Club Row: Throwback to the future

This past Thursday, SMC was transformed into a hall of madness as hundreds of students packed the quad for fall semester’s Club Row. Volunteers and officials from SMC’s myriad of student clubs set up booths and engaged the massive crowds with costumes, food, photo shoots, and other activities.

Many booths followed ICC's “Throwback to the Future” theme, inspired by the recent “Back to the Future Day” on October 21st. One such booth belonged to the Astronomy Club, which featured a stylized photo shoot and members dressed as characters from the film. Club president Curtis Corbitt, donning a distinct Doc Brown costume, described his club as “an incredibly close experience.” According to club members, over 50 students stopped by for photos. “It’s been and incredibly busy Club Row. It’s crazy in the quad right now,” Corbitt said.

Other booths took on much more different “throwback” interpretations, without any sacrifice to nostalgia. Alpha Gamma Sigma caught students' attention with an elaborate Fresh Prince of Bel Air styled setup. Leaders from the Student Veteran's Association were dressed as famous US presidents. And members of the Pan African Club dressed as ancient African royalty as they posed with other students.

Not all booths were in line with the main "throwback" theme. Others were much different but no less entertaining to the crowd. Generation of the Future, a local community outreach group aimed at helping children, had an inflatable obstacle course for new members to enjoy, while the nearby Chemistry Club captivated audiences with an array of chemistry experiments–including a demonstration of magnetic fluid, an oscillating clock reaction and an ever-popular plasma ball.

The Natural History Club, on the other hand, had an eccentric selection of flora and fauna for students to pose with, including a live Arizona Mountain King Snake. Like many others, club president Jordan Weinstein was in high spirits. "It’s been a great day so far. Our club booth is always packed. This is our first semester being a club, so I’m glad that it’s coming off huge, which is awesome!” he said.

Speaking of eccentric, one booth in particular had attracted the attention of several confused passersby. It belonged to the brand-new Ecosexual Club. President Wynton Boger explained that his club is there to "promote and find ways of having a more 'intimate' relationship with the natural world" and to "focus on what we can gain from having a more intimate, ‘sexual’ you could say, relationship with the natural world.” Playing off of this idea, two members of the club paraded the quad in revealing and nature-inspired costumes, emulating a "marriage ceremony." Though this was their very first Club Row endeavor, Boger was confident in his club's success. "It’s definitely an eye-catching title. People walk by and have these blank looks on their faces; you can almost see a question mark forming above their heads. We’ve had a very interesting turnout. We have almost two pages of interested people, so we’re really excited to grow and to get the message across SMC and beyond,” he said.

Another notable addition to this semester's Club Row was the Feminist Majority, with its male and female members circling the area holding anti-"slut shaming" signs and signing petitions at their booth. "We’re trying to show the board members that students on campus are actually adamant about having this office,” president Cheyenne Somaru said, in regards to her club. "We have a petition going on, we have some people walking around as well, getting signatures and just showing that the students are definitely in support of this and that this is something we need on campus.”

Though the more extravagant booths awed the crowds, many smaller booths were also able to capture the attention of dozens of potential recruits. Model UN, which had only a small table to work with, still managed to have a strong presence. “Right now we’re a pretty small club. We’ve been a small club for a while, and we want to expand, we want to get new members and new ‘delegates.’ That’s pretty much our intention,” said club president Roman Parise. Though he was optimistic, given their amount of signatures at the booth, Parise said "the challenge is, after Club Row, to make sure that people start coming to meetings. It takes a lot more work to actually get people to show up to the meetings and to become dedicated members. But, I’m still pretty confident that we’ll grow the size of our club from this event.”

In addition, brand new honor societies got their first taste of Club Row. ICC delegate to Sigma Chi Eta, Sara Garofalo, was presently surprised with their turnout. "I think it was great," she said "we filled out three or four pages with names, numbers, and emails. We’re really proud. We actually didn’t think so many people would be interested because, you know, we’re just a new club and everyone goes to different honor societies.”

Overall, the majority Club Row attendees were excited and highly optimistic, with dozens of unique clubs, old and new, successfully bringing student-inspired fun to SMC.

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