Editor's Note: This article is part one of a series.
Every semester at Coastal Carolina University brings new opportunities for student engagement.
Unlike a typical classroom setup, student-led clubs and organizations offer comradery based upon non-academic interests. From world renowned humanitarian collectives to frisbee and golf, listed below are the newest clubs on campus.
1. American Red Cross
The American Red Cross club is an official member organization of the American Red Cross located on the CCU campus. Primarily serving as volunteers for on-campus blood drives, members also work with the CCU disaster unit and are planning to assist in disaster management. Club President Tramone’ Hester, a biology major, spoke about his experience as the youth-engagement lead for the Pee Dee area and how he took his passion for the community a step further when he decided to open a chapter here at CCU.
“It’s just getting started this year. So, we’re trying to get our blood count up and to work a little bit with the disaster management department here at Coastal,” he said.
As the chapter was founded this semester, its members are actively recruiting new volunteers to assist with the workflow.
Soon, members of the organization will be offered training by the Red Cross of Myrtle Beach to become certified in disaster response. Although this feature of the organization is still being formed, Hester is hopeful about its impact on the community.
Speaking to students who are interested in registration, Hester said, “It’s a good opportunity to build your resume [and] build your leadership skills, because we have a lot of positions for leadership in the Red Cross. You can be a leader within the club and be a leader in the larger organization.”
2. The Ultimate Frisbee Club
The Ultimate Frisbee club is a great fit for students who are athletically inclined but wish to participate in an informal setting. Club President Brandon Jackson, a sophomore majoring in exercise science, spoke about how the club got started.
“I did this sport in high school, it was like a little club that we did. So, I said ‘You know, I want to carry it on to here,’” he said.
Jackson shared his desire to someday create a competitive league among other universities.
“Right now, we’re just trying to [get to] know each other by playing games and stuff. But, later on, we’re going to be having tournaments within our groups. Then we might travel to other schools like College of Charleston,” he said.
Although the league beyond CCU has yet to be formed, Jackson hopes to have it established by Fall 2020.
The club meets every week at the track field to practice. They divide into brackets and then compete. The club meetings are open for any student to attend.
Jackson explained that the club provides numerous benefits for those seeking to improve their skills, specifically in the recreation and sports industries.
3. Coastal Economics Club
Some organizations, such as the Coastal Economics Club, straddle the line between a professional organization and a social hangout. This group discusses economics over rounds of disc golf. Jacob Hunter, a sophomore economics major, spoke about his inspiration for club.
“Dr. Weinbach has always done some disc golf, so when I was a freshman in his class he invited his entire class out there [and] I really enjoyed it and we had a nice talk about economics, the stock markets, and all that while playing disc golf. It was kind of rewarding that there was something fun to do while we talked about it. But I was inspired to create the club after me and my two other presidents Matt and Robin decided we wanted to establish an official club, so we could attract a lot of econ majors because up until that point there wasn’t really anything extracurricular that the econ department had,” Hunter said.
Discussions primarily focus on stock-market issues and how recent events and policy changes affect the market. Economics isn’t the only thing this group has to offer. Apart from golf and discussions, the club also offers training in Python, a programming language used to handle large data sets.
“We’re starting to move more towards Python, learning how to code – when we’re playing disc golf, we don’t have our computers with us - but he (Dr. Weinbach) offered to meet with us after the disc golf to show us a little bit of coding,” Hunter said.
This addition to the club’s benefits open doors of opportunity for computer science majors or anyone else wishing to enhance their resume with a new skill set.
Although the golfing interest of Coastal Economics Club is solely recreational, the club is looking to collaborate with economic departments at other universities, such as College of Charleston, to arrange corporate events.
4. Collaborative Learning Initiative for Molecular Biology
The Collaborative Learning Initiative for Molecular Biology is a student-led club of biology majors seeking advancement in a variety of fields. They divide themselves into groups of four to focus on three major areas of biological research: developmental biology, cancer, and neurobiology.
The A.I.G.A. is a new club on campus specializing in design. Design majors can obtain valuable skills such as leadership and firsthand experience within the industry.
6. CINO Esports Club
The CINO Esports Club specializes in one of the fastest growing markets of entertainment in the country: Electronic Sports.
“This organization was created because a group of friends wanted to find more competitive players on campus. We wanted to give those people a group to make friends, play, and compete with,” Club President Malik Bennett said.
They are currently setting up teams for 3 games: Smash Ultimate, Overwatch, and Counter Strike: Global Offensive. However, they also have plans in the future to expand into Fortnite and Apex Legends.
The group meets weekly on Thursdays. It also has its own Discord server where members can interact and share the latest news. Smash Ultimate tournaments are hosted in the CINO game room at 6:30 pm every Friday. Interested players who value competition are welcome to join. They support most platforms including PC, Xbox, PlayStation, and Nintendo Consoles. Although the club does not officially provide training, members have expressed willingness to coach new players.
The only additional stipulation besides those posed by general CCU club guidelines is the ban on toxic language and behavior while gaming. Anyone with an interest in competitive gaming can apply and become part of a growing community of like-minded people. Malik even had some words for those who may be interested in gaming.
Hester said, “We're a new club. We're growing. We're learning. I'm learning. Our exec board is learning. However, Esports is one of the largest growing sectors of entertainment in the US. If you have even an inkling of interest in gaming, we can help. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org . . . contacting me and talking about the club and your interests is always a good first step.”
Should you want more information about these clubs or any others, the campus will be hosting an Organization Kick-Off Day for the Spring semester on Jan. 15, 2020 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the Prince Lawn. You can also check coastalconnections.edu for a full list of clubs as well as contact and registration information.