New clubs, such as the Dip Club, All About Asians Association (AAAA), EC Rock Climbing, Puzzle Club, Taxidermy Club and Gay Clay are expected to be at the Eckerd College Fall Club Fair Sept. 21, 2018.

As Autumn Term comes to an end, first-year students have already taken their first steps in being integrated into the College community.

For first-year Cedrica Jackson, having clubs on campus is exciting because it serves as a place where peers can interact through similar interests as a community.

“Clubs are a way for people to get out there, you get to know more people and you find where you belong,” Jackson said.                                             

The spring chartering for clubs allowed students who were already present on campus to make room for the renewal of existing clubs and proposals for new clubs.

For those who have new club ideas but missed the deadline, there is still plenty of time. The fall chartering ends at the end of September for all those who missed the deadline in spring. This is open to first-years who would like to share their new ideas with the rest of Eckerd’s population.

“Their names of the clubs are kind of self explanatory,” Jessica Piper, the coordinator for campus activities and programing for student leadership said. “There’s a dip club, I’m assuming it has something to do with different kinds of dips for chips.”

Clubs also provide the perfect opportunity for self-discovery, according to Piper.

“I believe academics are very important but getting involved at Eckerd definitely makes it a more fulfilling experience,” Piper said.  “Whether it’s being a club head or just trying out a bunch of clubs when you get to college is the perfect time to see what you like.”

Most pre-existing clubs, like the EC Garden Club and EC Photography Club, do not require any former knowledge of gardening or photography and clubs like the (AAAA) and the Afro-American Society are all inclusive to all cultural backgrounds. During the club fair everyone is encouraged to participate regardless of experience or background.

For Jackson, the Afro-American Society is the most appealing to her on the list because it gives her a chance to experience people who may share the same cultural experience as her.

“At my old school we didn’t have much involving African Americans and now I feel like I have a chance to be around people like me,” Jackson said.

With any questions regarding sign up, Lova Patterson, the associate director of Campus Activities, is a great source who for years has worked closely with club planning.

“Our clubs and organizations are a vital part of the community we have here,” Patterson said.

Leadership skills and growth are two attributes that Patterson has seen over the years in students who partake in club activities.

“I’ve watched some students come in door not wanting to be involved in anything and ended up being directors and club heads and have really thrived,” Patterson said. “It’s just like anything in life, you have to start some place.”

For Patterson, the biggest thing is to find out what’s available.

“No one specific media works super well. Because we are a small campus, a lot of what we do is face to face,” Patterson said.


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