Faculty and staff in the Navigators Club have this sign on their doors. (Courtesy of The Navigators Club)
From volunteering at the Boys and Girls Club to creating a food pantry for students who are in need, the Navigators Club is comprised of students and faculty who want to help people.
Nearly six years old, this club has contributed to the campus and the community greatly. They have worked collaboratively to make donations to charities such as the House of Hope and The Boys and Girls Club.
According to Erika Nadile, grad student and former president of the Navigators club, the club started with a few students who had aged out of the foster care system. The club now focuses around helping students who “have followed a less traditional path to college,” said Nadile. This could range from someone who has aged out of foster care, to a veteran, to someone who is having family issues, or anything else.
The Navigators have a subset of the club called The Harbormasters, which is a group of faculty and staff members who have gone through a training process to help students who may be in need of additional support that the Navigators cannot provide
“Faculty and staff members have additional resources that students may not have. Like if [students] need help buying a book they can help them or they donate to the food pantry when we need it,” said Nadile.
Beyond campus, the Navigators have also reached out to The Boys and Girls Club, creating a ‘Teen Day’ to help connect with teens and kids and promote going to college. They also co-arranged a backpack drive with the Psi Chi (the honors psychology club), donating filled backpacks to The Boys and Girls Club.
The Navigators club currently has an active Facebook page where they post about active meetings and events. Their biggest event, exclusive to members, the annual dinner, is expected to be in April to honor graduating seniors, active Harbormaster members, and donors who have supported their cause.
The club’s goals for this semester are much more student oriented. They want students to know that they are still around and encourage those in need to come forward. They work with several other clubs, faculty and administration to help every student get their needs met. In addition to this, they encourage anyone who wants to help to be active and join.
Nadile says, “It’s hard for students to come out and talk about their issues, but I feel like we as a club can do so in a way that doesn’t make them feel pressured or insecure about their needs.”