Are You Autism Aware? Holds a Walk for Acceptance

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BY GRAHAM O’DWYER

On Oct. 21, the Are You Autism Aware? club hosted their annual awareness walk at the Campus Field. The event was the club’s largest of the semester, drawing hundreds of attendees from various student clubs and organizations.

“This is a really great cause,” said sophomore CJ Weinstein. “It is great to see so many people come out to support such a wonderful cause.”

Autism, which affects one in every 68 children in the United States, is a developmental disability that affects a person’s ability to interact with others. By holding events like these throughout the year, the club strives to create awareness and promote acceptance of those affected by autism.

“The main goal of the walk is to raise awareness on our campus about the issue that is autism, and accepting others regardless of their differences,” said Club President Juliana Fetherman.

In addition to walking laps around the track, attendees enjoyed music, food, and games on the turf field. Bracelets and t-shirts displaying the club’s message were also available for purchase.

“The walk is probably my favorite event,” said Fetherman. “It always draws the biggest turnout, and that makes me so happy. We fundraise a lot of money there that we get to give back, which is awesome.”

Fetherman enjoys her role as president of the club, but she also takes it very seriously.

“I live for this club and this cause. The reason why I do it and take such responsibility is because my brother is autistic,” she said. Sororities, fraternities, and division one sports teams such as football, cheerleading, and soccer were some of the organizations to come out and show their support for the cause.

“We heard about the walk and event and knew it was a great cause,” said senior Ezra Siyadhuba, a member of the men’s division one soccer team. “We got together as a team and figured it would be good to go to the walk and show our support for the club and its message,” he said.

Whether students have a personal connection with the club’s cause or just want to help spread the message, the club has a diverse membership.

“I love what the club stands for and I truly believe that the message is an extremely powerful one,” said junior and club member Meredith Hallisey. “I joined this club because I thought it was a really good cause and I wanted to help spread the message around campus.”

The club will be active on campus throughout the rest of the year to continue promoting their message.

“Next semester we are hosting a golf outing, a colloquium and a kickball tournament,” said Fetherman. For any questions about the club’s events or involvement, contact Juliana Fetherman at fethermanj@mail.sacredheart.edu.

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