By VERONICA JOURDAIN
Santa Fe- In addition to representing their own demographics within the overall student community, student clubs get the students of the school involved in student government and outreach to the community.
On Sept. 11, the Associated Student Government hosted the annual club drive. Only four clubs were able to make the event and only three set up booths: The Culture Club, The Horror Club, and The Writers’ Club (now called the Ex nihilo Club). Members of the Stickball Club showed up to play a game.
Despite a low turnout of students to the drive, the Culture Club, Horror Club and Ex nihilo Club are off to a running start.
The IAIA Culture Club: Still Going Strong
The Culture Club was formed unofficially during spring break 2007, when a group of friends decided to take a train to Los Angeles for the vacation week. The next school year, they decided to share their love of travel with the student body, and thus, The Culture Club was born.
“I like that about The Culture Club, that it had very simple beginnings,” says club president Nathan Romero. “”¦It has grown to something much larger due to the amount of people that joined, the seriousness of the people who joined, the fundraising, the community service and the responsibility beholden to the ASG.
“We realize now that we are one of the longer lasting clubs and that in itself is something”¦I feel we offer a paradigm of what a good club should be,” adds Romero.
Every year The Culture Club raises money to go towards club members’ lodging and a substantial meal or two in the destination of the club’s choosing. Transportation to and from the destination and all spending money are up to the students themselves.
Past trips of the official club have included New York City, San Francisco and Honolulu. The current goal is to go to Italy in the summer of 2011.
“In the preliminary planning stages, places we want to go seem far fetched, but in the end, we make it a reality,” says Romero. “We offer the student body at whole a club that is willing to go further in terms of its goals”¦and isn’t afraid to dream big and take chances.”
“I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to travel without the club,” says current co-public relations officer Katrina Montoya. “The club provides some of the resources and opportunity.”
A Club Advisor Who Gives His All
The club meets Wednesdays at noon in the conference room upstairs and is sponsored by Chad Gasper, advancement services officer.
“He truly is there when we need him and gives more of himself than any of us could expect””he goes above and beyond the call of duty of being there for the club.
“He’s our friend,” states Romero.
Both club officer expressed disappointment in the way the club drive was initially handled.
“I was truthfully disappointed at the first club drive,” says Montoya. “It wasn’t well promoted and the only students who showed up were those who knew about it, and those were members of the clubs.”
“It could have been planned better,” Romero agrees. “In the future, the club drive needs to have good publicity and needs to be during a central venue in order to be a success. You can’t tell people the day before and expect a crowd to show.
“I don’t think we need multiple club drives””we need to do it right the first time.”
The Horror Club: More Than Just Films
The Horror Club was started last year, but has already gained a reputation as one of the most successful on campus, as club members consistently provide entertainment via horror movie screenings every other weekend (and every weekend in the month of October).
“Basically, [it] gives them the option to put their fricking books down and take a break,” laughs public relations officer, Arnell Copperfield.
The club is sponsored by Steve Fadden and meets every Sunday evening at 6:30 after dinner, in front of the auditorium, where they host their movies. Meetings are open to everyone and students may suggest possible themes for upcoming movies at this time.
This year, the club has new missions””opening themselves up to various other forms of horror, and trying to involve all of IAIA in their future projects. An art show is in the works for next semester and the club is currently working on a dance set for Dec. 4, which will take both its name and its theme from Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas.
“It’s a chance for students and staff to get a better understanding of the horror genre”¦” sums up vice-president, Calvin Gleason. “I think it’s a chance to experience art that is deemed ”˜graphic’ or ”˜extreme’ and elements of the supernatural.”
Standing Out From The Others
“It’s different from all other clubs,” says Copperfield. “In a way, it could be ”˜deep’””how much hard work and dedication [the members have]. We have fun with it. We enjoy the club.”
When asked about the club drive, Copperfield stated, “Horror Club, Culture Club and Writer’s Club were a success because we attended ASG meetings. Due to [ASG’s] P.R., the drive wasn’t a success.
“ASG seems a little lax this semester””too focused on trying to change everything.”
In Copperfield’s opinion, ASG needs to be more “about the students.”
Gleason’s take was a little more optimistic: “I think we were the only club that got new members””thought it a success despite poor showing.”
Horror Club was one of the two clubs that showed up to the second club drive.
“Once again, ASG-P.R. did not successfully publicize the event,” sighed Copperfield.
Ex Nihilo””“Out Of Nothingness”
There have been a couple of attempts to start a writer’s club in the past few years, and none seemed to stick for very long. The current club, however, seems to show no signs of stopping.
They are raising money to send writers to the Association of Writers and Writing Programs conference in Washington, D.C. next year. They are also reaching out to their fellow writers and providing venues for them to read their work.
“We’re trying to come up with ways, through different forums so that writers can present their work to the public by going to open mic night, so that they can find their voice and get used to speaking in front of an audience,” says vice-president Melanie Ellis.
It’s basically another way for the public to interact with people from the IAIA Creative Writing program.
“We give students their voice””give them a chance to use their voice, whether it be for reading a poem or telling a story,” says club president Anne Nelson. “I feel that Native student voice is very important””not just here, but clear across the country.
“We’re the only Native American arts college, not just in the country, but in the world. A lot of very talented writers have come out of our school.”
Drawing Attention to Student Talent
Another way they’re trying to raise awareness of the department and the talents therein, is by trying to get a poetry page on the CHRONICLE.
The club meets Wednesdays at 12:15 in the Creative Writing Studio, and is sponsored by creative writing faculty members, Evelina Lucero and James Thomas Stevens.
“They both have club experience and we depend on their leadership, advice and experience in the writing field,” says Ellis.
Both officers were disappointed with the turnout from the club drive.
“I thought that there’d be more clubs,” says Ellis. “It would have been better on a weekday””lots of people are gone on weekends. People off campus don’t come on campus during weekends.”
Nelson stressed the importance of the clubs themselves: “It would be great if there were more clubs, then people would have more to do around campus. [It] would help to steer them away from drinking.
“It’s good to be part of a club for the interaction of it and the feeling of belonging to something.”
Let’s Try This Again”¦.
On Sept. 30, the club drive took place again, with even less clubs than it had the first time””only the Culture Club and the Horror Club had booths set up this time.
ASG released a letter to the clubs the day of the drive stating that the clubs themselves were responsible for the club drives and all public relations regarding their endeavors.
Oct. 7 was the last day for clubs to form or be reinstated, and a large number of clubs from last year either missed the deadline or chose not to be reinstated.
Here is a list of the active clubs for this year:
Writer’s Club [Ex nihilo]
Warrior’s Society Self Defense Club
Ethnic Food Club
Gay Straight Alliance Club
Breakin Bonez Hand Games
Copyright © IAIA Chronicle 2010