Lauren Rabaino

Editor’s note: The Collegiate Culture Snob is a humor column and is not meant to be taken seriously.

Ah, the club life. It truly is the most caché way of living in college. The fashion (club T-shirts), the society (vaguely-interested attendees), the four-star internationally-inspired cuisine (Backstage Pizza), and of course, the piles of sweet, delicious cash (club dues). In these last few weeks of being a club vice president, I feel the way an organized crime boss must feel: frickin’ awesome.

Of course, organized crime, dah, I mean, campus clubs need more members to funnel in money to the intricate, well-oiled underbelly of Associated Students Inc. So therein arises the need for promotion. Even mob bosses need to convince their clients to do business with them. Generally, this would involve shooting their significant other in the knee-cap.

Unfortunately, the ASI club training packet has an entire section dedicated against this sort of treatment. How lame. So with that avenue of persuasion rolled up in a carpet and thrown off a bridge into a river, we need to go to other methods.

The easiest way to get students to join your club is to promise free pizza at meetings. While it’s not necessarily free (it’s paid for by the club dues), students become convinced you’re doing them a charity and walk like precious toddlers into your play-pen of doom. The problem with free pizza is that it is illegal for student clubs to obtain pizza from any other location than the on-campus Backwash, dah, I mean, Backstage Pizza (no joke, it is illegal to order non-Backstage crap).

This ridiculously overpriced pizza, featuring 99 percent tasteless crust, and 1 percent hair sheddings and skin peelings from the Backstage workers that constitutes the cheese and toppings, is the only crap that I can feed to my fearful club members. It’s like asking students to give you money in exchange for a plate of partially-digested Dodger Dogs. You’re welcome.

So now we’re out the pizza method. Another way to convert the heathens to your club is to confront them where they live: the dorms. With a complete disregard for human life, the Cal Poly Housing Administration have turned many of the red brick dorms from two-to-a-room to 27-to-a-room, so there are plenty of students to snag up. A common conversation with a freshman goes like this:

CLUB REP: Hey, you like ________? Come join the _________ Club!

FRESHMAN: It’s so cold. all the time.

CLUB REP: Our club room has heating!

FRESHMAN: One of my roommates died two weeks ago. His body’s still in the corner. There are too many of us in one place.

CLUB REP: Everyone at the ________ Club gets their own seat at meetings!

FRESHMAN: My RA threatened to shoot my girlfriend in the knee-cap if I didn’t hand him over my clothes.

CLUB REP: We have _________ Club T-shirts!

FRESHMAN: My living conditions are horrible. Why would I want a ________ T-shirt? Either help me out or ________ get outta here.

CLUB REP: Here’s a membership form!

Another member secured. It couldn’t have happened soon enough, those dorms smell like Rosie O’Donnell’s laundry room. And all it took to solve this poor man’s problems was an application. Really, I’m sure this applies to solving our country’s growing poverty issues, too!

So now your club has the bait (pizza), the members (desperate freshmen), but now you need the activities. Some clubs have meaningful events, like industry tours, exciting speakers, and community service. This is unique to Cal Poly. Many other state schools use their clubs as excuses to hold massive weekend parties. The only club at Cal Poly that I’ve seen do this on a grand scale is the Ski Club.

The Ski Club thrives on an increasing influx of freshmen to the university each year to provide membership dues to help buy the cheap alcohol. These new members, many of which are fresh out of the sexual politics of their high school Associate Student Body organizations, are still under the impression that alcohol, shallow friends, hair extensions, and Abercrombie & Fitch are the keys to a happy lifestyle. They join the Ski Club because MTV tells them to (the only prerequisite is mastery of the Soulja Boy dance), and for the rest of their college careers and lives they remain too intoxicated to understand why they’re so unhappy all the time.

Is the Ski Club an inherently evil organization? Yeah, probably. I don’t really care, I just wish my club had the number of members they do. Heck, I’d like to roll them up in a carpet of appreciation and throw them into a river of excellence for appealing to the lowest common denominator. However, I think I’ll just keep my glock loaded, and recruit members the old-fashioned way: college-wide mass emails. Yee-haw.

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