There are a near-endless number of offbeat activities schools offer to those whose idea of fun goes beyond intramural sports, Greek life, and traditional students activities.
The things students can explore is usually limited only by their imagination and willingness to fill out some paperwork. With that in mind, here’s a list of some of the most out-of-the-box official college clubs from around the nation.
Pirate Appreciation 101 has been going strong on the Brown University campus since 1999. The club bills itself as a “support group for unrepentant pirates and sea dogs." Primary group activities appear to include dressing in primo swashbuckling gear and waxing philosophical about the joy of grog in the form of a sea shanties — a musical style they’ve dubbed “a-capirate."
For a taste of some of their musical stylings, watch this clip below:
Since 2008, the University of Minnesota’s Campus People Watchers has been a home for students looking to “experience group psychology, write critiques, and delve into the culture of the University of Minnesota" with “field trips to unique subcultures of Minneapolis." U of M seems to be the earliest adopter of formal people watching, but similar clubs exist at Boston University, Florida Gulf Coast, and the University of Connecticut.
The surprisingly-not-very-clown-related Clown Nose Club of Penn State University is all about forming positive human connections, and less about pies to the face and hastily piling out of a small car. According to the club’s website, members aim to “take positive social risks." The clown nose is simply meant as a conversation starter, one that forces students to go out of their comfort zone while cheering up someone’s day. This could be a great choice for you if you love making people smile.
Shouldn’t every school have a happiness club? Northwestern’s club is about creating a cheerful community on campus. From instituting “High-Five Fridays" where students stand outside academic buildings, giving high fives to passersby, to kite flying and hot chocolate sharing, these students go out of their way to put joy into other’s days.
Perhaps the most risque of all Brandeis University’s body art clubs, Liquid Latex has been putting on a yearly student-artist created dance and runway modeling show, featuring students in all-latex body suits, since 2010. Getting involved as a model has two major requirements: Being cool with flaunting the body in the tightest clothing imaginable, and passing a latex allergy test, for obvious reasons.
How’s this for longevity? Harvard’s Porcellian club has been going strong since 1791, when a group of 30-ish students decided they wanted to roast their own pigs to avoid dining hall food. It’s notoriously exclusive, having rejected the likes of Franklin D. Roosevelt and Joseph P. Kennedy. It’s also men-only. Think Jesse Eisenberg freezing his snarky posterior off at the beginning of “The Social Network." Like other secret societies, the Porcellian Club has an aura of mystery and intrigue about it that makes it kind of irresistible.
Most people are either squirrel-indifferent or passively pro-squirrel. There are, however, the rare folks with unrivaled levels of enthusiasm for maybe the most common animal found on American college campuses. At the University of Michigan, they belong to the Squirrel Club. According to the club’s official website, their mission is to “... feed peanuts to the squirrels and have a good time. No stress, no dues, just the pure joy of having a squirrel take a peanut out of your hand." Founded all the way back in 2002, the Squirrel Club still looks to be going strong.
Has any vehicle in recent memory made a more improbable comeback than the unicycle? Clearly inferior to bicycles in terms of utility, but superior in novelty, the unicycle has several college clubs in its honor. The Milwaukee School of Engineering’s club, however, is probably the largest, with 20 unicycles and over 60 members. So what are the advantages of a unicycle, according to club founder Jeff Hanson? “You can carry it under your arm and then you hop on and go." Fair enough.
Jones, M. (2013, October 18). Growing popularity of unicycles rolls on with MSOE club's help. Retrieved August 6, 2014, from Journal Sentinel
Osborn, Z. (2013, October 17). Who Needs a Student Center When We Have the Porcellian? Retrieved August 6, 2014, from The Crimson