Students from different countries presented their national flags, cultural arts, and traditional costumes in the Club Fest held in the Aloha Center from Sept. 17 to Sept. 18. Clubs provide students a way to discover new cultures, stay close to the culture of their mission, or just meet to have fun.
About half of the clubs available this semester are either brand new or clubs that were once inactive but got reactivated this semester, according to Logistic Supervisor of the Student Leadership Oscar Ip, a sophomore from Hong Kong majoring in business management. He shared, “You can see clubs of different interests like the Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) and the Book Club. The Australian Club is reactivated.”
Besides from clubs representing countries, there are clubs founded for recreational activities including Ultimate Frisbee Club, The Gamer’s Club, and even Pokemon Go Club.
Academic clubs can also be found, such as Healthcare Professionals, Prelaw Society, and Professional Accounting Society. A total of 44 clubs are available this semester according to Student Leadership.
Clubs relating to your mission
Aurelia Wilcox, a junior from Florida studying integrated humanities, said joining clubs has helped her connect with people who speak her mission language. “[The Hong Kong Chapter] brings me such a good feeling of nostalgia. I have loved the people I’ve met and reconnected so far.”
Wilcox said the chapter activities not only reminded her of her mission in Hong Kong but also helped her experience the diversity at BYU-Hawaii. She said she felt as if someone could be “immersed in the language and culture, yet everyone is so open to meeting new members from anywhere and everywhere.”
While some countries only have a small number of students on campus, they are geographically near. Students from those countries grouped together and formed combined-country clubs such as the Singapore-Malaysia Club, the Latin American Club, and the European Club.
The European Club is open to all European students and to those interested in European culture, said Autumn Wahl, the president of the club who is a sophomore from Germany studying HTM.
Wahl said they will share the European culture in their activities. “One thing we’re hoping to do is an etiquette night. The way we use knives in Europe is different from here. We’re also going to celebrate Christmas because Christmas is big in Europe.”
Clubs that support your hobbies
Michael Ling, a freshman from Hong Kong studying biomedical science, commented how it’s good to have other diverse and interesting clubs not representing countries, such as Pokemon Go club and Anime Club.
The purpose of the Pokemon Go club is to connect students who play the game together in order for them to get rare Pokemon, said Isaia Mafi, the president of the club. He said, “You can’t play the game by yourself. We can work together to get the stronger Pokemon we want.”
When asked why they still keep playing the game, Mafi said it has been updated and the new elements of the game have brought old players back into the game, which made them confident enough to establish the club.
“[The app has] been adding new Pokemon. You can trade Pokemon now. Now, it’s just a very different game. If you’ve played before, now is the time you should come back,” said Mafi, a junior from Colorado studying psychology.
Clubs with a purpose
The Campus Cats Club intends to educate people about the conservation of cats in order to provide stress relief and peace for them, said Sarah Lukov, the treasurer of the club and sophomore from Laie majoring in biology.
Lukov said they were even planning to visit a cat cafe as a club activity in the future. “We can just have a party and talk about cats. It’s really fun.”
Students can sign up to join school clubs here.