By Valery Perez, September 17 2019—
As a new year begins, so does the anticipation/dread of the course load about to come and we find ourselves in search of something to break the same routine of lectures, assignments and work. Wandering around the halls from class to class can feel lonely, as you struggle to awkwardly introduce yourself to classmates in hopes to spark a more meaningful connection other than just passing each other lecture notes from skipped classes. In an attempt to become involved in a community, looking at clubs can be a good first step in the right direction. However, looking through 334 club profiles can be overwhelming. Below are a few highlighted clubs to help give you some ideas about which ones you might like to join.
Outdoor Clubs: Calgarians are incredibly blessed to have one of the greatest neighbouring landscapes in the world — The Rocky Mountains. Locally born and raised individuals tend to take advantage of their beautiful backyard and be heavily involved in outdoor activities. Throughout the year, you can find them camping and hiking and being unafraid of winter while snowshoeing or skiing. Many are also interested in the conservation work that can be done and the knowledge gained from working to preserve the Rockies. The U of C has a variety of clubs that involve students interested in exploring the mountains, providing activities for individuals of various experience levels to get in touch with their inner adventure buff. The Outdoor Adventures Club is a group focused on promoting a healthy lifestyle through the outdoors. They offer group hikes and scrambles, rock climbing, and other activities meant for people of all experience levels. The UCalgary Parks Canada Club is a group focused on inspiring and encouraging students to explore Canada’s parks. As well as encouraging conservation. This club hosts events such as Learn to Camp, where they teach individuals how to do anything from starting a fire to packing their own mountain-appropriate first aid kid. They also plan on hosting an information evening with various speakers from the parks, with the purpose of informing and involving individuals in the conservation of the mountains.
Cultural Clubs: Many Canadians are also immigrants or have immigrant parents or backgrounds. Having a culture or cultures to which we feel connected to and make us who we are, helps to find common ground. The University of Calgary celebrates the diversity of its students by providing a broad range of social and cultural clubs. This allows students of similar backgrounds to expand their social network through the planning of potluck dinners, karaoke nights and other fun social events. There are 32 cultural and ethnic clubs to choose from, the Arabic Culture Club, the Taiwanese Students’ Association and the Polish Students’ Club. The Latin American Student’s Association (LASA) focuses on connecting individuals through various Latin American cultures. They are an active group that hosts potlucks, galas and a Year-End Fiesta. It is the perfect club to join if you’re looking to form connections with individuals from the different Latin American communities — Latin American ethnicity not needed.
Volunteer-Based Clubs: For those students interested in volunteering their time to organizations in Calgary, there are a few clubs affiliated with Calgarian volunteer foundations and organizations. The LINKages club is affiliated with the LINKages Society in Calgary, whose goal is to end the segregation of older generations in mainstream society. This is done through hosting various types of events, such as music nights or board game nights, where the older generation can connect with students. If people aren’t your cup of tea, Pawsitive Change might be the perfect choice. They are a club on campus affiliated with the Pawsitive Match Rescue Foundation in Calgary, an animal shelter that focuses on rescuing and housing animals in life-threatening situations. The Pawsitive change club focuses on recruiting volunteers for the Almost Home shelter, and hosting events to raise funds for the shelter’s needs.
This list does not begin to cover the variety of clubs offered on campus, but it does highlight some good ones. If you want to know more, visit the Students’ Union Club Hub website at https://suuofc.campuslabs.ca/engage/organizations. Many clubs will also be featured during the University of Calgary’s own Clubs’ Week from September 16-20. Club presentations vary daily, so make sure to visit more than once. See you there!