justice for Black Lives.

Indigenous Food Sovereignty

Local food management practices of the Tolowa Dee-ni, Yurok and other indigenous peoples.

Humboldt State Admin attempts to discredit the Lumberjack

***A Lumberjack editorial represents both the majority opinion of the student newspaper’s editorial board, nine editors, as well as the overwhelming majority of Humboldt State University’s student body. Collectively, an editorial echos, embodies and advocates for community beliefs.*** Insensitive communications

Music of the Moment 6

21 Savage and Metro Boomin drop a classic with “Savage Mode II”

Spartans arrive at HSU despite campus concerns

***Editor’s note: SJSU football program was tested in congruence with Mountain West conference guidelines*** The Spartans have arrived and this time they’re not carrying spears or shields. Instead the San Jose State football team stepped onto the Humboldt State campus

Music of the Moment 5

After shooting Megan Thee Stallion, Tory Lanez cancels himself

Welcome to the Twilight Zone

Comparisons between episodes of the classic TV show The Twilight Zone and our own dismal reality

Music of the Moment 4

YoungBoy Never Broke Again dodges the sophomore slump with his new album “Top.”

Self-Care Cuts

Changing your hair to change your life

HSU Seaweed Farm sets sail

The first commercially-approved seaweed farm in California will be on the map.

Music of the Moment 3

For better or worse, Big Sean is likely gone for good.

More Layers, More Protection?

Humboldt State demands double masking on campus, does more layers equal more protection?

The Ethnic Studies Bill is a Blessing

Ethnic Studies will thankfully become mandatory for all California State University students – as it should be.

The Complex Interface of Humans and Wildfires

How fire suppression is a mixed bag in Humboldt County Every fire season, blankets of smoke roll over Humboldt County. Here on the coast, that’s as close to wildfires as some of us get. But our practice of fire suppression

Defund HSU’s Police Department

Incidents of racism from the former UPD Chief, past examples of excessive force from current officers and a shrinking university budget.

How Not To Be Bitten By A Kitten

Please prepare to be prey Congratulations, a baby feline has recently come into your life. If they’re anywhere from 2-18 months, they bite. They see you as prey. Because you are prey. You always have been. You always will be.

Graduating Into Uncharted Waters

HSU graduates attempt to navigate a world turned upside-down by COVID-19 In May, Humboldt State University graduated hundreds of students, as it does every year. Unlike past years, graduates didn’t get to shake hands with their respective dean and receive

HSU Cultural Center Budget Slashed

Associated Students leaves student body devastated after significant reductions in cultural center’s budget.

All aboard the plague ship

Unprecedented times are met with normalized behavior, HSU puts students and community members at higher risk after reopening campus and student housing.

Music of the Moment

The hip-hop community rallies behind the Black Lives Matter Movement

Inside the Immune System

How the body uses multiple levels of defense against foreign intruders

Catcalling Can’t Continue

Verbal harassment toward women is about control and the assertion of gender discrimination

Major League Marijuana

Why I don’t think marijuana is everything it’s cracked up to be in baseball

Pigs Compost on Campus

CCAT tries to reduce HSU’s food waste footprint through new pig program