Throughout the year, multiple clubs and organizations host fundraisers, events and gatherings in order to bring like-minded people together and share their passions with one another. Three clubs that have been making strides on William Jewell’s campus this year are Feminist Club, Black Student Association (BSA) and QUILTBAG, formerly known as SAGE. This week I had the opportunity to speak to the organizations’ presidents about events coming to campus, how they feel organizations have improved since last year and what type of impact they are wanting to make on campus.
Hannah Garner, president of Feminist Club, is hoping to bring more visibility and awareness to campus during the spring semester.
“It’s always great when people have Feminist Club stickers and whatnot, because that almost always sparks conversation. I just hope Jewell feels like a safe place for everyone to discuss how gender rights play a role in their everyday life. I think we’ve had much more of an open discussion about intersectionality and why it’s essential to a good feminist movement,” said Garner.
In addition to bringing visibility to campus, Garner is hoping to make Feminist Club better integrated with both BSA and QUILTBAG. Feminist week is Feb. 7-13. Dr. Sara Morrison will be giving a lecture in Yill Gates 220 Feb. 9 at 7 p.m.
February is also a busy month for BSA. This month Traciana Graves will be leading a lecture for BSA entitled “A Black History Month Workshop” Feb. 16 at 7:30pm in Yates-Gill 221. In addition, Love & Soul will be returning to campus Feb. 18 at 7 p.m. in Yates-Gill 221.
Shakiyla Hughes, president of BSA, describes “Love & Soul” as a night filled with singing, poetry, dancing and more to expose the audience to and to celebrate the history, culture and current issues of African American heritage.
“Since last year, I feel as though there has been an increase in number, diversity and willingness to participate within our membership. In the future, BSA hopes to strengthen community within and without the organization and create a more conscientious and inclusive environment at WJC,” said Hughes.
QUILTBAG, has been making big changes since last spring.
Brett Stone, president of QUILTBAG, speaks about the club’s name change.
“QUILTBAG, which stands for Queer, Unisex, Intersex, Lesbian, Trans, Bisexual, Asexual and Gay. We’re all really excited about this change because we felt like SAGE, which stood for Straights and Gays for Equality didn’t really match our mission or purpose. We have members who aren’t gay or straight and we, as a campus, should recognize other gender identities and sexual orientations that make up the queer community as well as Jewell’s,” said Stone.
This semester QUILTBAG has planned a Peace Week during the first full week of April. During the week, free STD testing will be available through the Clay County Health Department. QUILTBAG is also working with Student Senate and Student Life to try and bring free condoms to campus.
“We hope to provide a safe and comfortable environment for LGBTQ students, as well as a resource for them. We also hope to educate the campus about some of the lesser known queer identities. QUILTBAG has also become an organization the campus often looks to for sex education, such as providing on-campus STD testing and free condoms. This is more of a role that we’ve adopted rather than sought out, but we are happy to oblige considering there isn’t another option,” said Stone.
Feminist Club meets Tuesdays at 7 p.m., BSA meets on Wednesdays at 8 p.m., and QUILTBAG meets on Wednesdays at 7 p.m., all in Yates-Gill 210.