You would be forgiven for believing that the Illinois Tech Student Government Association (SGA) only concerns itself with projects centered around our campus and student organizations. In fact, it is true that the recently revived coverage of SGA in TechNews thus far has only covered SGA developments that are immediately relevant to Illinois Tech students, such as creating a universal course syllabus library or the expanding role of Judicial Board in student organization affairs. However, the Communication Committee, under Vice President Jelani Canty, is looking to take SGA into the next level of involvement- volunteering with the local community.

As Canty himself summarizes, “This semester SGA’s communications committee will be conducting a community service outreach project. This project is centered on the Valentine Boy’s and Girl’s club.” Located at 3400 S. Emerald Ave., this local branch of the larger Boy’s and Girl’s Club organization is just a short ten-minute bus ride away from campus. Vice President Jelani Canty himself has already been making weekly trips to the organization to volunteer his time helping local elementary school children. With members ranging between 5 and 18 years of age, the Valentine Boy’s and Girl’s Club offers a multitude of programs, including an art club, poetry club, homework help, money management, and even Mandarin lessons. Thus, Canty sees a prime opportunity for increasing Illinois Tech involvement in the surrounding community through a partnership with this organization.

Just as there is a perceived lack of communication between SGA and the greater Illinois Tech student body that the Communications Committee is looking to address, there is also the larger issue of increasing Illinois Tech presence in the immediate surrounding communities. Thus, Canty sees the best way of dealing with these communications gaps is through the existing opportunities provided by organizations such as the Boy’s and Girl’s Club. He believes that many Illinois Tech students can find easy resonance with the cub’s goal of “positively influencing the lives of today’s youth.” Volunteer opportunities already exist in scattered pockets around campus, especially with the connections offered by the Office of Campus Life, like the annual Big Event. It is only logical that SGA, as one of the largest and most encompassing groups on campus, takes up its own volunteering initiatives.

Those who are interested in forming a connection with the Boy’s and Girls Club of Chicago are highly encouraged to reach out directly to SGA’s Vice President of Communications, Jelani Canty, at jcanty@hawk.iit.edu.

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