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Layla Thomas ’17

Layla Thomas ’17 – Campus Celebrity

The nightlife at F&M consists of the same thing week after week. While some love it, others find it monotonous and crave variety. Yet no one has ever done anything about it – until now. Layla Thomas, freshman, took issue with this repetitive, one-tone social scene. Instead of simply complaining and running from her problems, a route most of us tend towards, she came up with a solution. That solution is F&M Options.

 

Where are you from?

Bechtelsville, PA

 

What is your major?

Undeclared

 

Are you involved with anything other than F&M Options?

ASL Club Publicist; New College House Senate; Kite and Keys a cappella; teach English to refugees at St. Peter’s ESL Program; Alpha Delta Pi Sorority; member of COPS (Committee on Public Safety); and Student Wellness Committee

 

For those who don’t know, please explain F&M Options.

It’s an organization founded by students, for students. We are out to provide more variety of activities to do on the weekends. We are not against Greek life or anything that already exists. We are just adding more variety of entertainment. And all of our events are substance free.

 

When did F&M Options officially begin?

Our first meeting was on October 10, 2013. We were officially founded as a club in December 2013.

 

How did you come up with the idea for F&M Options?

I was just sitting in my Spanish class, thinking about my weekend plans. Rather than being bored with the nightlife here and transferring, which I was seriously considering, I decided to take action and do something about it.

 

How did you go about starting this new club?

I presented my idea to the Dean of New College House first, so that she could help me figure out where to go with it. Then, we had our first interest meeting and it went onward from there.

 

What made you decide to start a club?

I didn’t want to found a club my freshman year, but I figured I would take the proactive approach rather than running from the problem. We want Options to be a group that brings other groups together. Every event we’ve had so far has included another club, and every event we will have in the future include other clubs.

 

Why is this important to you?

It’s important to me now because I spend probably well over 12 hours a week on it. But I think it’s important that all students have an opportunity to meet other people. Right now, the events at F&M are catered to a certain group of people. There is a whole different category of entertainment that is not developed here. Something like a trivia night pulls people from all over. If you go to a fraternity party, it pulls from a certain group of people.

 

What types of events do you have?

We are based off of this idea of variety, so we don’t want to classify ourselves and have a type (other than not serving alcohol). So far we’ve done trivia night, comedy night, s’moresgasbord (s’mores bonfire event), and the Rocky Horror Picture Show. We’re planning a zumba night and a casino/pool tournament.

 

What kind of feedback have you received?

There are the select students, especially recently, that just view this as an attack on their existing social world and are bitter. The administration is very excited, since recently there have been substance related incidents and they have been getting pressure from that problem. That group of students that don’t have that set social schedule or that niche have been very supportive. To our surprise we have had a lot of support from fraternities and sororities. I think Options is going to bring together the entirety of F&M.

 

Do you have any prospective plans for where you want to take it?

As of right now, we’re hitting the same people with our events, which is great. We’ve averaged about 100 people per event, and I think those 100 people have found a place they can call home at F&M. But, there are more than 100 of those people. I want everyone to know that it’s there, whether they want to participate or not. For growth, we’re already doing the Loop 2.0. We’re starting a second Lancaster Loop to take people laser tagging, swing dancing, and things like that. We’re trying to be a little more hands off. We want to see clubs using us as a resource for their events, rather than hosting events ourselves.

 

Is there anything that you would like our readers to know?

We are made by students. I think that’s something that most don’t realize. We aren’t against Greek life. About 50% of our members participate in Greek life, and we just want to see more people who maybe would have never met before be brought together by our events.

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