The Youngstown State Environmental and Animal Rights Coalition is seeking new officers to fill a few posts that will soon be vacated, including the president.
YSEARC President Michelle Gbur decided to step down due to time constraints.
“We didn’t really get too many committed members involved last year, and most of the responsibility fell to me,” Gbur said.
During the organization’s first meeting on Wednesday in Kilcawley Center, members discussed ways to recruit new officers.
Gbur said the organization must formally name at least four officers to different posts in order to officially remain a student organization. The available positions include president, vice president, secretary and treasurer.
Until recently, Gbur held the only official position.
She said the only requirements to be an officer are to be dedicated and willing to be heavily involved in the group and its various activities.
The group is now looking for volunteers within the organization to step in to fill the void that will be left when Gbur steps down.
Some of YSEARC’s regular activities include its annual vegan bake sale on Earth Day in April. During the sale, members pass out leaflets that describe animal rights and veganism. They also volunteer for litter cleanups at animal shelters.
YSEARC members Melissa DelSignore, Katie Krancevich and Julie Plesich each voiced their interest in the open positions during the meeting.
Four new students were present at the meeting, and each expressed an interest in eventually joining the organization.
Will Geer was one of the new attendees. Geer is a vegan, and said he is firmly committed to animal rights and protecting the environment.
“A lot of my friends are vegans, and I am very interested in helping to protect the environment in any way possible,” he said.
Geer said he expects to join the group at some point and wants to become actively involved in any volunteer opportunities that may arise.
YSEARC was originally founded in fall 2000 by then-student Dan Kuzma.
Kuzma, who now serves as the organization’s adviser, also heads YSU’s recycling program. He said he started YSEARC because he wanted to increase awareness of environmentalism and animal rights on campus.
He said he decided to become a vegan after conducting research and being shocked at the gruesome depictions of factory farms and their processes.