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August 6, 2007 | by  | in Opinion |
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President Geoff

Last Thursday I had the pleasure of spending a couple of hours with a soon-to-be affiliated club, the Sorority Sigma Omega Pi, as they spent the day dressed as pirates and fairies, giving toys and gifts to kids currently in Wellington Hospital. Thanks to The Warehouse, over $500 of free books and toys were given away. A highlight for me was playing Guess Who with the kids. It’s amazing how a committed group of individuals can do to help a group.

Sigma Omega Pi is just one more club that is joining the 80-odd clubs affiliated to VUWSA. There is quite a range of clubs, from The French Club to Tae Kwon Do. There’s even many clubs representing the major political parties, and NGOs like Amnesty International. If you have seen the Quad on clubs day, you can see how diverse and numerous they are.

Joining is pretty easy: contact the clubs directly. VUWSA has the contact details of each club, in the clubs section of the VUWSA website (www.vuwsa.org.nz/clubs) or by visiting the VUWSA offices (especially Kelburn). For some clubs there is a membership fee or subs. You’ll have to check with them to see what the cost is beforehand.

Joining a club is a cost for students, but a highly worthwhile one. I am and have always been of the opinion that students should not be there just to study, as important and expensive as it is. It’s important to see these years at university as an opportunity to try new things, follow passions and develop skills that a university environment just cannot provide.

VUWSA provides to its affiliated clubs a great deal of services and support. Clubs are handled primarily by two individuals, the Clubs Officer (who is elected by students each year) Melissa Barnard and the Clubs Development Officer Brent Hayward (who works full time at the Kelburn office). VUWSA provides grants for clubs, for such things as holding events, coaching, equipment, affiliation, venue hire or even long term repairs or capital expenditure. There are conditions that apply, so check the application form; you can get that from VUWSA.

Likewise, we have arranged special deals with Piggy Back rentals for Van Hire, and can help out with other companies if you ask us early enough. VUWSA also gets free access for its clubs to room and quad hire through the Union. Again, conditions do apply. Likewise, clubs can also rent the VUWSA BBQ, chairs and tables and other items from VUWSA. Contact VUWSA for more details.

VUWSA also is a member of University Sport NZ, who holds a number of national sporting events across the year. Perhaps the most well known is the University Games. As reported last week in Salient, the Games for 2008 are being held in Rotorua. After going this year, I had such a good time, and there’s a good chance to win next year, without the somewhat unfair home town advantage. Also this month is the University Snow games, being held in Wanaka. If you want to go, time is running out fast, so get down to VUWSA to find out how to become a competitor.

What if you cannot find a club you like? You could always make up your own. To become affiliated to VUWSA there are a number of conditions and requirements, but the process is pretty straightforward. The most important thing is to have a club membership that is at least twenty student members large.

Everything that you need to sign up is available via VUWSA, as well as any help you need in getting started. If finances are a problem, then don’t be afraid to come to VUWSA to help you out. That also goes for current clubs as well. The VUWSA Accounts Clerk Gavin Sutherland can also help to make sure your financial records are up to date, and if you ask nicely, some financial advice to remain a transparent organisation.

So, get out there and join a club, you’ll appreciate it… so says the student pirate.

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