Thank you to Amanda Caputo for this guest post on the activities of the Undergraduate English Society.
The UW English Society is more than just a club, it has become a space where students and young adults can come together and share their passion for English. This term, we have really made an effort to reach out to and include students as well as encourage students from other facilities to become involved; the more creative flow, the better.
Our main initiative is to get students involved! The English Department’s community is so diverse, that I think everybody can learn from each other in this environment. We are building relationships between students, staff, and faculty — as well a building a strong rapport within the university.
As we are a non-profit organization that is funded by the university, we are able to organize various social events and provide moral support to our fellow students — so far, we have hosted three movies nights, collected submissions for a literary magazine we are publishing for the UW community, and hosted am English “Meet and Greet.” As long as our fellow students continue to support us and our initiatives, we shall continues to give back to the UW community.
After a successful “Meet and Greet” with the English Department, the English Society has made a lot of new friends within the community, students and professors alike. We want to continue our upward struggle of “spreading the word” so more students can get involved, and hopefully we can continue to hold successful and communal events as such in the future! — A big thank you to Professors Smyth, Hulan, Grahame, and the others who came to show support and mingle with students and peers.
After such a great turnout, we realized there are a lot of students interested in what we’re doing (more than what we had thought), and they were passionate about English — so we decided we could use some help. We have recently recruited some first year ambassadors for our society, to help get the word out about our upcoming events. This is a really great experience for both us and them, and I personally think this is an effective way of helping first-year students become more familiar with university clubs and more motivated to take part in extracurricular activities, such as clubs or societies like ours.
As a group, we also thought it would be a great idea to design and sell “Waterloo English” sweaters this term (after a successful stint last year), giving students a little more than than the “Arts” sweaters you can buy from UW Retail Services where there is nothing specific offered for English majors. Giving students the opportunity to purchase their own English department sweaters is our way of reaching out and serving our fellow English students and community. Not only that, but we wanted to further reach out to our UW Alumni and recent graduates who have paved this road for us and who deserve the opporunity to take part as well. Our sweater initiative is about the English community, not the money.
The profit made from selling the sweaters goes right back into our budget, allowing us to continue creating and offering future events for students. In a sense, yes, we are fundraising here. In this case, the profits we make are going to benefit our peers within the English community, and will allow us to put more into our upcoming events.
How could alumni and recent graduate students benefit from this? I’m sure they don’t already own a Waterloo English sweater, and if they ever wished that UW Retail Services would sell them…now is their chance to buy one. Not only that, but they will be supporting the student community and our English Society’s initiative of bringing English students together.
I’d like to promote the sweaters without feeling like a used car salesman, so all I can offer is the fact that this is entirely student-run and our efforts are completely modest. For any individuals interested, our extended deadline for sweater orders is November 22th by noon. The cost will be $30, they are maroon hooded zip-up sweaters, featuring “Waterloo English” in phonetics on the back. Please follow the link to our Facebook page for any more information, as well follow the sweater order form link to access the Google Document, if you wish to place an order.
As for future events…the English Society will be hosting a Poetry Slam at the end of the month. This is our big event and what we’ve all been waiting for!
KW Poetry Slam has kindly donated a feature poet for the evening, as we hold a competition of poets! We have also opened up this event to not just university students, but the entire community as well! This is such a great opportunity for past and present students to interact, learn from each other, and come together as a community! This is also a great way to include the general public in what we hope will be an incredibly successful evening!
We have accumulated the Jazz Room at the Heuther Hotel for the night, as well, our event will be catered by the Heuther. Tickets are being sold directly through us, for $5 each. This includes admission and food — alcohol is not included.
We are really looking forward to this night and would LOVE to see some familiar faces!
For any individuals with wishing to discuss this further, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org! Or, certainly email any member of the English Society with any questions or concerns you may have.
* Sweater Order Form: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1TOxMaCrGjLYEqEpILLWfqXU34lPniA4t4r_KEHAvaPk/viewform