Book lovers throwback to youth

by Rachelle Robley

Whitworth students of both English and non-English majors were reminded of their childhood at the first English department event of the year, PJ’s and Picture Books. On Friday, Sept. 26 students were invited to hang out in the second-floor lounge of Westminster Hall and enjoy classic childhood stories while in their PJ’s.

The event was hosted by the English Department’s student-run club, Westminster Round. Laid out blankets and sweet smells of cookies and tea created a welcoming, warm atmosphere. Students were genuinely interested in the children’s stories being read and discussed them with fun, yet analytical perspectives. However, most of the attention was focused on the children running around, telling their own stories. When all the children’s books had been read and the children left, the room was filled with a variety of conversations about dinosaurs, Daniel Tosh and struggles in the Russian literature class.

“I thought it was awesome to meet new people. It was like a little community, but open and relaxing,” freshman Thais Pedro said. Though she is a biology and chemistry double major on the pre-med track, Pedro said she loves writing and would consider being an English major.

English department events are known to have a familial atmosphere and provide English majors as well as enthusiasts, with opportunities to bond over their love for writing and reading.

“Freshmen can meet older English majors and get to know professors more at Westminster events,” junior Katie Cunningham said.

“Students set aside the stress of homework for a given time period to attend an event and everyone there knows that each of us has made that decision,” senior Joanna Szabo said. Events will sometimes be held at a professor or student’s house, and faculty members will bring their families to create a general closeness among members of the department. Though Westminster Round is a student-run club, faculty members are really involved and will sometimes be the motivation for students to attend.

“I like being able to identify characters and motives. I like interaction through story and the art in that,” freshman Chad Shayotovich said. Shayotovich attended two other colleges before transferring to Whitworth and enjoys Whitworth and the English program here. The tight-knit community of the English department is representative of the Mind and Heart philosophy Whitworth advocates.

“Usually non-English majors will come to the Bad Love Poetry and Poetry and Pie events,” Cunningham said. Cunningham is one of the presidents of Westminster Round. They keep their scheduled events open to English majors, minors and enthusiasts, Cunningham said.

At Bad Love Poetry, located in the Mind and Hearth Coffee House and scheduled around Valentine’s Day, slam poets will usually attend to share their poems. Since Poetry and Pie is usually in the HUB, students will stop in and close to a hundred people will attend. Another fun event hosted by Westminster Round is Literary Live Action Clue, in which clues are hidden throughout Westminster Hall and students will go on a scavenger hunt to look for them.

The next upcoming event will be the Harvest Festival, in which students and faculty will gather to reconnect. For more information, look at the events calendar posted in Westminster Hall.

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