Two new clubs were officially added to Florida Southern’s community at the last Presidents Circle of the semester.
These clubs, CHAARG, a women’s fitness and advocacy group, and Hispanic Student Union, a group dedicated to encouraging hispanic students and connecting them with the wider campus.
Both clubs are started by freshmen.
Changing Health, Attitudes, and Actions to Recreate Girls (CHAARG), an organization in over 100 colleges and universities across the country aims to encourage girls to participate in more varied and fun fitness exercises, while also touching on the mental and dietary side of wellness.
“I wanted to bring CHAARG to FSC for many reasons,” Freshman Lindsey Flynn said, who is responsible for the start-up of CHAARG at FSC. “First I strive to be an advocate for women and mental health. I am extremely passionate about empowering women and I wanted to bring a safe, comfortable, supportive community to campus that could do that.”
Flynn explained that she has always focused on physical, mental, spiritual and emotional health and that CHAARG is a platform that will educate women, enabling them to pursue healthy lifestyles.
“I know as a woman that gyms can be intimidating at times. CHAARG allows women to start their fitness journey, continue to learn, and reach their goals,” Flynn said. The platform exists for every woman to feel confident to do anything they set their mind to. “I know they can,” Flynn said.
“It involves weekly workouts where a fitness instructor from the area comes and teaches us a class. This is a great way for women to find out what they really like! CHAARG also involves small groups, socials, events, and overall a community of empowering women that will support you in reaching your goals. I want to emphasize that CHAARG isn’t just based on physical health but we also focus heavily on mental health and one’s overall wellness,” Flynn said.
Another freshman, Dani Rangel, is working to start up a Hispanic Student Union.
“The goal of our organization is to encourage the cultural, social, and academic advancement of Hispanic and Latinx students and to advance cultural awareness in the campus environment and beyond,” Rangel said. “Our focus once we’re completely up and running will consist of educating FSC students on various topics as they relate to understanding intersectionality of identities in Latinx and Hispanic cultures…”
Rangel explained that she found herself losing part of her hispanic identity upon entering college.
Like many other students of diverse backgrounds, she was pulled away into more mainstream culture.
“I felt like I was losing 90% of myself by being here—my language, my culture, even the music I enjoyed and T.V. I watched was different here. Additionally, I didn’t see many students like me here on campus,” Rangel said.
She wanted to both change that and help others of Hispanic and Latinx heritage learn more about and immerse themselves in their culture.
“My goal is to create a space for students to be able to indulge culturally, and essentially feel “whole” again. I want to assist those of us who are removed from our culture and would like to know more about their history,” Rangel said.
Rangel also saw a need for increased connection between people of Hispanic culture and the rest of the student body.
“I’d also like to open the conversation about diversity here on campus and educate other students on Hispanic and latin history and culture. By being aware of history and cultural differences and similarities, students will be able to better understand their peers and hopefully find ways to be more conscious of what’s going on in the world,” Rangel said.
Both clubs are still in the approval phase currently, but are looking to move up for Student Government Association recognition.
“When someone decides to start a club, they register it on Engage and the staff members in the center for student involvement meet with them and then can approve the club as a Center for Student Involvement level club. The additional step that organizations can take is to go through SGA to also be an SGA recognized organization. The main reason to do this is if the org might be interested in SGA benefits such as potential funding,” SGA Executive Vice President Lexi Potter said.
Outgoing SGA Vice President Lexi Potter is glad to see underclassmen stepping up and starting clubs.
“I think having underclassmen start organizations is much better because they can dedicate more time to the organization and it also adds to the longevity of the organization. We often see the issue that organizations are started here at FSC and die out eventually,” Potter said.
She also expressed excitement to see the new opportunities for representation that these clubs will bring.
“I think having the Hispanic student Union will be really beneficial! Seeing that we have groups like the BSU and APISA that have been really successful so far, I think this will be another great addition. These organizations are able to foster a sense of community for students that may feel alienated at a PWI. We also see these orgs and MSC work together often, so having the Hispanic student Union we will see even more events that celebrate different cultures and empowerment for students from these groups,” Potter said.