Club hub: campus clubs bring variety to student life

The U R Awesome Club gives students hugs, high-fives, and fist-bumps outside the ERB Memorial Union.

The University of Oregon, like many large universities, features a breadth of student clubs and opportunities. For newcomers, the sheer number of student organizations can be daunting, but getting involved in campus clubs is an easy way for students to find their footing. It might be exhausting to look at a long list, so the Emerald compiled a non-comprehensive list of some quirky, offbeat clubs on campus. For more information on student involvement, or to become involved with any of these clubs, visit

Table Tennis Club, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7 to 9 p.m. at Gerlinger Hall 220

Whether a novice or a young Ma Long, UO’s Table Tennis Club is a great place for anyone with the slightest interest in the classic British sport. At each end of about 25 tables, veteran players swing alongside novices, sharing tips and having fun.

The club is welcoming to new players. All the equipment needed is supplied by the club — paddles and everything. Freshman Adam Knox-Warshaw doesn’t consider himself a seasoned veteran by any means, yet still enjoys coming thanks to the club’s inclusive nature. The club is “accepting of all levels,” according to the new member player.

Junior Yue Lin has been attending the club’s events for the last three years and is even on its competitive team that travels to different tournaments. Lin incorporates the twice-weekly club meetings into her weekly routine and has built strong friendships in the club. When asked about her favorite part of the Table Tennis Club, she simply responded, “the exercise,” as she wiped a bead of sweat off her brow.

The atmosphere is inviting. Attendees are welcomed by friendly faces, caring players and the sweet smacking sounds of table tennis.

Warsaw Sports Business Club, Bi-weekly meetings Wednesdays 6 p.m. at Lillis 211

Interested in pursuing a career in the sports business world but don’t know where to begin? UO’s sports business club is the perfect place to start. Founded in 1993 by University of Oregon alum Jim Warsaw, the club offers students of all majors exposure to a variety of job opportunities in the sports business world. A $75 annual membership fee grants students access to one of the UO’s largest clubs and a multitude of networking opportunities.

A usual club meeting includes internship announcements, organizing philanthropic events and a guest speaker. NBA team presidents, NFL player’s agents and sportswear company executives are just a few of the many guests speakers who frequent Lillis Hall for the Sports Business Club’s meetings. Last year, Olympic champion runner and UO graduate Ashton Eaton spoke with the club about his Olympic sponsor.

Each month the club selects a group of members to make weekly visits to Portland companies and organizations such as Nike and the Trailblazers. The club also offers students the opportunity to travel to Boston and attended the annual MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference.

U R Awesome Club, Wednesdays at 6 p.m. in Straub 252

This club is all about spreading the love. Membership is easy — anyone with a positive attitude who’s down to make new friends and spread kindness across campus is welcome.

“The U R Awesome club is all about promoting kindness on campus and making sure all students know they have support,” the club recently posted on its Facebook page, U R Awesome UO.

This club can be spotted on campus wearing colorful, tie-dye shirts and doling out free hugs, high fives and fist bumps to willing passersby. During more stressful times of the year (particularly dead week), they host bubble-wrap popping events where students can squeeze their stress away.

U R Awesome club also hosts “speed-friending” events — similar to speed dating but without the awkwardness or pressure of romance.

University Film Organization, Tuesdays at 7 p.m. in Straub 254

The perfect place for UO’s aspiring student filmmakers, the University Film Organization (UFO) connects students interested in cinema. Throughout the year, the club sponsors workshops, interviews and a short film production. The UFO currently hosts TKTK members at its weekly meetings every Tuesday at 7 p.m. It’s the place to dive into everything film, especially for students who have video experience.

A lack of experience isn’t an obstacle for new members. The club centers each meeting around an aspect of film production, using workshops and games to give everyone small doses of knowledge. Need to learn how to direct actors? Those interested can spend half an hour blocking a scene before presenting it to other members. Working with lighting equipment can be a daunting task, so the club dedicates a week to training with floodlights and filters. UFO’s leadership also invites producers and industry workers for interviews, Q&As and professional feedback. In other words, the opportunities for young film lovers are plentiful.

Each year culminates in a club-wide production of a short film — and every member is involved in the process. In previous years, members wrote screenplays themselves and submitted them to the club. Members voted for their favorite to be produced. Films have covered multiple genres and styles, including action and horror. The UFO hosts a film festival at the end of the year, inviting filmmakers in Eugene to present their work to a local audience.

Cinephiles and casual film watchers are equally welcome.

Geology Club, Wednesdays at 6 p.m. in Cascade in 310B

Artesia Hubbard, an environmental studies major, started attending the Geology Club at her older sister’s recommendation. “Everyone was so inviting. It’s just a really, really good community of people,” Hubbard said.

Since her first meeting, Hubbard has participated in the group’s excursions to find fossils and other geological rarities, as well as regular club meetings. The club sponsors a few trips for its 40 or so members each term. Non-science majors are welcome to join, and Hubbard appreciates the diversity in the club.

“That brings us together and we’re all just completely different people outside of the club, but on the trip, it’s us all nerding out, having the best time,” Hubbard says. The Geology Club has weekly meetings and offers tutoring for students in Geology classes at Cascade Hall, according to its Facebook page.

Sailing Club, Tuesdays & Thursdays at 3:30 p.m. at Fern Ridge Reservoir

For students looking to catch the wind to some competition, the UO Sailing Club is the place to be.

The club’s roster peaks around a dozen. Usually less than ten members are active, and some have little experience to immediately offer. When the team recruits members during the university’s Week of Welcome, it’s normal for students who haven’t raced to join. And while the pressure associated with regattas is unmistakable, the club makes it a point to be welcoming and inclusive. Members practice regularly with Oregon State’s club, and meet on bodies of water like the Fern Ridge Reservoir. Despite the rivalry, the practices dissolve any animosity between the groups. For both clubs, sailing comes first.

The club’s laid-back nature doesn’t come without commitment. Spring is the club’s most competitive season by a nautical mile. The crew competes in four regattas throughout the year. In addition, they compete in three qualifiers for national events; if they qualify, members could be away from campus for up to 10 weekends. The regattas keep the spirit of competition alive, but still open to a wide range of people. Even if members don’t sail to a win, they sail among friends and family.

Divisi, Auditions Oct. 8 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., University of Oregon School of Music and Dance

The 2012 film “Pitch Perfect” isn’t influenced by just any college a capella group. It’s inspired by the novel of the same name, which is largely based on University of Oregon’s all female a capella group — Divisi.

As recipients of rewards from the International Championship of Collegiate a capella, Divisi has become a well-known group in the community. “Women’s [a capella] groups kind of get a bad rep because they’re like — boring,” said Divisi member Hailey Kristiansen. “But Divisi is one of those groups that tries to push the boundaries.”

At professional competitions, Divisi members often don their token red ties. They exude a powerful feminist vibe, especially during the 2005 performance that inspired the “Pitch Perfect” novel in the first place. Rather than sing a passive, more traditional set, the women sang a vibrant version of Usher’s “Yeah.”

Divisi’s current music director, Lily Kirwan, said its strong feminist undertones were something many female a capella groups hadn’t explored in their performances.

Since then, Divisi has continued to push its supportive, progressive vibe. “I think in today’s society we’re very proud of that,” Kirwan said.

Divisi rehearses three times a week for two-and-a-half hour sessions. They can be seen every Friday at the EMU Amphitheater at 4:15, just after performances from UO’s other a capella groups — On the Rocks and Mind the Gap — at 3:45.

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