Spreading Valentine love with ASL club

Valentine’s Day week is here, fellow Mavericks.

From speed dating to romance trivia to Valentine’s sip and paint, there’s something for everyone to try out and form connections with other students. 

Since MSU is spreading love around campus, others have gotten to work on spreading love around Mankato. On Monday, MSU’s American Sign Language Club held an activity where members created Valentine’s Day cards for nursing homes as a way to spread love and cheer. 

Third year student Anna Symens, president of the ASL Club, explained how the club decided to send Valentine’s Day to residents of nursing homes. 

“A lot of our members have talked about community outreach in their other clubs and a lot of our board members talk about volunteer hours. But it’s also about community outreach and doing things within the community because deaf culture is centered in like their own community engagement overall. A lot of clubs do community engagement,” Symens said. 

Symens shared that the ASL club partnered with New Perspective Senior Living, Mankato, a senior center that provides a comforting community for senior citizens, to deliver their Valentine’s cards to its residents. 

“We’re partnering with New Perspective Senior Living. But a lot of people who may live in nursing homes may have lost their spouse or just may feel a little bit secluded; their family may not visit them or maybe they do but it’s just nice to see younger students engaging with them. There was a special request for a couple of them to be held aside and go to some specific people but we’re just partnering with that one,” she said.

Many students are part of several recognized student organizations on campus that participate in other community engagement events and activities and Symens explained how a few ASL Club members shared activity experiences that helped decide the Valentine’s Day card activity. 

“It was brought up during one of our planning meetings. And a lot of us who are in other clubs have done it before and it was a group decision. It was brought up to our club and they expressed that they would be engaged and that was something they would like to do because we do include our general members in decision making for our events,” Symens said. 

Anna Symens is also part of Circle K International, a group that is part of the largest student-led collegiate service organization. MSU’s Circle K revolves around and participates in community service, leadership development, and developing connections. 

“I know that since I’m also in Circle K International and last week, we made Valentine’s Day cards, and I’m taking them to New Perspective as well,” Symens said. 
For more information on the American Sign Language Club and its events, visit http://mnsu.edu/mavcentral

Write to Anahi Zuniga at anahi.zuniga@mnsu.edu

Header Photo: Minnesota State’s American Sign Language Club gathered to create Valentine’s Day cards for residents from New Perspective Senior Living Monday evening. (Alexis Darkow/The Reporter)

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