The Year of the Rat is approaching, according to the Chinese Zodiac, and the UAA Psychology Club’s mascot is ready to celebrate.
The UAA Psychology Club provides students interested in psychology with information about different academic and professional opportunities available, as well as various career paths in psychology.
Zoe Sherer is the secretary of the club and a psychology major at UAA. She says that a typical semester for the club includes various activities for members to enjoy a break from academic studies.
“We have gaming socials, typically with Smash Bros, we watch psychology-related movies while making waffles and we occasionally get a little crafty. If we aren’t having a social, we are hanging out with the Psychology Department faculty, hosting a study hall or simply eating food and enjoying each other’s company,” Sherer said.
It is not necessary to be a psychology major to join the club. For students taking psychology classes, however, the Psychology Club is a great way to receive peer support, according to Sherer.
Last semester, the Psychology Club hosted a Gaming and Social Meet that they held with Psi Chi, the International Honor Society in Psychology, in October. The event featured two Nintendo Switch consoles for gaming, and guests were invited to bring their own consoles, controllers and games.
The club also hosts annual events, including fundraisers.
“Once per semester, we have a potluck in the Den for Psi Chi inductees. We have an induction ceremony and play party games. It is open to the whole club and their guests,” Sherer said. “Spring semester you can find us hosting fundraisers for the Behavioral Science Conference of the North.”
The Behavioral Science Conference of the North, or BSCN, is an annual research conference hosted collaboratively by the UAA Psychology department and student clubs, according to its page on the UAA website. The conference is student-led, promoting research and development in the fields of Psychology, Behavioral Science and Human Services.
Other events hosted by thy Psychology Club include a Psychology Department meet and greet, a fall planning potluck and a suicide prevention training course.
The club also offers opportunities for students to participate in research through their Facebook page. There are surveys for students to take, as well as more formal psychological research through the UAA Psychology Research Portal.
Students who are taking psychology classes can earn extra credit for participating in the research if it is pre-approved by a professor. The portal currently does not have any active studies, but the site is updated once they become available.
Sherer encourages any student, psychology major or not, to check out the field of psychology.
“There are so many reasons [to be interested in psychology], but I’ll boil it down to a few: You begin to understand why people do what they do. You learn about yourself while questioning your sanity. You become open to other cultures and upbringings after learning their influence on someone’s life — an asset in the UAA community,” Sherer said.
The UAA Psychology Club meets every Friday from 2-4 p.m. in the Natural Science Building, room 202. Snacks are provided at each meeting.