“Writing Arts Club”
by Destiny Hall
There are many well-known writing clubs at Rowan University. Some, like Avant, have been around for decades. Others, like the Writing Arts Club, are still in infancy. This shocked me because the Writing Arts club provides a sense of community for its members. Unlike other clubs, the Writing Arts Club acts as a safe place where writers can get feedback of their writing face to face. I find that this is important to Rowan’s writer community because, it allows feedback to be digested easily. Personally, through the Writing Arts Club, I gained the ability to take constructive criticism with grace. I couldn’t imagine Rowan without a Writing Arts club, so I interviewed Amanda Spadel, a graduate of Rowan University, to get insights on Rowan’s newest writing club.
What was your role in producing the Writing Arts Club?
“I entered the club during my first semester at Rowan as a general member. There was probably about six or seven people total including myself and the E-Board at the time. They were about to graduate and desperately needed students to take over the club--to give it an established presence on campus. At this time, RUWAC wasn’t an officially sanctioned organization by the Student Government Association. We just met unofficially, but we didn’t have a title under Rowan’s name, we couldn’t vote during SGA senate meetings, and the E-Board funded all of the club’s supplies. At the time of their election, I was invited onto a position on the E-Board, and that’s how it happened. This was in Fall 2015. The E-Board that I served with held their roles for two academic years so that we could ensure that the club made it through the one-year petitioning process. On March 6th, 2017, Rowan SGA approved our request to begin our petitioning process to become an official Rowan University organization. One year later, on March 6th, 2018, RUWAC completed their petitioning process.
How did the Writing Arts Club aid in YOUR becoming the person you are today?
“It was nice having people look up to me, especially ones who asked for guidance within their life as Writing Arts students. Since I served as VP during my junior and senior year, there were some freshman and sophomore members who spent a lot of time asking general questions about the major and about Rowan. Since I was already accustomed to life at Rowan, I could answer these questions and help my peers make informed decisions about what classes to take and how to get even more involved within the major or anything else they had on their minds. I’ve always liked helping people, not so much talking to them though. I think this role helped me step out of my introverted shell and realize that people aren’t going to bite me if I talk to them (usually). A much-needed lesson for someone going out into the wider world.”
What makes the Writing Arts Club fundamentally different from other clubs at Rowan?
“I think what makes RUWAC different from other clubs is how tight knit we all are. The club is like a family that you can gather around a table with, eat snacks or pizza, and talk about writerly topics and issues. Our membership numbers for one semester was roughly between ten and fifteen people, so we all knew each other’s names, and we were all friends. It was really a fun time during every meeting. We got work done of course, but because of being in the club, I have some lifelong friends. I feel like a lot of other clubs at Rowan are so huge, so how can you even become part of the group? It was easy to assimilate a role in RUWAC because we were always so excited to see each other and especially new faces!”
What is one of your most powerful memories from being part of the club?
“Writing the constitution with the other members of the E-board was pretty fun. It felt like we were creating something really important that future students could continue to utilize in the future. It was also a very interesting experience giving our speech to the SGA senate, before they approved our petitioning status. It was so nerve-racking to present in front of over 200 people. I wasn’t even the one talking; I just stood there for moral support of our president, Morgan Douglas, who read our well-prepared speech that night. I can still remember all of the thrill and excitement of that night when we left the room and waited for the senate to vote on our status. Walking back in to their welcoming applaud was a huge relief and an even bigger thrill that they had approved our organization!”
Through the interview, I learned that the Writing Arts Club demonstrates the fundamentally social aspect of writing. It’s impossible to achieve great writing without revisions and insight from other writers. The Writing Arts Club demonstrates the sociality of writing that is vitally important to a writer’s process. I’m excited to see how it will change to better fit this need in the future.