When it comes to Matthew Wan’s philosophy on running a club, it’s pretty simple: Walk outside the night of the full moon, gaze at the sky and relax.
Wan, a fifth-semester molecular and cell biology major, is the president and founder of Moon Appreciation Club, a group of over 20 people who get together to have fun and destress when the moon is full.
The Moon Appreciation Club meets only once a month, on the night of the full moon. Club members gather at the flagpoles on the Great Lawn from 10 to 11 p.m. to appreciate the moon and hang out. Sometimes the club eats Insomnia Cookies or plays frisbee (because a frisbee is a disk like the moon in the sky).
Wan admits that oftentimes the moon isn’t out or that the club might have to go inside on cold winter nights, but that doesn’t stop members from enjoying each other’s company.
Wan says that he formed the idea for Moon Appreciation Club in the fall of 2017, when he and some friends went outside one night to appreciate the moon. Eventually, Wan figured why not make it into a formal club.
The club meetings themselves are not that formal or straight-laced. Wan wanted Moon Appreciation Club to be a hangout spot where members could destress and unwind. He wanted students to have control of how they spent their nights. Additionally, Wan notes, choosing to spend that free time with other people is empowering and fun.
“Most people go about their business in the daytime, so the nighttime is less restricted, it’s kind of a time for relaxation,” Wan said.
Though the meetings are pretty relaxed, Wan has had to contend with some misconceptions that Moon Appreciation Club is a sort of cult.
“I want people to know it’s not a cult,” Wan said. “It’s just a good, friendly time. Come in with an open mind, be open to making friends.”
The Moon Appreciation Club president wants the organization to remain a social club and has rejected ideas to turn it into a Tier-II organization. Right now, he’s happy that the club offers a much-needed relaxation space to its members and that members can easily make friends with each other. Wan emphasizes that the club is a good way for members to meet other students outside of their school year.
Though he’s the president and founder of Moon Appreciation Club, Wan admits that he didn’t always appreciate the moon. Despite the moon’s importance in Chinese culture, Wan never really gave it a second thought until he wasn’t able to go home and celebrate the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival with his family his freshman year. After going out and appreciating the moon with some friends, though, Wan decided to make the excursion a regular one.
“I think the most important thing is to appreciate the small things,” Wan said. “When making this club, I made a conscious effort to appreciate the smaller things, and that includes the moon, but that also includes my friends, and that includes my family.”
The Moon Appreciation Club can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stephanie Santillo is a senior staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at email@example.com.