by CALLIE HARKINS
The Radical Students’ Union is hosting a hygiene drive from Tuesday, Sept. 6 to Thursday, Sept. 15. Students and other members of the community can donate by delivering supplies to one of the tables set up either on Campus Walk or the second floor of the Cedric Rucker University Center. The group is specifically looking for donations of feminine products, razors, hair care products catered towards curly and coily hair types and melanin-friendly suncare. They will also be accepting monetary donations via Venmo as contributions to the event throughout the duration of the drive.
“We are mainly focusing on items to go to BIPOC,” said Myca Lester, a sophomore sociology major and chair of the Radical Students’ Union. “Majority of the time, BIPOC are often forgotten about when it comes to drives such as these.”
The objective of the Radical Students’ Union is “supporting disadvantaged and marginalized groups in the UMW community through direct action,” according to their mission statement.
“Our purpose is to help the disadvantaged students on campus as well as in our community,” said Lester. “Last year we did a PPE drive for Micah Ministries, and I loved that. So as the new head chair, I figured we must continue something of that sort again
The Radical Students’ Union is planning to host more community service initiatives throughout the semester, such as a food drive and another PPE drive.
“You can never have enough supplies and support to the people who need it most in your community,” said Lester.
Vice President of Student Affairs Juliette Landphair said that service drives like these not only help the community but also allow students to apply what they learn in the classroom.
“Our students are engaging in a broad liberal arts and sciences education wherein they learn about social and cultural challenges (e.g., food and housing insecurity) that affect our society and community,” said Landphair. “Many students come from families and communities where resources are scarce. Service drives highlight the needs of our community and help students apply what they are learning in classes to the world around them.”
According to the United Nations Children’s Foundation, a lack of necessary hygiene products can be a major factor in one’s decision to attend classes or interact with peers. Particularly for students and young adults, ensuring access to essential products promotes positive learning and social environments.
“Community service drives bring together the student body,” said freshman Anne Jackson. “We are all working together to support a common goal. Being a part of these types of activities help remind us that we are not just a part of UMW but a part of the Fredericksburg community.”