Hobart and William Smith have been continually defined by the strong spirit of community and fellowship among students and faculty.
This environment is the inspiration for a group of HWS community members seeking to promote sociability for a specific concentration on campus. Throughout the spring semester, the English Department has worked to further opportunities for its majors and minors to gather, collaborate and simply become familiar with one another.
In light of the efforts, the English Department will host its first “English Major Night” from 8 to 9:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 9, in the Blackwell Room. The first-of-its-kind event in an ongoing series will host English majors and minors, as well as those interested in pursuing a track in the department. Pizza and other snacks will be provided. The event will also coincide with meetings of Thel, the Colleges’ literary magazine, which take place in a Demarest Hall classroom.
“Most nights are going to be informal, simply providing an incentive to study and spend time together with other majors and minors,” says Assistant Professor of English and Comparative Literature Alla Ivanchikova.
Ivanchikova has teamed up with HWS community members to create a student and faculty committee devoted to promoting fellowship among the English Department. She says the concept came from students, who increasingly displayed a “desire for a more active community.”
“What we want to do is give like-minded people a space and place to get to know one another, share and collaborate outside of class,” says Stephanie Kenific ’17, an English major. “The goal is to bring students and faculty together to pursue the passions that they have in a non-traditional academic setting.”
Kenific, along with a variety of other students, first crafted the idea of a community-building project during her first semester at the Colleges.
The students have discussed plans to redecorate the Demarest lounge, which houses the English Department, as well as more formal events to entice English majors and minors to collaborate.
“The English major is an incredibly diverse discipline,” Kenific adds. “It includes people from many different perspectives. We all have a lot to share with one another, and now there will be even further venues for that.”
Ivanchikova plans to host English Major Tea events in April. This will allow students to discuss interesting topics over a complimentary mug of tea.
“We are one of the largest majors on campus and have a lot of students, which is wonderful,” says Ivanchikova. “So the goal would be to create more opportunities to connect with and get to know other students who might have similar interests.”