“We’re small, but we’re mighty”

Planned Parenthood Generation Action at CNU brings education and support to campus

“Planned Parenthood is one organization, but it encompasses a lot of things,” said Jennifer Chernoff, co-president of Planned Parenthood Generation Action’s chapter at Christopher Newport.

“It’s healthcare, it’s sexual health, it’s sexual identity and gender identity and all these different kinds of things that it does encompass and supports. As [the organization] is one thing, it does a lot of other things too.”

Planned Parenthood Generation Action is a nationwide network of college campuses standing in solidarity with the mission of Planned Parenthood and striving to provide an avenue for college students to unite for reproductive rights and sexual health.

CNU’s chapter is revolutionizing the way college students think about sexual health and wellness on campus and creating a space of support, resources and understanding.

By working in collaboration with Planned Parenthood in Hampton, Planned Parenthood Generation Action at CNU serves as a window for students to gain access to services that Planned Parenthood provides.

Chernoff, a founding member of the club, says the purpose of the organization is to bring awareness to Planned Parenthood and to serve as an educational resource for students to improve their sexual health and stay informed on services available to them.

“[Students] can come to us with sexual health questions or anything in that realm that Planned Parenthood does,” she said. “We kind of mirror [them] on campus.”

Planned Parenthood Generation Action at CNU holds some of its own events on campus with representatives from the Hampton office, such as workshops on consent and sexual wellness, but it also collaborates with other on-campus organizations.

They had a presence at the Sustainable Health Summit & Expo alongside Her Campus, PERIOD. at CNU, and CNU Sustainability.

“I felt hopeless after the [2016] election because it wasn’t what I wanted it to be like,” said Chernoff in an interview when asked why she personally became involved with Planned Parenthood Generation Action.

She has been a member since the spring semester of her freshman year alongside her friend Ivy von Perbandt.

“Our old community organizer and someone who had an internship who went to school here came to campus and were like, “We wanna start an organization, are you guys interested?’ … One of the founders of this organization said to me, ‘You can’t fix everything. Choose one thing, and do that thing so hard… and you’ll be able to make a small difference in that one thing…’ It was right after [Trump] got sworn in when this club started. If I can do a little thing that makes me feel better about it, then I’m doing something good and something that we need.”

The number of club members always tends to vary.

They are not required to pay dues and are welcome to attend meetings and events that the club puts on whenever possible.

Members of Planned Parenthood Generation Action at CNU enjoy volunteering and internship opportunities with the help of a community organizer who works at the Hampton Planned Parenthood office and helps to advise and support the club in their activities and events.

The organization also tables frequently in the DSU and at the Farmer’s Market.

While their table occasionally receives awkward glances from passersby, the organization has generally been met with acceptance from students and faculty alike.

“Overwhelmingly, the response has been so great… it’s been positive support,” Chernoff said. “We’re small, but we’re mighty.”

Planned Parenthood Generation Action at CNU meets biweekly on Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. in MCM 162.

~Anna Dorl, Lifestyle Editor~


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