Over the summer, the Brock University Historical Society has been preparing for its re-launch, just in time for the new academic year. The club has re-branded, created a website and logo, and is now ready to bring history-lovers together at Brock.
“I really wish there had been something like this when I was a first-year student”, said John Raimondo, the BUHS (Brock University Historical Society) President. “Other universities like McGill and Western have thriving student history groups, and this is something that’s definitely been missing from Brock’s History Department.”
BUHS is not a BUSU-ratified club, but is instead associated with the Brock University History Department. The society is free to join and is looking to attract more than just History majors.
Helping Raimondo re-launch the society is the 2015 BUHS executive team, Rebecca Morkunas, Michael Angaran, Courtney Svab, Chelsea Gordon and Erin Grieve, as well as faculty advisor Dr. Jessica Clark and the support of many Brock faculty in the History Department.
“The guidance of Dr. Clark throughout the entire planning process this summer has ensured that BUHS’s initiatives will be tailored to students’ needs and interests”, said Raimondo.
There are many common stereotypes surrounding History majors, including that degrees in History are dead-ends or are simply limited to learning the factual events of the past.
“I’ve attended many open forums with incoming History students and their parents. One of the common questions from parents is ‘what will my child do with this degree’,” said Raimondo. “There are so many avenues you can take with a humanities degree. It’s not just learning facts, it’s about perspectives and contexts. Learning from the past is something that is missing from our society.”
Being in the Niagara Region gives both BUHS and Brock’s History Department the added bonus of being surrounded by historical sites, battlefields and landmarks that recount the region’s rich historical past.
The BUHS hopes to capitalize on this location by taking part in this rich history, going to the “First Fridays” run by historical museums across Niagara that are designed to disassemble the stigma of museums being stuffy.
“It’s an exciting time in the Humanities, History and Modern Technology are colliding and creating new areas of study”, said Raimondo. “The list of courses offered at Brock definitely encapsulates that. This past academic year, I took a full-year HIST course with Dr. Bonnett where I was able to digitally restore two original 19-century buildings from St. Paul Street in downtown St. Catharines.
Overall, the main goal of the BUHS is to ‘promote the study of history at Brock and in the community’ and one of the main ways Raimondo plans to accomplish this is through social events.
The re-launched BUHS’ first event of the year, a social mixer, is open to all students, whether they are enrolled in a history class or just interested in meeting new people. The mixer will be held on September 23 from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. in Thistle 255.
For more information, visit brockubuhs.wordpress.com or check out their Facebook page at facebook.com/brockhistoricalsociety