As a new school year dawns, many students have established new clubs and movements on campus. Among the new faces of Wheaton are: a new take on the Wheaton Wire’s opinion section, a new theater club and a new theme house focused on mental health advocacy. Clubs established within the past few years, including Wheaton College Conservatives, WHISK and Hit and Run, have also continued to grow.
One significant change coming to Wheaton this year lies within the pages of the Wheaton Wire itself. According to Tre Ayer ’20, the opinions editor, “the Wire’s goal this year is to break down ideological walls by encouraging debate.” Ayer elaborated, “Wheaton is a left-wing echo chamber. It is my goal as this year’s opinions editor to change that by bringing conservative, libertarian and centrist views into the fold of page four. I implore every politically conscious individual to contribute their three cents to the campus discussion.”
In contrast to the traditionally liberal values often upheld at Wheaton, a group of students last year established the Wheaton College Conservatives as a safe and productive place for students to express and discuss their political beliefs. Steven Kimball ’18, president of the club, spoke of club founder Mike Leithin’s belief that “students should have a space to not only discuss current events but also conservative ideologies.”
The Conservatives club provides other organizations, such as the Wheaton College Democrats, a unique opportunity to debate and discuss with individuals who hold different views. Kimball went on to say that he is “really excited about this year, as we have our largest group ever and plan to have several speakers come to campus…[who] will chiefly be from local government. We also plan to once again collaborate with the Wheaton College Democrats on events.”
Among the sea of club revivals at Wheaton this year is Cafe Theater. As stated by Winslow Robinson ’20, co-president of the club, the group is attempting to “generate more opportunities in the theatre department” and to “make it so that theater is open to everyone, as opposed to just the best of the best.” The group’s executive board has high hopes for the future: “In the future, we would like to be involved in a number of activities on campus,” Robinson said. “We would like to be doing a variety show once every two weeks, and if possible doing a big ensemble show one time per year if we get the rights and have the resources to do them.”
While there are many new clubs, there are also several clubs that have been developed in recent years and are making great strides. One such club is WHISK. Elizabeth Brozki ’18, the club’s co-president and co-founder, stated, “Wheaton’s Hands-on Involved Student Kitchen (also known as W.H.I.S.K.) originated from a shared love of food and a hope to provide people with the skills and recipes needed to be able to confidently and safely cook for themselves!”
Brozki continued, “We hold regular cooking lessons, demonstrations and events throughout the semester featuring a variety of delicious foods! With each recipe we are mindful of any dietary restrictions or preferences our members may have and always leave room for personalization and creativity!” According to her, the club’s executive board seeks to “collaborate more with other student groups on campus to provide an interesting and diverse experience for our members!”
One of the facets of Wheaton that makes it unique is its “theme house” program, which allows students to live with one another in houses on campus that advocate and participate in certain activities that fall under a specific theme. Some of the established theme houses on campus are Farm House, TWAP House, SOHL House and UWC Davis House.
As of this year, a new theme house has emerged on campus named CHILL House. Developed by Joey Batson ’19 and Francis Rosa ’18, the house concept centers around mental health awareness and advocacy.
The Wheaton community continues to be fueled by student initiatives, a fact that is reflected in the arising and reemerging clubs, organizations and more. Yet another exciting year at Wheaton is on the horizon.