College years are typically filled with lots of homework, coffee and fun times with good friends. Because of the craziness of this season, sometimes it becomes easy to forget about other important things going on outside of Hardin-Simmons University. A new student organization has recognized this reality and is ready to bring students together to make a change in our world.
The Endangered Species and Shelter Awareness (ESSA) Club at HSU was founded in March of 2022 by Madison Page. Page is a freshman biology major from Southlake, and she currently serves as the president of ESSA.
“I decided last semester that I wanted to leave my mark on campus by creating an organization that can continue to bring students together long after I have graduated,” Page said. “Last semester, I saw a lot of stray animals running around campus. I took care of several of them and found homes for them because animals hold a special place in my heart. When I looked into the clubs we already had on campus, I realized that we do not have any animal clubs. Therefore, I decided that it was time to start one.”
Page was able to recruit a leadership team who shares her passion for this cause. ESSA’s purpose is to raise environmental awareness. It accomplishes this purpose through promoting student fellowship, encouraging community service, highlighting Christian values and integrity and promoting good citizenship to enhance a positive learning environment.
The club had one of its first fundraising events on April 18 on Anderson Lawn. Upcoming fundraisers will take place on April 25 and May 5. More information will be posted on the ESSA Instagram: @hsu_essa. If you have an interest in joining ESSA, you can find a sign-up link in their Instagram bio as well.
“After becoming a member, we provide students with shelter and fundraising volunteer opportunities,” Page said. “Each semester we choose a specific endangered species to fundraise for.”
The species of the month for April 2022 is the pandas.
ESSA is different from many other existing HSU student organizations because its mission extends far beyond the halls of Hardin-Simmons, out into Abilene and the rest of the world.
“I want this club to bring students together as a community to raise awareness of endangered species,” Page said. “I believe we can make a huge impact in the community by raising environmental awareness. We will also help with overcrowding in the shelters. I would love to team up with Abilene businesses in the future.”