By: Reed Silvers, For the Clock
What is geography? Well, the answer is anything you want it to be! Geography is not a core component of the United States’ educational curriculum. This means, oftentimes, students may not even have a clear idea of what the discipline entails. Any student who has taken geography classes at Plymouth State will tell you that geography is much more than just naming countries on a map. In fact, geography can be about anything you want it to be as long as it has to do with a sense of place. You can study the ‘where’ of any topic you want, and it instantly becomes geography. It doesn’t get more interdisciplinary than that. As junior geography club member, Ted McLaughlin puts it, “I have come to learn that the breath of geography is extremely vast and covers almost all academic disciplines and translates to life outside of school.”
The Geography Club at PSU is a place for all majors to come and join a community of active participants in the PSU community. The main focus is fundraising for two geography conferences: a regional New England conference and a national one. At these events, academics and students from all over the country show presentations on just about anything. From the geography of art, music, sports, and much more, you’re more likely than not to find a subject you love looked at from a geographer’s lens. This year, the club would have been fundraising through trivia nights and raffles to send group members to Seattle for the American Association of Geographers conference this spring. However, like many events, the annual meeting was cancelled to in-person attendance.
The main fundraising events are two trivia nights in which the club solicits prizes from local businesses and charges admission for teams to come and test their geography knowledge. The other main one is a raffle with plenty of sought-after prizes. Last year, lucky students who participated won ski tickets to mountains all across New England, gift cards to local businesses, and more.
When they’re not fundraising, the club has fun with club hikes, trail work, or discussions. In any event, the students try to stay active and make connections between peers. “The club has allowed myself to expand my personal understanding of geography and I have gained various friends and experiences along the way,” McLaughlin said.
If all goes to plan, in-person festivities will resume for AAG 2022 in New York City. In fall of 2021, be on the lookout for a raffle table in the HUB, and a trivia night at a local restaurant downtown. For more information, contact club president Clayton Titus at firstname.lastname@example.org, or club vice president email@example.com.