Sounds of joyous laughter could be heard from the Aloha Center as more than 20 clubs encouraged students to join and participate in their activities during the Club Fest on May 8. Displays of traditional items from different countries were everywhere while the music of different genres was playing in the background.
Three new clubs, Vietnamese, Environmental Stewardship and World Club, were established this semester. Members of the presidencies said they wanted to build bigger and stronger communities through these clubs.
President of the Vietnamese Club Kai Phung, a sophomore from Hawaii studying history education, said due to the number of students from Vietnam on campus, he thought it was important for them to be together as they rarely see each other during school.
“It’s Spring [Semester] right now, but President Tanner [said he] has a big desire for more Vietnamese students to come, so I think one way that we can prepare for them to be here is to have a club. If they know there’s a Vietnamese club here where we have the food, the cultures… then they’ll be more comfortable to come,” Phung said.
Sam Clayton, a senior from Colorado studying marketing and president of World Club, another new club this semester, said World Club was made for students who did not have their own clubs because there were not enough people from their own countries to have one.
He said people from Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Nepal and other countries where students felt there was not much representation of on campus are encouraged to join so they can share more of their cultures.
“I want [students] to have a place where they can have fun and learn more about other cultures,” Clayton said. “Every week, we’re hoping to meet and just have a different activity from a different culture.”
However, it wasn’t only country-based clubs that were established this semester, but clubs with a desire to help the environment and the community, according to Tanner Smith, a junior from Oregon studying biology. Smith is the created the Environmental Stewardship Club.
Smith said he wanted to provide opportunities for students “to connect with other people with similar goals or thoughts as well as provide new perspectives to people who don’t have such thoughts.”
Kyle Hokanson, a senior from Oregon studying biology, said the club is for “anybody who wanted to broaden their perspective and wanted to learn more, whether [they] think [they] care about the environment or not.”
A variety of activities are planned by the three clubs this semester. For the Environment Stewardship Club, Smith and Hokanson said other than service activities, they will also have nature documentary movie nights and career forums. Smith said students should be “better stewards of the earth,” and he encouraged everyone to do their part in keeping the campus eco-friendly.
As for the World Club, they have Irish step dancing in their line of events and a Ukranian food activity as well. The club leaders said they hope to bring more people into the club through their variety of activities that will happen every Thursday at 7 p.m.
Xuan Hau Bui, a senior from Vietnam studying marketing, shared, “A lot of people like some Vietnamese food, so I think it’s a good [activity] to share with them some Vietnamese ways of cooking and have them eat healthier.” Bui also said they have plans to do service involving the homeless community in Chinatown this semester.