A brand-new club has emerged on Wingate’s campus under the name Collegiate Curls of WU. Learning about this new hair club, it was an instantly intriguing as woman of color whose hair is naturally curly, to find out more about it and who started the club. Campus Collaboration Chairwoman, Alina Siler took the time to speak on behalf of the club and the goal behind creating it for WU’s campus.
“I try to collaborate and connect our organization with community and on-campus resources and organizations.” Siler discussed her role in the club before explaining the reason behind making this club into what it is becoming today. “We wanted young black women and men on campus to embrace their natural hair, skin, and body. We’d like to promote unity and self-love across this growing campus. We want this organization to be a comfortable space for people to love and take care of themselves in hopes that everyone can accept them for who they are.”
Alina hopes that by the time she graduates, the club will have over 40 members. They continuously have events throughout the semester and those events tend to be posted on their Instagram, collegiatecurlsofwu, as well as posters along campus!
They’re latest events included:
March 14th- 7:00 pm | Collegiate Curls Meeting | Hayes 223
While the new semester is kicking into gear, Wingate’s Student Government Association shifts focus on bettering student experiences on campus. Even though in past years SGA has done much for the student body, they look to build on that momentum to make campus life even better for the future.
According to the President of SGA Amanda Alling, “some of the things SGA has planned for this upcoming semester includes our weekly Coffee in the Quad events from 9-10 am every single Tuesday, located in the Academic Quad. We do this to provide a quick bite to eat and engage with some students on campus. We [also] hold a portion of a meeting called, ‘#WUVOICE’ which is a time for students to give their own announcements and ask questions.” Alling also spoke about how she is excited to see what the future holds for SGA, especially when it comes to the development of underclassmen.
When asked about how SGA will be run differently this semester as compared to past semesters , Alling responded, “Things are not going to be done super differently, but we are placing more of an emphasis on engagement this year. We want everyone’s experiences with SGA to be meaningful and impactful. One of our most important missions is to ensure that this happens and that every single student feels valued and important at Wingate University,” which is something SGA has done and continues to do for many years.
“As far as becoming an actual member, elections are held at the end of the school year for Executive Board positions and senator committee positions.” Alling said.
SGA also has a summer planning retreat, in which they take the time to outline their goals for Wingate and the student body. These goals as well as the SGA mission statement are outlined below.
Create and utilize a marketing and communication plan to efficiently and effectively promote and connect students with SGA.
Enhance the student experience through increasing involvement in SGA and campus activities, while creating avenues to promote and cultivate Bulldog Spirit.
Using effective and efficient planning to better define and delegate SGA roles, expectations, and engagement within committees and events.
We are devoted to developing a student-powered organization that effectively directs the student’s vision into reality as well as reflecting the standards and values of Wingate University. SGA also strives to serve as an organization that aims to create unity and pride in the community.
It’s always refreshing to hear that the people in your community are helping those in need. What’s even better is when those volunteers are coming from your very own college campus.
Part of the Wingate University mission statement is to take advantage of opportunities to go beyond the campus itself and make a difference, and that is exactly what the students of VITA are doing.
VITA, or Volunteer Income Tax Assistance, is a nationwide program that offers free income tax preparation not only to low-income families, but to people with disabilities, people who speak limited English, and to the elderly, as well. The Wingate University branch of the program was started in 2008 by Dr. Bob Threatt, Assistant Professor of Accounting. His goal was to apply the knowledge of the Business School in a way that would make a significant impact and comply with the service component of the Wingate mission statement.
One of the most surprising aspects of this program is that there are no prerequisite requirements to be a volunteer. If a student desires to be apart of the program, they must only pass three online IRS tests. Before the tests, they are given IRS booklets to study over the holiday break.
The entire process also counts as a three-credit course and a ninety hour internship. Students must put in approximately fifty hours of studying and preparation, and approximately forty hours of doing the actual tax returns.
It is very student friendly due to the fact that the volunteer hours are not demanding. The volunteers simply send in a schedule to the VITA headquarters in Monroe stating the days and times that they are available.
