Group provides support for students with children

by Life Editor Monday Sanderson

Being a college student and a parent can be difficult for some. Senior Brooke Carlson created the registered student organization Lions with Cubs to provide support for parents on campus.

Carlson said she started the group at the beginning of the fall 2016 semester.

“I think that more than anything just being able to talk to other people again who are students (and) parents provides a great emotional support,” she said. “Sometimes it’s great to have actual support.

“Say I have a test I have to take and my mom, who normally watches my child, can’t. I think it would be great to be able to rely on the community.”

Carlson said she will do what she can to “accommodate” the group’s needs.

Carlson said advisers Assistant English Professor Katie Owens-Murphy and Assistant English Professor Cheryl Price have offered to help her with anything she plans.

“One idea that arose at our first meeting was some sort of space with donated toys where student-parents might study and complete homework while their children play,” Owens-Murphy said. “It would also be great to increase the number of family restrooms on campus.”

Carlson said she wants the organization to grow.

“We needed 10 members to become official, and we have that exact amount,” she said. “It’s a great start, but I’m really hoping we can expand.”

She said she hopes the group can become a place where everyone works together.

“There’s the old saying that it takes a village to raise a kid, but then modern society has parents being isolated,” she said. “I’m taking care of my kid, and (other parents are) taking care of their kid, and there is just a lack of a village mentality.”

Carlson said even though she is president, she had help forming the group and creating the name.

“I wish I could take credit for the name, but I didn’t come up with it,” she said. “I was telling one of my friends that I wanted to create a group for students who are parents, but I didn’t know what to call it. I didn’t want to call it Student Parents because I didn’t want parents of students to think that it was a club for them. After that, it just came out of her mouth; ‘Lions with Cubs.’ I thought it was just so brilliant, and I was so grateful for her.”

Owens-Murphy said the group provides a necessary service on campus.

“I agreed to co-advise the group because Brooke asked me to, and while I don’t know first-hand the difficulties of raising children while completing coursework, I do realize how difficult it is to achieve the school-work-life balance.”

Carlson said anyone who is a student can join.

“We’re open to all students who have an interest in family life, but our primary concern is students who are parents, but we’re not going to exclude anybody.”

Carlson said if students want to join, they can contact her at [email protected]