Looking to join a student organization this fall? Here are some of your options
Ahead of AU’s involvement fair, club leaders discuss how they’re gearing up for the semester
Ahead of AU’s annual student involvement fair, set for Sept. 5 from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on the quad, The Eagle spoke with several student organizations about how new and returning students can get involved with their groups.
From identity-based clubs like AU PRIDE to social groups like the AU Ballroom Dance Club, students should be able to find an organization that speaks to them. For a full list of AU-recognized student groups, click here.
AU Ballroom Dance Club
AU Ballroom Dance Club isn’t just for professionals -- it’s for anyone looking to learn a new skill or meet someone new, said Grace Guber, the club’s public relations director.
“We encourage people of every skill level to come out and try ballroom dancing,” Guber said. “Sometimes people feel nervous and think that if they’ve never done ballroom dance before that they can’t come to our club, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth.”
This past year, the club hosted their first dance social, which invited ballroom clubs from other universities as well as AU students to partake in a salsa class on campus. The club also expanded their curriculum to include advanced classes, Guber said.
The organization plans to host more free dance socials and introduce more styles of dance this fall. These classes are the best way to get involved and learn more about the club, Guber said.
“When people hear about the ‘Ballroom Club’ they might think that they have to dress a certain way, or they have to perform on stage, or that they have to pay to be a part of it,” Guber said. “You can walk in wearing sweatpants and a T-shirt with no dance experience and just try it.”
Last year, AU PRIDE, previously known as AU Queers and Allies, took on a new name in hopes of being more representative of the LGBTQIA+ community and promoting unity amongst the queer and trans community, The Eagle previously reported.
Political advocacy and community events that the organization hosted last year include National Coming Out day, a student drag show, a queer Halloween party and queer Thanksgiving, Sarah Everett, the president of the organization, said.
The group’s final event of the spring semester was PRIDE Prom, a collaborative celebration which included college students from around Washington. In the coming year, AU PRIDE seeks to expand the work they’ve done and deepen their roots at AU.
“We've got an ambitious programming and advocacy calendar,” Everett said. “We'll be building on our traditional semester events, PRIDE Prom and Queer Halloween, offering regular programming throughout the semester both for the larger group and for affinity spaces led by our community coordinators.”
Sister Sister AU
Though Sister Sister AU was only founded two years ago, the organization has quickly made its presence known on campus, with its Facebook group containing almost 100 members.
The mission of this organization is to “develop a community amongst women who identify as being a part of the African diáspora through professional,educational, and social events,” Aaliyah Lambert, recent AU graduate and co-founder of Sister Sister, said.
Lambert said the club was created for women of color to find a place on campus.
“It was started because during my first two years at AU, there wasn’t a place for women of color on campus to just exist and be themselves,” Lambert said. “Also, we just needed a place to meet one another, figure out what hair salons to go to or places to party.”
The organization has previously participated in healing circles for women of color at AU and held its inaugural “Strengthening the Bonds of Sisterhood Summit” in fall 2016.
AU Student Zero Waste Club
AU Student Zero Waste Club is dedicated to promoting zero waste initiatives across campus and encourage students to do what they can to help AU reach its zero waste goal, co-director Grace Pugh said.
According to Pugh, club members fulfill this goal by coordinating campus-wide events and programs, such as Opt-In Grab A Bin, which provides free compost bins that students can keep in their dorm rooms to make recycling easier.
One of their first programs of the year, which the club hoped to expand this year, is Project Move In/Out. The organization collected gently used items that others donated and had a giant yard sale during Welcome Week as a fundraiser.
“Those funds are used to send our club members to zero waste conferences, fund zero waste workshops such as green cleaning workshops, and fund trips to promote our love for the environment,” Pugh said.
Zero Waste will host its first meeting, or “Trash Talk,” of the semester on Sept. 10. Students can learn more about the organization through Twitter or emailing them at firstname.lastname@example.org.