Jess Barry, a sophomore in the College of Engineering, is attempting to create a chapter of CHAARG, a health and fitness organization, at Boston University.
CHAARG, which stands for Changing Health, Attitudes and Actions to Recreate Girls, aims to ignite a passion in college-aged girls for health and fitness, according to the organization’s official website.
Barry said almost 200 girls have expressed interest in joining a BU chapter of the organization.
Barry is currently in the application process to be a CHAARG ambassador, which consists of a written application where she must answer questions and create a list of interested girls, a list of local studios and a video to send in.
“There’s a Skype interview after that if I make it through the first round and then an in-person interview after that if I make it through,” Barry said. “And then I’m going through the process to bring it to campus formally.”
Barry said she was inspired to bring CHAARG to BU because the University of Massachusetts Amherst, the college she attended before BU, had a chapter of the organization.
“One of my best friends was on the executive board and she really wanted me to get into it and I ended up transferring before I could join,” Barry said. “So it’s something I want to bring to BU so I can be a part of that community here.”
Barry said CHAARG can be considered a type of fitness sorority. The organization is based off of a sorority setup.
“There’s smaller groups within the CHAARG community that are led by the executive boards and that’s kind of the families that sororities have,” Barry said.
CHAARG members attend two mandatory meetings a week, Barry said. One is a “fitness study meeting,” in which the members work out, doing activities like yoga, spinning and kickboxing. The other meeting is a smaller group meeting that consists of a more personal workout with an executive member of the organization. The group also organizes a variety of retreats and fitness plans.
Brandy Moser, a freshman in the College of Arts and Sciences, is another BU student working to bring CHAARG to campus on account of its positive effects on girls’ health.
“My two best friends have CHAARG at their colleges and it has helped them in so many ways,” Moser said. “It truly has changed their college experience and improved their physical and mental health. I think CHAARG is a great way to make friendships, stay healthy, and utilize the opportunities Boston has with its fitness studios.”
Barry said she thinks CHAARG could be beneficial to BU because it gives girls a community in which fitness is made more fun and because it promotes healthy attitudes and actions.
“CHAARG is important because one of the big things is helping girls break away from the elliptical because exercising can be more fun than just running on a treadmill or doing sit-ups in a gym,” Barry said.
Barry said the group would be open to any girl who wants to join.
“Honestly, any girl I think could join the club, whether you’re an experienced athlete or done multiple sports or if you’re just looking to find a community to be more motivated to work out,” Barry said.
Several BU students who showed interest in joining CHAARG said they believe CHAARG would be beneficial to female students.
Avery Ofoje, a sophomore in the College of Arts and Sciences, said she thinks CHAARG will help engage women on campus to stay active and healthy while supporting each other.
“I’ve always liked the accountability of group exercise,” Ofoje said, “When I noticed the huge response to the CHAARG post on Facebook, I was excited to meet more people on campus and plan to be more active during the semester.”
Alexis Pinchuk, a freshman in the College of General Studies, said she is interested in joining CHAARG because she wants a fun and different way to keep herself healthy.
“I’ve never heard of any clubs like this or been a part of anything like this, but that’s all the more reason to join and try something new,” Pinchuk said. “I believe this club can bring a new way to be active on an urban campus. It can also forge new friendships and hold members accountable for their goals.”
Scarlett Seneta, a freshman in CAS, said she thinks CHAARG can bring girls at BU together.
“I love working out, and working out with friends is even better,” Seneta said. “Just having a support group and motivation is great. I feel this club would be able to bring girls closer together and allow another opportunity for people of all different backgrounds to come together.”