Published on November 19th, 2012 | by Kylen Mills
VIDEO: Students of AMF Bring Grief Support Group to Lewis Campus
Kylen Mills, Contributor
Brian Neal, Asst. Sports Editor
Whether it be a grandparent, parent, sibling, friend or other loved one, many college students lose someone close to them and just aren’t sure where to turn throughout the grieving process.
One support system that can help students cope during those difficult times is Students of AMF.
Students of AMF, which stands for Actively Moving Forward, is a nonprofit organization designed to connect and empower college students who are grieving the illness or death of a loved one.
This organization operates through chapters at campuses nationwide, which each offer a peer-led support group and different programs that cater to their campus.
Lewis University, which didn’t previously have peer support group, will now have its own chapter of Students of AMF, thanks to the work of junior biology major Alex Low.
Low was inspired to create a Lewis chapter after dealing with the death of her father.
In addition to the support of friends, family and teammates, Low pursued the help of Lewis’ Health and Counseling Services. When she inquired about any type of support group among students, she was surprised to find that one didn’t exist.
After discovering this void on campus, Low knew she had to take action.
“After talking to different students and friends, I found that so many people were dealing with the same thing I was, but you’d never know,” Low said.
“Death isn’t something that you just openly talk about.”
As she began looking into options, Low came across the Students of AMF organization and thought it would be a perfect fit. Over the past summer, she attended their national conference, and then began the process of putting a new organization together here at Lewis.
Low’s first stop was the Student Organization Resource Center office. Low filled out an application form explaining the concept of the group and spoke with Coordinator of Student Development and Leadership Sean Fagan.
After the Student Governing Board was notified of her application, they set up a time where Low would give a PowerPoint presentation explaining Students of AMF to the SGB Executive Board, so they could learn more about it and provide feedback.
Once the SGB executive board approved of her presentation, she was then invited back to present her PowerPoint to the entire SGB General Assembly. A week after the presentation, the SGB members all voted on whether or not to pass the organization.
If approved, the organization then had to go to the Dean of Student Services, Katheryn Slattery, who must officially sign it into existence.
Low found out on Oct. 31 via email that Students of AMF had been officially passed and become a Lewis student organization. She said after months of hard work and preparation, the feeling was indescribable.
“When I first read it, I started crying,” Low said, beaming as she described it. “I still remember that moment; it was 12:30 a.m. and I called my mom. She said it was so worth waking up for; we were both so happy.”
Many SGB members commented that they had never seen an organization get passed so quickly, as it was presented, voted on and approved by the dean in only 13 days.
SGB President Eric Kingue said he couldn’t be happier for Low, and that he thinks Students of AMF will be a huge benefit on campus.
“I think it is a great organization,” Kingue said. “It will help bring students together and expand the support system provided here at Lewis University. I’m looking forward to working with Alex on this.”
Low explained that now that it has been approved, her goal for the organization is to raise awareness, get the word out and help students going through similar situations.
The Students of AMF kick-off event will be held on Thursday, Nov. 29, at 5:30 p.m. in the Lewis Family Room located in the James A. LaGrippe Pastoral Center. The group will have an informational meeting and dinner.
Students interested in learning more about Students of AMF can contact StudentsofAMFLewisU@gmail.com.