All about the Clubs Chair

By Feroza Master

Being clubs chair was the luck of the draw for Edward Tse. After a tie vote in March’s election, Tse and incumbent Steve Skitch had to abide by Students’ Union by-laws. Their names were written on identical pieces of white paper and drawn from a white grocery bag. The SU member pulled Tse’s name out first.

The 21-year-old fourth-year computer science student was content that he had won. He said clubs such as Campus Crusade For Christ, and ones he started, the Dot Coms Club and the Edge Magazine, were his passion. Now he wants to give something back.

"I think it mainly revolves around clubs being what really made a difference in my life in university," he said. "[Clubs are] a benefit that I hoped a lot of people would also have the opportunity to experience. When you go to university, you’re not just attending some kind of institution. You’re being immersed in this culture. It basically takes over your life. You can get involved and participate in activities that are outside your classes and everything. It helps to maintain sanity."

This is the message Tse hopes to send to students. Tse said apathy is probably due to the fact that students only associate school with classes, professors, books, friends and homework. More involvement in clubs and activities can help pique a student’s interest in the school.

"I believe that clubs are the solution to student apathy," Tse said. "I could not think of a better way in which you can reach students at such a personal level other than through clubs."

To encourage students to join clubs, Tse wants to have a speakers’ forum during Clubs Week in September. The forum, similar to those during SU elections, will take place in the new area of MacEwan Hall, with various club leaders discussing their clubs and mandates.

"I find that something like that [during the SU elections] greatly helps to let people know who is running," said Tse. "And I think the same thing could be done for clubs."

And in order to help clubs survive, Tse is putting together a "nice neat package" that will include pointers on how to sustain a club. The pointers, Tse said, come from his own experience.

"[New clubs] just start and then die off almost immediately because after they’ve got all their members signed up for everything, they don’t know what to do after," Tse said. He added a club cannot exist if members lack direction.

But every club also needs funding. Tse said the SU has a lot of funding that isn’t used to its full potential. As a result, students will also find a funding brochure that details what funding is available and how to go about getting it.

Tse also wants to promote inter-club activity. Currently, the only interclub activities are within umbrella groups. Tse wants to continue and improve these relations through the clubs committee and wants clubs from different umbrella groups to interact with each other. He plans to organize an awards night to present awards within each umbrella group and the Umbrella Olympics where each umbrella group would compete against the others.

Tse hopes clubs will be involved in getting rid of student apathy.

"What we’re trying to do is try to encourage them to be the solution," he said.

But in the end, it’s up to students to join.

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