Author: Emily Phillips
The Academic Quad was decorated with dozens of colorful tables and cheerful club members as students began pouring out of their morning classes to attend this year’s annual Club Day on Thursday, Sept. 4.
Each fall the Office of Student Life sponsors Club Day as a way for students to explore their interests, get involved with both the Occidental and greater Los Angeles communities and meet fellow students.
Many club representatives agreed that this year’s Club Day was the most organized to date. “I really appreciate that tables were set up and assigned before the event began,” president of Kappa Alpha Theta, Katie Lewis (senior) said.
Eager to find new members, some clubs gave away homemade baked goods and lollipops, while others distributed educational materials and flyers advertising their club. KOXY, Oxy’s campus radio station, even offered KOXY condoms in addition to t-shirts and stickers for students who took applications for staff and DJ positions.
“Tents or some sort of shade would have been very welcome,” Emily Ritchie (sophomore) said. “Perhaps next year we can move the tables to the Oak Grove.” Mia Zagaja (junior) suggested “cold drinks or treats” as another possible solution to the heat.
Many new groups emerged this year, while others have been long-time veterans of the day’s activities. The various clubs included organizations related to everything from sports, political and social causes, community identification, Greek Life and community service.
One of this year’s most successful new clubs, with nearly 100 students at their first meeting, is the Occidental College for Barack Obama club. Lead by five sophomores, the club’s goal at Oxy is to mobilize students in efforts to elect Obama as the next President of the United States.
“We plan on making sure that every Oxy student is registered and able to vote on November fourth and informed about the important issues facing our country,” co-president Derek Mazzeo (sophomore) said. Mazzeo has been a student leader for the Obama campaign in Southern California.
The primary activities of the Obama Club will be trips to Las Vegas and weekly phone-banking in the lobby of Haines. They are focusing on voter registration and outreach in Nevada because it is a swing state where the Obama campaign will have to work harder to earn votes. Their first trip to Las Vegas was Sept. 13-14, and there will be more planned between now and Nov. 4.
Another club making its debut this year is the Oxy Quidditch Team. “The Oxy Quidditch Team is for anyone who loves Harry Potter and who wants to run around, look silly and have a blast,” co-captain Emily Ritchie (sophomore) said. The team puts extra emphasis on having fun. “Often, sports are taken too seriously . . . so, our goal is to build a club for people who just want to have some fun while in college,” Ritchie said. Over 100 students expressed interest in the team during Club Day and they are looking forward to an enjoyable season with possible games against the Claremont Colleges later in the year.
Another popular group, recruiting 220 members on Club Day, is Yoga Club. Beginning its second year at Oxy, Yoga Club is led by Barry Ennis (senior), Laila Beth Tootoonchi (junior) and Jacob Goldstein (junior). The club meets three times a week, and two of the sessions are taught by Ennis. He has been certified through Yoga Alliance, has been practicing yoga for eight years, and now teaches an Ashtanga/Vinyasa style of yoga. According to the club, this style “is a power type of yoga used to build strength, gain flexibility, and increase body awareness.”
Overall, Club Day served its purpose of getting students more involved in their community. “Most importantly, many students showed up to Club Day, which will hopefully increase the number of participants in Oxy’s various organizations,” Katie Lewis (senior) said.
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