February 14, 2018 The Signal page 13
Student letters give single mothers hope
Meagan McDowell / Photo Editor
Left: Students for Life encourages participants to customize their messages. Right: Volunteers write supportive sentiments to single mothers.
By Alyssa Louis Staff Writer
“Dear Brave Girl” was written on the tops of papers distributed to volunteers attending the Students For Life Club’s first meeting of the semester on Feb. 7. Embracing the power of the written word, participants gathered in the Social Sciences Building to write meaningful letters to support single mothers embarking on the wild adventure that is motherhood. Students for Life paired with Embrace Grace, a nonprofit organization that discourages women from getting abortions and provides them with support during and after their pregnancies. Students for Life requested that students donate a baby item to join the optimistic and reassuring letters, so that Embrace Grace could make care packages for the brave mothers-to-be, explained Victoria Kiernan, a junior nursing major and the president of Students for Life. Members of Students For Life and fellow students wrote words of encouragement to single pregnant women. The intimate group that gathered for the meeting was
comprised of pro-life students on campus. “Even if it could help one girl, it would be worth it,” said Grace Gottschling, a senior English major and vice president of Students for Life. While Students for Life’s roots were established on an anti-abortion platform, the club reformed its goals under the leadership of Kiernan. Kiernan, a transfer student, saw a “choose life” sign when she visited the College and grew enthusiastic about becoming part of a community that was both prolife and pro-women. Once Kiernan arrived on campus, she discovered that there had been a lack of interest in the club and that it was essentially dissolved, so she decided to revive it with Gottschling’s help. Students for Life sometimes faces difficulty as a prolife organization on a predominantly liberal campus. “The group had written a message in chalk with contact information for those that are pregnant and in need of assistance (and) it had been washed away within a few hours,” said Peter Shenouda, a club member and sophomore political science and history double major.
“How do we get our message out there when we are being silenced?” The club’s association with pro-life values has hindered the progress of establishing a child care facility at the College. Gottschling has taken the issue to professors and Student Government, while petitioning to see if students and faculty are interested in it as a potential resource. Gottschling feels that development of a family service facility should appeal to all, “no matter what their viewpoint is or what identity they subscribe to.” According to Kiernan, Students for Life is responsible for collecting donations for organizations like Embrace Grace and Good Counsel, a home for single pregnant women, and they are looking to become involved with local crisis pregnancy centers. Members of Students for Life made it clear that they are not a club focused on promoting a political agenda — the organization operates with the goal of assisting women and children. “We are a group that advocates for the betterment of mothers and children, especially under difficult circumstances,” Shenouda said.
Beta Theta Pi celebrates one year on campus
By Michelle Lampariello Managing Editor
After only one year on campus, Beta Theta Pi has proven to be a productive philanthropic and social organization as the College’s newest fraternity. Beta’s colony at the College began in the fall of 2016, when its original 24 founding fathers felt as though greek life on campus was missing the kind of brotherhood that Beta offers. With 47 active members at the start of this semester, Beta is eager to recruit new brothers in the spring 2018 semester.
“Being a fall founding father, to me, meant setting the sails for the future of a brotherhood, whether that future is five years or 500 years,” said Kevin Hurler, a senior physics major. For the fall 2017 semester, Beta earned an average term GPA of 3.342 — the highest out of all fraternities on campus. The seven members who joined Beta last fall earned an average GPA of 3.25, displaying the organization’s commitment to maintaining academic excellence. Bryant Fiesta, Beta’s colony development coordinator, taught the founding fathers about the fraternity’s history and
The brothers of Beta Theta Pi volunteer at TASK.
Photo courtesy of Beta Theta Pi
values, and helped them prepare to run a chapter. Fiesta ceased his involvement shortly after these lessons, leaving Beta on its own to develop an identity at the College. Matt Pollock, a sophomore health and exercise science major and Beta’s vice president of recruitment, recognized that this was a daunting task for the new brotherhood. “A year ago, we were just individuals unprepared about how to expand Beta’s mission, Pollock said. “We were worried about developing a colony and getting recruits.” Many people watching the organization develop throughout the year wondered how will Beta planned to expand its presence on campus. Beta began to integrate itself into traditional campus activities for greek organizations at the College, like having a philanthropy week. During the spring 2017 semester, Beta supported Doctors Without Borders. This semester, Beta will be promoting the Make-A-Wish Foundation during its second philanthropy week. “My goal is to find new ways to engage with the campus and the community in a fun and constructive way,” said Nate Gambrill, current president of Beta and a sophomore marketing major. “I’m glad I have the chance to build a brotherhood that other worthy men can enjoy for many years in the future.” The brothers are no strangers to community service — they have visited the
“My goal is to find new ways to engage with the campus and the community in a fun and constructive way.” —Nate Gambrill
President of Beta Theta Pi
Trenton Area Soup Kitchen, participated in a walk for multiple sclerosis in the spring of 2017 and helped organize a Trenton thrift shop. The Beta brothers have achieved substantial growth in their expansion both as a fraternity and as individual members. Former fraternity president and senior biomedical engineering major Alec Paterno placed third in the race to be the College’s 2017 Homecoming King, and Chris Blakeley, a junior civil engineering major and member of Beta, currently serves as president of Student Government. Beta’s founding fathers hope to create an example for future brothers as the fraternity prepares to enter its second year at the College.
The 02/14/18 issue of The Signal, The College of New Jersey's student newspaper