Written by Alex Reed ’23, PLU Marketing & Communications Student Writer.
Last October, a new club emerged on campus: the Student Neurodiversity Club. Although small, this club is having a growing impact on the PLU community.
When attending a recent SNC meeting in the first floor Stuen lounge, I was greeted by a cheerful collective of students, as well as fidgets. There was a unique sense of empathy among members of the group, as they discussed school, life, challenges and triumphs.
To learn more about the Student Neurodiversity Club, I interviewed the current SNC president, Ryan Browne. Ryan is a senior majoring in Communications at PLU.
What does it mean to be neurodivergent?
Just a difference in brain chemistry for the most part. We were born or had an experience that caused our brains to start working slightly differently than others.
What is the Student Neurodiversity Club?
The Student Neurodiversity Club is basically a community for those on campus who are neurodivergent. Before, we didn’t really have another space other than the OAA [Office of Accessibility and Accommodation]. So we wanted to create a place to talk about our own struggles and experiences going through college, or just through life, with different disabilities.
What inspired your team to create the club?
I worked with Rayleah Trice, who is also president of the Active Minds Club on campus. She had the idea of starting this club because she wanted to learn more and create a space for those of us who are neurodivergent. The [OAA] recommended that I be the president for the club and it kinda went from there.
What makes this club different from other clubs on campus?
It’s not just centered around an interest, it’s also centered around an identity and a thing that we all have in common, which is our disabilities. So it’s something we can all relate to each other with and understand. It becomes a space where we can all just help each other and provide that community for those of us who know what we’re all going through.
What would you say the club culture is like?
Our club is a bit more reserved. Most of our communication comes from discord, but it’s more of a matter that we know that we’re there for each other and help out when needed.
How would you like to see the club grow in the future?
I’d like to see more events, like panel discussions, maybe movie nights. I’d love to see the club expand and grow because I know that there’s a lot of people on campus who are also neurodiverse, and I’d like to let them have a place where they can go and talk.
When and where do you meet?
Stuen first floor lounge, usually in the afternoons. The exact time changes based on the semester but this semester it’s been on Wednesdays at 6 once or twice a month.
How can students get involved?