The United States is made up of communities from around the world. In order for these groups to preserve their heritage, individuals instate organizations as a place to network to others who share that cultural bond. Two such individuals are West Chester University students, Jane Dersimonian and Zabelle Minasian, co-founders of the first ever WCU Armenian Club.
Minasian said the reason they wanted to create this club was mainly to, “promote the Armenian culture throughout West Chester, and to meet new Armenians [as well as] spread [their] culture and heritage all around campus.”
The two reached out to Armenian organizations at Temple University, University of Massachusetts Amherst and Penn State to seek advice as to how to form their new club.
To begin the process of creating a club at West Chester University, individuals must go through the Student Government Association, SGA, who will provide them with a list of steps they need to fulfill before they are regarded as an official organization. Then they would have to fill out a form through OrgSync, find a faculty advisor, and find members to gain approval from the SGA.
The Armenian Club faculty advisor is vice president for information services and technology Dikran Kassabian.
After having one meeting this year, there are approximately ten members in the Armenian Club as of now. Dersimonian stresses that this club is meant for Armenians and non-Armenians alike to look into attending. “This is also a group for anyone who wants to come and learn or just come and hang out,” said Dersimonian.
Programs that Dersimonian and Minasian would like to include throughout the year would be cookouts for people to try new foods, field trips to local Armenian church events like bazaars and dances, dance lessons and volunteer work. This they feel will emphasize their presence on campus to students, parents, and the West Chester area at large.
Minasian feels that having an Armenian club presence on campus would be very important. “I want Armenians to have pride in our culture because we are a small community,” said Minasian. “If more people learned about the culture and the history behind our heritage then we’ll definitely get our word out. So I want everyone to be proud of where we come from . . . as well as who we are. For people who are not Armenian, [this club functions for them] just to learn another culture . . . and our values.”
Dersimonian wants the WCU community at large to know that, “the club is open to anyone and [she] thinks it’ll be very educational [and] very fun club. [She] hopes people will come out and are willing to and wanting to learn more about it.”
Future meeting dates for the Armenian Club have yet to be determined. Dersimonian can be reached at JD828553@wcupa.edu. Minasian can be reached at ZM891685@wcupa.edu.
If you would like to start your own organization, the SGA can be reached at RL862297@wcupa.edu.
Halle Nelson is a fourth-year student majoring in communication studies with minors in deaf studies and English literature. She can be reached at HN824858@wcupa.edu and on Twitter @Halle_N_Nelson.