Apart of Western Carolina University since 1989, the University Club has worked to promote the bond of community both with WCU and the surrounding area. In June, however, the club experienced an obstacle to their goals when a tree was struck by lightning and fell onto the meeting house.
Five months later, the University Club remains homeless as both WCU’s Chancellor and Residential Living continue to access the damage and attempt to fix the meeting house. The house property where the University Club resides on Central Drive was rented from and is the responsibility of Residential Living.
“The Chancellor and Facilities Management was trying to come up with an estimate and still doesn’t know what it is yet,” President-elect of the University Club Dr. Peter Tay said. “The Chancellor did mention that the University Club would get some compensation for our damaged property though.”
While plans for rebuilding the meeting house remain pending, the University Club members continue to meet and plan events.
“We have been meeting in various places,” Tay said, noting local businesses such as the Mad Batter and Rolling Stones Burrito.
The club must wait for the Chancellor to find an insurance settlement in order to correct damages on the house.
“Not having a house has affected us in a really adverse way,” Tay said. “Not as many members show up to our events like they normally would and having to move our stuff around a lot gets inconvenient.”
Tay added that the University Club members will be having a meeting today (Nov. 11) to decide whether or not to move on without WCU’s support.
“We are just getting nervous with the lack of news and we don’t want to move on without the university, but it’s taking a long time,” Tay said.
Most of the University Club’s members consist of full and part-time faculty or staff at WCU and a few local residents. To accomplish its goal of creating a closer community, the University Club holds and supports events such as Oktoberfest, a Mardi Gras dinner, guest speakers and football tailgate parties.