CC students advocate for change

Ashly Higgins, Copy Editor

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Thirteen students are taking what they’ve learned in Dr. Jason Munsell’s Rhetoric of Public Advocacy class and putting into motion.

In class, Dr. Munsell, a professor of communication studies, teaches students about rhetorical strategies of communication, such as Aristotle’s ethos, pathos and logos. Then, each student identifies a cause they want to advocate for or against and creates a campaign.

“This course is about civic engagement and trying to make the world a better place; a place where we actually have liberty and justice for all,” Munsell said.

Below are three student campaigns:

Columbia College Athletics in the Columbia community

“Being an athlete, I would like to be recognized for my hard work in the community,” said Haley
hayFaruqui, a senior communication studies major and a midfielder on the CC soccer team. Faruqui has worked with local business owners to get CC athletics flyers placed alongside USC athletics flyers, written a letter to the editor of The State newspaper, hosted a youth soccer camp and created a promotional video to increase awareness of CC athletics in the local community.

“Social change first has to start with ourselves. If I can influence at least one person to recognize CC women as competitive athletes then my hard work has made a difference,” Faruqui said.

No one is too young to make a profound change

hay2“After the flood in South Carolina, the younger youth in my church felt like they were too young and not wise enough to make an impact on the rebuilding efforts of Columbia,” said Lainey Wood, a junior communication studies major and Sunday school teacher and adult mentor to the junior high youth of Shandon United Methodist Church of Columbia.

In order to help the young students feel empowered and capable, Wood delivered a devotion to the youth explaining the reality of the flood and the damage Columbia has to repair and inspired them to make some sort of difference despite their age. She and the youth are currently planning a service project and donation drive to help communities still struggling from the effects of the flood.

“Through this class, I’ve learned that advocacy comes in so many various forms and contexts and that it’s almost impossible not to advocate for something on a daily basis,” Wood said.

You can help prevent domestic violence

hay3South Carolina has the highest rate of women murdered by men in the nation, according to a 2013 Violence Policy Center study.

“This is absolutely atrocious,” said Elizabeth Howe, a junior communication studies major from Great Falls, South Carolina. Although Howe has never experienced domestic violence, she knows women who have experienced it in many different forms.

“Domestic violence is not limited to physical force, but also mental, physical and sexual abuse,” Howe said.

On Nov. 18, Howe taught Professor Kyle Love’s LA 100 class how to handle any form of domestic violence whether it is personally experienced or observed.

Howe also held a “necessity drive” at her home church in Great Falls in which she collected various toiletries and feminine hygiene products to donate to Sistercare, a non-profit based in Columbia that aides survivors of domestic violence and their children.

“This course in public advocacy has taught me how to be an advocate for social change in many ways. Speaking to various audiences through social media campaigns, formal oral presentations, and simply in the way I carry myself gives me a chance to be a force of change,” Howe said.

Faruqui, Wood and Howe are all proud of the work they have done this semester. Their professor is, too.

“I’ve been very impressed with the work I’ve seen my students do so far. They are learning that advocacy is a rhetorical labor and that an education at Columbia College includes learning how to change the way people see the world in order to create opportunities for substantial social change,” Munsell said.

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