The sound of laughter competed with the Oscars during Westminster Round’s “Wish You Were Dead Poet Society” night. Otherwise bad poetry was made funny by the way it was read and presented. Audiences laughed as “Party in The U.S.A.” by Miley Cyrus was turned into a dramatic reading, and a collection of YouTube comments were strung together to make a piece of modern, found poetry.
This two-hour event on Sun., Feb. 27 brought people together to share and enjoy bad poetry. Bad poetry night is one of the many events put on by Westminster Round.
“The main idea is to revel in the badness,” said senior Pax Gutierrez-Neal, Westminster Round secretary. “The poetry can be bad, and the bad can be good.”
The poetry night was senior Callie Chestnut’s first Westminster Round event.
“It was fun to see the different types of humor that can be incorporated into one style of writing,” Chestnut said.
As an organization actually called Westminster Round, the group dates back more than 10 years. Before that, there was The English Club, which was a similar kind of group, English professor Vic Bobb said.
“We are the English department club,” Gutierrez-Neal said. “Our main goal is to support English majors and minors. We are there to help students and connect them to teachers.”
Westminster Round hosts events such as the annual poetry and pie event, Halloween parties where students share scary stories. Annually, the club hosts a Christmas party where faculty read “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens and an end of the year Barbecue bringing faculty and students together.
“We put on fun, English major-y events,” said senior Tamara McGough, Westminster Round treasurer. “Every English major and minor is in the club because it’s only for English majors and minors”
Events are attended by students and faculty alike. One of the best parts is getting to socialize with professors out of the classroom, McGough said.
Westminster Round meetings are usually formal and happen every two weeks. Senior Natalie Sego, Westminster Round president, brings an agenda to go through. Meetings offer a time for students to give their input on what classes they would like to see offered and how current classes could be tweaked to be even better.
“Meetings are a good opportunity for students to learn what classes are coming down the chute,” Gutierrez-Neal said.
Aside from getting input on future classes Westminster Round has also put on senior workshops to help seniors transition from college into their next steps after graduation.
Westminster Round receives money from ASWU for putting on events, but also does fundraising to offset other costs the club encounters. A recent fundraising effort was selling concessions at the Leonard Oakland Film Festival held on campus this year. Sodexo donated all the food and allowed the club to keep the proceeds to cover different expenses, Gutierrez-Neal said.
Part of the reason for fundraising this year was to get club T-shirts. This year they read, “Declaring an English major is like announcing an unplanned pregnancy. You have a hard time explaining to your parents how it happened and how you are going to support it,” a quote by long-time English professor Vic Bobb.