First-year Founders: three new clubs on campus this semester headed by first-year students


Finding spaces on campus to relax and forget about life’s pressures can be hard for some students. After identifying this need, first-year Susie Martinez was inspired to start a Happiness Club at DePauw after participating in it at her high school.

“There’s always something going on,” Martinez said. “It seems like there’s always something bad or upsetting happening, and I thought it would be nice to have a space to just kind of chill and forget life’s ugliness.”

Martinez was joined by other first-years Jailene Valenzuela and Haley Haskins in founding this club. They hope to eventually organize stargazing nights in the nature park, and pair with the Wellness Center to talk about mental well-being while in school.

In addition to the Happiness Club, the Clay Club and Native American and Indigenous People’s Association (NAIPA) are also new organizations on campus.

The Clay Club was founded by Alyssa Luarde ‘22, a studio art major, and sophomore Jackie Ebil, a communications major. This club is an opportunity for students at any skill level to experiment with making pottery. Both founders attributed the idea for creating a club on their scheduling conflicts that have prevented them from taking a ceramics class at DePauw thus far.

“We want to actually be creating something at each meeting,” Ebil said.

Similarly, the Native American and Indigenous People’s Association at DePauw, or NAIPA, was started after a need for a community on campus was identified, and this club creation was motivated by the ability to educate others on campus. First-years Holly and Hannah Buchanan, along with senior Bo Shimmin, spearheaded this club. The Buchanans are members of the Miami Nation of Indiana.

“It’s something we’ve grown up with our whole lives and I think we’re really lucky to have that,” Holly said. “We wanted to connect with other Native American students on campus because we didn’t really know any and wanted to connect with them, as well as educate the rest of the student body.”

Hannah added that they would also like to raise awareness of their presence on campus. The club’s first event was a community panel that featured representatives from all of the tribes present on DePauw’s campus. During this event, students were given space to share their individual backgrounds and cultures.

NAIPA also paired with the Center for Spiritual Life on May 11 to participate in a “Fry Bread Friday” event. An upcoming event is a bus trip to the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art in Indianapolis. More information about these events can be found on Campus Labs.

For more information on the Happiness Club and to find out about future meetings and events, students can follow their club Instagram account, @dpuhappiness.

For more information on the Clay Club and to find out about future meetings and events, students can follow their club Instagram account, @depauwclayclub.