“There’s an org for that!”
Does that sentence sound familiar? Perhaps you’ve exclaimed it, boasting that your institution has a student organization for every interest, hobby, or quirk.
At Presence, I’ve seen proof of that claim. My teammates and I frequently come across names and descriptions of organizations that intrigue us, delight us, and make us laugh — often all at once.
So, I thought I’d share some of the goods. Perhaps you can use this list to inspire your students, especially those who are still searching for “their people” on campus or who want to rev up their leadership skills. Or, simply read on for some laughs and to fall even more in love with the incredible spirit of students from across the country.
Art & Performance
1. The Tuba & Euphonium Falcon Club at Bowling Green State University
This group blows — musical instruments, that is. In addition to jamming out on the tuba and the euphonium (a similar brass instrument), members discuss music development, literature, pedagogy, and performance. They also engage professionally and socially with local tubists and euphoniumists.
2. Cirque du K at Kalamazoo College
Kalamazoo students don’t have to choose between running off to join the circus and attending college. Thanks to this circus arts organization, they can do both. Members perform throughout the year in aerial performance arts, partner acrobats, juggling, and more. And no experience nor double-jointedness is required; Cirque du K experts happily teach newbies.
3. Gosh Yarn It at Columbia University
Students thread together friendships through knitting and crocheting. Novices and experts alike are welcome.
4. Bad Movie Club at Bradley University
This club invites students to “Come on down to watch some of cinema’s worst!” Its over 200 members pick out critically panned films and have a blast laughing at the bad writing, acting, and directing. Recent screenings have included Sharknado 2: The Second One, Killer Klowns from Outer Space, and Attack of the Killer Tomatoes.
5. Feminist Film Club at Valdosta State University
In its leaders’ own words, this “is not your mother’s book club.” Members watch films of all genres and analyze them through a feminist lens. And they especially love watching films written and/or directed by women.
6. Bookaholics Anonymous at Rocky Mountain College
Members of this club span a variety of majors, but they have one thing in common: A love of stories. Student share their creations — including poems, short stories, personal essays, and more — and host discussions with local authors.
7. Hillsdale Hepcats Swing Club at Hillsdale College
These students have got a lot of swing in their steps. Each week, student teachers instructed both newbies and experienced dancers on classic dance forms like the Lindy Hop, Charleston, Balboa, and more. They also host “open dance” hours for anyone who’d like to freely dance the night away.
8. Wellesley on Tap at Wellesley College
No, this isn’t a craft beer club. Members of Wellesley on Tap serve up tap dance. There are two groups, The Troupies (for students with little-to-no tap dance experience) and The Troupe (for those with advanced skills). Performances go by fun titles like “Hot Tap Time Machine” and “Tappy Feet.”
Social Justice & Volunteerism
9. Adopt a Grandparent at Whitman College
Whitman students pair up with the residents of a local senior home to share stories with each other, play games, make crafts, read books, and more. The group has even hosted dances and carnivals at the senior home.
10. Adaptive Abilities Club at Marquette University
The members of this organization want to bring the joy of sports to everyone. They partner with local organizations to offer adaptive activities to children and adults with disabilities. Some of their most popular activities include rock climbing, downhill skiing, scuba diving, and wheelchair rugby.
11. Canines Companions for Independence — National
This national organization provides highly trained service dogs to people with disabilities and asks students to help. Over 18 campuses have CCI branches, with members educating peers on service animals, fundraising to buy puppy supplies, and even raising puppies full time in their residence halls or off-campus homes.
12. Challah for Hunger — National
Over 85 institutions have chapters of this international organization with a scrumptious mission. Student volunteers bake challah bread — often with fun flavors like chocolate chip, cinnamon apple, and garlic pesto — then sell the loaves on campus. The proceeds are then donated to hunger relief nonprofits.
13. Happiness Club at Northwestern University
The goal is simple: Make people happy. Members build sandboxes, cover campus sidewalks with positive chalk messages, play with Play-Doh, and so much more. Oh, and of course, they give away plenty of gifts to their peers, including stickers, hot cocoa, candy, compliments, and hugs.
14. Culture of Consent at Rhodes College
This activist organization describes itself as a “coalition of students dedicated to changing campus culture from one that normalizes rape culture to a culture of consent.” Members advocate on administrative policies, educate their peers, and develop programs to support survivors.
