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Quixotic: The new literary club at QU
Quixotic, a new student literary club, is gracing Quinnipiac’s campus for its second semester.
When R. Sam Chaney, senior English major, was voted president of the English Honors Society, he decided to focus on the English Club, from which Quixotic grew.
Chaney co-founded Quixotic with the goal to make the club more visible and active in hopes of spreading the passion for literature on campus. The name was changed from the English Club to Quixotic in order to eliminate the assumption that students had to be an English major to join and to include people who just enjoyed reading.
Senior Bethany Kania, vice president of the English Honors Society, has assisted Chaney in Quixotic’s first year.
“The English Honors Society is an organization on campus that only allows participation from those students who are selected and it excludes students outside of the major entirely,” Kania said. “Sam and I (along with many other members) wanted to create an organization that allows any student who loves literature, reading, writing or anything involving the English language to have an outlet for their passion.”
Quixotic has had an “interesting” start, according to Chaney. At the fall and spring involvement fairs, there has been a lot of enthusiasm. From both involvement fairs, Chaney has collected 75 total names. Last semester, there was a core of eight to 10 people who would consistently show up to meetings.
“It tells me there is a significant piece of Quinnipiac’s population who is interested in something like this, even if they can’t get to meetings and fully commit to it,” Chaney said. “A lot of people on campus are really interested in arts and broader culture around them – but they are in pockets here and there. “
Meetings are often conducted as a discussion group. Members are notified of the reading beforehand. Last semester, Chaney picked a reading for the members to read and a member picked another reading later in the semester. The readings are kept contemporary and short in order to not add onto the members’ workloads.
“There is generally a hard rap for English majors or literature as being esoteric, far away,” Chaney said. “It can be a lot more contemporary and a lot more interesting once opened up to someone.”
Jonathan Fecik, one of Quixotic’s regular members, is a junior double-majoring in English and health sciences.
“Not everyone in the club is an English major, so each person brings his or her unique background and thinking style to the table, leading to a more robust discussion,” Fecik said. “I believe that people enjoy reading and writing and talking about literature for fun, but don’t spend the time to sit down and do these things. Quixotic gives people this chance.”
Kania said that another goal of Quixotic is to make the English major stand out more on campus.
“Sam and I both feel that the English major is a quiet one that doesn’t get much attention,” Kania said. “We wanted to get a little bit louder and little more present on campus. Part of Quixotic’s function was to make ourselves heard and I hope it accomplishes that. I think it has in some ways already.”
During the fall semester, Quixotic hosted a Halloween costume party and a creative writing workshop. Quixotic will also host a MothUP event in Café Q next month.
The Moth event stems from a Moth Podcast Chaney found on iTunes. The Podcast comes out of New York City and is based on the idea of storytelling. A theme is picked and people recount stories of their own personal experiences that go along with that theme.
“I find it incredibly enjoyable and it’s such a simple idea,” Chaney said. “There’s no reason why it wouldn’t work anywhere.”
The Moth event planned for March will be based on the themes of romance and second chances, capitalizing on Valentine’s Day and spring.
“I encourage anyone who is at all intrigued by Quixotic to come check it out and see if it’s for them,” Kania said. “The worst that happens is you don’t like it and you’ve wasted one evening. The best is that you really have a great time, make some friends, and have a wonderful new experience.”
The next Quixotic meeting will be held tonight at 7:15 in SC 227.