Overview of First Meeting

It was great to meet those of you who were able to join us at the first CUSGAC meeting of the semester. Here’s a quick recap of our introductory meeting for anyone interested. We welcome new members at any point in the year, so please do join us at the next meeting if you are interested in helping us shape our campaign for the fall!

We started out by introducing ourselves and discussing the mission of CUSGAC:

  • Michelle discussed her experience with direct service. She is a volunteer at the Washington Height CORNER Project, a needle exchange and harm reduction agency in upper Manhattan (currently seeking volunteers — please find more information under “read more” below if you’d like to get involved). Needle exchange programs provide clean needles to intravenous drug users to prevent the transmission of HIV.
  • Zach described his work with national SGAC, a network of over 20 other college chapters that helps coordinate multi-school actions, advocacy campaigns, and trainings. He is a member of the national steering committee this year!
  • Mel described her experience with activism, and how her initial fears and doubts were unfounded and instead she found an empowering communal experience of holding leaders accountable to demands. It’s become her favorite part of SGAC (though not everyone is an activist, and we do not require you to be — ending AIDS takes all kinds of strategies and people).
  • Stephanie spoke about community education, highlighting favorite events from last year such as our discussion about HIV/AIDS and the transgender community as well as the queer community in two of our events from the 30 IN, 30 OUT campaign last year.
  • Niki spoke about political advocacy, best exemplified by her visit alongside community advocates and policy experts to lobby Senator Gillibrand about HIV treatment funding. Another success was a call-in campaign last fall, which helped push Senator Schumer to sign on to a Dear Colleague letter urging increased funding for global health programs.

We also watched a video about the progression of HIV within the US, though our work affects both domestic and global policy.

We ended with a reminder that our meetings are open to all, non-hierarchical, and that we value the contributions of everyone. With that in mind, we hope you’ll join us for our next meeting, Wednesday 9/19 at 8 PM in the Dodge Room of Earl Hall!

 Information from the Washington Heights CORNER Project regarding volunteers:

Hello WHCP friends! If you have any friends (or yourself!) who have been saying ‘oh, that CORNER project, I want to volunteer there because they are F-U-N and harm reduction is AWESOME’, now is your chance! We are starting the first of two training sessions for all new volunteers/interns. Check it out!

What: Washington Heights CORNER Project (WHCP) Training Institute

When: Friday, September 21st & Friday, September 28th, both sessions from 1:00-4:30pm

Where: WHCP Office, 566 West 181st Street, 2nd Floor, New York NY 10033 (located 1 minute from the 181st Street station on the 1 train)

RSVP by Thursday 9/20 at 3pm to [email protected]

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