Anyone will tell you joining a club is the best way to meet new people. Fast friends come easily in college but friends that last need common interests. Clubs are a great place to begin.
However, clubs aren’t just about meeting new people. It’s the best way to attach yourself with your campus and truly feel that Mustang pride. Investing in something that interests you makes school more than just a place with boring lectures and expensive books; it becomes your home away from home.
There are over 300 clubs at Cal Poly, from sports clubs to greek life to cultural clubs and everything in between. Five of those 300 are featured below. To see more, visit the Associated Students, Inc. (ASI) website.
Ever wanted to learn to make beer, or at least how it’s made? Cal Poly’s Brew Crew does just that.
“If you’re interested in making beer, the chemistry of beer, or how to taste beer, Cal Poly Brew Club is a free resource,” former Cal Poly Brew Crew president and mechanical engineering alumnus Christian Toran said.
A free resource isn’t the only thing students get when they become members. The club costs $20 a quarter, or $50 a year. With that comes a Brew Crew T-shirt and official Brew Crew ID card. Members get free entry in home-brewing competitions and access to home-brewing literature.
Members also receive discounts at bars including SLO Brewing Company (50 percent off beer and mixed drinks), Spike’s (10 percent off), Frog and Peach Pub (every night is pint night) and Doc’s Cellar (10 percent off), according to the website.
The club does enhance a student’s education. Toran said there is a lot of biology and chemistry involved with brewing. You need a basic understanding of how yeast grows, fermentation and what kind of cleaners to use and when, he said.
Accomplishments for the club include winning brewing competitions. Toran said he won the gold medal in the world beer cup back in ’09. The alumnus also said members have won “Best in Style” at the mid-state fair for their brews.
The Cal Poly Fencing Team is one of the top competitors in United States Fencing Association (USFA) tournaments, mechanical engineering senior and president of the Cal Poly fencing club Trevor Jones said. The team held the cup for the past three years, excluding last year. Before the gym renovations, Jones said the gym housed tons of trophies from the fencing team dominating at competitions.
The club offers lessons in three weapons: foil, saber and epee, Jones said. He said the club has members of all skill levels.
Fencing is a great sport that’s challenging both physically and mentally, he said. The members range from all levels of competitiveness, from professionally-ranked fencers to newcomers, he said.
“If you just want to show up and play with swords that’s fine too,” he said.
Jones wanted to fence since grade school, but his school didn’t offer any fencing clubs. When he got to Cal Poly, he sought out the fencing club at the Week of Welcome’s (WOW) club showcase.
To be a good fencer you need to know strategy and how your opponent thinks, Jones said. This style of thinking helped him as a student because it made him more on top of things, Jones said. He said it’s a style everyone should be exposed to.
In order to become a member of the fencing team, Jones said students interested should come to practices during the first two or three weeks of the quarter. That way the paperwork for ASI can be processed.
Anyone with a casual or serious interest in astronomy, the astronomy society is for you, dairy science senior and former club president Kristina Soper said.
“It’s a great resource to learn more about astronomy, share your previous knowledge, find people with a common interest and participate in community outreach with respect to astronomy,” she said.
The purpose of the club is to collect anyone in the greater Cal Poly community with an interest in the subject and bring them together, Soper said. She said the club also brings the “awesomeness of astronomy to Cal Poly.”
Soper said the club has really improved her educational experience. It’s provided her with an opportunity to work with people outside of her major and college, she said. As the president of the club last year, she gained leadership skills and had different opportunities to network in the community and with the student body. Soper said she’s made many friends through the club as well.
During Soper’s freshman year she was going through club after club when her friend said he was going to an astronomy club meeting. Soper decided to give the club a try and fell in love with it, she said.
“I’m a dairy science major,” Soper said. “The cow jumped over the moon.”
Studio Art Club
The studio art club challenges stereotypes about art students, art and design senior and former president JunBo Liu said. She has been involved with the studio art club since she was a freshman. She was introduced to it during Week of Welcome (WOW) and since it was her concentration she decided to join the club.
“I love it,” Liu said. “It’s really fun.”
The club takes field trips up and down the coast to visit museums and see artwork, Liu said. The advisors for the club are heavily involved and plan good times for students to go on trips, Liu said. They spend two days at a place and stay at a hotel, she said.
“It’s nice to get out of town for a few days,” Liu said.
For students who aren’t art majors, Liu said the club is an eye-opening experience. She said it is an interesting sub-culture that’s fascinating if you’re into the scene.
According to Liu, the studio art club is a small one and she’d like to see it grow bigger. All majors are welcome, as well as anyone who enjoys art, she said.
The club aims to expose people to an artist environment, according to Liu. She said the club is a great place for people to socialize and meet students with similar interests.
Tractor Pull Club
If you’ve ever been to campus during Open House, you may have heard the loud roars of the Tractor Pull. Team members maintain these massive machines while the club puts on the Open House event, agricultural engineering senior and former president of the Tractor Pull Club Robert Brown said.
Brown said the club has helped with his education by working on tractors in the shop, meeting new people, organizing events and talking to donors for money.
“It’s a hands-on type of thing,” Brown said. “It’s a good experience.”
Brown saw the tractor pull when he was a kid and signed up for the club his first year at Cal Poly. He said he did the Saturday workdays and went to the events. Soon enough, he got to drive a tractor and was put in charge of them (along with the three advisors) he said.
The club contains students with all levels of interest, Brown said. He said kids come in who don’t know anything about tractors. However, students can’t walk through the door and expect to drive a tractor that day, Brown said. He said the veterans look to see who’s putting effort into the club, and then ask if they want to drive.
“Everyone usually says yes,” Brown said. “You get some kids who are nervous, but no one really says no.”
The team participates in 10 to 12 (or more) tractor pull competitions a year, Brown said. The team took second and third place in tractor pull competitions in Tulare in July, he said. Three years ago, Cal Poly won the West Coast Nationals for tractor pull, Brown said.
During the WOW block party, new students can see the tractors, Brown said. He said there will be email sign-ups and meetings begin in October. He said the club does its best to advertise to new and interested students.