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A club for sign language has just started on campus

Robert Wisła started the club out of his own want to learn the language and when he found out TRU didn’t offer ASL. (Juan Cabrejo/The Omega)

A TRU student hopes to learn a new language and help others to do so too.

Robert Wisła, a fourth-year journalism student, is the president of the brand new American Sign Language (ASL) Club on campus. On March 6, the club was officially ratified at the TRUSU board of directors meeting. Wisła started the club out of his own want to learn the language and when he found out TRU didn’t offer any classes already, he decided to take the initiative himself.

“Personally speaking, I think it’s really nice to have the ability to speak ASL so that if you do run into a deaf person, if you have a deaf family member, or whatever the case may be, you’ll be able to talk to them,” Wisła said.

So, far Wisła says that the TRU community has been really supportive and responsive to the club.

“I got all 50 signatures for the club in about half an hour,” Wisła said. “Things are moving along really quick.”

The club is just the first part of bringing ASL to TRU’s campus, Wisła is also starting a petition to get a for-credit course put in place. In order to do this, he needs to get 1500 signatures from the TRU community and then he can present the idea to TRU’s modern language department and administration.

“We are so close to our 1500 goal, I think I only need 200 or 300 more signatures, so we’re just on our last little push here,” Wisła said.

The course will consist of three levels: beginner, intermediate and advanced.

“I just think having more opportunities for courses on campus makes a big difference, people want to learn,” Wisła said.

The club will help serve as a valuable resource to get the course running and to garner support from members of the community, students and various campus organizations such as TRUSU.

“We’re really going to push for this course and we’re also going to be a forum for people to help themselves learn to sign,” Wisła said.

The club will also act as a support system for any deaf or hard-of-hearing students on campus and will help connect them to any resources available to them at TRU.

Wisła hopes that TRU admin will see the overwhelming support for ASL and that they will be able to get the course up and running by next year.

The clubs first meeting will take place at 7 p.m. on March 22 in front of Common Grounds.