If the University of Calgary clubs are intended to provide students with an enhanced campus experience by providing a rich diversity of opportunity, then the new Clubs Committee chair is the right man for the job.
Gun-toting, leather-wearing, aikido-mastering third-year anthropology student Greg Hovdebo took the reins of the clubs' governing body in a hard-won election during early April. Of 155 listed clubs, 10 cast ballots in the election. Seven of those 10 were cast in Hovdebo's favour, and with a successful election behind him, Hovdebo is set to turn the club experience around.
"You've gotta have the underground clubs," he explained, straight-faced, while outlining his plans to rule the Clubs Committee with an iron fist and shotgun. Hovdebo admitted to not being entirely sure how to get around Alberta gun registration laws, but vowed to find a way.
Hovdebo, who is employed by Danier Leather and not afraid to show it, has been involved with the Anthropology Undergraduate Society, the Archaeological Students' Association, the Linguistics Club, the Japanese Cultural Club and the Aikido Club since coming to U of C. His plans for the coming year are, quite simply, to enhance communication between the Students' Union and the clubs.
"I get visions all the time," he deadpanned while explaining his twelve-month plan. "I've been blessed with greatness."
With prodding, Hovdebo cited a dissatisfaction in certain aspects of SU-clubs interaction as his real reason for running.
"The clubs I've been involved with are faculty-oriented clubs, so they're in the buildings that they're relevant to," he said. "We don't find anything out because although we get the e-mails, the person in charge of reading the e-mails and passing the news to the rest of us just doesn't."
Hovdebo pointed out that the Clubs Chair election was a perfect example of the lack of communication and awareness among the clubs.
"A lot more people meant to vote, but everybody forgot," he stated with faint exasperation. "And that's just because of how poorly the election was promoted."
Between tangential discussions on his Laplandic ancestors and Alberta's largest delivery of Guinness ever, Hovdebo expounded on his plan of attack.
"When I came into this [position], people said they had all these systems [for communication in clubs] in place," he explained. "And I said, great, you've got systems in place. Soviet Russia had systems in place, and obviously some of the systems aren't working. My goal right now is to get some good commissioners on my committee, people that are enthused and excited about the clubs they're going to represent."
Although facing challenges such as the misspelled name on his office door and the notorious SU learning curve, Hovdebo appears focused and ready for the year that awaits him.
"Either you sink or swim," he declared definitively. "I don't see this learning curve stuff. You do what you do and you learn while you're getting stuff done."