Catholic student association forms new group


Co-chair ambassadors Veronica Musser and Eric Abowd stand outside of the Newman Center wearing their “I Am Climate Change” campaign shirts and holding fair trade hot chocolate and chocolate bars.

Kelly Powell

Five members of the Catholic Student Association formed the Kent State Catholic Relief Services chapter at the beginning of this semester.

Brainstormed over the summer, the chapter was established by CSA president Nicole Sauter. After learning about the global organization, Sauter recruited five students to complete training by CRS employees. Since then, the group has been holding “Ambassador Assembly” meetings, with the next on Sunday in the Newman Center.

“We want to make sure we’re educated since we’re just starting,” said Eric Abowd, CRS co-chair ambassador.

Members include Abowd, Sauter, Co-Chair Ambassador Veronica Musser and Anna Bright. CRS is an international organization started by the USA Conference of Bishops. The group focuses on nations stricken by war and impoverished countries.

“A lot of our meetings are discussion-based,” said Musser. “We go over what we think and how the Catholic church views these issues.”

One of these primary issues is fair trade. CRS plans to hold a fair trade sale Sunday from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Newman Center. They will sell products such as coffee, chocolate and tea.

“All fair trade proceeds go to everyone involved in the making of the product,” Abowd said.

It is important to members of CRS to have a positive impact on their environment.

“We can’t not care about what is going on in the world,” Musser said.  “Even if we’re not in a third-world country, we can identify what is going on and provide them assistance.”

Abowd said no matter where we live, we are all human beings. Because of this outlook, CRS is looking to connect with other faith-based groups and environmental organizations. The group was able to attend both interfaith prayer vigilsheld this semester, which focused on Syria and Paris.

“One of the main things we can do is just pray,” Abowd said.

CRS is open to both religious and non-religious students. Abowd mentioned that all members of the global CRS group do not identify as Catholic. He expressed that the only qualification for membership is “a desire to serve and help out.”

Kelly Powell is the religion reporter for The Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected].