Two student clubs recognized as Club of the Semester
The Senate Organizational Affairs Chairs and their committee recently recognized both Katie Buddies and the Out of State Club as Club of the Semester for Spring 2014.
Award selection criteria include the organization’s contributions to the St. Kate’s community, access to membership and member participation, and how the club promotes the mission of St. Catherine University.
Katie Buddies has been a consistently active organization for years. They work with a local group home to pair students with people who have intellectual disabilities. Each student is asked to work with the group and her buddy for at least one year — however, most friendships last longer.
“Many times, our buddies have found it difficult to make friends in their life because they are different. At Katie Buddies, we break down those barriers and have events that are fun and focused on our buddies,” says Jennifer Rowe ’14, a recent graduate who served as the club president.
Katie Buddies activities this semester included bowling in February, an Easter egg hunt in March, a prom that students organized for their buddies in April and a grill-out in May. Each event is open to all St. Kate’s students.
“We have a saying at Katie Buddies — ability first. We always accentuate our buddies' strengths. We are all friends, everyone feels like they truly belong, and in my book, that is the definition of love, justice and acceptance for all,” adds Rowe.
Originally from West Boylston, Massachusetts, Alex Kennedy ’15 recognized the need for other out of state students to feel better connected with the local community as well as other students. She helped organize the Out of State Club in the fall of 2012.
“We’ve had a lot of support from the community and departments on campus like Admissions and Residence Life. Because the out of state students are often the ones who arrive first on campus in the fall, we held a pizza party to welcome them,” says Kennedy.
Local students are welcome in the club and its activities as a way to further promote connections. They also partner with other clubs for activities, like attending the recent Prohibition Exhibit at the Minnesota History Museum with the History club.
“In general, the out of state population at St. Kate’s is increasing, so it’s important to connect them to the community and all of its resources,” says Kennedy.
In addition to reaching out to students as they move to campus, the Out of State club has also worked with Alumnae Relations to match students with alumnae from their home regions. This semester, the group attended a flamenco dancing performance, had lunch at Café Latte and enjoyed dinner at an Irish restaurant in downtown Minneapolis.
"While the Out of State club is a newer organization, they play a valuable role in offering community to students who are not familiar with the area. This support helps students gain the confidence necessary to lead and influence," says Cara Garrett, assistant director, Student Center and Activities.