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Davis, California

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Student clubs with purpose, passion and parties

Members of SOS, KASA may have other aims

UC Davis offers a wide variety of clubs and organizations which promote making connections with other students or helping students pursue a specific interest or extracurricular. While some of these organizations are intended to encourage student involvement, some are better known for their parties.

The Ski or Snowboard Club, better known as SOS, claims to be the largest social club at UC Davis. Their primary goal is to “get you up to the snow in the cheapest, most exciting way possible,” according to their website.

Popular social events hosted by SOS include a Halloween Crawl, Jello Wrestling and a Welcome Week event. These events are free for members, but non-members are charged $5 for entry.

Second-year genetics and genomics major and SOS member Mari Hoffman said that the club has not only given her some of her best friends, but also once-in-a-lifetime access to different mountains.

“I love how the club gives any student at Davis the opportunity to get to the mountains and meet all different types of people,” Hoffman said.

When asked about the balance between snow activities and partying, Hoffman said that although the club is intended for winter activities, it’s still a year-round organization and members enjoy each other’s company on a continuing basis.

“I would say we have the best of both worlds,” Hoffman said. “We are college kids who love to ski and get outside, but are also in college and enjoy partying […]. During Winter Quarter the primary focus is skiing, but we like to have fun all year-round, so [we] have events in the fall and spring.”

Another student organization at UC Davis known for their parties is the Korean American Student Association, known as KASA. KASA hosts many social events throughout the year, charging non-members $5 for entry.

A non-member who once attended a KASA social event and who asked to remain anonymous due to a fear of being blacklisted from future KASA social events discussed a friend’s experience with the club.

“My friend told me that at a KASA party, she was socializing with one of their members [and] that member was encouraging her to join the club,” they said. “My friend told her that she doesn’t have enough time to join a club and the member told her that all they care about is partying.”

The source said that, as an outsider to the organization, they are unaware of what else KASA does aside from hosting social events. The organization, however, does hold other events with the goal of building a family and foundation for club members.

“I, personally, don’t mind that their club runs this way, but I guess I can see how it might be a problem because it’s not very professional,” the source said.

The Center for Student Involvement, an on-campus resource meant to engage students in extracurriculars, addressed its involvement level in regards to regulating student organizations.

“Anything that happens off campus, CSI doesn’t observe,” said CSI Director Kristin Dees said. “Registered student organizations are actually not heavily connected to the campus — they are affiliated. We don’t have any policies that say that this is how the organization should run, this is how an organization should conduct their business.”

When students want to create an organization, they need the CSI’s approval. One requirement is that the organization’s purpose is “consistent with the educational nature of the University,” according to the CSI’s website.

“When we register an organization, we look at the purpose statement that they submit through the registration process,” Dees said. “We don’t evaluate if their activities live up to that purpose statement. That’s not something that, as an office, we do because they are their own student-run, student-led organizations. That is why we never see the phrase ‘UC Davis’ in that name, except to describe the location.”

CSI is, however, able to investigate club activities if someone files a complaint or reports that the organization is violating the terms and policies.

“If a student on-campus has a problem, … we definitely want to hear feedback and we talk to organizations saying, ‘Hey, we got this complaint’ or ‘We got this report. Can you talk more about this and what it looks like?’” Dees explained. “At this point, we haven’t received complaints or reports saying that clubs aren’t upholding, or consistent with the purpose that is communicated through the AggieLife website.”

Written by: Linh Nguyen  — features@theaggie.org


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