T.I.K.E.S. creates support group for WU student parents

A new organization looks to establish itself at Washburn. T.I.K.E.S. will plan to provide students who are also parents a relief system when they need to study and also take care of their children.

Richard Kelly

*Editor’s note: April Sumpter was originally attributed in the quotes in the article. The quotes were from Janel Leonard, rather, not Sumpter. The Washburn Review apologizes for the misattribution.

Sometimes class projects can turn much more when all is said and done. Such is the case for T.I.K.E.S.

A new organization started by students in professor Jim Schnoebelen’s Communications 101 course, Principles and Practices of Human Communication, T.I.K.E.S. stands for Teaching and Interacting with Kids of Educated Students.

Schnoebelen assigned the project in which student groups were asked to find something they’d like to change at Washburn, research it, and present how it would be feasible, even if they didn’t carry out the idea itself.

But students Zach Morris, Janel Leonard, Alex North, Meghan Clemons, and April Sumpter went above and beyond. They have helped register T.I.K.E.S. as a new student organization, with a particular idea in mind: give support to students who play the dual role of also being parents.

“It’s basically for interacting for students who are parents, along with their kids on and off of campus with the CRC [Curriculum Resource Center in the basement of Carnegie Hall] being our main meeting spot,” said Leonard.

Leonard, who is a sophomore and the organization president, has two children, three and five years old, which she said are her first priority over anything else. The group will be able to provide assistance by allowing children to interact with one another at the CRC while their parents are there working on homework or studying.

According to Leonard, until students have children, it’s unimaginable just how much work goes into playing the dual role of a student and a parent. She is currently taking nine hours while balancing her education, which is currently an emphasis in radiation therapy. Sumpter, senior, also supports a child of her own while balancing her anthropology major.

Currently the group has created both a Facebook page and Twitter, as well as posted flyers around the campus for T.I.K.E.S. While the benefits mainly go as support for those who are parents of children, anyone without children is also invited.

“Some people absolutely adore kids and want to be around them even if they haven’t reached that point yet in their lives,” said Leonard. “So, they could be key players in helping with all of us coming together.”

The group expects to establish specific meeting times for the parents this spring. Around the area, the group was unable to find any schools that have a service such as this, which was one of the main points of the organization.

“If it develops to something larger and it’s kind of taken on by the university itself, and they develop a program specifically for student parents, they could use that as a selling point,” said Morris. “They could say “the University of Kansas or Kansas State University doesn’t have this” and we know that students parents should have an education.”