New student organization on campus encourages students to speak their truth

By Olivia Deloian, Staff Reporter

Mike Rundle
Junior poetry major Lily Someson is the Vice President of Speak Your Truth. The creative writing club meets every Tuesday from 4:30 to 6:00 PM in the Columbia Library Reading Room.

Speak Your Truth executive board members start every weekly meeting by greeting members with a hug, letting students know they are welcomed into an inclusive space where they can write, share and finally speak their truth. 

The Speak Your Truth Writing Collective, a new student organization that started in Spring 2018, is intended to give students a place to write and share their work without focusing on a particular genre.

Meetings are held every Tuesday in the Library, 624 S. Michigan Ave., at 4:30 p.m. in the North Reading Room.

Vice President of SYT and junior poetry major Lily Someson said the group started after the current executive board shared a creative writing course. After realizing there was not a place on campus where they could write freely outside of class, they decided to create one.

“It’s been fantastic ever since,” Someson said. “We’re so close, and it really happened just out of a love for writing and a respect for one another.”

Bella Crum,  SYT president and junior poetry major, said meetings consist of workshops and prompt-writing, during which members write about whatever the prompt suggests. Members can then decide to share their work with one another, she said.

All students are welcome to join the organization, regardless of their major.

“The number one thing I hear a lot is, ‘Well, I’m not a real writer,’” Crum said. “Everybody is a real writer. We very much are a space for experimentation and a place to play, [to] try things out and learn.”

Upcoming meetings include an Oct. 30 Halloween tarot card  meeting with readings by Someson and an end-of-the-semester workshop and publication day, Crum added.

Crum said the workshop and publication days are also meant to give members an opportunity to get work edited and potentially  find a publication to publish work.

There are currently about 14 members in SYT, and Crum said one of their goals for the semester is to continue outreach efforts  to bring  as many people to the group as possible.

Speak Your Truth’s head of Internal Marketing and junior nonfiction major Riley McFarlane said Convocation played a large role in allowing them to recruit new students.

“You know how it is as a freshman, you’re kind of just lost,” McFarlane said. “A big part of this group is having a sense of place and having people around you that don’t put pressure on you to get something done.”

Someson said an ongiong goal  of the group’s is continuing to create an environment in which members feel safe to join and then have the opportunity to write about anything.

“That’s where the name comes from—Speak Your Truth,”  McFarlane said. “It has grown from that ideology—feeling safe and able to speak what you believe is true.”