The Student News Site of Utica University

The Tangerine

The Student News Site of Utica University

The Tangerine

The Student News Site of Utica University

The Tangerine

Club Profile: Active Minds

Photo provided by Mercedes Steele

Emmalyn, Ylaya, Tangerine Clerk

Utica College has a plethora of clubs with each one having different events hosted on and off campus. Active Minds is one of the clubs at Utica College where all members work together to support those people who are suffering with mental illnesses. 

Junior and Active Minds President Mercedes Steele enjoys her officer position and is optimistic as the club leader.

“Since I am the president, I love to have those conversations on mental health,” Steele said. “I also love helping others and just debunking or talking about the stigmas on mental health.” 

As far as the semester goes, Steele said there will be many fun events that the club will host on campus that involve mental illness. 

“We have events that plan on talking about a variety of items, like women’s wellbeing, chronic pain/illness based on the perspective of mental health, mental health monologues and our annual art show,” Steele said. 

All Active Minds events are open to Utica College students with the hope of learning about mental illnesses and supporting those who have different mental health issues. 

Sophomore Tegan Kurucz is the club’s secretary. He enjoys making documents for club events and meeting notes for everybody. 

“Secretary was definitely a departure from what I expected it to be: a focus on the nitty-gritty of meeting minutes and reminders,” Kurucz said. ‘That was certainly a necessary part of the job, but much of it was input on event ideas, deciding how we wanted our administrative documents presented, and generally facilitating our programming.” 

Kurucz joined Active Minds because of his own journey with mental health. 

“At first I didn’t even feel like it was my place to join and advocate for mental health conditions without first experiencing one and being neurodivergent,” Kurucz said. “These thoughts occurred just before I was coming to terms with my anxiety, and I thought that this could be a space to explore this notion: ‘Hmm…maybe all this stress, over worrying and repression of issues is not normal for college life.’” 

Even for those people who have had experience with mental health, Kurucz said Active Minds was one of the clubs that was useful to him. He said the club would work for anyone who has dealt with mental health issues. 

“I now feel that anybody, neurotypical or otherwise, should be fighting to set the record straight on mental health conditions we live with,” he said. “I couldn’t be more proud of that growth in myself, and I couldn’t be more proud of the shape the club has taken.” 

Based on what the club is like for the UC community, Kurucz said it is one of the more slow but steady-growing organizations on campus. He believes it does so much good for everybody on campus. 

With the amount of people that suffer from mental health issues, Kurucz said he would recommend students to join the club and get involved to help support those suffering from mental illness. 

“I hope everyone sees the impact an open earnest conversation about mental health can have,” he said. 

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