By ELIZABETH MORAN
Every floor in the University Center buzzed with excitement last Wednesday, Jan. 13, as more than 100 student organizations and clubs prepared to recruit new members during the spring semester’s Club Carnival. More than 300 students attended this year’s event, signing up with volunteer clubs, sports club and leisure clubs.
Although students may know about many clubs on campus (such as the a cappella groups or club sports), lesser known clubs are finding their own niches in the student community. For students like Grant Raycroft, junior English major, and Mark Quigley, junior math major, they found their own niches as officers in the Children of Time club, as well as the national club, Math Association of America, which has an on-campus chapter.
Raycroft is the president of Children of Time (which is also known as the University of Mary Washington Science Fiction Theater club). According to Raycroft, Children of Time “is a club for science fiction fans, we screen films and television.”
As a club, their mission is to foster and nourish a positive community for all students who enjoy all things science fiction. Although they do not typically host large events on campus, they have recently participated in the cross-club event called MaryWashicon. MaryWashicon is an event where the UMW Geek Alliance hosts events such as panels and discussions to celebrate anything and everything nerdy. The UMW Geek Alliance is a campus-wide community of clubs that many people might consider nerdy, such as the Video Game Club or the Western Animation Club. Last semester the Alliance hosted a cross-club Halloween Costume Contest, an event that was well received.
Gaining exposure at the Club Carnival not only recruits new members and spreads awareness about the unique club offerings that UMW offers, but for Raycroft, the addition of the UC is a welcome change.
“I like having the carnival in the University Center. It beats the heck out of the stuffy hot gymnasium. All that extra seating is mighty appreciated as well,” Raycroft said.
A twice yearly event, Club Carnival is what each club makes of it. For Raycroft, it depends on the club’s willingness to share their mission with their fellow students. The carnival does not promise members, however that falls on the clubs themselves. “It’s a great way to get your name out there and get new students excited,” Raycroft said.
For those interested, Children of Time meets every Friday at 9 p.m. in Trinkle 204. For more information, visit their Facebook page: UMW Science Fiction Theater.
For a club that mixes both academic and personal pursuits, try the Math Association of America. For Quigley, the club’s promotional officer, MAA is not what people traditionally expect. As a club, they tend to focus more on their involvement with the local community than just numbers. “We don’t do what you thing we do,” Quigley said. “We hold many events, like bowling with professors, t-shirt designing, holding meetings with free pizza, spring picnics and hosting a calculus tournament for high school mathletes.”
Students should not be discouraged by the word ‘math’, Quigley said. “It is a shame that people are turned off by the M in MAA,” since the club is more focused on community improvements and club fellowship. For Quigley, he hoped that the Carnival would be a chance to encourage future members as well as give himself a chance to advertise and share the club’s message that the MMA is meant to be a collaborative and enjoyable environment.
Unlike many clubs, they do not have weekly meetings, but that does not mean they do not have events. To keep track of their happenings, visit their Facebook page: Math Association of America at Club Carnival is a tradition that helps the many student clubs gain recognition, and thanks to the UC, clubs had a comfortable space to promote their goals and missions.
If you are looking for a club, you are sure to find the perfect fit thanks to the diverse clubs run by your peers.