Columns / Discourse / February 6, 2019

In response to Cho: Sustaining campus life

There are certain organizations on this campus that I can think of, which draw a lot of social attention that could help address some of the low turnout problems on campus. Clubs such as Ultimate Frisbee, Student Senate, Union Board, TKS, Improv Club, Greek organizations, WVKC, ABLE and the other cultural clubs on campus happen to on average draw many people to their events and meetings. These are just the first clubs that come to mind but these clubs have hosted events that draw 100+ attendees to their events and have fairly active membership.

I-Fair, organized by the many cultural clubs with help from the administration, always draws a huge turn-out and even draws folks from off campus to come join and celebrate. Student Senate represents the interests of the student body and provides direct contact with the administration, an important tool in actually making real change on this campus. TKS is a valuable resource to the campus in informing all the students of what others at Knox are doing, creating, saying, sharing. Greek organizations host many events every year, with their parties drawing the most attention and turnout. WVKC has many individuals putting on radio shows and remain fairly independent of each other while also hosting live music shows every semester, bringing many amazing acts from on and off campus together for a wonderful night of jams. Finally ABLE, a club representing those who have a history of being neglected and overlooked puts on events that educate as well as host parties that rival the Greek organizations on campus.

All these clubs have no problems with maintaining turnout and hosting successful events but when can one say that they ever interact collectively outside Carnival of Clubs? This isn’t saying that these clubs have never collaborated in the past, but there is a pattern of clubs never considering the other organizations on campus. Clubs must recognize that their events are not just for their organization but for the whole campus. Clubs working together allows for events to include those clubs that are often overlooked. There are over 150 student organizations and yet the clubs I listed are the clubs that first come to mind and I’m sure it isn’t just me who would state the same. If our campus clubs were more inclusive and considerate of others, turnout for all events could be much higher. There would suddenly be an incentive to show up to each other’s events as the chances that they have interacted with an organization that they are either a part of or familiar with would be higher.

Collaboration is the key to success. Some clubs rely on others such as Student Senate and Campus Life for their events to be successful. Thus these organizations must ensure that working with these clubs is of the utmost importance. Student Senate is notorious for not having every member show up to General Assembly, thus making it difficult for clubs to approach them with issues that they must vote on to resolve. Campus Life has also dropped the ball, if not for the Carnival of Clubs mishaps then for proper paperwork not being filed when given ample time to do so. If clubs rely on an organization to be successful they must be reliable. If clubs cannot host events because of such mishaps then these organizations are not properly representing the people in which they are employed and elected to represent. Hopefully clubs recognize that these problems affect more than just themselves and find ways in which to collectively voice their discontent in productive ways to help ensure that such issues are resolved.

Clubs that work together often consider others when planning their events which can go a long way to make it so that people don’t have to consider which event to attend on a given night. When I have to decide which club to support on a given day, it pains me that I can’t attend and support them all. If you or your organization have the opportunity to participate in another club’s event, jump at that opportunity. Share share share! Learn from each other. See what works and what doesn’t. There is so much to learn with so many opportunities for success just waiting to happen. I hope clubs, students and the administration understand that club events are for the entirety of this campus and work together to ensure the success for all events held on it. In doing so we help promote the inclusivity and diversity of our student body and the clubs in which they are represented.


Joey Peterson

Tags:  campus life student organizations

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Feb 07, 2019

There are some clubs and events that people such as yourself (white, male presenting) should not attend. Your presence in these spaces could impact old and new members’ ability to share how they truly feel. This happens quite frequently when white people enter non-white spaces (or when heterosexuals enter queer spaces, etc). Therefore your presence at these clubs could potentially do more harm than good. Part of being a good ally, which you often claim to be, is to know when to back off and realize the not everything is meant for you.

I reject your idea to “share share share.” There is a time and place for sharing and there are plenty of other ways people can support a club without overstepping boundaries.

    Feb 07, 2019

    Hi Michelle

    I understand that private meeting or private events would be problematic for some individuals to attend. Learning from each other is important and it’s great to not have to attend the events to learn an important message. However, the events by nature are open to the public and if you are saying that it would be unwise for white students to attend them, I feel like this is a bigger discussion that needs to be had. Of course certain meetings make sense, such as cultural club meetings, but some clubs do make an effort to have an open door policy for members that are willing to welcome white/male-presenting students. Something like Mocha with Muslims is an event that I feel allows for white and male individuals to be apart of.

    This interaction here and right now serves as perfect example of “share share share!” as it allows for people to understand how an individual of a club would feel if people of a certain demographic showed up to their event. If you are speaking on behalf of a club or organization I find this statement a bit troubling. As an individual though I completely understand. Again I just want to reiterate that my statements refer to public events held on campus. Clubs have every right to dictate the audience in which they want to engage with, and sometimes that is just the audience in which the club represents. I, however, think that their are individuals within these clubs that would see no harm and welcome outsiders into a public event, especially if the individual means no harm, are honest, and know their place beforehand.

    I am also unsure as to where my ally ship claims stem from, as I have no authority in claiming ally ship, it is those marginalized that do so. I simply make an effort to hear others and respond with questions. I am confident that if I misunderstand something, someone will hopefully correct me. I simply wish to learn is all.

Feb 07, 2019

I would also like to point out that as a ANSO major, interactions with people and culture are super interesting to me and taking social interactions as simply, you do this and you don’t do this, is never quite satisfying and exploring the various why and why nots is much more rewarding. I also am okay with sounding ignorant as I understand that I am ignorant on a number of things and sometimes it takes me making a fool of myself sometimes to actually learn.

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