With more than 600 registered student organizations on campus, students at Michigan State University can find a group for just about any interest
The the leaders of Raising Awareness with Students believe they have a mission unlike others.
RAWS promotes health issues, with a focus on preventable illnesses.
It was created by Kady Cox, an interdisciplinary studies in social science student. The concept of RAWS started with her annual event, “Diabetes is Not Sweet.”
“I got the idea for the ‘Diabetes is Not Sweet’ event because mom and my grandmother both have diabetes,” Cox said. “It started as me wanting to bring awareness to diabetes, but I felt the need to do more and that’s how RAWS was created.”.
Cox has been in Washington, D.C., the entire fall 2016 semester for an internship with the White House, but within the last month, Cox has assembled an executive board and formalized its status with the university. The group also had its second annual “Diabetes is Not Sweet” event, built a network using social media and gained a handful of members.
RAWS secretary Caprice Jackson has a personal connection to what the group is bringing to the campus.
“I’ve been involved with RAWS since it was formed and I love the mission,” she said. “There are certain illnesses or health issues people are invested in and as an organization, we can choose to bring attention to it and educate people on it.
“My mom is living with Crohn’s and colitis, and usually RAWS chooses a health issue for the month, but we were able to make an exception for December and dedicate one week to that. That’s important and that’s why I love this organization.”
Not only does RAWS plan to bring awareness to health issues, group members are actively involved in different aspects of philanthropy.
“We don’t just want to bring awareness to health issues, we want to be active in the community and help diminish the negatives through giving back though volunteer work,” Cox said. “Not only will we be committed to volunteering, we will launch fundraisers to coincide with our health issue or event for the month and donate all funds to a nonprofit that focuses on that specific health issue.”
The organization has started planning for spring semester.
“Although there is a lot of room for growth, I love the direction RAWS is going,” Cox said. “We have a lot of work to do, but I will be on campus next semester and I want to have more events and come up with some unique ways to get more involved on campus.
“We have a lot of great things we will be bringing to campus.”