Once a term, Algonquin College’s clubs and communities do a member drive to showcase to students the range of groups anyone can join.
On Jan. 30, 18 of Algonquin’s 56 clubs and communities gathered in the Student Commons to advertise what their group is all about. Club founders and leaders set up several tables with games, prizes and sign up sheets where students got a chance to meet some of the club leaders and introduce themselves to like minded people who share a passion or heritage.
“I’ve joined two clubs, and it’s helped me branch out into things I never thought I’d do,” said Barkadley Magan, a business administration student. After joining both the chess club and the modern hip-hop club, he’s found himself trying new dance styles he never considered before.
“If you have any time, do it,” he said.
No two groups were the same at the member drive. The biggest group with over 300 members is the esports club. Sanctioned by TESPA, a network of students and club leaders that facilitate competition on the college level, they offer a wide range of video games to play casually or compete in.
The esports club was only one of the 18 groups present, with Chinese and Lebanese culture clubs, dance club and table-top gaming to name a few.
Brandon Carkner, a library and information technology student, staffed the table-top gaming group display. “Anyone can join,” he said. “We’ve had people who only knew about the concept and, through the club, helped them make the leap.”
Although member drives usually happen once per term, the coordinator for all clubs and communities, Sienna Benson, is hopeful that another member drive will occur after the mid-term break.
“Algonquin College is very lucky,” she said. “We have the ability to join a club or start one for free.”
Last year, 15 per cent of students opted-out of the ancillary fee for clubs and activities. This fee is under $5 and helps determine if official clubs get funding from the Students’ Association.
Benson encourages students to take advantage of the wide range of clubs and communities. “Get out there, learn what clubs we have and try something new.”