By Neal Chamberlain
Summer clubbing can be found all over BYU campus, but the only hangover from these clubs comes from too much Kool-Aid. Like the clubs of downtown Salt Lake, the BYU club scene is hopping with food, dancing and people looking for a fun social atmosphere.
Fewer clubs are available during Spring and Summer terms at BYU, but students are encouraged to take advantage of the clubs that remain active. Students can have fun, meet new people and find a place of belonging. The Break Dance Club, Laugh Out Loud, and The Mexican Student Association are a few examples of active summer clubs.
“It’s about the people,” said Alarie Graves, Vice President for Clubs. “Clubs, to me, focus on the individual joining a group and then enjoying themselves.”
Graves, 19, a Spanish teaching major from Denver, said students use clubs both for entertainment and academic purposes.
“A lot of times the freshmen are looking for entertainment. They are looking for fun and something to get involved in other than just hanging out with their friends every night,” Graves said. “Whereas, upperclassmen might start looking for something that can enrich their major, their hobbies or their interests.”
Clubs that survive during the summer are more entertainment-based said Josh Dickinson, Administrative Assistant for Clubs.
“These are the ones that cannot only bring people into the club to participate on a consistent basis, but they are normally the ones that have an appeal for the other students at BYU to come watch them [perform],” Dickinson said. “They have more interest and a greater pull at BYU.”
Clubs must be sponsored either by a specific department or through BYUSA. Whether its focus is sculpting Jell-O or teaching how to manage personal finances, Dickinson said the purpose of each club must meet the mission of BYUSA clubs.
“The mission of BYUSA clubs is to create places of belonging for BYU students,” Dickinson said. “A club should be focused on helping BYU students and should enrich the BYU experience for those students.”
Alejandra Guerra, 23, a History and Archeology major from Santiago, Chile, said her BYU experience has been enriched by her involvement in clubs. She is currently a member of the Chilean and the Anthropology clubs, but enjoys attending a variety of clubs. She said they help her to meet people like herself.
“Clubs foster a great environment for you to meet people,” Guerra said. “It’s kind of cool that you can actually meet more people than the ones in your ward or people in your classes. These are people who really have the same passions you have.”
The summer is the time to join clubs because there are fewer people and it is easier to make close bonds with other members, Guerra said.