Fighting for a club to not become history

Meghan Burns and Jermaine Foster, Staff Writers

On Wilkes’ campus, there are more than 100 different clubs a student can join. The History Club, however, is not one of them.

After a brief hiatus of nearly two semesters, the club is challenged with restoring a presence on campus. With the help of Dr. Jonathan Kuiken, assistant professor of history, some students are trying to start the club back up again.

“I have many ideas I’d like to share with the club,” Kuiken said.   

“Watching

historical movies only scratches the surface.  You would be surprised with how many historical sites in the surrounding areas we casually ignore.  But I’m just the advisor.  I’m waiting for the next student to assume the reigns and make use of the resources we have”

Thomas Cosgrove, a junior history major, is one of the students interested in restarting the club. Cosgrove wants to start the history club again “in order to create an informal space where students and professors with shared interests of learning and exploring various historical ideas can meet.”

This is Kuiken’s third semester on campus, yet he is aware of the “roller-coaster” ride the History Club recently experienced.

“Perhaps it’s a byproduct of economic concerns.  The two careers that most people expect after a degree in history is either education or working in a museum,” said Lisa Semetti, a senior who is taking the max credits as a political science and international studies major in conjunction with history.

The prospective history club plans to have a strong on and off campus presence. On campus, students would like to have meetings where student and professional speakers alike can come and present topics of interest to them. They also considered some form of “on this day in history” possibly through the student announcement emails.

Off campus, they would like to take advantage of the region’s rich historical culture by taking trips to visit various historical sites. They would also like to volunteer at local historical societies by helping with research and any other needs the societies may have.

“We hope to have opportunities for students to research and share their findings in a more laid back and open setting,” Cosgrove said.

Short-term goals include raising awareness and interest in the club itself and gaining members. Long term, students would like to have a sustained membership and a long-lived club that future historians can utilize.

“As a history professor, I would very much like to see an active History Club, but faculty cannot make the club happen,” said Dr. Diane Wenger, co-chair of the Division of Global History & Languages Department. “The initiative has to come from enthusiastic students who enjoy history and want to build a strong and active club.”

For more information about the history club or how to get involved contact Dr. Kuiken at [email protected]