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Mysterious fliers direct toward Doctor Who group

By Chancellor Mills
On October 31, 2011

Students at A&M-Commerce may have noticed some strange posters showing up all over campus that depicted a blue police call box or simply read "Vote Saxon," as well as a time, place and location. These posters were actually a way to let students know about the time, place and location of the first meeting of a new "Doctor Who" club that is being started on campus.

Political science professor Dr. Jeffrey Herndon and junior history major Sarah Hays founded the group because they are both big fans of the show.

"Herndon and I actually talked on two occasions for about 30 minutes about Doctor Who – theories behind it and what not," Hays said. "So, we were thinking about how cool it would be if we started a Doctor Who club or organization. I figured it would be cool to start a group even if we just get together and discuss things."

According to Hays, the posters for the first meeting featured elements from the show, in order to ensure that the right people showed up. The blue box on the poster is known by fans as the TARDIS, which is the primary mode of transportation for "The Doctor."

"Dr. Herndon and I had various ideas about how we'd get the word out, but we both agreed that the advertising had to be slightly mysterious," she said. "We thought 'Wouldn't it be cool if we just stuck a TARDIS up with a date and a time and people understood what it meant?' If students put two and two together and showed up, it would be even more exciting. Instead of just slapping up an obvious advertisement, we thought stirring up a bit of curiosity might be more fun."

The club had its first meeting on Thursday, Oct. 20. There were about two dozen students in attendance.

"The meeting actually went really well and I was excited to see the number of people that attended," Hays said. "We seem to have a substantial number of Doctor Who fans on campus, and many of these fans were clever enough to understand the mysterious flyers that made up our advertising. There was a lot of enthusiasm from everyone involved. I definitely think we have the potential to be a very active organization that delves into the different aspects of comedy and philosophy within the show."

While he is a co-founder of the group, Herndon explained that the group was Hays' idea and that he would be merely acting as the adviser for the group.

"This was an idea that Sarah had and she came to me with it and I was gung-ho about it," he said. "[My job will be] to make sure we get rooms scheduled as we need them, make sure that the cops are here to let us into the building, and take care of that kind of stuff."

One student in attendance for the first meeting was sophomore pre-med biology major Ella Harper. Harper said that she was excited about being in the group – mainly because she would finally have somebody to talk with about the show.

"I'm looking forward to being able to actually have people to talk about ‘Doctor Who' with, because before now I know all of two people that watch the show," Harper said. "And it gives me even more of an excuse to talk about ‘Doctor Who' all the time."

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