Simone Virzi, Staff Writer-
“Every [academic] subject deserves a club,” said The Book Marks English Club founder and former president Shannon Baldino, an English major. “I wanted people to come together and do fun, English-related things.”
The idea of an English club at Southern immediately sparked some students’ interest, including English major Chris Ciemniewski, a junior.
“I wanted to get more involved on campus and I had a lot of free time,” said Ciemniewski, who is in charge of PR for The Book Marks English Club.
English major Natalie Wall, a junior, also said she liked the idea of an English club.
“I wanted to become more involved [on campus]. I wanted something more than just English class,” said Wall, vice president of The Book Marks English Club.
The Book Marks English Club has a variety of activities that appeal to students; both English and non-English majors.
“We don’t do traditional book discussions because we know students have a lot of work to do already,” Ciemniewski said.
In October, the club hosted a Halloween party.
“It was one of my favorite events last semester,” said senior Ashley Dingee, a therapeutic recreation major. “At the Halloween party, we got to dress up as our favorite character from a book or movie. Everyone was really creative with coming up with their costumes.”
The Book Marks English Club also hosted a book swap/open mic night in November.
“I really liked hearing the talent we have on Southern’s campus,” said Dingee.
Students brought a variety of novels to the event and swapped with each other. The club donated approximately 40 extra books to the military so soldiers have something to read in their free time.
“The books were donated to a great cause. It always feels good to help others out,” Dingee said.
Last semester, the club “went to a poetry reading in the [Adanti] Student Center. We plan to go to more readings this semester. We would also like to go to the Folio readings and support them as well,” Wall said.
The week before finals last semester, the club got together at the English Common Room in Engleman Hall and had a study night to work on essays and last-minute assignments.
“We helped each other out with peer editing,” Wall said.
This semester, Wall said the club is planning events including a trip to visit the Mark Twain house in Hartford.
“It’s a way to get a piece of history and English hand in hand,” Wall said.
Even though The Book Marks English Club is academic-based, Ciemniewski said the club is “a lot of fun and the people are easy to get along with. The people make the activities too.”
The club gives “members a sense of belonging to a community,” Wall said. “It’s a really friendly and respectful atmosphere.”
“I like how close everyone is. It’s like a little family. We also have fun while putting our academics first,” Dingee said.
“English Club is really for anyone who enjoys literature, reading; any aspect of the English language. We have fun events that may not always be academic, but we have fun and give back to the community,” Wall said.
The Book Marks English Club meets on Wednesdays at 6 p.m. in the English Common Room.