Textbooks do more than provide practice problems. They can also help feed victims of HIV and AIDS.
A new club at Virginia Tech is collecting used textbooks, with proceeds going toward Kenyans infected with HIV and AIDS.
CARE for AIDS is non-profit organization that helps fund care centers in Kenya for members of the community affected by HIV and AIDS. Partnered with several Kenyan churches, the centers serve the physical, spiritual, economic and social needs of affected Kenyans. The organization is currently present on 48 college campuses in the U.S., including Tech.
Although CARE for AIDS has existed unofficially for about three years, it was not officially approved as a club until last semester. Natasha Smith and Megan O’Connor, president and vice president of the club respectively, had it officiated by the student affairs department in August 2011.
Before the club could start taking textbook donations, however, a policy change had to occur. The policy prohibited any and all student organization activity during finals week. With this rule in place, CARE for AIDS at Virginia Tech was unable to set up booths on campus after Reading Day.
Smith and O’Connor were informed of this rule while working with the event planning office in Squires Student Center to plan their textbook drive in December 2011. They went to Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs Guy Sims for help. Sims coordinated with Sherwood Wilson, vice president for administrative services, and Ed Spencer, vice president for student affairs to have the policy altered.
“I was pleased to hear that (the policy was able to be changed) because I know that this is a very time-sensitive activity,” Sims said. “You can’t do it after commencement because people are gone, you can’t do it before finals because people still need their textbooks.”
Although the rule has been changed for all student organizations, Sims said activities on campus during finals week will be approved on a case-by-case basis.
“We wouldn’t allow students to do concerts, or things that are very intrusive to the academic progress of students, but something like a service project is fine,” Sims
“It was really neat because a club that just started was able to change something that sororities and fraternities that have been here for forever couldn’t do,” Smith said. “It just goes to show that administration is behind