Washington-Gladden Society hosts desserts and discussion for students

By jessica finley

Contributing Writer

The Washington-Gladden Society introduced themselves to campus on Tuesday, Jan. 29, at a dessert reception at the president’s home. 

Several students and faculty attended the event, and enjoyed desserts as they conversed with one another about various issues related to social justice.

Rooms were set up with different topics including child abuse, sexual orientation, immigration, and racism.  As the guests cycled through the rooms, they were encouraged to express their views on each topic, and be open-minded to others’ opinions as well.

According to President James Mellichamp, the Washington-Gladden Society was established in response to student’s requests for permission to create organizations based on ethnicity, gender and sexual orientation.  

Chaplain and associate professor of religion Ashley Cleere added that many students complained of prejudice and bullying earlier in the year.

“The college has always emphasized the importance of valuing and respecting others,” said Cleere.

“The Washington-Gladden Society intends to carry that concern and commitment to a new level,” 

Students and faculty are welcome to become a part of the society; there are no requirements or expectations to join. 

“I really enjoy the interaction with the faculty,” said senior Kelli Ann Bell, a technical theater major.

Where the society is going is yet to be determined. There will be more meetings and gatherings around campus.

“We are just getting started really, we want to see where the students take it,” said Cleere.

The Washington-Gladden Society will have its next meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 20th at 2:30 p.m. in the Alumni Room (4th floor) of the Arrendale Library.