Many student organizations at the University of Rhode Island dedicate themselves to helping others, but Strike a Chord is unique, because they are helping to achieve this through music.
Earlier this month, Strike a Chord hosted a variety show to benefit the Rhode Island Center for Assisting those in Need, which was the club’s first event with President Sebastian Wilson at the helm.
“We held a variety show called ‘Assorted Goods’ over at Edwards Auditorium featuring Blind Revision, Sidecar, Naked on Jake and Chained to Insanity,” Wilson said. “That was the main event of this semester.”
More recently, Strike a Chord held its first open mic of the semester on Nov. 17 at TLC Coffee Roasters. The open mic was the organization’s first one of the year, and the third event that the group has done with TLC. The coffee shop on Kingstown Road in Kingston, Rhode Island, stays open after normal closing time for Strike a Chord, with any profit made during this time span split 50/50 with the club. The mutually beneficial relationship is something that has made both parties want to do it again in the future.
“We are planning on having two open mics here this year,” Wilson said. “TLC likes to help us out. They give us half of all the proceeds so that way we can use the money to put towards shows and bring in more people. Any proceeds that are received between 4 and 6 [p.m.] are split, and half of it is given to Strike a Chord.”
This event, like all events organized by Strike a Chord, is a collaborative effort of all its members, who are encouraged to share their ideas and input right from the get-go.
“I’m [president] more to facilitate and organize the events, but we all work and plan together as a group,” Wilson said of his role in the planning process. “It’s a democracy, but at the same time, we work together as a group.”
Former president and current club member Nick Bottai stepped down after last semester to allow Wilson to take the reins and lead the organization this year.
“[Bottai’s] senior year is going to be stressful, so he decided to have me come on while he’s still on campus to help me get properly trained and all that,” Wilson said.
Wilson, in his junior year, expressed his desire for more members in the organization, and outlined the immediate future of Strike a Chord. While they do have more events planned for the spring, Wilson said that their main and immediate focus now is to recruit more people and build the organization.
“We’re going to focus the rest of this semester on recruitment, because that’s a problem with any of the student organizations,” he said. “If you ask any of them, they’ll say how they need new people. So we’re going to focus on putting ourselves out there, letting people know that we’re a student organization who’s not too formal. We listen to everyone.”
Strike a Chord has about 13 members this year, with a good portion being juniors and seniors. Wilson hopes to focus on recruitment to bring in “fresh blood” and keep the club going, so that when he and other upperclassmen graduate from the school, the club can still thrive.
Strike a Chord meets on Tuesday evenings at 7 p.m. in room 313 of the Memorial Union. More information about the group can be found on their Facebook page.