With Lake Erie just a few blocks away, there must be a club that lets students interact with this beautiful site. Megan Bessel felt the same way when she arrived at Gannon her freshman year, and for the past four years she has been enjoying as much of the water as she can through GUST. GUST is Gannon University’s sailing team. This club is a group of students who learn how to competitively sail 420’s, small, 2-person sailboats. GUST then travels for competitions where they sail against other college teams. I sat down with Junior Physician Assistant major, Megan Bessel, to discuss her experience with this club team.

This is currently Bessel’s third year sailing with GUST, never having prior knowledge of the sport until she came to Gannon.

Megan: I first heard about GUST when an admissions staff member came to my high school. He had mentioned that Gannon loves to come up with acronyms for everything and his personal favorite was “GUST” which was the Gannon University Sailing Team. I remember thinking to myself that it would be so awesome to learn how to sail! I told my freshman roommate about GUST and we found their table at the Activities Fair, signed up, and have been sailing together ever since!

While sailing doesn’t directly relate to what Bessel wishes to do when she leaves Gannon, it does provide her with an on campus activity as well as a new hobby she has grown to love.

Megan: My favorite aspect of sailing is that it is a skill that I can use for the rest of my life, whether I decide to continue sailing competitively or just recreationally. In addition, it is nice to get off campus a few times a week and go make use of this Great Lake in our own backyard. Not to mention it is a great stress reliever!

Megan hopes to leave Gannon and head into the field of dermatology or surgery. She notes how GUST has helped shape her as a person and given her a new opportunity to thrive on campus.

Megan: GUST has helped me form so many new friendships and helped me develop my personal leadership skills. I met two of my best friends through the sailing team and have worked my way up from being a brand-new sailor with no previous experience to the team recruiter. We also have an amazing coach, AJ Miceli, who is a breadth of knowledge on sailing and works extremely hard to make sure we all have the best experience and pushes us to be better at every practice.

GUST’s season starts at the beginning of the fall semester. If you are interested in joining GUST, you can go onto EngageU or contact Megan Bessel at bessel001@knights.gannon.edu for more information.