By: Emma Zuder
(GREENSBURG, Pa.) — The COVID-19 pandemic caused several clubs at Seton Hill to come to a standstill, but they are making a comeback for the fall 2022 semester.
Society of STEM Leaders, run by Co-Presidents Rachael Kopec and Abby Zuder, Vice President Pietro Porco, Treasurer Elena Reitlinger, Secretary Nicole Mason, and advisors Dr. Amalene Cooper-Morgan and Dr. Nicole McAllister, aims to foster a space much more “inclusive to all of STEM”, according to Kopec.
“SHU has a lot of clubs focused on science, but not a lot on technology, engineering, and math,” said Kopec, a junior biochemistry major. “As an upperclassmen STEM student at SHU, I want to help the freshmen navigate college.”
Kopec and Zuder are trying something different with their club. “Our main feature is doing weekly study sessions in the Mathematics Enrichment Center on Tuesdays from 6-9 pm. Us officers hope to make it a comfortable and relaxing space for STEM students to study, ask questions, and get work done,” said Kopec.
“We are also going to stay updated with career-oriented resources and opportunities, such as workshops, study groups, seminars, and conferences if we can,” said Kopec. “We are planning on bringing in speakers in the various fields of STEM, as well.”
Freshman biochemistry major Jaylynn Sobotka joined the club for a few reasons. “I’m looking forward to the leadership opportunities and skills I can build,” said Sobotka. “This is a lot different than high school. This club will get me to have good study habits in the science field and help me transition from high school thinking to college thinking.”
The club was in the process of starting last year by alumni Allison Pittman and Chloe Walls. “By the time they started it up the semester was nearly over, so they passed it down to Abby Zuder and I,” said Kopec.
They had their first meeting on Sept. 15, 2022 to introduce the club and current opportunities for STEM students.
The Disney Club also made a comeback this fall, run by President Alex Misner, Vice President Angel Brennsteiner, Treasurer Cheyenne O’Brien, Secretary Teresa Kondas, and Advisor Jeanne Pazehoski.
“There was previous interest to restart the Disney Club, but it was hard to get officers and then COVID happened, so it fell to the wayside,” said Misner. “This time around, it was not too hard to get the club started. I knew a couple of my friends that were Disney fans, so I reached out to them, and then we reached out to others.”
Misner recalled that when he first posted on social media about restarting the club, he had interest from others immediately.
The goal in starting the club was “to bring Disney fans together in a space that isn’t stressful. Have fun events and a fun time,” said Misner.
The first meeting was on Sept. 22, 2022. “Our first meeting went well and we got a lot of ideas,” said Misner, which included “make-and-take paper lanterns from Tangled, game and trivia nights, partnering with the music department to do a Disney concert, and to create a Disney week and dinner.”
Misner encouraged all SHU students to join the Disney Club. “Reach out to me or any one of the officers through email or check out our SHINE page. Our meetings and events are updated through both platforms.”
The last club in the spotlight is Ghosts, Ghouls, and Grisly Murders, run by President Chloe King, Vice President Jailynn Martin, Treasurer Zoey Mapstone, Secretary Nicholas Seto, and Advisor Dr. Nicole Peeler.
“[The club] was barely active for two years before it got to me, not a lot really happened. There was sometimes a meeting only once a year. I went for the secretary position and then ended up taking over as president,” said King.
King said “there was no procedure when I took over. I did a lot of summer planning with my vice president, Jailynn Martin.” King also advertised the club at the Involvement Fair and had a lot of freshmen interest.
King and Martin’s planning paid off. “The amount of new people we had was crazy. For a while every day we had a new membership request on SHINE,” said King. “We had twenty people show up at our first meeting.”
Freshman Alivia Johnson joined because she likes “creepy stuff and wanted to meet other people who had similar interests.” Johnson said she did make friends and encouraged other SHU students to join, as well. “It’s so fun. At the club, we’ve told ghost stories with the lights off, played trivia, and went on ghost-hunting adventures.”
King was excited to talk about an upcoming campus-wide event for the club. “I’m in the process of planning a costume party for the whole school. Tentatively, the date is October 28th from 8-10 pm tentatively in Cecilian. I’d like to have a fashion show and get Seton Hill faculty to judge costumes,” said King.
“We’re a diverse group, all different majors. It’s fun because we bring in people from all over campus,” said King.
“I always tell people that you don’t have to be a part of the club to come to a meeting. You can always join after, or email one of the officers. Our events are on SHINE, too. I want students to come and have fun,” said King.
Some other extracurriculars that are new this semester are Muslim Student Association, Psychology Club, Environmental Association, Project H.O.M.E., Griff’s Gang, and Griffins for Human Rights.
Check your SHINE page to stay updated with new events and clubs on campus. Get involved!
Photo taken by Emma Zuder of Rachael Kopec and Abby Zuder