By Mallory Sherwood, Staff Writer
Women on campus aren’t the only ones wearing skirts to class. Members of the Thistle and Harp Society, a new club on campus, proudly wear kilts as a way to celebrate Celtic heritage.
Acting president Travis McGuire, senior biblical text and music major from Amarillo, and vice president David Young, junior vocal education major from Austin, began the group because of the response they received from students last year when they first began to wear kilts. On Sept. 2, they conducted their first interest meeting with almost 10 people attending, doubling their expectations.
The Thistle and Harp Society is a co-ed group open to anyone interested in Celtic and Scottish heritage and traditions.
“What we really want to get out is that you don’t have to wear a kilt and you don’t have to be of Scottish heritage to be a part of this group,” Young said. “We want people who have a desire and a heart to do something good around campus and the community.”
Though this society originally began to make the sighting of kilts on campus more commonplace, the founders state a far more important purpose now.
“We want to be a presence on campus and provide a place where people can come and feel like they’re doing something productive with their time here at ACU, whether it’s educating the community [about Scottish heritage] to doing community service,” McGuire said.
The Thistle and Harp Society has 15 to 20 unofficial members. Once the members ratify their Constitution and finalize yearly dues, they will become an official ACU-sponsored club.
Beginning Friday, the Thistle and Harp Society will meet for the first time as a small group for Chapel in Room 213 of the Williams Performing Arts Center. This praise and worship Chapel will study the lives and works of Celtic Saints and is open to members and anyone else interested. A business meeting will immediately follow Chapel.
McGuire and Young said they hope to see their society grow in the future and to one day organize and conduct their own Scottish Festival, as well as celebrate Celtic holidays and begin Highland games, which are similar to track and field meets, but without equipment.
“I’m not going to limit the scope of what we could be,” Young said. “Sub T had to start somewhere, or Gamma Sigma Phi. We’re not a social club, but all of these places like us had a beginning. This is kind of the beginning place for us, and we’ll see where it goes.”
Interest is growing each week as people spread the word about the society, Young said, but many people are still not appreciating why the group wears kilts.
“How many people can I name off the top of my head who never wore pants?” McGuire said. “Alexander the Great, Plato, Aristotle, Moses and Jesus. It is just another way to remember the great men of history.”