A new organization has made its way to the University of Texas at El Paso, encouraging women to pursue a healthy lifestyle all while being part of an uplifting community that assures they are not alone in their fitness journey.
As part of their mission statement, CHAARG, which stands for changing health, attitudes and actions, aims to “liberate girls from the elliptical and show them that fitness can and should be fun.”
Carolina Quintana, 20, a UTEP physics major and CHAARG’s Founding Ambassador has spent around nine weeks in training, finalizing the foundation blocks of the organization for things to be in full swing for the Fall 2021 semester.
Quintana and her executive team have been reaching out through social media platforms like Instagram to spread the word about UTEP’s newest organization.
“I noticed that a lot of girls around our age want to get out there and be active, but they don’t have, I guess in a way, the community or a guide to help them out,” Quintana said. “That’s what I’m trying to achieve and CHAARG is able to help girls get into that.”
Recruitment season will begin with the Fall 2021 semester, lasting three weeks, and the fourth week is when CHAARG will officially begin.
As a member, there are weekly workouts set up by the organization that are done alongside the rest of the members, adding for extra support and encouragement.
In addition to those weekly workouts, members are then placed into seven support groups, each having an executive leader as the head of the group to help coordinate once a week meeting times where they gather to do anything from study dates to mental health check-ins or just a small hangout.
COVID-19 guidelines will be met while partaking in these weekly sessions and all members will continue to follow safety precautions.
These small groups help the women in CHAARG to create close-knit relationships with one another and gain a greater sense of community.
20-year-old Erica Hernandez, event coordinator for CHAARG and speech language pathology major said she wants her small group to focus on community service in addition to mental health for their weekly meet-ups.
The CHAARG group members said all women, regardless of their standing in their fitness health journey, are welcomed to join the organization by signing up for a membership.
“Nobody is in perfect condition, and what I love about it is that you have other girls saying, ‘hey, you can do it, you got this’ and you feel like you have to do it now because everyone is watching,” Hernandez said.
In order to become a member, go to the CHAARG website at chaarg.com, click on the shop tab and go to the dropdown button titled chapter memberships. There, you will find the University of Texas at El Paso towards the bottom of the list.
The prices vary according to which membership you would like to purchase. Students have an option of paying for just one semester, or they can purchase a membership for the whole school year.
Although there are similarities, CHAARG is not to be confused for a sorority. All membership fees will be used to help organize socials or used for work out sessions with instructors.
Quintana said that since joining, she has met a wide variety of women from all around the nation who have been supportive and who continue to uplift her.
“Everyone is just so supportive, and it’s honestly amazing,” Quintana said. “Everyone just kind of makes you feel good about yourself.”
Quintana and her team have opened the floor for any women who want to get a taste for CHAARG by setting up a few sample workouts.
The organization will officially be up and running at the start of the Fall 2021 semester.
By Ariel Castillo