This spring Simpson students will be witnesses to the difference that “An Ounce of Doing” can make.
The $1,000 offered to initiate a plan of action was awarded last Tuesday at a banquet in Great Hall to a group whose pitch addressed the issue of health care.
According to Stacey Palmer, a junior and member of the winning group, “Many members of our group have had difficulties getting insurance coverage because, in one way or another, we fell through the cracks. Students didn’t earn enough money and weren’t covered by their parents’ insurance plans.”
In order to address this issue, the group, comprised of 15 women [many of whom represent the campus PRSSA chapter] and Instructor of English David Wolf, formulated a plan to host a free Health Awareness Fair at Simpson College.
“We are targeting community members with lower incomes, minorities, young adults and women since these are the groups who are most likely to receive inadequate health care and/or insurance,” said Palmer.
The project has already received commitments from organizations around the community including The Red Cross and The American Cancer Society. The target date for the Health Awareness Fair is in mid-April.
Since many of the organizations that have already committed to participation in the fair have agreed to donate their time and services, the group foresees having a considerable amount of the $1,000 that they were awarded left. Any remaining funds will be donated to an organization that funds health care research and improvements for blacks in Iowa.
The Martin Luther King Jr. Day project designed to get students to act within the community in order to celebrate King’s legacy was seen as quite a success overall by those involved in The Committee of Multi-Cultural Affairs
According to Jim Thorius, vice president for student development, it went very well. Approximately 30 students representing four groups developed ideas and made presentations.
“It was obvious that they took lots of care and thought about the issues and ideas involved in the project,” said Thorius. “It was very encouraging.”
Nicolas Proctor, assistant professor of history, attributed the project’s initiation to “a very generous donation from Thorius’ budget.”
“The money was just used as something to entice students to come up with really great projects and I really think that the groups left at the end gave some really great pitches,” said Proctor.
Both Thorius and Proctor indicated that although only one group was awarded the cash prize, at least one other action plan is likely to be carried out this spring.
Furthermore, the creation of a meaningful dialogue about social justice issues was seen as an over-arching accomplishment.
Assistant professor of English, CoryAnne Harrigan saw the experience as an invaluable one.
“The discussion that we had in our group [concerning discrimination] was really valuable, even if our project proposal never gets carried out, because it forced us all to consider how minorities are treated both in the Simpson community and in the greater Indianola committee,” said Harrigan.