Clubs Fair to display new look, new clubs

The Clubs Fair will represent 40 tables of clubs, including those that are ministry-based.

Emily Arnold, Writer

Campus clubs are undergoing many changes this year as junior Natasha Cheeley, AS clubs director, takes strategic steps to strengthen the Biola community.

On Tuesday, Sept. 13, and Wednesday, Sept. 14 from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. tables will line Sutherland Way, the path that cuts through the center of campus. Popcorn, balloons and even a cotton candy machine will contribute to making this year’s Clubs Fair more than just a spectacle for students to observe as they walk to class.

Name change and new layout for Clubs Fair

The upcoming Clubs Fair will look different compared to previous years’. The club recruitment event is an opportunity for club leaders to meet interested students and help them find ways to get connected to the Biola community.

In years prior, Biola has called this event Club Rush, but changed the name to Clubs Fair since “rush” alludes to sororities and fraternities, neither of which Biola allows. Cheeley made the executive decision to change the name to Clubs Fair. A similar event, the Ministry Festival, occurs and its purpose is to recruit students to on-campus ministries.

Rather than having all the club tables lined up haphazardly along Sutherland Way, Cheeley will arrange the tables by categories this year: academics, ministries, hobbies, athletics, and miscellaneous. Cheeley hopes this will help direct students to clubs that fit their interests and foster relationships between leaders of similar clubs so they can help each other throughout the year.

Ministry-focused clubs allowed to participate

In the past AS has turned away ministry-focused clubs, but this year Cheeley decided to create a category for them.

“They will be fully under AS, but we are requiring the presidents to attend free spiritual direction counseling so their clubs can prosper,” Cheeley said. “This change is a big deal for Biola and I’m really excited about it.”

On-campus ministries are under the Spiritual Life department and have an external focus. Despite their annual leadership turnover, these ministries are built to be long-lasting and sustainable. However, the nature of clubs is different; they are not necessarily meant to be sustained, and the clubs and their activities vary from year to year.

Clubs Fair will represent 40 clubs, up to 12 recruiting

Over 50 clubs will contribute to the community this year, but there will be only 40 tables at the Clubs Fair. Certain clubs are not open to the entire student body, so those will not be represented on Wednesday and Thursday.

Eight to 12 new clubs will be recruiting, including the Hot Yoga Club, Babysitters’ Club, Sexual Purity Club, Sparro Club and the Biola Athletics Ministry.

The Star Wars Fan Club will be revived by president, sophomore Raymond Mendiola IV this year. His plans are to watch the films and latest episodes of “The Clone Wars,” make “Star Wars” fan films, attend the premiere of “The Phantom Menace” in 3D, have “Star Wars” trivia contests, create “Star Wars” themed music and art, discuss “Star Wars” on a philosophical and theological level, and more.

“Students should join the club to get to know and hangout with fellow fans, as we celebrate the cinematic saga and the continuation of the saga,” Mendiola said. “Students can become a part of a community within the Biola community as they are united in Christ and ‘the Force.’ ‘Star Wars’ is forever and the Star Wars Fan Club is here to stay.”

Founder and president of The Babysitter’s Club, junior Christen Brown, has a distinct vision for what her club is all about. This club will allow undergrad students to offer free babysitting services to Talbot couples who have children but cannot afford a sitter.

“I realized how important couples’ relationships are in how they minister to others, so I wanted to give Talbot couples the space to reconnect with their loved one,” Brown said. “This club is a service to the undergrad and graduate students at the same time because we get babysitting experience and volunteer hours, and they get to be blessed by a date. We look forward to when the graduate students use their strong, healthy relationships to be a blessing to their community.”

Cheeley is particularly excited about the Babysitter’s Club.

“I love that we get to serve others who have served our community before,” Cheeley said.

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