A (not so) long time ago … in a galaxy (not that) far, far away …
Brock Jolicoeur ’22 had an idea.
“Obviously, I really like Star Wars,” he says with a laugh. “There are lots of people wearing Star Wars gear all over campus—even if you’re just table-sitting in the Campus Center, you’re bound to see at least five Star Wars shirts—and I wanted a place to be able to talk about it with other students.”
After making a Reddit post to gauge interest, Jolicoeur connected with other students interested in co-founding the club, and the Galactic Senate was born. Now, he counts himself among the club’s general senate members, enjoying the way the Senate has taken on a life of its own, providing community, friendships, a sense of inclusion—and, of course, a place to talk about Star Wars.
“It’s a club where you’ll get to know everyone inside the meetings,” he says. “Each member is important to what we do, and it’s important to us to foster an inclusive environment while getting to know each other, having fun, and getting optimal Star Wars conversations going.”
That’s exactly why Andrew Nguyen ’24 and Alissa Cloutier ’25 joined the Senate after the Student Activities Fair in A-Term; they currently serve as the Senate’s president and secretary (supreme chancellor and senate speaker) and vice president and treasurer (vice chancellor, head of the banking clan), respectively.
“It’s so cool to see how passionate we all are,” Cloutier says. “It creates a space for everyone to share their passions within the Star Wars universe, and we all learn from each other.”
“It’s a club where you’ll get to know everyone inside the meetings. Each member is important to what we do, and it’s important to us to foster an inclusive environment while getting to know each other, having fun, and getting optimal Star Wars conversations going.” -Brock Jolicoeur ’22
The club’s meetings resemble those of the original Galactic Senate, with each club member representing a planet, system, or federation in the Star Wars universe. Meetings consist of three phases: first, members have the chance to discuss general Star Wars lore, as well as any cool videos or news they’d like to share; then the exec board shares a predetermined topic for the entire group to discuss (one of the most recent being the Senate’s thoughts on the trailer for the upcoming Obi-Wan Kenobi series—“We’re all excited, we talked super in-depth about the trailer,” Nguyen says); meetings are then closed out with a group activity like trivia or droid building and discussions about ideas for future meetings.
“It promotes more of a discussion,” Cloutier says. “Some people have strong opinions about different parts of the universe, about this and that format, but this allows people to talk about a specific topic without arguing. It’s more of a place to share.”
Indeed, in a fandom that’s become somewhat notorious for its passionate, outspoken fan base, the Galactic Senate strives to be a place that’s welcoming and celebratory for all fans—regardless of their favorite characters—Nguyen likes Darth Maul (“He had a great design and great action but once they brought him back in Clone Wars and Rebels, they fleshed him out to be a much more interesting character.”). Cloutier is a fan of Leia (“She went through so much and is such a strong character; she’s very inspirational to me.”). Jolicoeur is partial to Qui-Gon Jinn (“He promotes a lot of mindfulness and independence, and I admire that a lot … Qui-Gon needs more respect.”)—or how familiar they are with the source material.
“It’s not just a place for diehard fans, it’s also for those interested in learning more,” Nguyen says. “Sure, we’ve got the movies, but there are also the books, the comics, the games. There’s a lot, and it’s so cool to hear members share what they love and their favorite things with each other.”
In addition to their Senate-style discussions and trivia nights, the club has hosted several movie screenings and a droid-building session. As it continues to expand, members are hopeful that they’ll be able to host even more events, as well as build off of their active Discord community and expand in-person meetings.
While the Senate may be adjourning for the summer, there will be plenty of chances to get involved in A-Term. Email the club for more information and be on the lookout for their events in the fall. May the force be with you.