Students Learn American Sign Language in Owl Sign Language Club
Keene State College offers students a variety of clubs and organizations to get involved in. One example is the Owl Sign Language Club, a student-run group founded by Angelique Inchierca ’21. This club offers students the chance to learn a new and unique language.
“The sign language club’s purpose is to spread awareness around campus and the community as a whole, as well as to teach people the language itself and a little bit about the culture,” said Angelique, who is majoring in multimedia journalism and minoring in psychology. “The club is set up like a class. We are either all learning signs together or we are learning something about the culture,” added Angelique.
Angelique founded the club when she was a first-year student. Her passion for sign language sprouted from a very young age when she befriended a deaf woman. From there, she studied the culture and has been learning sign language ever since.
The Owl Sign Language Club occasionally hosts events. “We’ve hosted two official movie nights and we’ve also done some mini crafting activities,” said Angelique. The club is constantly learning new signs. “This week we’re learning how to describe people. Then, the following week we’re going to do a describing activity,” explained Angelique.
Angelique takes the opportunity to study more about sign language any chance she gets. She applies her interest in Deaf culture to both her psychology and journalism courses at Keene State. She explains, “I have incorporated it into all my courses. In my psychology minor, anytime I have a project for class and I can pick the topic, I’ll research deaf childhood development or people in the workplace. That further helps me understand the Deaf culture.”
In addition to language and culture, Angelique is also interested in the Deaf community. “The culture itself refers to the community and what has come out of that. There are certain activities that they can take part in, that we can also take part in, but we wouldn’t think of it the same way. For example, art to them is more visual and it is more important to their senses. They have no auditory, so their music, which yes, they do have deaf concerts, but it’s not for the melody and it’s not for the rhythm. It is for the beat and the vibrations.”
Check out the video below to learn how to sign some Owl phrases!
- “Welcome to Owl Nation.”
- “I’m an Owl.”
- “My home is where? KSC!”
-By Mackenzie Crump ’20