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Students Find Fun and Friends in UMD's Pop Culture Clubs

December 8, 2014

Lightsabers and Wands: Pop Culture Clubs at UMD

UMD has many clubs which cover an array of subjects from knitting to sustainability to video games to dance and everything in between. UMD has two pop culture clubs, the Star Wars Club and the Quidditch Club, which doubles as the Harry Potter Fan Club. These clubs go beyond watching the series and sagas. They are involved in fundraising for community organizations and doing special events that get the whole campus involved. Both of these clubs’ missions are about having fun while connecting with others.

culture clubs

Not So Long, Long Ago
The newest pop culture club on campus is the Star Wars Club. The club started this past fall and has 132 members. The club holds monthly meetings to plan out campus-wide events relating to Star Wars.

“It is a fun place for people to show their passions for Star Wars, and we are doing such a variety of things that anyone can join,” said Jacob Schornak, vice president of the Star Wars Club.

“Star Wars Club seemed like a nerdy, quirky, and awesome place to be,” said Luke Jacobs, a Star Wars Club member. “A room full of Jedi's sounded like a good time, so I decided to sign up. So far, it has been even better than I expected. The meetings are fun, engaging, and only slightly crazy. The members are all very welcoming, upbeat, and adventurous.”

"I always watched Star Wars as a kid," said Sam Schwartz. "I drifted away from it in my adolescent years, but I rediscovered it when I came to college. With all the stress of school, it is really nice to get with a group of people to participate in activities that involve a certain subject or theme that we all have in common. I am also able to incorporate my art skills to promote the club."

They plan to partner with Kirby Program Board for Star Wars Day, May the 4th, and have a Star Warsmarathon going all day with Star Wars-shaped cookies and other festivities. They also hope to partner with the Office of Sustainability to make posters with a theme to promote composting which will be put up around campus. 

In the future they’d like to have a 'Wookie Call Contest' and host an event next semester called “Vadering for Hope” raising money for the Lifehouse, Duluth’s homeless and at risk youth shelter. "Vadering is when one person jumps and the other person raises their hand as though they are force-choking the individual and a picture is taken. It looks like they are being lifted off the ground,” said Schornak. “We are hoping to have enough people to make it into the Guinness Book of World Records."

Hogwarts Duluth
The Harry Potter franchise has its own place on the campus with the Quidditch Club. This club plays the game Quidditch and is also the UMD Harry Potter Fan Club.

The Quidditch Club team is called the Iron Dragons. The team meets for practices a couple times each week. Students play on intramural teams which compete throughout the school year.

“Quidditch is kind of an odd combination of a number sports, but is most similar to basketball and rugby,” said  Emilia Holstine, Quidditch Club Captain.  “We run around with broomsticks, throwing balls at each other and trying to get them through hoops. People come to practices to play Quidditch, but also to have fun and hang out with friends.”

"The Quidditch Club has been really great for me," said Holly Maile, Quidditch member. "I have met many new friends, and it gives me more motivation to be active. I may not be the best at sports, but in Quidditch, that doesn't matter. It's about being a team of people brought together by mutual interests."

The Harry Potter Fan Club part of the club hosts showings of the Harry Potter movies throughout the school year. They also hold the Yule Ball every year, which is a formal dance. The ball will be held at the beginning of 2015. They also do community fundraising, such as selling Butterbeer, and volunteer activities, such as teaching children at the YMCA how to play Quidditch.

Check out other clubs at the Bulldog Link and get involved! If you don’t see a club you wish we had, you can always create your own club. For more information about creating your own club visit the Kirby Student Center website.

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