Talking Hands: Boise State University’s American Sign Language Club

Boise State's American Sign Language (ASL) Club.
Photo courtesy of Jahaira Faber

There are many clubs at Boise State University that people might not be aware of. The American Sign Language (ASL) Club may be one of them.

Boise State’s ASL Club was started by a group of students about three years ago according to the club’s president, Jahaira Faber. However, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the club’s activity remained stagnant and eventually went inactive without a host.

Faber, a sociology major, has played a key role in getting the club up and running again with the help of ASL Section Head Davina Snow, and Vice President and psychology major Megan Haith.

“[ASL Club] is open for Deaf community members as well as students with varying skill levels in their ASL or American Sign Language,” Faber said. 

Haith, who is also minoring in sign language, expresses her gratitude for the sense of community that ASL has brought her. 

“You get to connect with people that you never thought you would talk to before,” Haith said. “You have this one thing in common and it’s the same time, same place every week and it’s a lot of fun. I look forward to it every week.”

Boise State's American Sign Language (ASL) Club.
[Photo of the Boise State American Sign Language (ASL) club]
Photo courtesy of Jahaira Faber

The ASL Club has hosted many events for those who want to take part in this community. Through the last couple of years, officers — both old and new — have been working to build the club back to what it once was.

Every Wednesday, they have “silent lunches” in the Student Union Building (SUB), which allows people to get together and chat in a more unique way. They also had a Halloween party as well as a friendsgiving. Some other activities include deaf movie nights and game nights.

Since the dDeaf community in Boise is small, Haith and Faber feel that having spaces like the ASL club helps to provide a family. The club has a Facebook page that they use to reach out to other clubs in the Boise area. One of their goals for the club is to make it a place for people to come together and communicate while spreading awareness about the Deaf community.

“Even if you’re just learning [ASL], you’re welcome to join,” Faber said. “We have a grander vision of having a very diverse and very inclusive background.”

The club has special guest speakers and hosts concerts within the Boise State community. The club is all about creating a space for those within Deaf and hearing culture.

“Everyone can learn basic sign language, and learning our language and starting to learn our culture is just as important as learning any other language or culture,” Faber said. “For future BSU students, it would be wonderful if they knew about ASL Club, so that they have the opportunity to participate and join us well.”

You can learn more about the ASL club by visiting their Facebook page or by visiting the club’s website.

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