Hobbies & Passions
15. KSU Disney Club at Kennesaw State University
These students believe in magic – Disney magic. They embrace all things related to the Mickey Mouse company through moving screenings, game nights, bake sales, and more. Plus, they venture on over to Disney World together on annual trips.
16. The Drivers Club at the University of Texas at Dallas
Students might not be able to afford fancy schmancy cars, but they can still appreciate them! Members of this popular organization gather monthly on campus to gush about their shared passion and attend local car festivals — no drivers licenses needed.
17. Gravitas Animation Society at California State University, Los Angeles
This organization is a networking group, hobby club, and pre-professional society all rolled into one. Members gain skills in animation through workshops, demonstrations, and speeches. They also share success, discuss industry news, and exhibit their work.
18. Dungeons, Dragons, and Diversity at Otis College of Art & Design
These students take Dungeons and Dragons to the next level. Through playing unconventional puzzles and fantasy games, like D&D, members gain teambuilding skills, challenge their creativity, and have fun. It’s a triple win.
19. Baseball Statistics and Sabermetrics Club at Syracuse University
Here’s a definition you’re probably not familiar with:
Sabermetrics: The detailed statistical analysis of baseball data (as for the purposes of evaluating player performance and developing playing strategies)
Members of this club combine their passions for data and sports with discussions on sabermetrics, guest speakers, and a fantasy baseball league.
20. Brandeis Cupcake Obsession at Brandeis University
These students bake their cupcakes and eat ‘em, too. During meetings, members teach one another effective baking and artistic decoration techniques. They also host cupcake sales and simulate real business experiences, making it a tasty win for aspiring professional bakers.
21. Theme Park Engineering and Design at Virginia Tech
Members of this org don’t just love theme parks; they want to make it their career. In addition to chatting about their shared interest, members host Skype calls with Disney Imagineers, compete in Mario Kart tournaments, and play amusement park-themed video games.
Cultural & Identity
22. So-so Natural at Georgia Gwinett College
Natural is beautiful to this org! Members aim to empower not only each other but also staff and faculty to embrace their natural hair — curls, kinks, frizz, and all. They also discuss ways to manage and protect their hair, invite speakers who embrace the beauty of natural hair, and host creative events.
23. IC Mixed at Ithaca College
Much like its members, this group doesn’t fit into just one definite category. IC Mixed was created by and for students of color who identify as mixed, multiracial, or multi-ethnic, and transracial adoptees. Events have included a discussion on DNA tests, a Black History Month Collaborative Art Showcase, and a trivia night with questions about race, culture, and religion.
24. I.D.E.A.S at Los Angeles Pierce College
I.D.E.A.S — which stands for Improving Dreams, Equality, Access, and Success — aims to be a safe space for undocumented students and allies. Members give each other emotional support, share practical resources, and tell personal stories during weekly meetings. They also promote student success through social gatherings and workshops.
25. Dad Club at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts
At MCLA, you don’t have to actually be a father to embrace “dad-ish” things. This quirky group embraces “dad culture”, with students of all genders joining together to barbecue, wear Hawaiian shirts, play fantasy football, and of course, tell plenty of cheesy jokes. Leadership titles include Dad Supreme (president), Grandpa (advisor), and Bob Saget (secretary).
26. Ukelele Tree Climbing Club at the University of Wisconsin — Stevens Point
The enthusiastic members of this group climb trees, play ukeleles, and yes, play ukeleles from atop trees. They also perform concerts around town and instruct students on tree-climbing safety techniques.
27. SU Paranormal Club at Susquehanna University
This club isn’t normal, and members are proud of that. Believers and skeptics alike investigate spots on campus and beyond for paranormal activity. They also get their spook on at ghost hunts, classes on the paranormal, and haunted walking tours.
28. Zombie Educational Defence at Shawnee State University
Ironically, this is one lively org. Members theorize about the end of the world — not to despair, but to do fun team-building activities, shoot with Nerf guns, play board games, and more. Bring on the zombies; these students are ready.
29. Yelling Club at New College of Florida
I scream. You scream. Members of the Yelling Club at New College of Florida all scream — from a pedestrian overpass every Wednesday evening. The goal is to release some stress. Side benefits include group bonding and laughing at the sheer ridiculousness of what they’re doing.
30. Hammock Club at Southwestern College
These students just love to hang around. Thanks to a group deal with a hammock company, 20 hammocks are available for students to check out from the library — for free. Plus, for a $25 fee, any student can join the club and receive a hammock to keep permanently.
What are some other organizations you love? What do you wish existed? Let us know at @HelloPresence.