A group of students joined together to form SFA’s first ever Coffee Club designed to create diversity in the coffee community by encouraging students to get connected and engaged with one another through bi-weekly meetings at various local coffee shops.
The idea for the club first came to mind when club President Iris Rios, sophomore marketing major from Houston, was having a hard time deciding what coffee to get at Starbucks and did not have a friend to ask for suggestions. By creating the club, Rios would allow a community of people to come together to help decide what types of coffee should be tried and have designated friends to study and grab coffee with.
“Awhile back, I couldn’t figure out what I wanted to drink at Starbucks,” Rios said. “I had no one to text, and it was really stressful.”
Before the idea was put on paper, Rios brought it up to Coffee Club Recruiting Chair Daniel Ciraiz, freshman finance and international economics double major from Mt. Vernon. Being someone who also loves coffee, Ciraiz was able to give Rios one last push to put forming the club into motion.
Rios went to Twitter to create a poll asking students if they would be interested in joining a coffee club. After approximately 700 votes, 64 percent being positive, Rios took the steps to officially form the club through the university. By Jan. 27, the club was approved.
Ciraiz hopes to use his connections with other organizations, as well as his natural abilities to reach out to people, as a means of getting students and staff members involved in the club.
“Coffee comes from all around the world,” Ciraiz said. “Just like coffee has different blends, that’s what we’re hoping for [with connecting] different [types of] people. The only expectation we would have is [to] be yourself.”
While there will be set meetings every other Tuesday, Rios hopes that by creating a GroupMe messaging group, members will be encouraged to reach out to one another any day of the week to study, hang out and, of course, grab a cup of coffee.
“You don’t know how close you can get to someone over a cup of coffee [or] what kind of connection you might develop with them,” Rios said.
The club plans to meet at local coffee shops in Nacogdoches and the surrounding area.
“I thought it would be good because it’s supporting local businesses,” treasurer Halle Chesnutt, sophomore psychology major from Cypress, said.
While the club is currently geared toward students, Rios said that it is also open to any staff and faculty members who might be interested in attending meetings.
“Having faculty members at meetings would be great,” Rios said. “That way you drink coffee with them on a Tuesday, and you get to see them out of their element.”
The first club meeting was held Tuesday at Java Jacks, where a raffle for a $10 Starbucks gift card was held. The expected outcome was to create a fun, light hearted atmosphere through initial introductions from the officers, explaining the club’s origin, playing games and allowing students the opportunity to get to know one another.
For those who have a hard time getting involved with campus organizations, Chesnutt encourages those students to join the community Coffee Club hopes to create.
“It’s kind of difficult to [meet people] if you’re not necessarily a part of something, so I think it would be a good [thing] for people to go to the Coffee Club,” Chesnutt said. “[It’s important] to have a common group of people to go out and do things with that you normally wouldn’t do otherwise.”