Campus clubs and societies add excitement to student life
Although academics unequivocally come first at Centre College, students know that life at Centre is not all work and no play. With more than 100 clubs and organizations on campus—and more than 2,000 campus events held each year—the College provides an array of extracurricular activities for students with a range of interests.
“From the start of first-year orientation, we stress to students that they’re here first for academics but that to excel as a Centre student means to find their niche outside of the classroom as well,” says Laura Pasley, student life coordinator. “That doesn’t mean joining several organizations, spreading their time thin between them all—we mean finding the couple things that a student seriously enjoys, and finds fulfilling, so his or her time is spent on what he or she is really passionate about.”
Whether students are passionate about knitting, badminton, horseback riding, German history, outdoor recreation, politics or philanthropy, they are likely to find a campus organization dedicated to that interest.
And if they can’t, they are invited to create a club of their own.
Centre officially recognizes new organizations through approval of their constitutions by the Office of Campus Activities and the Student Government Association.
“The criteria for club approval involves getting a faculty sponsor, drafting a club constitution and a set of by-laws, constructing a mission statement and developing a roster of individuals who would be interested in joining the club,” student life coordinator Chase Warner says. “The SGA then must vote in favor of the club’s approval. Once approved as an official student club, the group can petition for funding.”
In 2010, the SGA approved 11 new clubs: Best Buddies (in which Centre students are matched with members of the local community who have intellectual and developmental disabilities and foster friendships with these new buddies), Centre College Chinese Club, Centre College Classics Club, Photography Club, Centre GROWS (the College’s first student garden organization, Centre Garden Research Through Organic Ways of Sustainability), Common Time (Centre’s first contemporary a cappella ensemble, comprised of both music majors and other majors across many disciplines), iMentor (in which students organize and volunteer for service projects with youth in the local community), Jewish Student Organization, Centre Games Club, Computer Science Club and the TOMS Club.
These 11 organizations, like every club at Centre, vary greatly in their purpose, and each adds something beneficial to student life at the College.
“All the clubs and organizations on campus are so diverse, so we’re able to catch the wide array of interests of our students,” Warner says. “With a liberal arts tradition, it should come as no surprise that our student-led organizations reflect such varied interests. Our organizations reflect our students—engaged and diverse.”