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Snapshots: Six Clubs at Dordt

Justice Matters Club

Student President: Jeremy Westra

Faculty Sponsors: David Schelhaas and Abby Jansen

Justice Matters is a relatively new club on campus. It was formed a year and a half ago when two long-time clubs, Bread for the World and Shamar combined. Both had a message of biblical justice at their hearts, and both counted many of the same students as members. Though only about twelve students and three faculty meet regularly to plan and organize club activities, the mailing list has over eighty names on it, and all faculty and students are invited to join. The club looks at a variety of justice issues, both local and international, and informs the campus by hosting speakers and discussions, holding panels, encouraging letter writing campaigns, and serving at soup kitchens. Last year, the club planned a Justice Matters Week, at which one of the main events was a photography exhibit of moving images from Darfur. They hope to hold a similar event this spring.

According to Jeremy Westra, the club’s student president, Justice Matters is not affiliated with any particular outside organizations but supports the goals and messages of many. “Our main goal is to better inform the Dordt community about justice issues, both social and environmental, and to provide opportunities for students to get involved and serve.”

Dynamics Dance Team

Student President: Joelle Riezebos

Faculty Sponsor: Pam De Jong

Dynamics Dance, a women’s dance club, meets twice a week for one and a half hours (or more) to practice dance routines for performances at sports games and the annual Talent Extravaganza. Each year, twelve to fourteen women participate in the club, both to dance and to socialize. In addition to performances at athletic events (one of which is always a country swing routine at a lacrosse game, with partners), the members run an annual kids’ camp for girls in the community. According to the club’s president, Joelle Riezebos, “the Dance Team lets girls who share an interest in dancing to get together, keep up their dancing skills, perform together, and socialize. Oh, and it’s great exercise!”

FACT (Future Active Christian Teachers) Club

Student President: Bekah Tazelaar

Faculty Sponsor: Jenny Van Ry

FACT club is one of the clubs related directly to a major—in this case education. All education majors are welcome to join the club. Bekah Tazelaar, the club’s student president, states: “We are a group of education students who get together to talk about issues in Christian teaching and plan some events that relate to teaching and education.” During the spring semester, the club asks some of Dordt’s student teachers to form a panel, so the members of club can ask what it’s like to be teaching and the student teachers can talk about what sorts of things they’re doing. The biggest event the club organizes is the Kids’ Carnival during Alumni weekend, which is run by club members and other education majors and brings in kids from the community to play games and have fun while their parents are busy with alumni activities. “Even though the club doesn’t have many members,” says Tazelaar, “our events are attended by a majority of the education department. We learn a lot together.”

Monday Morning Coffee

Student President: Eric Vermeer

Faculty Sponsor: Ron Rynders

Monday Morning Coffee isn’t a club in the traditional sense, but it definitely brings students and faculty together. Every Monday morning, student president Eric Vermeer and three to four other students make French press coffee (as well as tea and hot chocolate, for those who don’t like coffee) and serve it from 7:45-9:00 in the Eckhart Lounge. The coffee is available for both students and faculty to take before their 8:00 and 9:00 classes, though many people stick around for awhile just to socialize with others. “The club’s purpose is to provide a service to students and faculty,” says Vermeer. “I think it encourages people to get up on time and be alert in class. It also encourages positive social activity.”

Student Social Work Association (SSWA)

Student President: Sarah Sparks

Faculty Sponsor: Randy Baxter

This club participates in community service and provides social work majors with opportunities to understand more about the social work field,” says student president Sarah Sparks. SSWA, like FACT, helps expand students’ knowledge of the profession they plan to enter after school. The club gives students an opportunity to explore issues in social work outside of their textbooks, and also alerts people on campus and in the community to social work issues. One of the ways SSWA helps members experience social work more concretely is through a yearly trip that members take in the spring, often to an urban area with varied social service offerings. This spring, club members are going to Minneapolis to visit agencies that relate to their field (for example, an adoption agency or an agency dealing with juveniles in some way) to experience social work first hand.

English and Friends

Student President: Nate Nykamp

Faculty Sponsor: Lorna Van Gilst

English and Friends is Dordt’s book club. The club meets on Thursdays about three times a semester to discuss a novel. This past month, they discussed House of Sand and Fog by Andre Dubus III; the coming month’s selection is The Man Who Was Thursday by G.K. Chesterton. For the two years it has existed on campus, the club has brought professors and students together to discuss something both are interested in—good literature. “English and Friends enables student/faculty interaction outside of class,” says student president Nate Nykamp. “Another one of the good things about the club is that, even though some people might think it’s just for English majors, anyone from any major can read the books and come to the meetings.”