Maybe you’ve heard about an ASL Club around campus. Chances are, even if you have, you really haven’t.
VSU’s ASL Club is where voices go down and hands go up.
The mission of the ASL Club is to educate students on deaf culture, history and language and to allow them the opportunity to participate in community events with the purpose of connecting with the deaf and hearing impaired.
Jeremine Burks, an American Sign Language and English interpreter major and ASL Club president, leads the meetings every other Tuesday in the Education Center.
Burks’ first meeting with a deaf person sparked her desire to learn sign language. She began ASL classes at VSU and became fluent. She describes ASL as giving her a “3-D perspective” on life.
The biweekly meetings combine Burks’ use of sign language and audible translations to communicate with the club. This allows students to see words as they are signed.
Club members learn basic American Sign Language vocabulary and receive lessons on deaf culture.
Members’ responsibilities include attending meetings and events hosted by the ASL Club, as well as events held by the South Georgia Deaf Community in Valdosta.
While the invitation of membership may be intimidating for students with little to no ASL experience, students of all majors and disciplines are encouraged to join. Mentorships are also available to students wishing to learn ASL from scratch or perfect their skills.
An interest meeting for potential new members was held on Jan. 29.
Mikayla Register, a sophomore deaf education major, encourages hesitant students to join ASL Club.
“Take the chance and step out,” Register said. “Everyone starts somewhere.”
Savannah Flemming, a communications science disorders major, believes being a part of the club will be beneficial.
“I know it will change me because I’m learning a new language,” Fleming said. “It will open up opportunities.”
Membership fees are $15. The membership form is available to fill out on Blazerlink.
Upcoming events for the ASL Club include Deaf Awareness Day on March 8. Additionally, volunteers are needed for Deaf World on April 8.
If you are looking to learn more about deaf culture and ASL, “Club Silent” is the club for you.
The next meeting is Feb. 12.
Written by Arelexus Brown, Staff Writer. Photo Courtesy of VSU.