BY ZAMIRAH HUSSAIN – STAFF WRITER
Stand is one of the many clubs on campus yet most people don’t know what it is. In an interview with club president Hannah Gibbs she clarifies what the club is for and what they have done so far this year.
1) What exactly is STAND and what do the letters stand for?
“So, the letters don’t stand for anything, and I’m not sure how it started getting capitalized, but I also have picked up the habit. The idea behind STAND, and thus its name, is to give students an opportunity, through service and personal leadership, to make a direct impact in their campus communities. The idea was for students to stand for something they believe in, and to stand for those who can’t. It is not just present at Centre College, but at several schools across the state of Kentucky. The presidents of every chapter meet usually twice per year, once in summer and once in winter, to go over the constitution and effective strategies that each branch has used. As the founder of the organization, I currently serve as the President here at Centre and across the state. Other chapters, such as the one at EKU, do work with groups like Doctors Without Borders, the Alzheimer’s Association, and Relay for Life and occasionally join us for service work here at Centre. Each branch effectively serves as its own individual unit, but there is an overarching constitution that governs all of them. That’s probably way too much information, but essentially STAND is a collegiate service organization based on the idea that all students, regardless of background or perceived limitations, are capable of performing service and bettering the communities they are a part of through both community action and philanthropy.
2) What events have you all done so far this year and what else is planned?
So far this year we have done mostly service projects: CARE Trick or Treat, Halloween Service Day at Shelby City African American Cemetery, WTCDC Big Toy Day, Fall Clean-Up at the Central Kentucky Wildlife Refuge, the Poverty and Homelessness Week Hygiene Product Drive, the Peanut Butter and Pasta Food Drive, we were one of the main groups for Human Trafficking Awareness Week, and we are currently doing a Book Drive to benefit North Point Prison and the International Book Exchange. For philanthropy, we have done a Hot Chocolate Stand, and all the money benefited the Wilderness Trace Child Development Center.
As for what we have planned for the rest of the year, we have spring workday at the Wildlife Refuge, CARE Easter Egg Hunt, and the Downtown Danville Cleanup.
For philanthropy we have our 2nd Annual Spring Art Auction benefiting Wilderness Trace Child Development Center.
3) What plans do you have for STAND over the 2 years you have left at Centre?
My main plan for STAND is for us to become an organization that is able to bring the service community at Centre into a collaborative effort so that our impact on the community is greater. I want our membership to grow, and for those members, both old and new, to be able to design and implement projects of their own design and interest as part of what we do each year. I also want our members to be able to establish partnerships with community organizations that last for their time here at Centre, and possibly beyond. Some of those links have already been forged in that we have been contacted by several outside organizations in order to assist with service and to offer abroad and summer service opportunities for members.
4) How can someone join next year and what would be the average time commitment and expectations?
Anyone can join! I’m happy to say that we are pretty open to whatever students’ schedules are as well, in that we know students are incredibly busy and most of our members tend to be involved in other organizations. Our goal is not to force people to attend meetings, but rather present the opportunities for service and have people attend of their own accord, which has been, so far, very successful. We have 1 hour meetings once every two weeks, and service/philanthropy projects typically once per month. There is no minimum hours commitment, but the average for our members is around 40 hours per year with STAND. It’s exciting to know that we have dedicated students who are interested and invested and service, and we are open to anyone joining. All they need to do is email myself at firstname.lastname@example.org, our Vice President at email@example.com, or our Advisor at firstname.lastname@example.org. Membership is continuously open, and I think if students are interested, it is best for them to attend a meeting or volunteer with an event to get a feel for what we do. The main expectation for any member is a dedication to service, both in and out of STAND, and a genuine desire to drive change in our community, and on a larger scale. Thus far, every active member has met that expectation.