It is a challenge for new clubs to make themselves visible among the well-established student organizations on Belmont’s campus.
However, that’s exactly what S.P.E.W. at BU is looking to do.
The club is a part of the Harry Potter Alliance– a national organization centered around human rights, equality and literacy. Its name was inspired by the Society for the Promotion of Elfish Welfare, an organization from the Harry Potter series focused on freeing enslaved house elves.
While S.P.E.W. at Belmont isn’t the first of its kind, the already-established chapters in Tennessee weren’t active enough for Jessica Martin, the president of S.P.E.W. at BU.
She decided to create a Belmont-specific chapter in the fall of 2014.
“We felt that it aligned with a lot of stuff Belmont aligns with. It’s all human rights, social activism,” Martin said. “I just thought it was a great idea.”
After Martin went through all the training necessary for new clubs, it was too late to draw in enough new members to increase the club’s presence.
“Last year, I think it was just a lot of grunt work – getting all the paperwork done, going to the meetings and getting everything figured out,” said Annette Sisson, the faculty adviser for the club. “This year I hope it blossoms.”
Despite the small membership, the club was still able to help the community.
In the spring of 2015, the club participated in the Accio Books! book drive. With fewer than 10 members, the club managed to collect more than 400 books for the Bordeaux Early Learning Center, a public library that only had 50 books in its archives.
“Instead of sending it to the two libraries the HPA picks every year, we picked local places because that’s really what we want to strive to do – focus on the Nashville community,” Martin said.
During the BruinLink fair on Aug. 27, the club was able to have its first real attempt at gathering members.
“I was very surprised by how many people were interested in our club, especially considering how hard it was to get new members last year,” Kiana Tisdale, the treasurer of the club, said.
The club’s first official meeting is planned for Sept. 21 at 6:30 p.m. in WAC 2095. It also has a Facebook page, SPEW at BU, open for anyone interested.