This fall, Goshen College adds to its cultural diversity with the formation of 5 new student clubs: the GC Pet Club, Rock Climbing Club, Salsa Club, Social Reform and the Introvert Club.
A group of GC students were fed up with living in a society where one's ambition and leadership ability are assumed to be linked to sociability and extroversion, so they decided to do something about it by forming a club for introverts. The introvert club will compliment large-scale events with smaller, quieter and more intimate options for introverts. The group has a number of ideas for for these kinds of activities including hiking at Merry Lea, playing board games, reading and an ice cream “anti-social.” So far over forty students have signed up, but only about twenty came to the first official meeting.
Ben Shelly, one of the club founders, said he knew there would be a general lack of understanding and common misinformation about introversion, so the group believes outreach is an important component of the club. This stigma comes from what Shelly calls our culture's pervasive "extrovert ideal." The group believes that introverts can and should play important roles in society—roles that are often left to extroverts. The core members of the group draw on Susan Cain's book, Quiet, as a source of inspiration. They hope to promote serious discussion in the Goshen community about temperament and some other themes discussed in Quiet. They are even considering inviting a guest speaker to campus.
Introvert Club meetings will take place somewhere quiet. Tea and food are provided. "Members are invited to come eat, read, play board games, do homework and interact with other introverts," said Shelly.
Also new to campus is the Social Reform Club, or SRC.
Vasti Rosado, the new program organizer, said the club’s mission is to “build bridges” between communities—especially between the international community and other students. She recited the club’s mission statement: “We, the Social Reform Club, embrace the values of diversity and unity. We stand for justice, peace and equality for all creation. We believe that people can reform their communities through critical thinking and education when confronted with social injustices.”
The SRC is trying to create outreach programs to get members and students involved with the community. The club works on various projects with The Window, La Casa and Professor Gilberto Perez. They hope to tackle issues in the college community as well as any relevant global issues. The SRC will be joining Pax club to collaborate on the School of America (SOA) watch. This semester they are hoping to have a dialogue forum between administration and students to resolve issues together. Abi Tsigie is the club coordinator, Vasti Rosado serves as program organizer, Andrea Moya is the moderator and Juan Moya works with public relations.
GC Pet Club is a group of students who want to create ways for GC students to get involved in the community—especially with pet owners.
The group encourages people from around Goshen to walk their pets on campus and interact with the students. It is meant to bring people together and help reduce stress. Students aren’t allowed to have pets on campus, and find after a few weeks at college they may miss the beloved animals they had to leave at home. For these students GC Pet Club is "a good opportunity to interact with other people and pets, and it brings the community together to join in activities as well as socialize,” said Lizzy Diaz, a senior and one of the club leaders.
GC Pet Club may become a convenient way for Goshen students to interact with a pets on a regular basis. The Goshen area has a Humane Society, but it is not as large as the one in Elkhart. It typically joins with the Elkhart branch when it has activities, and this is inconvenient for Goshen residents.
The club will have one big event this semester on the KMY Lawn. On Nov. 10 at 1 p.m., if weather permits, faculty, staff, community members and students are encouraged to bring their pets on campus and participate in activities. The club will borrow Frisbees, balls, toys and other equipment from the Humane Society, which may sponsor the event. For now the club relies on the student senate and donations to fund the event. There are plans to have a photographer at the event to take pictures of the pets, and even possibly have a photo shoot-contest—with prizes for winners, both human and pet. Diaz hopes that support for pet ownership will increase, and people will walk their dogs on campus more frequently.