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MESA

By Jessica Bowman; For the Clock
On March 13, 2018

MESA

Jessica Bowman

For the Clock

jlbowman1@plymouth.edu

MESA is a group on campus that is made up of English majors, the groups purpose it to make the English major more of a family. MESA stands for Mentoring Enhances Student Achievement.

I spent one evening after class to interview Ryan French, who calls himself the Student Leader of MESA. “MESA to me,” French says, “is a student lead group that aims to build community within the English department.”

For some context MESA has been around for a while and in that time have put together some fun and intellectual events that all students within the English department are welcome to attend. MESA is English department exclusive and as French says is “Made by English majors, for English majors.” However MESA is relatively laid back and has been known to accept English minors as well.

Officially MESA is not a recognized student organization but rather an independent group run by Ryan French and Geneva Sambor with Professors Paul Rogalus and Joseph Mealey as supervisors. MESA hopes to expand their base however and put in foundations that will help keep a steady influx of new members as the older members graduate.

French hopes to do this through spreading the word and simply connecting with new students on a more personal level so they feel comfortable participating in or even leading MESA meetings. French also feels that starting up mentoring sessions, particularly with the students currently taking Studies in English or other general English courses it will attract new members and he can leave the group in good hands by the time it is current supply of upperclassmen graduate.

Some of the events MESA is most known for are English major game nights that are held usually in the Fall and seek to bring freshmen or other underclassmen into the English department and essentially act as a big welcoming committee. In these game nights MESA provides lots of downtown pizza and sodas for students attending.

Professors especially get competitive when we bring out the scrabble and cards against humanity games. English major head of the department, Ann McClellan, is known to stare intently at the scrabble board while softly but quickly repeating “Points. Points. Points. Points.”

Students will also play literary Pictionary on these game nights and plenty of other literary related games that are a dream for any English enthusiast.

MESA member and contributor Emily Holleran had this to say when asked what she believes to be the best aspect of MESA, “Connecting more with English majors and having the freedom to do what we want.”

In addition to continuing these traditions of bringing English majors together French confides that MESA will also be starting up more mentoring events. “These events will pair older students with newer students so that the ones who are new do not have to wait to find things out.” French says.

French goes on to explain that more often than not students have very little idea what small nuances or insider terms and happenings are present in a setting like a new school. MESA, then wishing to connect more students together, brings upperclassmen to their events and hopes to teach the underclassmen or incoming freshmen what university life may be like.

“Cause I mean you can look at a course description for any class but what is that really going tell you?” French says. As a fellow English major and as a part of MESA I understand how helpful this kind of student led group can be especially for people just entering a new school.

All teachers have different teaching styles and lesson plans, knowing what to expect from the way a class is run ahead of time certainly lets the incoming Freshmen look know what to expect.

In addition to all of this MESA also hosts movie outings at theatres like The Flying Monkey on Main Street. As well as Resume workshops and writing workshops. MESA provides for all English majors. French says that his and MESA’s main goal is to “make English majors feel very comfortable with the program and feel like their degree is useful.”

“You know we’ve all heard that the English major is a tight knit community,” French concludes. “And having MESA makes it possible for English majors to come together outside of the classroom.”

Currently MESA holds their meetings every Friday from 3-4 pm at the Ellen Reed house, right across from Rounds Hall. If you are interested in joining, stop by Ellen Reed, walk past the stairs on the first oor, take your first left and you will find the heart of MESA.

Another event MESA will be present at and wishes to bring to light will be a poetry and prose night. Expected to be held March 30th, Friday, at 7 pm in a still being determined coffee house in Campton by Professors Liz Ahl and Paul Rogalus.

For more information on any MESA or other English major related events please contact Ryan French at rjfrench@plymouth.edu or Professor Joseph Mealey at j_mealey@plymouth.edu. And make sure to stop by a MESA event or meeting once in a while. I can assure you those in our major would love to see you there!

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