stories by Jaden Barnum and Twila Neiwert
English Undergraduate Organization (EUO)
The English Undergraduate Organization (EUO) strives to connect students majoring and minoring in English as well as establish relationships with resources around campus, especially with professors! Our executive committee this year was made of Jaden Barnum, Cassie Cole, Anna Goodmaker, Chloe Muñoz, and Hailey Watt.
Our activities give students the opportunity to be involved, share their research, and be exposed to some of the most talented writers and poets at the University of Oregon. All of our events are open to the entire campus to check out and enjoy! Over the past school year, the EUO organized events such as book swaps, a literature-based trivia night, and social events like the UO English First Year Meet & Greet. We often work with the Alpha Tau Phi Chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, International English Honor Society, such as when leadership from both organizations came together to decorate the Prince Lucien Campbell Hall lobby area with whimsical, themed games, and of course themed treats for a Harry Potter-themed party with Butterbeer and chocolate frogs! As winter term came to a close, EUO celebrated with a trivia night at Falling Sky Pizza in the EMU. The evening featured some seriously impressive literature knowledge, friendly competition, and, of course, great prizes! All of these activities are meant to serve the students who feel empowered by literature and student work.
As the campus closed for the Spring term and many EUO-affiliated groups had conference and competition travel canceled, the EUO used those travel funds to create 10 English Undergraduate Research Scholarships. The Alpha Tau Phi Chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, International English Honor Society also used some its funds to pay for the application fees for any eligible students who applied during the Spring 2020 term. They inducted one of the largest classes ever at 18 new members.
As we head into an unprecedented school year, the EUO has been working to prepare for all the changes and challenges the UO might face. The number one priority still stands to connect our Ducks through a mutual appreciation for student work and famous literature alike.
UO Poetry Slam
The UO Poetry Slam held several open mics, workshops, and competitive slams throughout the Fall and Winter terms. The Fall term competitions, hosted by UO English alum, Forest Rolnick-Wihtol, produced one of the best College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational (CUPSI) teams yet and all are first year students: Wendy Echeverria Garcia (Latin American Studies, Ethnic Studies), Kyra González (Exploring), Jenny Shadowen (Linguistics, Spanish), Drew York (Journalism), and David Xu (English). The Winter term Heartbreak Slam was one of the most successful events of the year, including themed performances by the members of the UO Poetry Slam Team, audience members contributed poems, jokes, stories, and music. The team’s CUPSI appearance was canceled, unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Over the course of the online-only Spring term, the UO Poetry Slam held weekly Writing Circles to share poetry, watch video performances of favorite poets and past UO Poetry Slam teams, and to share in community. The club is already planning a host of events for the Fall 2020 term, with plans A, B, and C!
UO Fiction Writing Club (FWC)
Toward the end of winter term, the UO Fiction Writing Club held its second Open Mic Night, an event designed to encourage interested students to attend and listen to stories, or to step up to the podium and read their work before a friendly audience, whether they are part of the club or not. The event, while open to everyone, was hosted by the regular and returning members of the club: president Caryn Sumner (English), vice president Taylor Scott (Computer and Information Science), treasurer Twila Neiwert (English), Connor Lane (Biology), and Eli Schumont-Shipley (English, Art). In addition to every end of term Open Mic Night, the Fiction Writing Club hosts weekly hour-long meetings to workshop stories, participate in creative writing prompts, and share ideas. The club exists as a space for fiction writers at the UO, whether they have taken creative writing classes or not. For spring term, the club continued to meet online over Zoom, but for fall they plan to return to in-person meetings in the EMU.