February 20, 2014
Lock Haven University will be opening a student chapter of the American Association of University Women. The organization will offer students leadership opportunities, scholarship and awards, professional development and community service opportunities.
Professors Holle Canatella and Jennifer Taylor brought the AAUW to the Haven because of all the benefits the organization can offer students. Canatella and Taylor are members of Lock Haven’s community branch for graduates, and they felt it would benefit from adding a student branch.
“Some faculty and staff are members already and several students have expressed interest in creating a branch on campus. It’s very exciting,” Canatella said. “Last year, several students attended the National Conference for Women Student Leader, which is co-sponsored by AAUW, at the University of Maryland.”
The student chapter will run like a campus club. Members will have the opportunity to run for officer positions and take on some new leadership responsibilities.
Canatella and Taylor will be hosting an informational meeting next week.
“We’ve gotten a lot of interest so far, so we have high expectations for Tuesday’s meeting,” Canatella said.
The AAUW has about 170,000 members and supporters, 1,000 local branches and 800 college and university partnerships so far. Its web site boasts that it is a top-rated charity, with awards from the Guide Star Exchange and Charity Navigator.
“The local community branch of AAUW fully supports this endeavor and the members are really looking forward to having an affiliated student branch on campus,” Canatella said. “Our administration generously renewed LHU’s University Partner status this year, which means that our students may join the organization for free and will get discounts on things like conference registration fees.”
The AAUW is an organization based in Washington, D.C. and is about 133 years old. Founded in 1881 in Boston, it originally was called the Association of Collegiate Alumnae. It became the AAUW after merging with the Southern Association of College Women in 1921.
The organization created the Coretta Scott King Fund in 1969, providing scholarships to African American women to study history, culture and peace. In 1971, the AAUW passed resolutions supporting legalization of abortion and the Equal Rights Amendment.
Male college graduates started joining the AAUW in 1987.
The AAUW Lobby Corps helped pass the Family and Medical Leave Act in 1993 and launched a Voter Education Campaign in 1995.
“So the wheels are in motion. We’re ready to go and looking forward to working with LHU students to create this new chapter,” Cantella said.
For more information about the LHU student chapter, attend the AAUW meeting next Tuesday at 5 p.m. in Raub 210. You can also contact Holle Canatella at firstname.lastname@example.org or Jennifer Taylor at email@example.com. You can find more information about the AAUW on their web site, http://www.aauw.org.