English Literature Students’ Association (ELSA) Gearing Up for a Busy Year


In 2016-17, after a hiatus of a couple of years, the English Literature Students’ Association (ELSA) was brought back to life by co-Presidents Aiyana Mckenzie and Rachel Narvey. Now that they’re in the second year of their term, we thought that it would be a good time to hear from them about the organization and their plans for it going forward.


ELSA is a student group for English literature students. It serves as a “home base” for students as a place to meet other English students and connect, have fun and take a break from stressful university life. One of ELSA’s goals is to connect students to department resources and increase dialogue with the department. ELSA has bimonthly meetings and attempts to do a fun get together once a month.

What prompted you to resurrect ELSA?

We were both really involved in the English creative writing community on campus and had heard about ELSA from students who had been involved with it before. There was a sense that “someone had to restart ELSA” but no one had really stepped up to the plate. We acknowledged that for English students, those outside creative writing, there wasn’t much of a community for students. From examples of other active student groups on campus and the way they were so central to the student body within their faculties/departments, we saw that this is something that we wanted to bring back to the department.

What happens at ELSA meetings?

At ELSA meetings we plan fundraisers and activities (pub nights, bowling, board game nights, etc.), talk about what members want to see from the group and we recap important news in the department or within the group. This is also a space to chat, unwind and catch up with each other. Snacks are provided.

What are the future plans for ELSA?

One of ELSA’s largest goals is creating a permanent communal space for the English department students, like getting the common room unlocked. We want to continue to grow the group, have further outreach and gain more members. We would also like to be able to create more resources for students no matter where they are in their degree. ELSA is interested in further collaborating with the department to ensure student satisfaction.

Who can be a member?

Any student currently in any English program or anyone wanting to learn more about the department or its programs.

What should students do if they want to join?

Those interested in becoming members are encouraged to join our Facebook group, UW ELSA - English Literature Student’s Association (we’re most active on there) or send us an email at