The Changing Health, Attitudes and Actions to Recreate Girls (CHAARG) organization, known as the largest health and wellness community on college campuses, has expanded its reach to Florida Atlantic University (FAU) this fall. Founded in 2012 at Ohio State University by former collegiate competitive swimmer Elisabeth Tavierne, CHAARG aims to address the gender division prevalent in fitness spaces by creating a supportive and inclusive environment for women to explore various workouts and find like-minded workout partners.
Tavierne, in a recent CHAARG podcast interview, explained her mission: “My goal with CHAARG was to liberate girls from the elliptical. I hoped that CHAARG would help girls not only find workout buddies but also friends.”
This semester, FAU welcomed CHAARG, and the reception has been enthusiastic. Summer Watson, a special education sophomore and the group leader of FAU’s CHAARG chapter, expressed her excitement: “This is CHAARG’s first semester at FAU… and we are thrilled with the turnout so far.”
Summer Watson, along with sophomore Ashlee Pollack, introduced CHAARG to FAU in the summer of 2023. They, along with the rest of the executive team, completed the necessary online training to get the chapter up and running. The decision to bring CHAARG to FAU was sparked by Pollack’s interaction with the official CHAARG Instagram account, which expressed a desire to expand the community to additional campuses.
“I thought [CHAARG] would be a great fit for FAU, so I applied to start a chapter on their website, and once the application got approved, Summer and I reached out to people and posted about it a lot on the FAU 2026 story to try and recruit members,” Pollack explained.
To secure official status and the ability to conduct campus meetings and activities, Watson contacted her former math professor to serve as an advisor, granting the club the necessary authority.
Ashlee Pollack, the Vice President of Membership and a multimedia studies major at FAU, highlighted the importance of CHAARG for students: “I think [joining CHAARG] is a great opportunity for girls to get involved in the gym, especially since it can be very intimidating when going by yourself.” Pollack’s primary responsibility within CHAARG is to ensure member retention.
Members of CHAARG participate in group workouts, wellness challenges, and various activities aimed at promoting both physical and mental well-being. Workouts take place every Thursday between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m., primarily at FAU’s Recreation and Fitness Center. These sessions last between 45 minutes to one hour and have featured activities such as pilates, Zumba, cycling, and HIIT training.
“I love trying new things, and I love being active, but going to the gym really intimidates me… and I feel like so many girls can relate to it too,” Watson shared. “We get to try different things like Zumba, which I’ve never done before, and it was so much fun.”
In addition to the on-campus facilities, CHAARG also utilizes various fitness studios in Boca Raton, including Sweat440, for their workouts.
CHAARG members also partake in small group meetings twice a week, providing opportunities for both physical and non-fitness social activities. These meetings, held on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, enable members to connect on a more personal level, fostering stronger bonds among them.
“We’ve had two small group meetings so far, and they’re great because it gives all members a chance to do something collectively during the week since not everybody can make it to the weekly workout,” Watson noted. “The first one was a study session at Starbucks, and the second was a walk on the Tortuga Trail next to campus.”
These small group meetings have been instrumental in building a sense of community and camaraderie among members.
Additionally, CHAARG organizes “socials,” events and gatherings that focus on bonding and fun outside of fitness-related activities. While the frequency and nature of these socials may vary among CHAARG chapters, they typically occur once or twice a semester.
“We are currently planning our social this month, which is going to be ice skating,” said geoscience junior Ariana Miranda, CHAARG’s event coordinator. Miranda is responsible for coordinating logistics and planning the club’s weekly workouts and social events.
However, CHAARG members and leadership expressed concerns about limited funding potentially hindering their future plans. Pollack pointed out, “We can’t really do everything we’d like to do. We wanted to take boxing classes, but a lot of places that offer them don’t do deals with students, or at least none that are in our price range.”