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Club Spotlight: American sign language club starts up at Hofstra

By Jenna Grasso Staff Writer

The deaf community and culture is one that thrives within it’s own environment. Many people within the hearing world, who are not affected by deaf or hard of hearing people shy away from learning about the deaf community, culture and past. College campuses are an awesome way to be able to learn about different cultures, and get students involved in different activities and surroundings that would not be normal for them. Deaf Education and American Sign Language (DEASL), is a new club that is coming around the Hofstra campus before Thanksgiving break for students.

DEASL is a club for students to make them more aware of the deaf history, community and culture. The club allows members to attend events within the deaf community, where members can learn and meet different deaf people and learn about their history and how to interact with the deaf community in a respectful way.

President and creator of DEASL at Hofstra Lillian Barone is hoping to see the club thrive within the University in order to build awareness and involve college students within the deaf community. “I am really passionate about seeing this club succeed, I want to build the club up so when I graduate at the end of this year the club can thrive for years to come,” said Barone.

The deaf community is a thriving community and their is little awareness on college campuses due to lack of classes offered and majors offered, DEASL is an opportunity for students to attend events within the deaf community, learn history about the deaf culture as well as important deaf figures within the community.

“I think Hofstra will benefit from DEASL because the club adds another multicultural component to the Hofstra community. Hofstra is very diverse and attempts to represent many of these cultures on campus. I think DEASL will be another great addition to add diversity and represent an important cultural group on campus,” said Barone.

While being a club on the Hofstra campus, DEASL will be doing an immense amount of community service within the deaf community considering interaction within the community is immensely important. It is crucial to learn and understand how the deaf community can thrive and how their environment is changing with new advances in medicine which is leading to more children not embracing their deaf culture and quickly looking to surgeries in order to fix their hearing impairments.

The club will be attending the Mill-Neck Manor Festival on Saturday, Oct.11. It is a festival that includes a wide variety of the deaf community. The club will be interacting with the deaf population and the DEASL will possibly try to volunteer there as well according to Vice President Nicole Mosca. The club will also provide workshops and movie nights for members.

In order to become a member of the DEASL, members will have to attend meetings. Anyone is welcome to come and a voting member will constitute as a person who attends 75 percent of all meetings throughout the semester. Events will count towards attendance as well. The bottom line is DEASL is looking for members who will be enthusiastic and dedicated towards the club and the deaf community.

Mosca, added that the club is open and welcome to everyone, “The DEASL will be more of informing the hearing population about the deaf population and allow people to learn a few signs.”

“If we say we love the deaf community, we better be able to name people and share personal experiences and help the community in which we love,” stated Barone. The DEASL, is an excellent opportunity for students at Hofstra to get more involved with a community that many shy away from. Even if this club does not seem of interest, try and learn about something different, you might enjoy it.

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