Tea time in Lalumiere

Marquette's Tea Club invites members to sip drinks, make crafts

photo+via+flickr.com

photo via flickr.com

7:34 p.m. may be an insignificant time on the clock for many students, but it isn’t for Marquette’s Tea Club. Each club meeting starts around this time, known as “tea hour” because the numbers 7, 3 and 4 look like T-E-A.

The rule for members is to bring their own cups. They can make as much or as little tea as they desire. Arts and crafts supplies are also available during meetings.

Tea Club has grown considerably over the years. From a couple of friends getting together casually to becoming a school-sanctioned organization, Marquette Tea Club has attracted a diverse population of students. The club asks for donations openly, and members and sponsors have contributed to the club’s success.

Alika Recek, a senior in the College of Arts & Sciences and president of Marquette Tea Club, has been a member of the club since his second semester as a freshman.

“Our function is to educate our members about tea and where it comes from and how to make it,” said Recek. “We also get generous donations from Rishi Tea who has supported our club for close to five years now.”

This semester, club meetings are every other Tuesday in Lalumiere 262. Meetings are initiated by reciting a tea haiku in unison, a tradition originating with the club’s founders: Boiling, calm tea / standing strong in eager cups / together, we steep.

During club meetings, Recek said members can sample “up to 10 different types of tea at a time.”

Established in 2012, the organization is a complex and sophisticated club that celebrates its members and engages students and sponsors. The club advocates for environmental and social causes it believes in, but make no mistake; Marquette Tea Club is not politically affiliated.

“Last year we did a function for Earth Day and focused on the awareness of climate change … we provided free tea under the bridge and sold potted plants,” said Recek.

As president, Recek schedules all meetings, making it possible for Tea Club to host multiple events throughout the year.

The club has an upcoming event for members to tour Rishi Tea facilities and learn about how they produce and distribute tea and promote Corporate Social Responsibility. They also participate in O-Fest every year.

Tea Club does not have updated social media accounts, but they are planning to improve their profiles on websites such as Facebook and Twitter in the future.

Mason Howard, a senior in the College of Business Administration and treasurer of Marquette Tea Club, collects dues for outings such as going to a tea bar.

“I collect dues for outings … going to a tea bar or Rishi, and organize how we are getting there and how we pay for that … I also keep track of how we’re growing the club (in numbers) making sure I’m working in conjunction with our president and hitting targets,” Howard said.

Jeremy Onsrud, a sophomore in the College of Communication and a loyal member of Marquette Tea Club, attends regularly to take a break from the busyness of college life.

“The reason I show up every week is because even if you’re having a bad week, you can take that half hour out of your time (go to the club meeting) and forget about all the other stuff,” Onsrud said.