SMC Club Row: a faire upon King's landing

The task seemed easy enough for Griffin Williams: find the Santa Monica College clubs that match the riddles on the sheet of paper in order to win a prize. Putting his neurons to work, WIlliams began his quest for answers to phrases such as, "The alchemists of olde, are in row with the new, visit ye their concoctions, a tincture and brew (which alluded to the Chemistry Club)."

His goal was to retrieve a star from each club associated with a specific riddle, with the opportunity to receive a prize depending on how many codes he could crack. With all but one of the brain teasers deciphered, Williams proceeded to visit the Chess Club, which he was able to match with the riddle, "If you fancy yourself able to score points, you are in position to collect pieces." After brief, inexplicable reluctance from the Chess Club to award Williams a star, he attained the final piece to his puzzle, ending his first "King's Quest" through SMC's Club Row on Tuesday.

"I wanted to do a scavenger hunt but I wanted to call it a quest," said Courtney King, Vice-Chair of SMC's Inter-Club Council and organizer of the entire event. She explained that the name for the game was chosen due to the Renaissance theme of Club Row. "We've given away a lot of bracelets and water bottles and shirts. It's been really good and a way to make this whole event super interactive which is great."

The Renaissance theme itself, was chosen after it was voted on by club ICC representatives several ICC meetings prior to the event who had been presented alternative options which included fantasy, cultural, and underwater.

As far as the layout of the event, King's goal was to make it so that every club had a fair chance at recognition by students. "I wanted it to be more inclusive and not as spread out. Some clubs had complained about being put down by the library before so I just made it a non-issue."

On display for the event were the usual staples of Club Row such as the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the Generation of the Future Club as well as newcomers such as the Car Club and Improv club.

As clubs like the Chemistry Club and the Student Nurse's Association demonstrated live experiments and photo opportunities, the Engineering Club joined the fun by constructing and testing a catapult, or trebuchet, built from scraps by members.

Reign DeRenzo, member of the DIY Engineers Club, says the club has high hopes of one day building a fully operational Go-Kart with the same technology being used in their prototype model on display. The club plans to fund the project with the budget A.S provides it, as well as applying for the G.R.I.T. grant which would help fund batteries, metal, and other materials needed for the project.

In attendance for the event were the current A.S president Ali Kahn, as well as his newly elected successor Jesse Randel.

"I've been at SMC for two years now, I've never seen a turnout like this before," said Kahn speaking on the growing interest of Club Row. Due to the date of Club Row being changed from April to May, Kahn said it was crucial that a tribute to Cinco de Mayo was necessary, leading to the several food vendors appealing to the Hispanic population on campus with Mexican-style food.

Randel praised King's organization of the event. "I think she really did a great job. I loved the Renaissance theme. It seems like everyone played along with it really well."

On the necessity of clubs at SMC, the future A.S president said, "It's highly important. You have to get the students involved and the students need a recreational getaway to distract from classes, give them some stress relief."

As clubs began wrapping up their day to garner interest, Kahn expressed his admiration for the clubs' efforts. "These clubs are very self-servant. They take care of themselves really well. A lot of this they put out all on their own so much credit goes to the clubs. They're well organized, a lot of them are really smart, they're creative as you can see and I think they're having a good time."