July 22, 2014

Scrolling Headlines:

Chiarelli: Sam Koch’s impact evident in those who knew him best -

Monday, July 21, 2014

Longtime UMass men’s soccer coach Sam Koch dies after two-year battle with sinus cancer -

Monday, July 21, 2014

Southwest evacuated after gas leak -

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

UMass Rowing finishes NCAA Championships, ends year ranked No. 21 in the nation -

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Two UMass basketball alums to compete for a lofty prize in The Basketball Tournament -

Friday, May 23, 2014

Commencement Photos 2014 -

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Two arrested in relation to series of vandalism -

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Students push for relocation of the Center for Counseling and Psychological Health -

Monday, May 12, 2014

Video: No. 14 UMass WLAX ends season in loss to Loyola (MD) -

Saturday, May 10, 2014

No. 14 UMass women’s lacrosse season ends in loss to Loyola (MD) -

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Sixth inning rally propels UMass past Dayton 7-2 -

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

McMahon, Ferris and McGovern: Not your usual transfer story -

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Women’s lacrosse defeats Richmond 10-6 to win sixth straight A-10 Championship -

Sunday, May 4, 2014

No. 13 UMass women’s lacrosse knocks off Duquesne 16-3 to reach Atlantic 10 finals -

Friday, May 2, 2014

UMass one of 55 schools currently facing investigation over handling of sexual assault cases -

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Two thefts reported at library -

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Senior Columns 2013-2014 -

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

UMass Dining proposes major meal plan changes -

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

UMass baseball beats UConn for first time since 2007 -

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

MTV’s seemingly controversial new show proves to be ‘Faking It’ -

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Autism Speaks U making waves

Flickr/iFireDesign

The UMass Amherst Autism Speaks U organization is looking to raise $20,000 this semester for autism research and aid.

A new organization on campus, UMass Amherst Autism Speaks U, was officially recognized by the national non-profit organization Autism Speaks in December. However, the group’s infancy hasn’t stopped it from making some big plans.

During the club’s first meeting of the semester on Jan. 31, New England Director of Autism Speaks U Kathleen Russell spoke about the role Autism Speaks U is playing attempts to raise awareness. Last year, Autism Speaks U, the college subsection of the organization, was responsible for raising close to $1 million.

This year, Autism Speaks U is hoping to raise even more money. Five chapters across the country have already signed up to organize 5K events, with goal of each raising $20,000.

Despite being a new chapter, UMass has quickly risen to the second highest fundraising school in the country, behind only Penn State. They have currently raised more than $6,000 through fundraising for their 5K, which is set to take place on April 7.

In 2011, the UMass Autism Speaks 5K, under the direction of fraternity Alpha Epsilon Pi and sorority Sigma Delta Tau, raised over $15,000.

Along with fundraising efforts, the UMass Autism Speaks U chapter has also placed large emphasis on autism awareness. The group is selling autism awareness bracelets, and is in talks with UMass athletic teams to put the autism awareness puzzle piece symbol on their uniforms. The group also plans on visiting local middle schools and high schools to teach them about autism and encourage them to create their own groups at school, according to co-president Stephanie Tufano.

The group is also trying to increase their visibility in the community through tabling in the campus center and at both the Holyoke and Hampshire Malls. They explained that making Austim Speaks U a well-known group may give some families much needed information about what to do either before or after an autism diagnosis.

“You’d be surprised how many people, even in just the campus center, will come up to you and tell you their story and how they are connected to autism,” said co-preident Daniel Harpaz during the group’s first meeting.

Harpaz said that last year in the Campus Center, a parent walked up to him and said, “‘I think my kid has autism- I just don’t know what to do.’” Harpaz provided the man with as much information as he could at the time, and was able to point him to the support of Autism Speaks.

Autism is currently the fastest growing developmental disability in the country, affecting one out of every 88 children, a number that has been consistently increasing in the past few years. At this point, the cause of the disability is unknown.

The UMass chapter is hoping that, with their new status as an official chapter, they will be able to increase fundraising, awareness, and provide UMass students with a way to give back.

“I am so impressed at how fast and quickly this chapter has come together,” Russell said. “It is a real testament to the UMass community.”

Russell added that garnering support at the college level us important as students “are the future business leaders, parents, and community members.”  She noted that she hoped students would continue to be interested in the topic as they grew older.

Erin Wolosz can be reached at ewolosz@student.umass.edu.

 

Comments
2 Responses to “Autism Speaks U making waves”
  1. geraldine wynter says:

    I wish everyone concerned at UMass the very best of luck in
    fundraising for Autism Speaks U. It is so wonderful that is has been so successful in a relatively short space of time. May you reach your target in fundraising for a very worthwhile and noble cause. Once again may I wish the organisation all the luck that you all so deserve.

    GERALDINE WYNTER – GRANDMOTHER OF SIAN WYNTER – STUDENT
    GREAT BRITAIN

  2. VoiceofAutism says:

    Autism Speaks doesn’t listen to us.

    It’s just a machine for raising money living for the sake of hate

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