Students who enjoy traversing the stars and take interest in planets and infinities of outer space can join the new Cosmic Club at SUNY New Paltz.
The Cosmic Club is a student astronomy group that meets every Monday at 8 p.m. in the Coykendall Science Building (CSB) planetarium, is all about astronomy. Members of the club share their interests in the stars and learn about women’s influence in astronomy, the science of black holes and the inner-workings of the planetarium.
Sean Reid, Sabrina Kowaleski and Kristine Pilla, all fourth-year English majors, are the leaders of the club as acting president, public relations officer and secretary, respectively.
Pilla said the idea to start the club came from former students, but the group wasn’t maintained very well. She said two years ago when Reid took a class on planetarium operations they were inspired to re-start the club.
“It came from a fascination with astronomy and a passion for learning,” Pilla said.
Reid said his life-long love of astronomy and his good experiences with New Paltz astronomy professors like Stacie Nunes, Amy Forestell and Raj Pandya influenced him greatly.
The club is very much for the students and they are open to getting ideas from different members and that they encourage members to voice their own opinions, Pandya said.
Kowaleski said the club is looking forward to taking a trip to New York City to visit the Hayden Planetarium in May where the members will be able to see the stars in different ways using the digital projectors. She also said they are trying to get the trip funded by Student Association so they can take a bus down.
Every week there will be a different topic discussed. The club is also looking to hold a picnic under the stars out in the campus fields. Astronomy-themed arts and crafts and an art contest that would feature student’s poetry, short stories, music or art are also being considered.
“Potential members can get a deeper understanding of astronomy,” Reid said. “Members are not required to have pre-existing knowledge of astronomy. The club will go over it at its bare basis and go up from there.”