One of the many things Juniata College is known for is the variety of student-run clubs our campus has to offer. We’ve got something for everyone, such as Juniata College Dance Ensemble, College Against Cancer, Self Defense Club, JC Divers, Ping Pong Club, Globalization Alliance, and Juniata College Star Wars Club. Every fall, we have an event on the Quad called Lobsterfest, which is our version of an activities fair. Every club sets up a table with information, snacks, and games, and students can roam around the club, learn about different clubs, and sign up for the ones they are interested in. If there’s something you’re even remotely interested in, we probably have a club for it. But what if we don’t? What happens then? Luckily, it is super easy to start your own club!
As a member of the Theatre Department, which is relatively small, we have become a very close-knit community. Although we are all close, we are always trying to expand our department and find new students to take our classes and workshops! At the beginning of last semester, some of the students, faculty, and I decided we should start a Juniata Student Theatre Ensemble, as a club separate from the department. Thankfully, it was really easy for us to come together and get our club approved! All we had to do is fill out a form for SECA (Student Engagement and Campus Activites Office) answering questions about our goals, mission statement, ideas for possible events, and students who are interested! We had a really surprising turnout for our interest meeting, and we had almost fifteen members right off the bat! We have a really talented team of officers running our club, and we started out really strong. Of course, the first few months after starting a new club can be tricky, because you don’t immediately have funding from the school, and it’s difficult to just jump right in and begin hosting events. We worked together as a club to decide what events and projects interested in, and took our time getting things done. This semester, we came back stronger than ever. We have three different events planned for our club, including a staged reading of a student play, a collaborate night of monologues/poetry to support Women’s History Month with the Poetry Club, and a stress-buster event for the end of the semester. Although we’re still building our club and working on becoming more well-known on campus, I’m so excited to see where this club goes!
Starting something new from scratch can be very nerve-wracking. Especially you have a small department backing you, and not many people know or support your idea. However, our club is growing and is planning some really exciting events, and everyone involved is becoming better friends, which I believe is the most important thing about being a part of a club.