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Clubs making real change on and off campus

Ceerous Soudid, Lily Dagenais and Jocelyn Rankin are mastering their knitting skills at Clubsfest on Jan. 27. Knitting and Handwork club members are planning to donate their scarves to Syrian refugees.

Ceerous Soudid, Lily Dagenais and Jocelyn Rankin are mastering their knitting skills at Clubsfest on Jan. 27. Knitting and Handwork club members are planning to donate their scarves to Syrian refugees.

Knitting or playing video games, singing or learning new languages, starting up your business or  even saving African children from malaria is what 49 clubs at Algonquin can offer its students to prove that college life is not just about studies.

Patrick Newell, Clubs and Communities Coordinator at Algonquin, is sure that the best thing about clubs on campus is that they’re a student run initiative.

“Students are stepping forward saying this is what we care about and this is what activities we want to participate in, ” commented Newell.

Among the 42 clubs currently presented at the Woodroffe Campus, the most popular one is the Video Game Club. Its Facebook page has over 300 followers.

“We have a lot of different people with different backgrounds coming together. We have  family people who have kids and we have younger people too. There’s no age barrier for that. If you’re good – you’re good and we have to respect that,” said Will Au, a spokesperson for the club.

“A lot of energy and hype,” Au named as the reason for the club’s success.

If one’s looking to release their creativity than the Glee Club could be a perfect place for that. The club was created as a platform for musicians to get together to learn some music. From pop to jazz, the members are opened to many genres.

“The only talent you should have to become a member is the love for music,” said Matthew Dever, administrator of the club.

For students with a business vein, there is a Start Up at Algonquin, club that combines both entrepreneurship and coding skills for the students to help them get from a business idea to a final product with the help of mentors.

Despite the fact that the most common reason to join a club is to socialize, some clubs are aimed at making real change on and off campus.  One of them is Spread The Net, a student nationwide competition between schools initiated by Rick Mercer and Plan Canada. Its main goal is to raise money to prevent malaria in Africa.

“By raising money for just one bed net it can help the entire family for up to three years,” said Merissa Reed, a member of the club.

She added that in the last three years Spread The Net raised more money than any other post-secondary institution across Canada.

Knitting and Handwork Club is another community that has plans to direct its efforts towards the charity track by making 2,500 scarves for Syrian refugees to help them survive the winter.

Annika Dyck, a president of the club, said she is trying to find a way to contact the initiators of the campaign to send them a few scarves.

If one doesn’t find a club to meet their interest, there’s always a way to make up a new one by filling out the online application form and submitting it onto the Students’ Association website. The possibilities can be endless as long as they fulfill the Algonquin’s “core values of caring, learning, integrity, and respect.”

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