Photo by Derek Nipper, staff photographer
Drake University held the Fall Activities Fair a few weeks ago, and, once again, it had plenty to offer in terms of student organizations.
These organizations give students the opportunity to explore their own interests, while perhaps discovering some new ones along the way.
Want to explore the world of Japanese graphic novels? Try the Drake Anime Club. Election season is closing in fast; do you consider yourself a Bulldog for Barack or a College Republican? Want to give back to the community? Join Big Brothers-Big Sisters at Drake and mentor an elementary school student.
While Drake has the normal club sports like soccer, hockey and volleyball, the university also has a couple of unique sports. In the Drake Ultimate Club, students can go to practice and learn the intense and difficult game of ultimate Frisbee.
Students also have the option to join the Triathlon Club, where they can run, swim and bike their way to exhaustion, as well as maintain a high level of physical fitness.
Another student-led organization, the Bulldog Swing Society, has been recently established. Here, students can try their hand at the art of swing dancing. The Swing Society works with two other Des Moines-area swing groups, Swing Des Moines and Step Into Swing. The Society is having its first big event, “September Swing Out,” on Saturday, Sept. 29 on campus. Everyone is encouraged to attend.
One group that has gained recent popularity in a short time is the Drake Outdoor Leadership Club. The club started in the fall of 2009 when students decided they wanted a club that focused on outdoor activities — something yet to be offered by Drake. Their inaugural event was going to Climb Iowa, a rock-climbing facility in Clive. The group has since grown more active. In the given school year, they will visit Climb Iowa (now at least once per semester), camp in the Loess Hills, hike at Ledges State Park, ski at Sleepy Hollow and even go ice fishing.
The club has recently started to provide even more opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors, President Ashley Dierking explains.
“During the past couple years we’ve also started to branch out with a couple of trips over fall break and spring break,” Dierking said. “Last year for fall break we went kayaking/camping in the Ozarks, and this year we’re planning the same type of trip in Nebraska.”
The Outdoor Leadership Club had 150 students sign up at the activities fair, increasing its mailing list to 319. In meetings, the group discusses the logistics of upcoming activities and decides whether or not extra supplies, funding or transportation is needed.
With all club events open to all students, Dierking encourages students to come out and experience life outside the residence halls.
“We want people to come out and enjoy our activities and have fun,” Dierking said. “We are all about having fun, trying new things and getting outside and enjoying life in the outdoors.”