Student Government approves four new student groups, ending the semester on a high note

Four students on a Zoom callMembers of the Geological Society of Lafayette (GSoL) on a Zoom call. GSoL is one of the four new clubs that have recently been approved by Student Government. (Photo courtesy of Gianna Gregar ’23)

With the semester coming to an end soon, students are already making plans for next year’s activities.

Student Government recently approved four new student groups whose interests include mental health, sports analytics, table tennis and geology. The names of the new clubs are Active Minds, Sports Analysts of Lafayette, Lafayette College Club Table Tennis and Geological Society of Lafayette. Read more about each club below.

Active Minds 

Co-Presidents Izzy Sheth ‘22 and Stef Batavia ‘22, along with Vice President Bryan Soder ‘22, formed Active Minds to promote mental health education and reduce the stigma surrounding mental health issues.

Batavia explained in an email that she wanted to create a space to “increase mental health awareness and suicide prevention on campus, raise funds for critical mental health education and resources through the Active Minds national office, promote positive mental health, educate their peers about the signs and symptoms of mental health disorders, serve as a voice for mental health advocacy and encourage students to reach out for help when needed.”

“An overwhelming number of people struggle with mental health in one way or another, but there is a stigma surrounding mental health in the United States that prevents people from speaking up and seeking help. Active Minds is about opening and normalizing the conversation about mental health in efforts to increase advocacy, education and suicide prevention,” Batavia added.

Batavia explained that she and her partners brought Active Minds to Lafayette because of their passion for the club’s core missions. She said she believes that Active Minds will be able to provide a voice and support that the Lafayette community may have been lacking before.

“We feel very strongly about supporting mental health awareness and education. Everyone has their own journey and we recognize that it is difficult for people to disclose that they are struggling and need help, but we want to change that,” Batavia said.

Regarding club activities, Batavia said that they will hold events, fundraisers and meetings that “vary from fun to intimate to educational to stress relieving to entertaining.”

“If you are interested in being on our executive board or on a committee, applications are available on OurCampus!” she wrote. “We are so excited to bring Active Minds to Lafayette because we truly feel that the community will greatly benefit from a club like this.”

Students can sign up on the Active Minds OurCampus page.

A collage of the three founders of Active Minds
(From left to right) Izzy Sheth ’22, Stef Batavia ’22, and Bryan Soder ’22 are the founders of Active Minds, an organization to promote mental health awareness and education. (Photos courtesy of Batavia, Sheth, and Soder)

Sports Analysts of Lafayette

Sports Analysts of Lafayette (SAL) aims to give a platform for sports enthusiasts to hone their skills at sports analytics through collaborative projects.

“A huge and untapped part of the sports world is the analytics side of it, and this club is meant to showcase the broad range of opportunities that are available to students to reach conclusions about performance and management in sports,” SAL President Ross Coleman ’22 wrote in an email.

Coleman explained that the club was inspired by the Society for American Baseball Research Convention, where schools such as Tufts, Cornell, and University of Chicago meet annually to present findings related to sports analytics and compete against one another in a competition for the most well put together projects.

SAL hopes to expand the popularity of sports analytics at Lafayette in two ways.

“The first one is to provide a platform for students to showcase their own projects and interests when analyzing a sport. Many students pursue their own projects and have no way to present them, and SAL would give them an opportunity to share their findings with others,” Coleman elaborated. “The second form is by collaborating with Lafayette sports teams. Some members of the club will assist varsity teams in their games by providing quantitative advice on the best strategies to win.”

The club will also bring in speakers from the sports industry who can teach members coding skills and statistical techniques.

Anyone interested in joining SAL can reach out to Coleman or Vice-President Andrew Gershon ’23.

Lafayette College Table Tennis Club

The Lafayette College Table Tennis Club “is a place for students at Lafayette to practice and enjoy the game of table tennis,” founder Sam Anthony ’24 explained in an email.

Anthony said that he wants to spread his passion for table tennis to others on campus.

“I also wanted to make it easier for everyone to find people to play with because it can be hard to find someone, especially with the pandemic and having to sign up for the tables,” Anthony said.

Anthony hopes those who join will get better at the sport, but his main goal is for people to have fun.

“I want members to have a good time at our meetings,” Anthony said. “As much as I’d love for them to improve their skills at the meetings, I’d much prefer them to have fun than become experts at the game.”

Students interested in joining should email Anthony at anthonys@lafayette.edu so that they can get more information about the club and be added to the GroupMe.

A man preparing to hit a table tennis ball that is mid-air.
The Lafayette College Table Tennis Club is a space where members can practice the sport and find people to play with (Photo courtesy of Sam Anthony ’24)

Geological Society of Lafayette

The Geological Society of Lafayette (GSoL) is “both a pre-professional and recreational club where passionate students can learn about what a future in Geology holds as well as to experience the joys of science first-hand,” President Gianna Greger ‘23 explained in an email.

Greger and Vice President Caitlyn Dempsey ’22 decided to restart GSoL so that the “love for geology could be channeled into creating informative and exciting experiences for students who want to pursue a career in natural sciences or have a genuine interest in it.”

Some of their goals for GSoL include spreading awareness about geology, as well as advocating for better environmental education overall.

“A lot of students don’t find the geology department until they’re upperclassmen, which is something we’d like to change,” Greger said.

Regarding events, Greger shared that the club would like to “hold alumni talks (about their careers or experiences in graduate school) and hiking trips to some fascinating local spots.” While the club leaders have reached out to many geology and environmental science majors and minors, they want the whole student body to feel welcome joining GSoL.

“Our combined pre-professional and recreational atmosphere is intended to allow this club to serve both majors and those just interested in dipping their feet into the Geo-Sciences,” Gregar said.

GSoL can be found on their Instagram, @gsol_laf, as well as at upcoming club fairs. Students interested in being added to the member list and group chat should email Caitlyn Dempsey at dempsecr@lafayette.edu.

“Give us a chance, and we’ll rock your world!” Greger said.

A graphic reading "Geology Society of Lafayette: Rock On."
The Geological Society of Lafayette is a club for everyone passionate about geology. (Photo courtesy of Gianna Gregar ’23)

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