By Kyle Burgess ’21
As Providence College students usher in a new school year, many new student organizations have burst onto the social scene on campus.
One organization is BELIEVE, which aims to advocate f-or PC students with disabilities. Members seek to “Be Educated, Live with Inspiration, and Evaluate Equity” (BELIEVE) through their meetings and campaign events, thereby helping spread their message of equality to members of the College community.
“The name of the club came to me when I was thinking of words I most closely strongly relate to,” explained Jacquie Kelley ’20, president of BELIEVE.
“I have always believed that my disability would not stand in the way of what I wanted to do with my life.”
Upon a visit to Boston Children’s Hospital during her senior year of high school, Kelley learned that she would completely lose the capability to walk due to her disability. She revealed that she struggled with this news, but eventually the word “believe” repeated over and over in her head as she set out to overcome the hurdle placed before her.
“I wanted ‘believe’ to be an acronym for the club, one that demonstrates the importance of being educated in the changes you want to see be made,” Kelley elaborated. “Evaluating equity is important as well because what one person needs in order to succeed is not necessarily what another needs.”
To Kelley and other members of BELIEVE, it is essential that PC students and staff where students may feel the campus is not accesible to them, and that this new club be used as a channel to vocalize these desires to the community at large.
Although she’s been campaigning for such an organization since her freshman year, Kelley was finally able to make her dream a reality this year as many current freshmen empathized with her struggles and wanted to see BELIEVE succeed at PC.
The club is currently waiting to present their vision to Student Congress after having met success with the Clubs and Organizations Committee. No disabilities are required to join the organization and all are welcome in becoming fellow believers here at PC.