Students form local literary society

Ella Fowler and Ella Fowler

Students Rebecca Halsey and Emily Shreve felt the English department lacked a sense of community.

So at the end of last year, they decided to create The Black Swamp Literary Society.

“Professors only take discussions so far in class and we wanted to expand on those topics,” said Samantha Meyers, senior and co-content executive of the society.

Other departments come together to form a sense of community by creating organizations that involved what they loved the most. Halsey and Shreve realized that there were no organizations for them to talk about their love of literature.

With nowhere to go to discuss topics tackled in class, the students decided to create a forum and space to do so.

“I started this organization because [of] just being in class and wanting to talk more about books, but having nowhere to go,” said Halsey, senior and co-outreach executive of the society. “I wanted to find other people who wanted to talk about things that mattered.”

The society isn’t a traditional organization on campus because it is run differently than most.

“We don’t have the traditional executive board,” said Shreve, senior and co-content executive of the society. “We have organizational executives, who deal with the secretary and treasurer aspects, content executives who deal with the literary side of things and outreach executives who deal with publicity. Each seat has two people.”

Involvement in the organization doesn’t demand much time from its members.

“What you put into this organization is what you get out of it,” Halsey said.

Shreve said the society offers something different to campus, something that has been lacking.

“Our basis in literature is something that is unique. There is not anything open to the entire campus that involves literature,” Shreve said.

The society meets every other Tuesday in 223 East Hall. They gather together to talk about their passion – books. The society is open to all students interested, no matter what their major.

“Our main goal is to provide a forum and space for people to get together and discuss the things they love,” Shreve said. “We believe in the power and importance of literature.”

The organization tackles a variety of different topics involving literature. They recently had a guest speaker and sometimes they will tackle a particular topic such as poetry, or a certain book. Other activities include movie or game nights.

“In our organization we don’t want you to feel like you have to read thousands of books – as long as you like books, you will fit in,” Halsey said. “We don’t want this to feel like lecture or class.”

Society members are hoping to do their part in the community. They have donated books to the Toledo Correctional Institute and are hoping to donate the proceeds of a recent book sale to the BGSU Women’s Center.

“As a way to get our name into the community and to do something fun, we are decorating a room at the Wood County Historical Society,” Shreve said. “We are also in the beginning stages of organizing a high school book club, getting together students from several of the area high schools to discuss a book.”

Soon, members hope to be reading books to children at the Wood County Library.

The organization only has two meetings left this semester, but is still looking for more members. On Nov. 14, they are having an incentives meeting to give away prizes to new and old members who bring a friend.