#Student Profile Week: Activist, AcaBelle, and Aspiring Lead...

Holy City Beat | Sierra Debrow | April 7, 2016

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If you’re looking for junior Mollie Selmanoff on the College of Charleston campus, chances are you’ll have a hard time tracking her down. As an active member of various organizations, it’s easy to see that Mollie is passionate about many issues and working to make positive changes throughout the college community. “I can’t sit still; I like to be involved, but I like to see change happen and to be a leader in that change,” Selmanoff explains.

Hailing from the state of Maryland, Mollie came to the College of Charleston to enjoy the beautiful, historic city while attending a smaller, engaging school. She quickly found her place here, joining the Jewish Student Union/Hillel. This organization’s mission is to provide all students a place to come together to enjoy great food, company, and initiatives based in Jewish values. As a member of the JSU/Hillel, Selmanoff meets with perspective and accepted students and their families to answer any questions they may have and to offer a student’s perspective of Jewish and secular life at The College. Mollie serves as the JSU/Hillel’s Social Action chair, working with local organizations to create opportunities for students to engage in community service throughout the city. One such opportunity is visiting the Carolina Youth Development Center, a transitional home for DSS-referred youth. During this visit, students will play sports, do yoga, and participate in art-based activities. To find out more about this event, visit the Facebook page here.

Mollie’s passion for social justice and activism truly knows no bounds. She is a founding member of Project G.I.V.E., which works to provide Gender-based and Interpersonal Violence Education. With this organization, Mollie has helped develop a workshop for students to learn more about sexual assault and its complex interaction with our societal views of sex and gender. When asked what sets Project G.I.V.E. apart from other campus groups, Selmanoff explains that while “other groups on campus mostly deal with victims,” Project G.I.V.E. wants “to stop assault from happening in the first place.” She is an active advocate for starting conversations about sex and consent throughout campus. Over the past two years, she has spoken with several student-run groups about the importance of consent, sexual assault, and rape with the hope that these discussions will create a safer environment for all students.

Mollie doesn’t only use her voice to promote social change. In her free time, she sings with the College of Charleston’s first all-female a cappella group, the AcaBelles. She is one of the founding members of the group and has watched the AcaBelles transform from a small musical group to a fun and powerful vocal force. Their spring concert on April 3rd was an impressive showcase of songs and skills from several different genres of music, making one of the group’s largest performances a rousing success..

It seems impossible for Mollie to stay still, even in her academic life. She is a psychology major with a double minor in Spanish and Jewish studies, and though she will be graduating a semester early in December 2016, she hopes to continue her vibrant role promoting societal change as a clinical psychologist or social worker. No matter what path she chooses in life, Mollie Selmanoff knows how to walk down it with pride and grace, using her own voice to provide one to people who often don’t have a vehicle to speak for themselves.