Club Corner: WCU Forensic Science Club

If you’re one of those people who can’t contain your joy in biology labs or is constantly watching reruns of “CSI” or “Bones,” you will be happy to know that Western Carolina University’s new Forensic Science Club is not only off to a great start but has also begun making plans for next semester. Between President Allison McAndrews and Vice President Rebecca Sergant, this club is bound to do great things in the near future.

The Forensic Science Club began this year as an idea between two freshmen. They were both interested in forensic science and disappointed to find that Western Carolina did not have a club for the major already established.

Allison McAndrews asked, “Why don’t we do it ourselves?”

Soon, the two students were making this idea a reality with the help of their advisor Erin Burnside, a professor and forensic research scientist in the department of chemistry and physics.

It took a while to jump through all of the hoops necessary to beginning an organization on campus, so they have been able to hold only a few meetings this semester. However, these meetings boosted them to great start and given them ideas for the spring.

As an indicator of what was to come, they decided to start things off by discussing their “favorite” serial killers and various, gruesome cases they found interesting. This activity helped to wean out those with faint hearts or weak stomachs, for the club is not the place for those who lose their lunch at the sight of blood.

Since then, McAndrews and Sergant have discussed the options of visiting graduate schools to planning a blood splatter analysis lab. However, the most important thing to these budding scientists is building a community amongst those interested in the forensic sciences. 

Though the majority of students in the club are either forensic science majors or looking into becoming one, students from any major are welcome to join. The majority of the activities that the club participates in are hands-on, so it is great experience for anyone who is interested in the subject. It is a great way to build camaraderie between those who love all things science.

“We like to think that we can both learn and have fun,” McAndrews commented. “The club is here for students to get to enjoy their passion without the restrictions of a syllabus or a final exam.”

McAndews and Sergant also plan to get involved with community service, putting on fundraisers so that they can hold teaching labs at local high schools for students who might be interested in the major. Hopefully, the club can attend a national conference in the future, as well. Furthermore, they wish to promote undergraduate research, whether it be within the forensic science major or a form of interdisciplinary research, according to McAndrews and Sargant.

Whether you are a forensic science major interested in gaining more experience, or simply a fan of crime shows who has entertained the thought of trying your hand at the job, the Forensic Science Club is an organization you should check out. Because one thing is for sure, this club does not plan on going away anytime soon.

If you are interested in the Forensic Science Club, they are welcoming new members. They meet every other Tuesday in Belk 253 unless they plan to do a lab. Their schedule is updated regularly on OrgSync, and posters are posted around Stillwell and the Natural Science Buildings.