On Sept. 17, Week of Welcome (WOW) Club Showcase was held on Cal Poly’s campus and while all clubs are welcome, the event is very important to smaller clubs who want to grow in numbers.
The 2017 WOW Club Showcase involved over 300 different student-run organizations trying to recruit a crowd of mostly freshman. While many fraternities and social clubs are out recruiting new freshman, newer clubs are just trying to get started.
One of these new clubs, Cal Poly’s Ad Club, focuses on creating advertisements. The club was founded in February 2017. Despite there being other marketing clubs on campus, founding member Katie Hardisty wanted something more.
“We thought there wasn’t really any clubs like it on campus. There were other marketing clubs but we wanted to do more advertising,” Hardisty said.
Before the showcase, Ad Club had around 10 members, which was only two people above the requirement to be recognized by the school. However, at Club Showcase —where they gave out pens and information about the competitions they hope to attend — they received over 100 signatures of people interested in joining the club.
Hardisty believes that one of the main selling points that will draw in new members is that they are keeping a lot of leadership positions open, which they tried to emphasize at the showcase. While other clubs already have vice presidents or treasurer positions filled, Ad Club hopes that new members will want to fill those positions and help get the club off the ground.
Another club that participated in the showcase was SLO Breakers, a club that centers around breakdancing. Before Club Showcase they focused on recruiting via word of mouth, asking around their circles of friends and trying to recruit members of other organizations they took part in. The club was started by several members of different dance clubs around campus who hoped to create a break dancing community at Cal Poly.
“For a while I was the only break dancer at Cal Poly for like two and a half years,” SLO Breakers president John Duch said. “And so I’ve been sitting on this interest and passion, so I just waited for more people with this interest and then we came together.”
One of the concerns that the members of SLO Breakers had was that students may gravitate towards larger clubs that do hip-hop dancing. However, they believe that hip-hop is a wide enough umbrella with many unique styles and that SLO Breakers, which focuses solely on breakdancing, will be individualised enough to attract members.
At Club Showcase the few members of SLO Breakers performed over cardboard boxes to draw in crowds. They ran out of the 60 flyers they had printed, having to ask those interested in the club to take a photo of the one remaining flyer.
Duch, an art and design senior, believes their first meeting had a successful turnout, with over 30 people attending. At first, Duch and other experienced members had concerns about too many people turning out and not being able to control the crowd. However, the meeting was productive and under control.
“If I could give some advice for any smaller club that’s just starting out—because I know a few—go to any event that gives you an opportunity to booth,” Duch said. “It gives you an opportunity to sell food, to perform, because that’s just going to get your promotion out there. And if you’re not there, then people just aren’t going to know about you.”