Student organizations get platform in second Cokes and Clubs


Hundreds of students came to the event, which featured over 60 student organizations; photo by Michael Hsu.

Student organizations enlivened the Hoogenboom Gym with smiles, with cleverly themed posters and cans of Coke for the second round of Cokes & Clubs this year. 61 out of 69 student organizations and eight Calvin-sponsored groups attended the event.

Up and down the rows of tables, groups of friends mingled and gathered to ask for information from club representatives. Students attending Cokes & Clubs 2.0, especially those transferring for the spring semester or arriving back from studying off-campus, received reassurance that they were welcome at Calvin College.

Cokes & Clubs 2.0 provided a space for student organizations to explain their purposes in more depth. For example, the rescue team, Liberty in North Korea (LiNK), with its headquarters in Los Angeles, has attended Cokes & Clubs since the founding of the organization to spread awareness about and fundraise for North Korean refugees escaping and resettling outside of their country.

“Just by telling people what our organization is and about North Korea,” stated representative Jiho Jeong, a third-year student at Calvin, “there are a lot of people who sometimes don’t know or think that the government brainwashes people, but that was in the past. What is happening now is there are many North Koreans who are escaping, and they are starting to understand the reality of their country.”

Likewise, the physical, occupational and recreational therapy (PORT) club, which may seem restricted to students pursuing a career in therapy, explained that they host events throughout the year which are inclusive of all majors. During Cokes & Clubs 2.0., representatives of the organization welcomed majors of other fields and guaranteed that the terminology and topics of club gatherings and speaking events would not “go over their heads.”

With a chance to hear explanations of club events and goals, students had the resources they needed to choose a club that supported their interests. This year, the Calvin Video Game Sphere hosted weekly events on Fridays with steady attendance and monthly tournaments, both open to all students. One of their representatives recognized the benefit of expanding their membership through Cokes & Clubs 2.0.

“We’ve had lots of sign ups from the last one,” stated a representative, “Not so much from this one … because people already come to the first semester. But for any other student who just transferred in or just couldn’t go to the first one, you can say it brings more members to our group.”

Jesús Delgado, coordinator of campus involvement and leadership, explained another reason for the lower attendance in the spring in comparison with the fall semester:

“With this being the second year we do Cokes & Clubs in the spring,” he stated, “we had over 350 students attend this event. Of course, our spring numbers tend to be lower than in the fall primarily due to location. In the fall, Cokes & Clubs is in the middle of Commons Lawn (a place students must walk past to get to their classes or residence halls) whereas when we have it in the Hoogenboom Gym, it becomes a destination that students must get to, which is a hassle during the cold winter days.”

If you are interested in becoming involved with a student organization, but were unable to attend due to a schedule conflict or the freezing temperature, it is not too late for you to join. Please see the full list of student organizations on the Offices and Services page of the Calvin College website for club contact information.