It is no surprise that this program has been remarkably successful during its ten years of operation. According to Dr. Threatt, all of the feedback he has received has been positive, and Union County particularly enjoys having Wingate students volunteer.
During our interview, he recalled a time when the IRS sent an agent to come review the overall performance of the student volunteers, as well as how well our branch of the program was running. The agent went as far as to say that this was one of the best VITA locations he had ever visited, and that he was greatly impressed at how the students interacted with their clients.
Luis Aguilar, finance major, and Beau Hildebrand, accounting major, both of whom are seniors and VITA volunteers, reflected on how VITA has changed their own lives, as well as the lives of those they have helped.
Aguilar described feeling humbled, and called to mind a specific memory with a client of his. “I remember helping one lady who had two little kids. Her family was very cute and you could definitely see the unity.”
Hildebrand gave a different perspective, going on to say, “I haven’t officially started working yet, but so far I’ve had a great experience learning about the tax process, and I look forward to getting to know the people I work with better.”
All in all, there have been sixty-eight Wingate University students who have participated in VITA, completing an average of forty tax returns each, equalling around 2,700 tax returns throughout ten years.
Our volunteers have gotten a total of $6,646,160 in tax refunds for their clients. In the fine words of Dr. Threatt, “It has been much more than I ever dreamed it would be.”
The Wingate University Leo Club welcomed new members into their organization last Tuesday at a special Induction Ceremony hosted by the Wingate Lions Club at the Wingate Baptist Fellowship Hall. For the ceremony, the upcoming Leo Club Officers were installed, new t-shirts were distributed to members and everyone celebrated the 100th birthday of the Lions Club International .
Leo Club, which was formed on Wingate’s campus last year, is a service organization that focuses on spreading awareness to the community about visual impairment. Throughout the year they host several community service opportunities for members to get involved in, and that is exactly what the Wingate Lions are doing. .
“I think the Induction Ceremony went really well. The Lions Club did a nice job putting it on, and it made me feel like our club was really capable of making an impact in the community. I hope that the Leo Club continues to grow and that we are able to help more people in the community,” said Bailey Freeburn, WU Leo Club Treasurer.
At the start of the evening, Leo Club members were welcomed by Wingate Lions Club members with pizza and warm smiles. After some social time, Wingate Lions Club member Dale Dupree spoke about the Lions Club International and his involvement with the Wingate Lions Club branch.
Dupree is also the liaison between the two clubs. One of the things he shared was that Leo Club stands for “Leadership, Experience, and Opportunity” as young adults strive to develop valuable leadership skills, make new friends, and have fun while offering humanitarian services to their community.
Dupree then asked the District Lions Club Cabinet Treasurer, Harvey Whitley to install the new Leo Club members and WU Club Officers. Gabrielle Slabaugh was inducted as President, Caroline Rumley as Vice President, Katlyn Nicholas as Secretary, Bailey Freeburn as Treasure, and Sydney Walker as the Public Relations Chairperson.
“The Induction Ceremony was significant because it marks the Wingate Centennial Omega Leo Club as an official registered and certified Leo Club. For the future, we look forward to serving the community through visual activities and recycling/clean-up projects.” said Gabrielle Slabaugh.
Known around campus as “The Bulldogs that Roar,” the Leos have been known to help pick up trash along the road, send letters to soldiers, and host the Blind Olympics, all to spread awareness about the visually impaired. This year they hope to expand by reaching out to the community and helping the Wingate Lions Club with their programs.
“Leo Club has really helped me learn more about some issues facing people in the community. Before I joined Leo Club I didn’t realize how many people suffered from visual impairments in this area, and so I think this club has helped me become more aware,” said Freeburn.
On Wingate University’s campus, Leo Club has meetings every other Tuesday night at 6:30pm and the next meeting will be on Tuesday, October 24 in Hayes 202. Their next community service event will be the Letters to Soldiers table on November 7 from around 5p.m.-8p.m. where students can come write letters to those in the military.
If you are interested in joining the Leo Club, come to a meeting or contact Gabrielle Slabaugh at email@example.com or Caroline Rumley at firstname.lastname@example.org.