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CSU club involvement nurtures success, connections on campus

CSU+club+involvement+nurtures+success%2C+connections+on+campus
Collegian | Rashida Obika

Many students find themselves in uncertain situations. Whether a first-year or a transfer, students need to find outlets to make new friends, gain new experiences and put themself out there.

Thankfully, clubs are a phenomenal way at Colorado State University to help students blossom and find a home in their community.

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The Student Leadership, Involvement and Community Engagement office introduces these opportunities to students via RamLink: an online portal to connect students to hundreds of different clubs.

This isn’t an understatement; the SLiCE website estimates there are over 400 different organizations at CSU that span from sports and academic clubs to cultural centers. 

Not only can students join clubs, but they can also start one themselves.

Colorado State University Skate Club President Gabriel Goodwin described his experience beginning the club. He said it was a passion project between him and his roommates because of the lack of skateboarding being represented on campus.

“We always joked about starting a frat, a skate frat, to bring us all together, and then we ended up starting the club because there’s a club for every other sport on campus, and there wasn’t any for skateboarding,” Goodwin said. “I figured it would be a good way to unify skaters and bring the community together.”

Regarding the process of registering the CSU Skate Club through SLiCE, Goodwin said it was an easy process. He only needed to submit a few forms and attend a handful of meetings. Around a week later, everything was processed.

Goodwin emphasized that anyone is welcome to attend CSU Skate Club events no matter their skill level, even if they’ve never even stood on a skateboard before.

“We’ve done learn-to-skate days at the rink, so (for) anyone who wanted to put together a skateboard or ride a skateboard for the first time, we offered that,” Goodwin said. “We put it on our instagram. … I got at least five kids that day to try skateboarding who have never tried it.”

Small businesses around Fort Collins typically support clubs on campus by gifting them things to improve their club and strengthen customer relationships. The CSU Skate Club has received free boards from Market Skateshop, gift cards from Walrus Ice Cream and even shipments of the popular water brand Liquid Death.

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“We also do competitions where all the skaters get together to hit a certain feature,” Goodwin said. “We have judges, and then you get a prize, and we announce the winners.”

Goodwin also encouraged club events outside of campus. He said members will also meet at skateparks and the halfpipe Goodwin built behind his home.

“I mean, it’s a great way to meet people,” Goodwin said. “I’m a part of a few other clubs. I go to the Hacky Sack Club all the time, and we meet like every week. Hanging out with people with similar interests from all over the country is really cool to see that you’re not alone. Whatever you do, there’s probably someone at CSU who does it. If there’s not a club, then start one.”

Although there are plenty of resources and opportunities for students to engage with their community, many other students may need more resources given certain circumstances.

The Lory Student Center is home to eight different resource centers for students with specific needs. One of the most popular organizations in the LSC is the Pride Resource Center, located in room 232.

The PRC hosts plenty of events for anyone who identifies as LGBTQIA+. Some of these events include Trans Day of Remembrance & Resiliency and a special Lavender Graduation where any graduating member has the option to be personally recognized by the center with their peers.

One of the largest clubs on campus is the CSU Snowriders. They offer plenty of opportunities for students who love to ski and snowboard by providing more than 20 events year-round that include movie premiers, sponsored events and more. They emphasize their inclusivity no matter experience level.

“For the past three years, Snowriders has been the largest organization or club on campus, and it started around 49 years ago,” club President Grace Gehlert said. “And about 10 years ago, the club had around 100 members, and last year, we exceeded over 850 members.”

The Snowriders are most recognized, however, for their annual winter break trips to ski resorts. This year, they took a trip to Jackson Hole, Wyoming. 

They also provide discounts on gear and, most famously, Ikon Passes. This grants access to all the resorts they visit, including Arapahoe Basin, Copper Mountain and a handful more.

One of the most exciting things the Snowriders are doing this coming year is bringing back a tradition the club that hasn’t seen since 2009.

“The big thing that we’ve been doing as of this semester, kind of behind the scenes working with ASCSU traditions, is bringing back one of our annual traditions: We used to host (an) on-campus rail jam where we’re going to bring in a bunch of snow, a rail and a drop-in and things like that and have a competition on campus,” club officer Tai Bloch said. “So right now we have that date as Feb. 29. It’s a work in progress — we are 90% sure we’re going to make it happen.”

This rail jam event will be located on the West Lawn of the LSC and will have food, sponsored tents selling skiing goods and grab bags. The bag is anticipated to have a $20 fee.

“Once we get that rail jam off the ground, we really hope to see as many people there as possible, and without campus engagement, the recurring rail jam wouldn’t be possible,” Bloch said. “The more campus engagement we get at that event, the more likely it happens again.”

The Snowriders hope for comfortable student engagement, and this is emphasized by their desire to have students move into the club at their own pace.

“I also think our club is very low maintenance, and it’s a great opportunity for students to join something and try it out, and if they don’t like it, there’s no obligations to stay or go to events, and it’s a great way to meet people,” Gehlert said.

There are many opportunities through club involvement at CSU. It can be scary to go out there and make connections, but by taking that leap, students can enter an entire world of new connections and possibilities.

Reach Christian Arndt at life@collegian.com or on Twitter @CSUCollegian.

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About the Contributor
Christian Arndt
Christian Arndt, Life & Culture Editor
Christian Arndt is this year's editor for the life and culture desk at The Collegian. Arndt joined The Collegian in the winter of 2023, when he started as an arts and entertainment writer, primarily focusing on movie reviews, local art installations and music-curated lists. Arndt is the second life and culture editor and is proud to step into this position. He is focusing on providing the best local coverage in the Fort Collins area with a focus on unique business profiles, important cultural events and fun local happenings. Arndt comes from Silverthorne, Colorado, and came to Colorado State University in the fall of 2021. He is a third-year and is majoring in journalism and media communication with a minor in English. He found his passion for writing during his English classes in high school, and eventually with the style he chose to pursue, he ended up finding a passion within journalism. Because he had no prior experience with journalism, he was adamant to join The Collegian and build up his experience and reputation there. Aside from writing for the paper, you can find him at the cinema, watching basketball, playing video games with friends, walking his adorable dog Penny Lane, snowboarding and listening to plenty of music. Arndt finds his role as an editor thrilling and looks forward to providing the utmost care and consistency with the content that comes out for the life and culture desk.

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