Hannah Collings – Staff Writer
CLARION, Pa.- Clarion University’s Student Senate recognized Habitat for Humanity club as its newest student organization (RSO) Monday.
Students Emma Kehn and Maranda Leidwinger attended the senate meeting to ask for recognition for their proposed club.
Habitat for Humanity is an international nonprofit organization which began in the 1970s. Habitat’s website says the organization is active in almost 1,400 U.S. communities and about 70 countries.
The organization provides home construction, neighborhood revitalization, disaster response and financial education for those in need. On its website, Habitat said its vision is “a world where everyone has a decent place to live.”
Habitat’s goal is to help families access the resources they need to live independently, its website said.
Kehn and Leidwinger explained that their RSO would begin by working with Habitat’s branch in DuBois, Pa. They said that they will also try to do work in the Clarion area.
Habitat’s branch in DuBois welcomes volunteers for “working in the ReStore, helping to build homes, serving on committees and helping in the office” according to its website.
The RSO will be a good way for students to fulfill any community service requirements and to give back to the community, Kehn said.
Members will pay a $5 entrance fee to help fund the service projects. Additional member costs are probable, but the group also intends to fundraise, advertise and will probably set up a booth at the Autumn Leaf Festival in October, said Kehn.
Over spring break, Leidwinger went on a Habitat trip to Chipola, Fla. where she and 10 other Clarion University students helped to construct a house for a family in the community. The students worked alongside the family who would be living in the home upon its completion.
Leidwinger and the other students were housed and fed by members and churches of Marriana, Fla. during the week.
Four Clarion University students from Koinonia Christian Fellowship and Cru worked with Habitat for Humanity in the same Florida community during spring break in 2016.
Throughout high school, Kehn went on several service-based mission trips to “various areas of the U.S.,” she said.
“It was an incredible experience,” said Kehn. “I wouldn’t trade it for the world.”
The Habitat RSO “could be a great opportunity,” Leidwinger told Student Senate.
Kehn and Leidwinger said that student Amanda O’Kane is also involved in organizing the Habitat club.
Student Senate unanimously approved the recognition of Habitat for Humanity as an RSO.
Habitat for Humanity was officially recognized a few hours after the Monday 4 p.m. deadline of RSO 2017-18 budget submissions.
During its first year at Clarion, RSOs can receive up to $500 from student activity fees.
Student Senate is electing new officers to serve for fall 2017. Applications are on CU Connect and are due April 14 at 11:45 p.m. New senators will be elected April 17.