By PARKER BROCK
Pima students surrounded tables and chatted with club representatives at the annual club fair at West Campus Aug. 29.
The 20-plus tables that filled the hallways leading to the cafeteria were decorated with posters, flyers and other items such as cultural items, temporary tattoos, and excavation tools for the array of clubs.
The wide range of clubs participating varied from the Latino Fellowship to the Game Designers Guild, and members engaged with the many students filling the hall.
Some clubs aimed to promote classes offered at Pima that complement their interests and educate students on the subjects they represent.
“We encourage people to take any of the archaeology classes offered at Pima,” said Kyle Eckerstrom, student officer of the Archaeology Club. “But we also want to be involved in educating people about what archeology is.”
Eckerstrom pointed out that archaeology deals with people, not dinosaurs.
Many clubs shared similar goals of getting students involved and offering opportunities to get off campus.
“The club is more involved with local stuff around the Tucson area; learning about places that we might not get a chance to go to in the class,” Eckerstrom said. “We offer opportunities to get outside; that’s the biggest thing for me at least.
“A reason I chose this major was so I could constantly be outside,” he continued. “I hate being stuck in a classroom and I know a lot of people like to balance being in a classroom and getting fresh air and sunlight.”
Community involvement was a focus of many clubs, offering opportunities in outreach with local schools and other programs.
For some clubs, awareness and inclusion were among the top priorities.
“What’s really great about this group is our membership is very diverse,” said Daisy Rodriguez Pitel, PhD., the adviser of the Asian Pacific Culture Club. “You don’t have to be Asian or Pacific Islander to be a member. You just have to have a genuine interest in learning more about different cultures. That’s what makes our club unique.”
“We volunteer in the community, we try to educate people about the different Asian Pacific cultures through food and games and workshops and volunteering in the community.”
Cultural clubs, such as the Asian Pacific Culture Club, highlight the importance of educating the public in our increasingly pluralistic society.
“Society is becoming more diverse and more multicultural, and it’s important for people to have cultural competency,” Pitel said. “To not only understand their own culture and identity but understand other people’s cultures as well.”
Each club made it clear that it provided a place where students could not only pursue their interests, but meet people who share their goal of success.
“Being successful in school is having friends in my classes,” Eckerstrom said. “It encourages me to show up to classes and talk with them about the lectures, and if I don’t understand something and I’m not comfortable asking the professors about it, I can ask my friends.
“Anyone one who is not in a club or doesn’t know anything about the program, try it out for a little bit. You’ll have a great time. Even if you just show up once, but you’re gonna want to show up more than once.”