By Maddie Silva
Providence Christian College’s clubs encourage students to pursue an academic ethos by creating a space for conversation outside the classroom. In these unstructured, unmediated spaces students explore new ideas and interact with other students they may not otherwise talk to.
Clubs are not narrowed to academic pursuits alone, Providence’s Ministry of Food, Culture Club, Film Club, and intramurals unite students over common interests. Students agree- there is just something about peer to peer interactions, facilitated by clubs, that stimulates engagement with that elusive, “real world.” When asked to comment on the nature of Providence’s clubs, sophomore Hope Rhodes said, “Clubs create a different space to hang out with friends… You get to experience and discuss things together. It’s kind of academic, but not… It’s just cool it’s just great.”
On October 3rd Philosophy Club held its first event, a lecture followed by a period of Q&A from UCLA Philosophy student Femi Taiwo. “We are supposed to be thinking and asking questions,” said senior Dane Beveridge, president of the newly minted club. Beveridge clarifies, “But [Philosophy Club] isn’t graded, it’s student run. There’s no pedagogical structure. This could open up a space that is subtly different than a classroom with a professor who is evaluating you. Do you think that’s possible?”
Culture Club, meanwhile, has held two meetings already and plans to hold an event that celebrates Dia De Los Muertos on November 1st. Club President and freshman, Joseandres Garzon, hopes that Culture Club will bring, “a sort of unity on campus.” Garzon echoes Beveridge’s sentiments of building unity through non-mandatory extracurricular learning. “You’re choosing to participate in a culture that’s not your own,” said Garzon.
Ministry of Food, Film Club, and The Blade are all examples of successful student-run clubs. Film Club aims to help students connect and critically engage with different genres of film, while the Ministry of Food Club creates community over the art of cooking and baking food. The Blade seeks to inform and interpret events on campus and in our wider community through journalistic news writing. Each club contributes to the Providence community in a unique way.
Providence prides itself on the ease with which students have been able to organize clubs. Jonathan Kruis, Club Director at Providence, says that anyone who is interested in starting a club needs a Club Proposal Form and five charter members. A club requires a president and a staff member or faculty advisor. Campus clubs must answer three questions: What is the purpose of the club? How will it bring unity on campus? And how will it serve the greater community?