Five freshmen are in the process of gaining approval to create the Wittenberg Student Peace Alliance club. The purpose of the club is to bring awareness on various ways to peacefully resolve conflict to Wittenberg and the Springfield community.
The members working to implement this club are Courtney Biede, Alexa Konowal, Leslie Goshia, Rachael Mains, and Maggi Quigley. Biede, President, learned of the idea from a peer in her Wittsem who unsuccessfully tried to create the club several years ago. She took the idea under her wing and asked the other members individually if they would be interested in helping her to create Wittenberg’s chapter of Peace Alliance.
“I hope that this club will influence people to be more peaceful within their nature and who they are,” said Biede. “When they go out and leave Witt or the Springfield community, they will spread this concept of peace, which will then keep growing through the people that this club influenced.”
The Peace Alliance organization spans across the nation and is powered by volunteers who promote peacebuilding legislation. The organization aims to reduce violence through prevention and intervention on the local, national, and international level. The teams of volunteers work at sites that are located in their cities, and at high schools and college campuses.
“Too often I feel we as a people try to address issues from far away, or offer help from a distance because it’s more convenient,” said Konowal.
“But I want to step out of Wittenberg’s campus, step out of my comfort zone, and become part of the Springfield community. I strongly believe that it is by being part of this community that the Wittenberg Peace Alliance will truly be able to make a difference.”
In order for the club to gain approval from Student Senate, the members must prove that there is an interest from the student body. On April 10th the group will hold an information table outside of the CDR and on April 12th it will be holding a meeting for any interested students.
“Our number one goal is to be approved by Student Senate, and our second goal is to take students to the Dayton International Peace Museum,” said Quigley. “We would also like to team up with AIA, GSA, and CBS and help with their fashion show next year. I feel our organization will compliment theirs because they are also working towards acceptance and a better society.”
If the group gains approval, its goals for next year include school programs, discussions on peaceful actions against conflict and bullying, work with the children of Springfield Promise Neighborhood and campus speakers. The group hopes that it will attract enough members for the club to be successful well beyond its current members’ next three years at Wittenberg.
“I would hope that by my senior year, other students will take over the leadership positions in the club and we can be there to help the club to be sustainable,” said Mains.
(Meagan Steed / firstname.lastname@example.org)