By Casey Domski
NEW KENSINGTON, Pa. – Dozens of students showed up for Penn State New Kensington’s spring semester Club Rush. The event, which took place on Jan. 14 during common hour in the study lounge, introduced students to the wide variety of clubs being offered during the spring semester at Penn State New Kensington.
Students were treated to Poutine, a traditional Canadian meal of french fries, gravy, and cheese curds, along with a variety of treats from the various club tables as they browsed the spring club offerings. The various campus clubs also provided activities such as games and coloring to students.
Club Rush takes place each semester during the first week of classes, and encourages students to become actively involved with one or more of the many clubs offered on campus. According to The Penn State New Kensington’s activities page, Penn State New Kensington offers over 20 different clubs, which are open to all students of the New Kensington campus.
Penn State student Eric Bennardo is one of the many students who attended the Club Rush event and said he feels that the event it is a great opportunity to see what clubs are active on campus.
“Club Rush is a good way to see what’s being offered on campus, as well as interact with club advisors and members,” said Bennardo.
Bennardo also said he feels that being involved with clubs throughout his college career will benefit him in the future.
“It looks good for the future, to show that you were involved on campus and that you did more than just go to class,” explained Bennardo.
Clubs are an important part of the college experience and offer students the opportunity to build meaningful relationships, enhance learning experiences, and connect with people who share similar interests. Club Rush allows students to experience what a club has to offer without being fully committed to it.
Student Government Vice-President Marissa Russo said she feels that clubs on campus are an important aspect of the full college experience.
“If you just come to class and then just go home you are never going to fully enjoy all that college has to offer,” said Russo. “Clubs help provide a full college experience to students.”
GIG Club advisor Dave McGeary said he also feels that clubs are an important part of the college experience.
“Clubs bring a dose of reality to campus life,” said McGeary. “They bring people together to discuss real issues, ideas, and theories.”
McGeary added that he feels clubs help students further apply the things they are learning in the classroom into real life.
“Clubs provide students the opportunity to take what their learning and enhance it by engaging them in similar topics outside of the classroom setting,” said McGeary. “This in return benefits the students’ academic and personal growth.”
GIG club advisor Kayln Robel said that she feels clubs are one of the most beneficial parts of college for students.
“Clubs give students the opportunity to connect with others, and engage in the things they are interested in and passionate about,” said Robel.
Robel added that she feels that Club Rush is a great way attract potential future club members.
“Club Rush provides the opportunity for us to invite students to learn more about our club,” said Robel. “By giving us the opportunity to talk to students first hand we can get more students interested in the club and active in the club.”
When asked why she feels some students are hesitant about becoming involved with clubs on campus, Robel answered “time.”
“I think time is definitely a big part of it,” said Robel. “Most students have a lot going on and think that joining a club is going to be a much bigger commitment then it really is,” she added.
McGeary also shared his thoughts on why students are hesitant to become involved with clubs on campus, explaining that many students are afraid to try new experiences.
“I feel that some students are simply afraid of the unknown,” said McGeary. “Many students are afraid to start something new because they don’t know much about it,” he added.
It is important for students to remember that it is up to them to decide how much time a club will take out of their schedule. Clubs offer students the option of having minimal to full involvement, depending on what type of responsibilities the student is willing to take on. Many clubs also hold their meetings during common hour to accommodate students with full schedules.
For students who feel that the campus does not offer a club that matches their interests, Penn State New Kensington also offers any student the option to create a new club. It’s important to remember that when starting a new club all clubs must hold one monthly meeting, and complete one community service project per semester to be recognized as a campus club according to the Penn State New Kensington club guidelines.
Marisa Bailey is a Penn State student who recently created her own photography club for the spring semester; she said she wanted to meet students who share her passion for photography.
“I really just wanted to bring people who share my passion for photography together to share work and discuss ideas,” said Bailey.
Bailey said that she feels clubs are an important tool in getting to know other students.
“I feel that clubs are a really good way to meet people who share similar interests,” said Bailey. “Meeting new people is especially important for new students and freshman who are just starting out on campus,” she added.
Bailey said she encourages any student looking to start a new club to follow their passions.
“I really love photography, which is why I wanted to start a photography club,” said Bailey. “I would suggest that anyone who wants to start a club that they are passionate about contact student life to get started.”
Any student looking to start a new club should visit the student life office for a full list of requirements, or contact Director of Student Affairs Theresa Bonk.
The next Club Rush event will be held in the fall 2014 semester. Any student interested in learning more about the exciting clubs offered at Penn State New Kensington should visit the Student Life Office, or for a full online listing of clubs and activities, please visit: http://www.nk.psu.edu/StudentLife/43148.htm .