Club Scene

On a campus of mammoth proportions, joining a student club can reduce your social possibilities to a manageable size

A college campus can be a lonely place when you’re surrounded by 30,000 strange faces. How do you establish a social circle when the pool of potential friends is so large? The advice of most socially satisfied CSUS students? Join a club! We took a closer look at some student clubs on campus and learned that, while they may have different themes—from culture to recreation to academics—they all share the ability to bring people of similar interests together. You certainly can’t find that level of prequalification on the traditional nightclub scene.

Ski and Snowboard Club:

Go to the snow

If you remotely like snow, joining the CSUS Ski Club could be the best $15 you’ll ever spend. Members are entitled to stay overnight at the club’s seasonal ski house at Tahoe’s North Shore for just $5 a night. There’s no better deal in Tahoe, unless you want to sleep in your car. Club president Josh Watson says club members often carpool to Tahoe and the ski resorts, making it easier and more economical to “get to the snow.” Josh himself spent about 40 days on the slopes last season, compared to just four days before he joined the club. Members enjoy discount lift tickets, free day passes and discounts at area ski shops. The Ski Club also sponsors the annual Ski Swap, which unites skiers and snowboarders with used and new-but-discontinued gear. Club activities aren’t restricted to the slopes: Members meet every Thursday during the school year for activities like bowling, shooting pool, eating pizza or attending a River Cats baseball game. or

American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE):

Build bridges

Want to impress your family and friends back home? Join ASCE and learn how to make concrete float. Each year the club participates in regional “Steel Bridge” and “Concrete Canoe” competitions against teams from other universities; last year, the Concrete Canoe team won the regional and competed in the national competition in Washington D.C. ASCE has a social side, too. “We’re all in the same classes together and we do a lot of strenuous school work, so this gives us a chance to socialize and do something other than school,” says president Brandon Morland. “Everything we do is fun.” Such as: monthly meetings at Round Table Pizza, annual gatherings at the Brew It Up brewery, and summer barbecues along the American River. Academic-type activities, in addition to the bridge and canoe competitions, include monthly student or professional presentations, field trips to engineering firms, and networking opportunities with working engineers. Probably the best benefit of the club, according to Brandon, is the connections you make. “It is a good résumé builder and puts you in contact with people who are already in the field and can help you get a job or internship,’” he says. “But it also a great way to meet people and make friends.” or

College Republicans:

Debate the issues

The College Republicans aren’t as much about pushing conservative ideologies as they are eager to encouraging political involvement. “We want to recruit people for the Republican movement, but we also want to make sure that people are politically involved,” says club president Joe Patterson. “Laws are being passed now that are going to have a profound effect on us—if we don’t get involved now, in 15 years it will be too late.” But yes, there’s still that ideology, and the club does have another agenda: to get more conservative and moderate views represented on campus. Joe feels that most organized lectures and discussions on campus are pretty biased to the political left. The club’s activities, such as a “Support the Troops” rally earlier this year, often draw controversy and protest. Says Joe, “Whenever we do anything on campus, it gets in the paper.” On the club’s agenda for next year: bringing in some Republican speakers, having debates with the College Democrats and sponsoring a “Conservative Coming Out” day. The club maintains a Web site with discussions forums on state, local and campus politics.

ASCE gets ready for the Concrete Canoe competition.

Photo By Jill Wagner

Geography Club:

Maps and more

No, they don’t sit around quizzing each other on state capitals and bodies of water. In fact, this is an intrepid group. In 2003, members took a spring break camping trip to Death Valley, planted 45 trees on campus, hiked Mt. Diablo and posted and tended owl boxes in Folsom. The club is comprised mostly of geography majors (who study geeky things like physical geography, global information systems and computer mapping) and other students who want to explore the world and have a good time doing it. The club was formed about a year ago, and president Catherine Lambert expects it to grow considerably, especially since “faculty are super-involved.” According to Catherine, the CSUS Geography Club is also responsible for coining the catch phrase “Geography is Bad Ass,” which is now sweeping across college geography clubs nationwide. or

Up Till Dawn:

Write all night

You probably thought the only thing you’d stay up all night to write in college was a term paper. That will change when you join Up Till Dawn, an all-nighter for a good cause: St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Tennessee. Each year, hundreds of CSUS students get together for one night—all night—and fill out standard letters to send to family and friends asking them to donate to the hospital. Last year, their nocturnal efforts netted $25,000 for St. Jude’s. While hundreds of students participate in the all-night letter-writing campaign, about ten students meet weekly to plan and execute the event and plan a huge party for participants in the fall. Former president Erin Gatton says “Being involved in this organization is an awesome experience that allows emotions to get involved because you want to help the kids at St. Jude’s so much. It is a GREAT feeling to know that you are helping people around the world.” Not to mention, it’s probably a lot more fun than writing a term paper.

A sampling of student clubs at CSUS includes:

Cycling Club

Paintball Club

Rock Climbing and Mountaineering Club

Yoga Meditation Club

“Geography is bad ass.”

Photo By Jill Wagner

Jazz Choir

Collective Reading Series Club

World Music Club

Investment Society

Philosophy Club

Arab Student’s Association

Black Residents For Ethnic and Academic Cultivation

Hmong For Arts and Culture

Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance

Queer-Straight Alliance

Jewish Student Union

Muslim Students Association

Sacramento Christian Fellowship

For a more complete list of student clubs, visit If you don’t find a club that suits your interests, it’s easy to start one.