By Mildred Collins:
From February 15 to April 15, Assumption College is having a clothing drive to support the Aids Project Worcester.
The drive is currently being sponsored by Professor Aisling Dugas, a biology professor at Assumption, who assigned this project to her BIO410 Immunology class. It’s the first time something like this was added to the course. She cites Professor Mike Land as her inspiration, as he has been pushing for faculty to incorporate CSL projects into different courses. Professor Dugas says:
“Most of the time in Biology courses, you mostly work with mechanisms and foundational concepts. We don’t always have the opportunity to reach out to our community in a classroom environment.”
The class, having only seven students, has shared and overlapping responsibilities such as advertising, setting up the boxes, etc.
The clothing that is collected will go to Aids Project Worcester, a nonprofit organization. While their primary goal is helping people with AIDS and HIV, they offer other services such as food drives and medical care for young adults who can’t get it otherwise. Alyssa Masciarelli, a junior BIO major at Assumption says:
“For A.P.W, we’re not just doing the coat drive, we’re collaborating a manual of community resources to make them available to A.P.W clients.”
Currently the class only has boxes in Testa and Hagan, and so far they have not collected as many clothes as they would have liked. Professor Dugas hopes for at least one hundred more donations after Easter and during the next month. They are hoping for more momentum and to reach out to more students.
They are not just doing the clothing drive, in class they have been studying how HIV works. How it breaks down the immune system, how it spreads and hot to treat it. They have also been meeting people with HIV. By doing this, the Dugas hopes to get them to think outside the classroom, to help them to understand the people this disease affects and other people in need. Amal Khan, another Bio major and student in the class says:
“Obviously in Immunology, I wasn’t expecting a CSL component. And it was a good experience, because I like how we can give back and it makes the course as a whole more meaningful.”
There are still a few more weeks of the drive and up until April 15, students have the opportunity to go to Testa and Hagan to drop off any extra coats, clothes, or any winter supplies they have and just put them in the labelled boxes. As bad as this winter has been for students, just imagine not having a warm house or dorm, or even a coat to help you. Now is the time to give back to people who don’t have much. Donate today!