I don’t know if anyone else has picked up on this, but even though they may sound like it, CofC events such as Cisternfest, Georgestock and Cougar-palooza are not, in fact, international music festivals. They are, however, conducive to meeting new people, getting free food and goodies as well as finding a fun place to get involved on campus.
On Saturday, August 23, students from all backgrounds, majors, interests, religions and hobbies walked up and down George Street collecting brochures, listening to music (most notably “No Scrubs” by TLC) and making like bandits with tons of free goodies. Over 120 clubs at CofC are hoping to have attracted new members to their various organizations. Think of it like a job fair, but subtract the pressure, resumes, sweaty handshakes and uncomfortable high heels. Students looked for groups in which to get involved, groups in which they belong. And belong, they will.
With a variety of clubs spanning from the Atheist-Human Alliance all the way to the Belly Dancing Club, there was a table for everyone. And that’s not to say that the people who don’t fit in to any of those 120 clubs can’t start something equally as wacky on their own with 10 other people who share the same interest (CofC Cheese Club, we’re looking at you).
Among the tables at the fair was the CofC Rotaract Club. Fairly new to campus, after just starting at the beginning of the Spring 2014 semester, the members of the Rotaract Club strive to expand the continuum of service and change by addressing the needs in their community. A member named Ellie Flock said, “The focus on being embedded in the community as well as internationally gives us a double edge.”
Since it was established, this service-oriented club has already raised money for a local non-profit organization through a screening of the film “Girl Rising.” Vice President of the Rotaract Club, Jake Saxon, believes the club provides opportunities to fulfill personal service projects as well as ones on a greater scheme Sayon said, “As a member of the Rotaract Club, you have a chance to work on professional and self development.” This year, the Rotaract Club wants to focus on building up local opportunities to promote social change.
Under a different focus, the Anime Association proudly called on the masses to join their club that they say “caters to everyone.” Anime Association President Jordynne Von Ins said, “Even if you don’t think you would like anime, it’s a lot of fun, something new, and not an exclusive club.” Some of the activities provided for members include watching an entire anime series each semester, traveling to anime conventions and putting on an annual 2-day, student-run convention that attracts 400-500 people. “It’s a bigger social community,” said Von Ins. “A lot of the members are friends outside of the club.”
Another organization that is stepping out on campus is aptly named WeRISE. We RISE, an acronym for Women
Reaching Independence through Support and Education, was founded on campus by two members of a sorority who wanted to expand the realm of sisterhood to a greater scheme on campus. Although the group is based on women’s empowerment, president and co-founder Shaenna Lambert said, “Men are always welcome to come to events.” Some events that the group has put on include spa days and partnership events with the Girl Scouts of the USA. Lambert said,“We are still in the process of growing. We really want to see what people want from their community and from their lives as a whole.”
Although there may not be copious amounts of LSD and dreadlocks, events like Cisternfest allow students to enjoy the fresh (or rather humid and thick) air, listen to trendy tunes, snag some free buttons and pens and find somewhere to fit in to the hustlin’ and bustlin’ community that is the College of Charleston.
Dates for a real “C of C-oachella” are yet to be determined.