By Alyssa Jiggetts, Staff Intern
To kickstart the new year, the American Sign Language Club had its second meeting on Jan. 9. The club was founded by freshman Vandana Skreekumar to expand knowledge on deaf culture and educate students on the language.
“I have a half-brother that’s deaf, and when I heard that an ASL club was created I was very eager to join because I wanted to better communicate and connect with him,” secretary Herbert Ferreira said. “I was very intrigued because not many hearing people care about deaf culture or ASL as a whole and I wanted to change that.”
The club aims to have guest speakers and lessons to learn the language and promote the culture.
“At every meeting, we teach new signs and a little bit of grammar,” Ferreira said. “We also try to incorporate deaf culture, and the more meetings we have, the more in-depth we’ll get.”
Many officers are learning their way through the language along with the members.
“We’re not fluent yet, we are learning as we go along, but we do try to make sure that we’re familiar with the material before we teach at the meetings,” vice president Katelynn Ibarra said. “I see it more as we’re all learning together.”
While the club just started, the members are eager to work their way through their obstacles as a team.
“Since our club is open to any newcomers, it makes it sort of difficult to make sure that everyone is on the same page or at least knows the same signs that we’ve gone over thus far,” Ferreira said. “Some students come to our meetings and don’t even know the alphabet or the numbers, and that’s a problem because they become lost in the conversations that we have.”
Through it all, Ferreira is optimistic about the club and the impact it will leave on students.
“I hope that students in our club become more conscious of the discrimination and ignorance many deaf people have to face every day, but at the same time, appreciate the complex culture and language that is shared between deaf people,” Ferreira said.