This semester, various events have taken place on the campus of Western Carolina University with the goal of more than just entertaining students. These events on campus have a larger goal: to leave an impact on the students and community that will last beyond the end of the event.
Christina Parker, president of the Ripple Effect, said her organization and other organizations on campus are always working to ensure that events held on campus create a lasting impact. They also want to make sure that issues and topics that need to be discussed and addressed are brought to light.
One event that was meant to have an impact this semester was “More than 13 Reasons why” put on by Alpha Phi Omega on Nov. 2. This event was a survivor’s symposium as part of their National Service Week. This event was intended to give suicide survivors a platform on which to share their story anonymously as a way of raising awareness for a growing issue.
“[We] aim to shine a light on issues in a way that people haven’t necessarily seen it done before. This is to keep it interesting so that students are attracted to it. The more students you get involved the more likely you are to make a lasting impact on someone who will really need it,” Parker said.
Another impactful event that took place this semester on the campus of Western Carolina was the annual Dance Marathon on Nov. 4 from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Dance Marathon is an international movement involving college and high school students who raise money for the Children’s Miracle Network of hospitals. This event on Western Carolina’s campus is where students pledge to dance for 12 hours in order to raise money for families of the Greenville Health System Children’s Hospital.
Last year was the most successful Dance Marathon at Western Carolina. $21,510 was raised from the event in 2016.
This event is not just a way for students to have a fun time dancing and enjoying food and games from the university. They reach out to their peers and fundraise to be able to contribute to a lasting cause.
Parker said as an event organizer, they want students and faculty to know that these events are tailored to them specifically and she always welcome students pitching their ideas to her.
“Watch us turn them (student ideas) into realities, we always want more volunteers, we are always looking for more people, but most importantly we want students to know that no issue is too small to be tackled and that if they are too afraid to do it, that we aren’t, and that we will make it work,” Parker said.
Aside from attending events and volunteering at events, creating their own events is a major way for students to get involved in making a difference.
Parker said, “Be bigger than yourself. You are the change that you want to see in this world – you just have to have the guts to make it happen.”
Parker said getting involved with an organization such as hers, Alpha Phi Omega, is a great way for students to get involved on campus and have a lasting impact. These organizations are always looking for more people to get involved and working together. She said anyone interested in joining Alpha Phi Omega should contact her at email@example.com.
For more information on how to create your own event, get involved with an existing event, or see what kind of events are going on, contact Christina Parker or visit http://www.wcu.edu/experience/campus-activities/index.aspx.