What do aviation, chess, and Tae Kwon-Do have in common? They each have their own club here at Salt Lake Community College.
SLCC students come in all ages and from all different backgrounds. With such a wide variety of students attending the college, it only makes sense that there be an equally varied selection of clubs and organizations for students to join.
There are over 50 active clubs on campus. Among those are the above-mentioned clubs as well as many other hobby or interest-based clubs, such as the Video Game Club and the Capoeira Club. There are also clubs for specific ethnic groups like the Hispanic/Latino Student Club and the Pacific Unity Association (PUA). Other clubs, like the Environmental Club and SLCC Democrats, are more focused on social and political issues.
However, between classes and homework and jobs, finding time to get involved can be a challenge. For Hai Ho, Vice President of Club & Organizations at Salt Lake Community College, the benefits of participating in clubs far outweigh the sacrifices.
“It’s a chance to do something that I might not ever do again,” said Ho.
His activity in various clubs has given him the opportunity to develop his public-speaking skills, learn to organize and plan activities, and gain experience in leadership positions.
Ho admits that he didn’t have the most school spirit when he first started at SLCC. He confesses that what first caught his interest about clubs was the free food. From there, he became involved as an officer in the student government, eventually moving up to the position he now holds.
Ho and his fellow officers are currently planning to get clubs to work more closely with the Thayne Center, the on-campus civic participation, service-learning and volunteer organization. Each club is required to have a minimum of three activities and one service project per semester. Rather than working as individual clubs, the student government officers want them to pool their resources. If all the clubs worked with the Thayne Center in their efforts, their service projects could be far more effective and farther-reaching.
Not only do these service projects allow students to give back to the community, but they also help students develop lasting friendships.
In his experience, Ho has found that one of the greatest benefits of having clubs available is the sense of belonging they create. No matter how long students stay at SLCC, it’s possible to find a community where they belong.
Ho has also seen that clubs help students increase their civic engagement, develop leadership attributes, and learn to serve others.
Beyond the potential for personal growth, clubs can be a lot of fun as well.
“Try something new, even if it scares the heck out of you,” said Ho. “‘Cuz you just might like it.”
A list of current clubs and instructions on creating a new club are available on the SLCC Clubs & Organizations website at www.slcc.edu/sll/Clubs_Organizations.asp.