A peek into some unique opportunities

Sarah Merwin, junior studying public relations, grins in anticipation as Katie Harrison, sophomore studying secondary education in English, places the sorting hat on her head at the Harry Potter back-to-school dinner in the Great Room in Hale Library on Feb. 8, 2014. (File Photo by Parker Robb | The Collegian)

Sleep, grades and a social life; pick two. That’s about all of what many tend to say about the college experience.

What they forget to mention, however, are the various clubs across campus that make it all worthwhile.

These campus organizations can provide students with social opportunities, often with little commitment required. Though some may overlook these for lack of time, many clubs allow students to decide exactly how much time he or she will put into it.

With so many different campus clubs, K-State students have their fair share of choices. Three of the many unique organizations at K-State are the Harry Potter Alliance, the Aikido Club and the Cancer Fighters Club.

Harry Potter Alliance

The Harry Potter Alliance is made up of more than just an appreciation of a good book. In fact, the organization acts to promote social change in society as a whole.

“We advocate social activism through fandom, including, but not limited to Harry Potter,” said Cherra Bliss, president of the alliance and senior in family studies and human services.

In order to do this, the club uses ideas and social concepts that are presented in the literature to try and decipher the best way to help its communities.

“We’ll look for things in the books or the movies that we could actually apply to real life, and then decide what focus can we take from there to work on social change,” Bliss said.

Some events that club members participate in are book drives that promote child literacy, as well as more social events like the annual Harry Potter and the Chamber of Desserts event in the spring.

The club is free to join and has monthly meetings.

Aikido Club

K-State’s Aikido Club is also affiliated with the bigger aikido organization in Manhattan. According to Mathew Ussary, head of the board of the tatsumaki aikido and instructor for K-State Aikido, aikido is a form of martial arts that is only practiced for self-defense.

“It’s strictly about taking an attackers energy and channeling it away from you,” Ussary said.

Ussary, however, said that students get the opportunity to take away much more than self-defense.

(Students learn) self defense, physical fitness, confidence (and) discipline,” Ussary, said.

During meetings, members practice and perfect the art of aikido. According to the club’s website, there are several different class times open during the week, allowing for more schedule flexibility.

Cancer Fighters Club

The K-State Cancer Fighters Club helps to promote awareness for cancer, as well as fund-raise for cancer research. The organization participates in local events like the Purple Power Play on Poyntz, in addition to hosting booths throughout the year. The booths gives club members, as well as cancer fighters and survivors, a chance to interact and share stories.

“It gives them the chance to reach out,” Cecilia Wuertz, president of the club and senior in biology, said.

In addition to working with Cancer Research Centers to raise money and awareness, Wuertz said that the club can offer even more than that to its members.

“They get a lot of self-fulfillment I would say,” Wuertz said. “Just the ability to reach out to others. I feel like everyone knows someone who’s either had cancer or they know someone else, so it’s something that’s very relatable.”

According to Wuertz, the club meets about twice a month to discuss upcoming events, though involvement is mostly on a volunteer basis. While the club boasts cancer research award winners, it is also open to any student from any major whom wants to be a part of the club.

An entire list of all of K-State’s clubs can be found on OrgSync and from there, you can sign up to receive emails from any clubs you choose. This can also be done by visiting the activities fair during the school year.

Clubs can get very specific in interests, so it might be worth the time to search their websites. There might just be a club for you yet!

My name is Emily Moore and I'm a senior majoring in English and mass communications with a minor in leadership. I love to read, write and edit. During my free time, I enjoy doing crossword puzzles, rock climbing and spending time with my friends.