By Kalyn Story | Staff Writer
Baylor has a club for everyone, and on Monday, the student organization list expanded by 19.
Hutto junior Victoria Ellison noticed other schools had a group she felt was missing from Baylor’s campus. Through social media, she saw other universities have clubs celebrating natural hair, so she started one at Baylor.
ROOTS Natural Hair Club is a club that will celebrate diverse hair textures with a special focus on people of African descent, Ellison said.
“Often, the natural state of black people’s hair is seen as unprofessional or as a reflection of poor grooming,” Ellison said. “This club will be place where anyone can learn about what it takes to maintain and grow natural hair. This education component will hopefully help to de-stigmatize natural hair in professional settings.”
Ellison said students should join ROOTS if they’ve ever been curious about natural hair, have natural hair or support the idea of natural hair. She said the club is open to all students, and she plans to hold educational events for those unfamiliar with natural hair or the role of hair in the black community.
“When I thought about Baylor’s commitment to inclusivity and diversity, I thought this campus would be a great place to establish a natural hair club of our own,” Ellison said. “Recently on Baylor’s campus, I have seen many black women embracing their natural hair, and I wanted to establish an organization that would serve as a source of support and to celebrate this special piece of identity.”
Ellison said she believes men and women with natural hair should have a support system to exchange products that work well, techniques for maintenance and encouragement to embrace natural hair while being a professional. She said she hopes this club will provide all of those things.
“I want to develop confident, young, black leaders who are proud of their hair and everything about themselves,” Ellison said. “I also want a plethora of allies to be a part of this organization. I strongly believe that two key components of reconciliation are education and conversation.”
Another new organization started by Las Vegas senior Jordyn Farewell is the Baylor Walking Club.
Farewell said she was inspired by the Fitbit craze last year to start walking with her friends and creating step goals. She said her walking group kept growing, and she enjoyed walking around the Bear Trail and through Cameron Park with her friends. She said she even built many newer and stronger friendships through walking.
Farewell said she and her friends joked by calling it a “walking club” and joked about making it an actual club, and then they decided to get it chartered by the university.
“Our goal of our club is to foster friendships and deeper relationships while being active through walking,” Farewell said. “Our walking meetings are the perfect study break and a way to get fresh air and meet new friends.”
Farewell said she hopes lots of students join the club and see all the benefits of walking that she and her friends have seen.
Beaumont junior Krishna Singh said he and his friends started the Baylor Video Game Club with the hope of bringing together competitive and casual video game players to enjoy games in a communal environment
“Video gamers are a huge part of the Baylor student body, and we wanted to create a club to represent them, their interest, and tailor fun events to involve them as a whole,” Singh said.
As a club, Singh said it organizes events for the community and has already had two game days and one tournament.
On game days, the club votes on a theme and then plays six games related to that theme. For the tournament, it held a bracketed competition but added a twist to the competition so that competitive and casual players had equal opportunity to win.
Singh said he hopes the club can grow in the coming years and start hosting larger events for all members of the Baylor community.
Other groups chartered Monday include Baylor Beach Volleyball, Baylor Intellectual Property Organization, Baylor Irish Dance Society, Baylor Libertarians, Baylor Third Culture Kids, Baylor University Skeet and Trap Club, Baylor Nutrition Outreach Waco, Central Texas Astronomical Society, First in Line Student Society, Hankamer Consulting Group, IEEE – Microwave Theory and Technologies, National Association of Black Accountants, Oso eSports, Sigma Gamma Epsilon, Sociology of Undergraduate Lives and Baylor United for UNICEF.