by SHANNON GELBA & CHRISTINE NAPPI, Staff Writers
The culture of Manhattan College is always greatly influenced by the different student-run organizations on campus, and the Jewish Student Union and Women in Business Club are hoping to make an impact beginning this year.
While the process of getting club recognition on campus may take a while, as budgets and involvement are constantly shifting, these two organizations received the status last academic year.
Anna Rosario, Vice President for Club Administration, oversees the clubs on camps and acts as their liaison to the Student Engagement office. While she was not in that position last year, she was involved in granting the Jewish Student Union and Women in Business club status.
When discussing the thought process of the Student Government Roasario said they realized, “[the clubs were] working hard they have a big following they have more than 15 club members who are dedicated to this cause and we see this being prolonged in the future so that was a really big factor in us choosing and accepting them.”
The Jewish Student Union is open to all students regardless of religious affiliation. The club’s president, senior Christina Mohr, notes that all students are welcome to join even if they just want to learn more about the Jewish culture.
In doing so, Mohr hopes having this club will build a stronger sense of community by providing a group for people with similar religious beliefs, while also educating others on Judaism.
“No one wants to be alone, everybody wants to find people who are like you,” Mohr said. “A sense of community, friends, people you can share a connection with people who you feel are like you is just a good positive feeling.”
Mohr began establishing the Jewish Student Union at the beginning of last semester and gained club recognition last May when the club held its first meeting. This year, Mohr is enthusiastic that the club will grow in membership.
The Jewish Student Union will hold events that celebrate some Jewish holidays that will take place this fall.
“One of the good things about being on a religious campus, even if it is Catholic, is that people are willing to talk about religion and they’re willing to take it more seriously,” Mohr said.
Student Government approved of this club in order to foster an inclusive campus. Rosario describes that the addition of this club on campus will serve the college community in a positive way.
“We do have a lot of international students from Israel and a lot of students who are trying to practice or continue with their Jewish faiths here on campus and they kindo of haven’t had a voice,” Rosario said. “The Jewish Student Union is something that is very new but I think it’s going to do well on campus.”
Mohr was inspired to create this club for her love of community that the Jewish religion brings. She finds that establishing the Jewish culture on a Catholic campus will be a great outlet for Jewish students, as well as students who want to learn more about the culture. In addition, Mohr describes that this club will educate and bring attention to what Judaism has to offer.
“The only time Judaism or Jews are ever mentioned on this campus is in reference to the Holocaust,” Mohr said. “It’s an atrocity that we need to talk about but at the same time, there’s such a rich culture and tradition and the whole nine yards that we just we need to address and bring light to.”
Similarly, the Women in Business Club also felt the need to bring a light to a group that has not previously had much recognition on the Manhattan College campus: females entering the work world from the School of Business.
Senior management and marketing major Rabea Ali, co founded the club alongside Donya Quhshi ‘19 and said, “This is a portion of the school of business that has never been represented or brought together despite a strong desire to be and a need to be.”
In order to gain recognition and educate women studying in the School of Business, the WiB club is starting a Mentor Program that will pair underclassmen students with juniors and seniors as mentors.
Ali said, “As part of this program, if folks attend six to eight events in the program, they get a certificate of completion as well as having successfully built connections! We’re also having a handful of events that are one off lectures from either alums or other companies that are of interest to our group.”
These lectures and events will all be centered around the club’s missions statement which says that the club “strives to form a network of career oriented guidance for its members through dialogue and educational forums. Overall, there is a lack of workforce diversity and gender equality in the business field. WIB intends to provide women with the support needed to evolve as future business leaders and empower women to serve as role models. We intend to work towards a goal of women leading across all levels and fields during and after their time at Manhattan College.”
The Mentor Program has 85 participants, and the executive board is looking forward to even more growth.
Dayna McGinley, Women in Business club secretary, said, “This year I am most excited to see how the club expands for its second year on campus and for the Mentor Launch Program to take off.”
The Jewish Student Union and Women in Business were clubs that Student Government saw a “need” for, as Rosario describes. She notes that new clubs are advised to meet for a year prior, host meetings, and promote the club without funding from Student Government. After doing so, a club can then apply for funding and recognition, and Student Government along with Student Engagement will then decide if the club should officially be established.
“Show your dedication and passion, and how people on campus are as dedicated as you or the group of students who are starting this, because that really does show that the retention for this club is going to surpass the students three or four years that she or he is here,” Rosario said.