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Friday, August 23, 2019

Student Clubs Offer Fun, New Friends

Game on! Gamers who live to smash their opponents and hurl them across the room or defeat them with spells and wizardry have a place to battle for hours as members of one of WCC’s newest student clubs, the Video Game Club.

According to advisor Amanda Innes, a core group of 10 active club members swells to almost 30 when the semester is in full swing. This fall they will meet Mondays and Thursdays from 5:00pm to 9:00pm in a room set aside for the action.

“It’s a competitive atmosphere but not an exclusionary one,” said Innes. “There’s a lot of camaraderie and a lot of fun watching the action, and everyone gets a turn if they want one.”

Student clubs are a great way to meet people with similar interests. “Joining Orchard Radio gave me the chance to do things I wouldn’t normally have gotten to do,” said Stephanie Lonchar. “It’s a way to meet new people and get out of your shell, to do something different, something new. Each club has events and get-togethers. I think participation helps some students who aren’t very goal oriented or organized to get better at it because they’re expected to attend meetings and participate in events.”

Like Orchard Radio, which has close ties to the broadcast arts program, some WCC clubs have an academic foundation. “A lot of these clubs blur the line between a social and academic base,” said Ian Griffin, Student Development and Activities director. “We have a 3-D Animation Club that is a spinoff of the program we offer here, and students in the Nursing Club sponsor awareness events like the Go Red Day on campus to promote awareness of heart disease. They set up in the lobby and monitor heart function, something they’ve trained for in class.”

Arts Club members have enjoyed trips to galleries and special exhibits, including the traveling King Tut exhibit when it stopped at the Art Institute of Chicago several years ago. The College’s largest club is Phi Theta Kappa, with about 300-350 active members and almost 4,000 members in total.

Finding a club and signing up for it are easy. A list of clubs is available on WCC’s website and all of the clubs are managed at OrgSync, where students can log in to join an existing club or even start one of their own. Starting this fall, the process will become even more streamlined as WCC’s website and OrgSync link up to make information more readily available to students. Any student who is unfamiliar with OrgSync is welcome to attend an informal training session hosted by the Student Development and Activities office on Sept. 1 and 2.

“One of the nice features of OrgSync is that people can search for special events on the site and RSVP for them without having to put their information back in again because it will already be part of the system,” said Griffin.

Students who can’t find a club that fits their interests can start a club by completing a form. “It asks questions like who is your club president and who are your officers, what are three goals for the club in the coming year, what’s the club’s purpose, what major events might it plan. It doesn’t ask you to develop a mission statement but it suggests you might want to do so,” said Innes. “It also asks if you have an advisor and if you don’t that’s OK; only academic clubs are required to have one, social clubs are not although we advise that they get one. It’s much easier to get things done when you have someone on campus you can go to. The form goes to Ian and he reviews it.

“It’s up to the clubs to monitor attendance and engagement, and different clubs will have different expectations,” said Innes. “The Yoruba Dance group is not going to have the same level of participation as maybe the Gay & Straight Alliance might expect from club members for an event.”

More details about WCC’s clubs will be available at information tables during Welcome Day on Sept. 15.

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