By DJ Ramirez | Contributor
Included in the list of new and exciting experiences happening during the first week of school, a new scuba diving club will be present at Late Night Friday.
The SEA Bears were founded by Ft. Benning, Ga. junior Claire Costanza and San Antonio junior Noah Wiatrek early in the Spring 2018 semester.
Costanza, a biology pre-med student from a military family, was inspired to start the club at Baylor because of her father, who had been part of a scuba program at the United States Military Academy. After her father underwent surgery to remove a brain tumor, she decided to get scuba certified to share videos with her dad since he would not be able to go diving again.
“I wanted to create a dive environment similar to this so that Baylor’s divers will be able to continue their education in the dive world and become instilled with the same passion of diving that my father has,” Costanza said.
Costanza and Wiatrek began the paperwork needed to get the club approved by student activities and were able to find a faculty sponsor in Dr. Hugh Riley, a professor in the department of psychology and neuroscience. During the process of getting the club approved, they learned that a dive club already existed at the university but had been deemed inactive since all its members had graduated. They decided to reactivate the club and lay out a new foundation for the organization.
According to Costanza, the biggest pitfall to beginning this new club was how long the process took to get it approved. It was almost long enough to make her quit on starting the club altogether.
“There was some lack in communication on student activities’ half that greatly interfered with our ability to get the club running in a timely fashion,” Wiatrek said, “but we were able to do so despite that.”
Wiatrek will serve as president of the SEA Bears while Costanza has taken the position of vice president, as she is part of four other organizations on campus. Cedar park junior Haley Davis, an experienced diver with the Cameron Park Zoo, is the club’s social outreach chair.
New members of the club can look forward to diving courses offered by Dr. Riley and an opportunity to earn their scuba certifications. The club plans to take at least one diving trip to one of the major lakes in the area, such as Lake Travis just outside of Austin.
The SEA Bears will have a booth at the Student Life Center during Late Night and willhold interest meetings to recruit new members.
“We’re very optimistic about the future of the club,” Wiatrek said. “Sic’ Em SEA Bears!”