Student Org Spotlight: Writers at Illinois Tech

Fri, 2017/09/08

A fairly new organization, Writers at Illinois Tech (WaIT) was created by physics student Alexandra Detweiler in the spring of 2017, who found the campus lacking in organizations focused on the arts. This was apparently not an uncommon viewpoint among other students, as Detweiler found no difficulties rounding up the required amount of members, and the group passed the Student Government Association (SGA) Senate’s officializing vote unanimously.

The group’s goal is to be a safe place where writers - or even those casually interested in writing but hesitant to call themselves “writers” - can share the work they have written, enjoy and critique others’ pieces, and get to know their peers in a different way than is typically allowed in the classroom. Writing games, like random noun-based haikus or pass-around short stories, make up a large part of general body meetings, and according to Detweiler,  they are usually responsible for causing a lot of laughs. “I formed a creative writing club in high school, too,” said Detweiler, “and easily my favorite part of those meetings were the writing games we all played together. I wanted to bring that to Illinois Tech’s campus, too. It’s a great way to get to know people in an entirely different way.”

WaIT’s general body meetings occur on the first Sunday of every month, (while school is in session, obviously) from 1:30-3:00 p.m. in Perlstein 108. These general body meetings are filled with writing games, the casual sharing of work, and updating others on information about upcoming writing contests. Detweiler would also like students to know that free lunch also makes an appearance at general body meetings, and is available to all-- even those who don’t consider themselves writing “gurus,” but are down for a writing game or two. The next general body meeting will occur on Sunday, October 1.

Other than general body meetings, WaIT has a new event on the horizon. On Tuesday, October 3rd, WaIT will host its first group outing. Meeting by Global Grounds at 5 p.m., the group will take the L to Young Chicago Authors (YCA), an organization dedicated to supporting young writers in the Chicago area, for their weekly “WordPlay” event. A writing workshop will begin at 6 p.m., an open mic event is at 7 p.m., and a featured artist will take the stage at 8:15 p.m. WaIT hopes that this will be a good way for fellow Illinois Tech writers to get off campus and have a good time, and all are welcome to tag along to see what YCA is all about.