Student looks to revive WU Rotaract Club

Ryan Ogle, [email protected] washburn.edu, is a senior mass media major.

After eight years of inac­tivity, Washburn will once again have a Rotaract Club on campus thanks to the ef­forts of WU student Krystle McDonald.

A campus and communi­ty-based offshoot of Rotary International, Rotaract is open to individuals who are dedicated to community ser­vice.

McDonald was in­spired to get Rotaract up and running again after a conversation with Washburn busi­ness professor Liviu Florea, who believes the club could benefit a variety of students.

“We would like to be open to all Wash­burn students, from all departments and schools,” said Florea. “Rotaract is a service oriented organization that has equal appeal to all students, no matter what their major might be.”

While Rotaries are tra­ditionally geared toward business professionals, an academically diverse roster could also make for a stron­ger, more effective organiza­tion.

“It’s not dealing with just accounting, business or so­cial sciences,” said McDon­ald. “It’s about the commu­nity, so students from any major can help bring benefits to what we’re doing.”

Though linked to and mentored by area Rotary clubs, campus Rotaracts are primarily self-governed and members are encouraged to bring their individual strengths and ideas to the ta­ble. Local Rotaries will often provide support to their cam­pus counterparts.

“The Rotary Club is kind of like the big brother to Rot­aract,” said McDonald. “That connection is definitely there and they can provide experi­ence and help get things off the ground. But Rotaract is its own unit and operated by the members.”

Members of Rotaract club work to organize projects that provide humanitarian services to communities, both locally and globally. These projects can be in conjunction with sponsoring Rotaries or something that club members come up with themselves.

Ongoing projects that Topeka Rotary clubs are in­volved with include helping to provide clean water to im­poverished communities in Guatemala and SoleMates, a locally-based project that sees Rotary teamed with Payless Shoes to give new shoes and socks to area chil­dren in need.

“The children come in buses from school and meet us in the parking lot of Pay­less and we fit each of them with new shoes and socks,” said Florea. “It’s really a neat project to be involved with.”

Helping Hands Humane Society and Let’s Help are two other local charities that benefit from the assistance of Topeka Rotary Clubs.

Members of Rotaract club are guided by a set of prin­ciples called the Four-Way Test. As defined by Rotary International. The Four-Way Test “is a nonpartisan and nonsectarian ethical guide for Rotarians to use for their personal and professional re­lationships.”

The test, which is recited by members at each meeting, asks the following questions pertaining to the things Ro­tarians say and do:

Is it the TRUTH?

Is it FAIR to all con­cerned?

Will it build GOODWILL and BETTER FRIEND­SHIPS?

Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?

These values, both Florea and McDonald maintain, speak to the heart of what Rotaract is all about.

One of the big­gest benefits to being in Rotaract comes from the op­portunity to estab­lish relationships with area profes­sionals and leaders.

“There are a lot of synergies that can be created through Rotaract,” said Flo­rea. “One of them would involve net­working between current students and professionals.”

The club also gives students a chance to be a part of something that could benefit them well be­yond college.

“It’s about getting in­volved in something, said McDonald. “And not just getting involved in some­thing for the benefit of your resume, but something that will help your community. In a more professional aspect, it can bring a lot of good con­nections with business peo­ple in the area.”

The Washburn Rotaract Club will hold its first meet­ing at 2 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 24 in the Mabee Library. Those interested in joining or seeking more information about Rotaract can contact Krystle McDonald at mcd­[email protected]