By DELLA HETHCOX & CRISA YOUNG
The abundance of clubs at the University of Mary Washington can be overwhelming, but for some students, they have the option of joining a club that directly pertains to their major and their personal interests.
One of those clubs is the English, Linguistics and Communications Club. If you have spent any time in Combs Hall, you may have noticed their literary themed fliers decorating the walls and doors. With more than 30 members, this club is dedicated to promoting a love for English, linguistics and communications, as well as building a community among students.
According to Gary Richards, chair of the English department and club advisor, the club was organized in the fall of 2012 to function as a social venue for English majors.
“Several students had mentioned the idea to me,” Richards said, “I was eager to have the club formed at the same time that I became Chair of the Department. I worked particularly with Tonto Duncan, who served as the first president.”
Richards said that though the club was largely defunct last year, however, this year’s officers have revitalized the club and are striving to find consistency in the content that they offer to attendees. “This fall, for instance, students bombarded Prof. Zach Whalen with questions about his favorite games to play and his least favorite fonts,” Richards said during one of the Faculty Q&A sessions.
Christina Cox, senior English major, is the co-president of the club along with Shannon Birch, also a senior English major. Cox and Birch, with the help of Richards, plan the semester’s events, such as the Q&A sessions and the popular movie nights.
Each semester, the club focuses on spreading awareness and promoting events that will interest and benefit ELC majors, as well as students outside of the ELC department. For Birch, the club is a way for students to network.
“[The club] provides a place for an ELC major, or anyone else, to come and discuss their passion for their major in a non-academic setting. It also provides connections within the major, especially between upperclassmen and underclassmen who would not ordinarily be together in class,” Birch said, adding that students also get the opportunity to form relationships with professors.
Although the events and weekly meetings are geared towards ELC majors, all majors are encouraged to drop in and see what the club has to offer. The club’s treasurer, senior business major Emily Bayless. “If you’re passionate about any of the stuff we talk about, you’re more than welcome to join,” Cox said. The club tries to produce a variety of events, and this semester is no exception.
In the past, they have hosted a Poetry Slam in the Underground and driven to poetry readings throughout the state. However, this semester the club is tackling the questions regarding the latest addition of the new major: communications. The Q&A sessions this semester are focusing exclusively on the communication professors, which will give students insight into the long-awaited major.
On Oct. 29, the club starts a new series starring book-to-movie adaptation movie nights. Their first film with be “Clueless,” in addition to the screening, the will also hold a costume contest complete with prizes.
In the future, the club plans to hold more Q&A sessions with department faculty, as well as hold a book drive. If you have suggestions for events, do not be shy about mentioning them to any of the club officers. They are always on the lookout for appropriately-themed events for the members.
If the idea of joining a new club sounds intimidating, do not let that stop you. For Cox, this club is the perfect mixture of academic and social. “Everyone is really easygoing and fun to be around; we have some meetings where we just hang out and eat food together. It’s a calm, stress-free environment, so even though we’re talking about things that pertain to the classes we’re involved in, it isn’t completely academic,” Cox said.
The club meets every Thursday at 5:45 p.m. at the Mansion, located across from Combs Hall on the corner of William Street and College Avenue.