World Fest was held in the Aloha Center Sept.18-20 to give the hundreds of new students on campus an introduction to life as a Seasider. World Fest is the bi-annual event that allows all of BYU-Hawaii’s clubs, organizations, and activities, to advertise their groups to the student body. Three clubs that participated this year are the Music Club, the Aikido Club and the Samoan Club.
Brandon C.W. Johnson, president of the BYU-Hawaii Music Club and a junior in business management from New Jersey, said, “World Fest provides an opportunity for the clubs and activities here at BYU to get the word out about their activity, what they are going to be doing this semester, and what they plan on doing in the future.” Johnson and the Music Club booth was one of more than 40 booths and displays that filled the buzzing Aloha Center.
“I represent the BYUH Music Club,” Johnson said. “We sit here with a display and advertise our club and hopefully get people to join our club… It’s a great opportunity to spread the word to help get students here at BYUH to get to know each other and to become friends through the clubs here, as well as serving the community.”
Johnson said he is excited for the upcoming events in the Music Club. “This semester the BYUH Music Club has big plans. We rent out the Little Theater and have Open Mic nights, and we are planning a community service project where we are going to go to a retirement center here in Hawaii and play music for the elderly.” Johnson was as excited about the music as he was about making friends. He continued, “At the end of the semester, we have a great, big concert in front of the Little Circle that’s open to the school. We have bands perform; people perform original songs, cover songs, poetry. It’s a great way to get musicians here at BYUH to get together and to become friends.”
Groups such as the Aikido Club made their debut as official BYUH clubs at last week’s World Fest. Austin Kessler, an undecided freshman from Idaho, represented the Aikido Club, a Martial Arts group in its first year as an official club. “Aikido club is an amazing club,” said Kessler. “Every Tuesday and Thursday night at 7 p.m. we get together to learn various self-defense techniques, mostly techniques that don’t require much strength. They are very good for self-defense against a predator or enemy. It’s not based out of aggression. It’s just defense.
Kessler said he understands that joining martial arts can be somewhat daunting but assured people the club is good for everyone. “Just the other night, I had a 90-pound girl flip me on my back. Then I was able to flip my much larger, stronger instructor on his back,” Kessler explained. “So, your size or strength doesn’t matter. I had wanted to learn martial arts for a long time now, but I couldn’t find one that fit me. I’m not the strongest or most athletic person in the world but Aikido really fits the bill.”
Karen Logo, a member of the Samoan Club and junior in Pacific Island Studies from Samoa, said she was excited to explain all the Samoan Club has in store. “We have gym night, dances, balloon fights, and cultural games. We like to have fun together but also to learn more about Samoan culture.” Logo said she hopes the Samoan Club will be a place for people to come to enjoy themselves while still culturally enlightened. “Our biggest event is Culture Night where we will be performing traditional Samoan dance,” Logo said, “And you don’t even have to be Samoan to join.”