As Southern embarks on the continued adventure of online learning, the student body transitions with it, most clearly in the Feb. 3 Virtual Club Fair.
Members from over 170 clubs representing a wide range of skills and interests gathered online to introduce students and incoming freshmen to organizations which focus on religion, social activism, sports, Greek life, personal development, academic interests and many more. If you’re looking for a new club to join, check out Intervarsity Christian, SISTAS and PEACE, three new clubs to join at Southern. Also present at the Club Fair was the Office of Career and Professional Development, which helps students navigate the process of becoming working professionals.
Intervarsity Christian, a club dedicated to Bible analysis, works throughout the semester to study the Christian perspective of God’s word and how to learn to apply those lessons to daily student life and struggles.
Rebekah Lockery, the Intervarsity Christian student leader, makes it clear that all are encouraged to attend their meetings.
“We welcome people from any religious background, it doesn’t matter if you are a believer or nonbeliever,” Lockery says.
Lockery has been consistently involved in running Southern’s chapter of this national organization, and even hinted that there may be future opportunities
for their small group to attend statewide and national conferences, which would be an exciting experience for their members.
This club meets virtually via zoom on Tuesday nights each month, in addition to hosting small group sessions led multiple times a month. To join, their primary form of contact is on their Instagram page, @intervarsityscsu.
A second group is known as SISTAS, also known as “Sisters in School Together Achieving Success,” a social justice activism group that focuses the culture and experience of minority females on Southern’s campus.
The group focuses on discussing the hardships of being a woman of color in school. According to Emmanuella Andoh, president of SISTAS, they are not only activists on our campus, though.
“We also have mentored students at Ansonia High School prior to COVID,” says Andoh. “We focused on helping troubled youth make positive decisions regarding life preparation and the potential for college.”
Although the platform is primarily given to women of color to discuss their experiences on campus, Andoh and the other board members welcome all students to the club, where they spend time often discussing topics like immigration, colorism, Black History Month, which was in February where they focused on symbols of the Civil Rights Movement such as MLK and Malcolm X. All of their meetings for the future will be posted on OWLConnect, but the best way to keep up with their events and meetings is through their Instagram, @scsusistas.
Students committed to community service and campaigning to spread awareness for domestic violence, stalking and other forms of relationship abuse, the PEACE Club may be of interest. PEACE is a group of peer educators who work to make Southern’s campus a safer place to discuss issues with domestic violence, stalking and bullying.
Mariah Villanova, the vice president of PEACE, is also the undergraduate intern for VPAS, and creates a connection between the advocacy of both groups in the form of events such as “Take Back the Night,” an April event designed to support and empower students and encourage them to take a positive initiative on past trauma. The event features guest speakers who are sometimes student leaders who join attendees in a march from the library to the quad. Although COVID restrictions have slowed down the progress on events for the 2020–21 school year, Villanova fully intends to continue campaigning on campus, beginning with the green and red flag campaigns, which showcase positive and dangerous signs in young relationships.
In addition to this, “professors in different departments will request information for their classes on consent, bystander intervention, which we provide, while working in pop culture as well, such as the concept of problematic memes,” Villanova says.
Students in PEACE and VPAS are trained to act as not-required reporters, but they provide resources for students to talk to university advocates such as Kathy Kristie, who staffs a 24/7 hotline. To join, find more information, or make use of the program’s resources, go to the website www.southernct.edu/vpas.
Another nonclub participant present at the club fair was the Office of Career and Professional Development, a department that helps students with a variety of professional skills, spanning from resume reviewing to navigating and managing the JOBSS website.
Emily Velidow, the graduate intern for Career and Professional Development, described a series of workshops that they plan to offer throughout the upcoming semesters, including topics such as “Majoring in success, steps to determining the best major, cover letter 101, honoring race in your job search, and finding an organization that will support you.”
This department also puts on the Career Fair, in which “as many as 50 employers typically register to attend, and are often focused on particular topics in the realm of employment,” according to Velidow.
However, this office does not solely focus on career enhancement, it is also available to help students with personal presentations in their classes. It can be contacted by email to make appointments using firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Liz Getts