An organization created on the principles of uplifting women in both their community and campus, the National Association of Colored Women’s Clubs on Eastern’s campus continues to foster uphold their goal one year later.
Founded in 1896, the National Association of Colored Women’s Clubs has been a leader in gaining rights for families of women and children. The organization is also the oldest women of color organization in United States’ history.
Sarah Smith, the vice president of the national association of colored women’s club, said in the spring of 2014, the organization inducted 16 girls, with 11 remaining in the spring 2015 semester; she said they are hoping to induct about 15 girls this semester.
Smith said looking back now, their organization is more established on campus with more students knowing about it, and one of the biggest challenges was working around everyone’s schedule.
“It was a challenge being a new organization,” Smith said.
In order to overcome that, the organization made sure to change the days for meetings and now meet during the day in between their class times.
For its first semester, the organization put on a list of two forums, one aimed at helping incoming freshman and another discussing what men and women expect from each other in a relationship. The biggest take away from that forum was when one of the males in the audience said when a woman cheats on a man it is more emotional and when a man cheats it is more physical, Smith said.
Members hosted a drive for helping women in need, which assisted them with getting feminine products, lotion and shampoo to donate to the Sexual Assault Counseling and Information Services. The organization also raised more than $100 by selling “I heart boobies” bracelets for Breast Cancer Awareness month, Smith said.
“It was fun, we really enjoyed doing that,” Smith said.
Smith said the current goals for the organization are to reach out more to the Charleston community and to do more service and fundraising; she said there is also a desire to collaborate with other organizations on campus.
However, as one organization leaves the spotlight of being the new group on campus, another takes its spot and must figure out how to operate.
Swastika Sharma, the president of All Generations Engaged in Services, said the group is a new Registered Student Organization aimed at serving the central Illinois community through collaborations and partnerships involving the elderly and college students.
“The organization also seeks to assist local organizations and institutions in improving the resources and opportunities available for older adults while simultaneously combating ageist stereotypes,” Sharma said.
Sharma said the organization used to be known as Gerontology Students Involved in Volunteer efforts. Despite its name, any student may join; it is not limited to only gerontology students.
Roberto Hodge can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]