Student Foundation may be the least-known club on campus despite the fact that it has been around since the earliest days of the school, making it the longest-running student club at the University of Dallas.
This may be because most students have heard more about its events than about the club itself.
The club is the force behind such major aspects of UD culture as the Tower Film Fest, Pizza and Pasta Cook-offs, finals week care packages and the Avant-Guard publication. This year, they are also hoping to begin nursing home visits.
On Oct. 9, otherwise known as Dead Day, it will host “The Shindig,” from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. on the Mall, providing free hot dogs and hamburgers, a cornhole tournament and live music from UD’s very own students.
But the question of just what Student Foundation is seems to be a tricky one.
Club president Charlie Archer explains that it is all about preserving the spirit of UD and imparting it to the next generation of students, especially by throwing events that build relationships between the upperclassmen and underclassmen.
“It serves a greater community between the upperclassmen and the lower classmen that a lot of other clubs don’t do in such a familial way,” Vice President Meghan Elfelt said.
According to Elfelt, many students at UD, especially those who do not have siblings at the school, want to forge close relationships with older students, looking to them for anything from a home-cooked meal to life advice.
“The camaraderie that you can have between the upperclassmen and the underclassmen by attending these events is not forced,” said Elfelt, “It comes out of a will to get to know another person.”
Student Foundation aims to enhance this sense of community with the Shindig on Friday.
“It will be an environment where the University of Dallas community can hang out, enjoy good food and relax,” said Aaron Kim, who leads the committee in charge of the Shindig.
In addition to a playlist of recorded songs, the committee is reaching out to UD students like senior Evan Neville and freshman Lucy Teller to perform live during the event.
“A great quality that we have here that I think is part of the robust character of UD students is their musical talents,” Elfelt said.
Student Foundation is one of the few clubs with a cap on the number of voting members it has.
It has tiered membership, meaning that it allows only four freshmen, eight sophomores, 12 juniors and 16 seniors.
Still, in the past, the club was rarely at capacity – only in recent years has participation grown full, according to Archer.
Positions went fast for this semester despite the fact that traditionally, word of mouth spreads the information about openings, rather than any official advertising.
Those wanting to be members of the club submitted applications via SPUD. The applications were then read anonymously during meetings, and members voted on which to accept.
“We look for people who very much understand the spirit of UD and the spirit of service, and are willing to put in the time and effort to put on great events,” Archer said.
The club operates by dividing into committees to work on specific events, which are decided at the first meeting of the year.
Because of its lack of self-promotion or advertisement, to non-members an air of mystery surrounds the club. It is distinct from other clubs in that its sole purpose is to hold events; it follows that people know more of these than the club itself.
“A lot of people think Student Foundation is a secret club – but actually it’s responsible for what students would say are the most fun events here at UD,” said Elfelt.