September 23, 2019 | 79° F

Rutgers Circle K chapter aims to build world leaders


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Photo by Courtesy of Saad Shamshair |

Circle K International is the largest collegiate service organization with 12,600 students in 17 nations across the world.


When Saad Shamshair was a first-year student, he accompanied his brother to a meeting of Circle K International’s Rutgers chapter. The School of Arts and Sciences junior is now the president of the organization.

Currently in its 46th year at the University, Circle K stands on the tenets of leadership, fellowship and service, Shamshair said. In the fall, the club held a dodge ball tournament and a benefit concert with the help of Rutgers a cappella groups.

The service club is an extension of its high school counterpart, Key Club, he said.

The club began as a Kiwanis club service project to provide an opportunity for capable young men to get a college education by assisting them financially, according to Circle K’s website.

Today, Circle K is the largest collegiate service organization and has over 12,600 students in 17 nations, according to the website. 

One of their largest initiatives is The Eliminate Project — a joint force between Kiwanis International and UNICEF — to eliminate maternal and neonatal tetanus, he said.

It costs $1.80 to give tetanus vaccines to mothers and their children, he said. Though there is not enough funding to send students to other countries to volunteer, their fundraising efforts still go a long way.

Shamshair said tonight is “Dance to Eliminate,” an annual event which raises money for the project. The event normally raises over $1,000, with its most successful run bringing in $1,400.

The event brings Rutgers dance groups to perform at the Livingston Student Center, and has won multiple awards from the New Jersey District of Circle K, as well as Circle K International, he said.

Circle K also partners with the Christ Food Pantry, Shamshair said. They are trying to expand to volunteer at other pantries around New Brunswick.

The leadership of Circle K mimics state legislature, Shamshair said. There is a board, which oversees the 14 Circle K clubs in New Jersey.

The governor of the district — Shivam Patel — is from Rutgers, along with five of the 13 district board members. He said we should be proud that we have the most representation on the district board.

“We build the best leaders,” Shamshair said.

Shamshair said it is exciting to see people who care about the world do great things.

“Everyone here is very passionate about what they do, and they’re all here for the greater good. … They’re not padding their resume,” he said. “People are extremely committed to this organization.”

Patel, a School of Arts and Sciences junior, said he used Key Club as a stepping stone for getting involved in Circle K.

He said the club seemed like a good way to give back to a world and to express his desire to help others.

The club has raised over $6,000 in the past year for The Eliminate Project, and he said they hope to continue this success.


By Sabrina Szteinbaum

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