Clubbing on campus

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    By Kimberly Jones

    No girls allowed.

    Being left out of the clubhouse is a haunting childhood memory most people can relate to. And for many people it is a natural instinct to want a place to belong.

    But this year, BYUSA has made it easy for BYU students to find, or create, a place where they fit in.

    Meagan Lake, vice president of BYUSA clubs, said BYUSA is striving to create a community environment on campus. Students can choose from one of the 66 clubs available or they can start their own.

    ?We concentrate on making homes for people,? Lake said. ?We want to create a sense of unity for people who don?t feel like they fit in anywhere else.?

    BYUSA officers encourage students to display and share their lifestyles, hobbies, talents and culture with other students on campus.

    ?This is a place where diversity is celebrated,? Lake said.

    And there are some diverse clubs.

    Giovanni Vazzini helped start Fratelli, the Italian cultural club that won an award from BYUSA in January for the ?club that makes you want to change cultures.?

    Vazzini said BYUSA offered the assistance and resources he needed to have more student input and create additional opportunities for students that want to learn more about the Italian culture.

    ?We want to promote Italian culture beyond the Italian courses offered at BYU,? Vazzini said of the Fratelli club, which now has 150 members.

    Whether they are popular or not, BYUSA offers a wide range of clubs for a wide variety of students.

    The Brat Pack is a new ?80s appreciation club that just recently joined BYUSA. Brat Pack members plan dress up days and are preparing for fall activities, including Jazzercise and dancing with Richard Simmons.

    For students that feel they are too tall, there is a club for that, too. The 2Tall club serves as an instrument in bringing tall students together. The only requirement: women must be at least 5 foot 10 inches tall and the men must be 6 foot 2 inches. Students who want to enhance their musical abilities can join ABC Whistling. The mission of the whistling club is to give all BYU students who lack musical talent in the fields of singing and instrumentation the opportunity to brighten BYU?s campus through whistling.

    Other clubs offered include the Knit Whits knitting club, True Edge stage combat club and many cultural clubs, reflecting the diversity of students on campus.

    But for students who can?t find a club conducive to their needs, there is also the option of starting their own. BYUSA encourages students to charter their own clubs through an online process available at clubs.byu.edu.

    BYUSA helps the clubs by providing ongoing training and free representation and publicity at a variety of events throughout the year. Clubs are also given rights to a Web page, advertising and scheduling abilities in the Wilkinson Student Center.

    Chris Giovarelli, assistant to the president in BYUSA, said the students are top priority to BYUSA and they will do whatever they can to help the clubs get going.

    ?The students are at the top,? Giovarelli said. ?We are here for them.?

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