Nov 6th, 2019, 12:13 PM

More Than Posters: The Struggles of Joining Clubs

By Drew Barnes
brown table surrounded by chairs
Image Credit: Benjamin Child

AUP has a variety of student-led clubs and activities but freshman students are significantly less aware of the available groups, likely due to ineffective advertising and limited community space on campus. 

"What the hell is futsal?” freshman Ava Patino said wth confusion. According to Viking Sports Club Paris, “Futsal is a variant of football played indoors. The game is played 5v5, but for many students, there is no simple way to discover this information.

Image Credit: creative commons user Daniel GarridoH

AUP’s sports program offers men’s and women’s basketball, women’s volleyball, men’s futsal,both men and women’s equestrian and co-ed dance. Many freshmen are unaware of these opportunities despite the fact that there is a designated section of the AUP website devoted to the sports opportunities at the school. 

Image Credit: Creative Commons user rgordon

Clubs are slightly more complicated. The AUP website does not have a space where students can see a static list of official clubs registered with the administration. At most, there is a list of events happening on campus that has become obsolete with the use of the Corq app which lists and filters the events available to students. 

“I knew the clubs existed but I had no idea how to get in contact with them.”

This lack of clarity makes it more difficult to engage with the somewhat scattered community of AUP. The most direct interaction that students have on a regular basis with clubs and activities is through the collage of posters in the stairwells in the Combs and Saint Dominique buildings or the weekly events email that is also a reflection of the function of the Corq app.

This can lead people, like new member of the dance team Annika Zoetmulder to say, “I knew the clubs existed but I had no idea how to get in contact with them.” During freshman orientation, there was a club fair and while the sports were well represented, there was no representation from any individual clubs.

In what for many is a foreign country, clubs and communities to support students can be a vital support structure in creating stability and normalcy but that benefit is not available to those who do not know what is available or how to get involved.