Austin Coates, president of the George Fox Film Society (GFFS), is a transfer student from San Jose State University. As a student of animation and illustration, he found the lines quickly blurred between class and extracurricular club in his experience there. Looking back, he sees the relationship between large clubs (nearly 600 students) and lackadaisical faculty as a dysfunctional, even harmful, product of club dynamics.
He brings a sense of democracy and relational growth to the GFFS. The club meets every Tuesday at 8 p.m. in EHS 102. While some may easily dismiss , Coates sees it as somewhat more spectacular, more glass half-full. He insists that this is not just a CMCO club; accounting, theater, computer science majors, and more have all attended to share in cinematic art and life perspectives.
Coates leads the group with Christ at the center of his heart. It is one of his three main pillars for the club. His other visions are increasing the value of visual literacy – the individual interpretation of art or images – among students pursuing art or any other skill, and to keep the discussion of cinema’s core going on: the thinking, the talking, and the experiencing of life.
As a brand new club, getting established has been more of a tightrope walk than a cakewalk. The group, open to any and all, hopes for more students to engage in the meaningful conversations the club hosts.
At the end of the day, Coates just wants people to know about his passions. He believes in the joy of discussion groups, and he wants to see the GFFS shine from here on out.