Organizing a new club and running it smoothly presents new challenges. Morgan Terry, a senior English major at Kent State University at Stark, uses her leadership and problem-solving skills as president of the English Club to ensure the club excels. College Lifestyles™ talked with Terry to learn more about her experiences.
College Lifestyles™: What brought about the creation of the English Club?
Morgan Terry: It all started from a desire to continue class discussions on literature outside of class. We gathered information on who would be interested in going to meetings to discuss literature and from that the club was born.
CL: What made you want to become president?
MT: I wanted to be president because English and reading have always been important to me. I enjoy reading and writing, as well as interpreting texts to find out what the text is saying. With this in mind, I was very interested in the creation of the club and when the position of president was still open, I jumped at the opportunity.
CL: What normally happens during club meetings?
MT: We have topics that have been decided ahead of time that we are going to discuss. We take the topic and bring to the club a book that fits the topic best in each person’s opinion. It not only helps us get to know our club members, but we also get to learn about new novels that may be of interest to us. This past meeting, as it was close to Valentine’s Day, we discussed book characters that we have had crushes on. “Harry Potter” was a popular series that was brought up.
CL: What are your responsibilities as President?
MT: My job has been to lead discussion and come up with ideas for the meetings. I also research possible outings for us; we plan to go see Shakespeare’s First Folio over the summer. We also have been looking into a possible trip to England. I’m sure the club would agree that one of my best functions is I tend to arrange snacks for the meetings. I try to stick with the theme as best I can. Candy for Valentine’s Day, hot cocoa for A Cold Night in Hell. I try to make it as fun as I can.
CL: What’s the best part about being president?
MT: I love leading discussions. Once I initiate conversation it starts to flow and I like to see everyone interacting. I make sure that the shy members get a chance to speak and that no one’s opinion is disrespected. It was also a lot of fun to bounce ideas around with the other officers to have genres that would appeal to everyone.
CL: What are some challenges you’ve come across as president?
MT: It can be difficult, at times, to get everyone really into a discussion. Once it happens it’s beautiful but sometimes it takes a couple tries to get everyone into it. Although as time goes on, people are becoming more interested in sharing ideas.
CL: What are some of your goals for the English Club?
MT: I would like the club to be a pleasant atmosphere where everyone can make friends and have an outlet to discuss books that have touched the reader. I would love to organize a trip to England so that the group not only gets the chance to travel abroad, but also gets to see what important authors had seen in their lifetime.
CL: How has taking on a leadership role helped you?
MT: It has helped me with my time management skills because it can be hard to discuss everything in one meeting. It has most definitely made me a better listener. From listening to the group members, I am learning what types of questions provide the most interesting discussion.
CL: What do you hope to do after graduation?
MT: I would love to go on to [earn] my Ph.D. My focus would be either young adult literature or medieval literature.
CL: What advice do you have for future student organization leaders?
MT: Don’t worry about making each meeting absolutely perfect. The members are learning how the club works as you work on the club. As long as you listen to what members tell you and be considerate of that, you will make any club you lead a pleasant experience. Most importantly, have fun with it.
Being the president of a student organization is a huge responsibility, but Terry uses her leadership capabilities to make sure every member contributes and has fun.
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Images courtesy of Morgan Terry.