American Sign Languge organization makes its debut on campus

Victoria Mikita – Staff Writer

A unique student organization will be joining campus this semester that  may appeal especially to speech pathology majors.

The American Sign Language Club (ASL) has officially been established on Clarion University’s campus as of Feb. 13, 2017.

Etor Ndinyah, a junior speech pathology major, saw a need for a club such as this one to be implemented onto campus. ASL will teach its members sign language, but is not entirely all about becoming fluent. They have a more broader goal in mind, one that involves understanding the culture of sign language and becoming educated in another form of language.

To get the club up and running, a number of things had to occur. As the president of the ASL, Ndinyah had to speak with Clarion’s Director of Leadership and Involvement, Shawn Hoke, who informed her about having to write bylaws and speak to Student Senate.

Having previously started an American Sign Language club in high school, her background in this area provided valuable contacts throughout this process.

From the beginning, there was a growing interest from other students on campus looking to join an organization like ASL, so Ndinyah jumped on the opportunity to contact and recruit them.

Fellow senior speech pathology major Jenya Dautlick aided Ndinyah in creating the bylaws that would be sent to the Student Senate. Dautlick now serves as the vice president of the club.

The executive board also includes Tasia McCullough as the secretary, Lindsey Feath as the treasurer and Ian Lindsey serving for public relations.

The goal of the club is ultimately to bring awareness to a different language and broaden horizons on communication methods that aren’t based solely on verbalization.

“It’s been a hobby of mine for most of my life and Clarion is a big university for language and education majors. I wanted to bring it here because there was only one ASL class offered and I wanted to make it available for those could not get into the class,” said Ndinyah.

Anyone interested in the club is welcome to join, as it is not limited to only speech pathology majors. A 2.8 GPA is the only requirement. It is also open to the public as long as the number of Clarion students exceeds the number of non-students.

The American Sign Language club meets every other Wednesday in Keeling at 7 p.m. There are no dues or fees to become a member, but shirts may be made for those who would are interested in purchasing one.

The executive board and current members of the American Sign Language club urge anyone interested to stop and ask them questions on campus.



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