At a school with over 400 clubs and organizations it can be hard to find your niche. Sifting through descriptions of all those clubs can be overwhelming and finding your place in the JMU community isn’t always immediate; plus, how do you actually pick one?! You want a group of people who get you; who will challenge you to be better; and most importantly, who understand you. I didn’t find that at JMU until I joined a club. So in the spirit of helping out my fellow Dukes, I did the research for you. Here is a brief highlight of my top ten favorite organizations (in no particular order) and some information on how to learn more:
1. SafeRides: a huge non-profit on campus, these awesome people volunteer to get students home safely by offering free (non-judgmental) sober rides every Friday and Saturday night.
2. Campus Assault Response (CARE): CARE supplies JMU with a student run 24/7 sexual assault and intimate partner violence helpline as well as gives informational programs across campus; and don’t forget their weekly meetings!
3. Free Flow: because who doesn’t enjoy a good hula hooping session? This club of mellow members offers the chance to hang out with fellow dukes who enjoy “flow sports” (sports in which movement is fluid) such as hula hooping, spinning poi (a rhythmic performance art), and more. Any and all flow sports welcome!
4. Bare Naked Ladies: these lovely ladies seek to spread body positivity, self-confidence, and the healthy body images of women. They believe that every woman is beautiful in her own way and work together to promote this idea through fun activities and meetings.
5. Cooking at Madison: a unique club that offers opportunities for “foodies” to participate in fun and engaging discourse surrounding cooking and sustainability. They also focus on building a relationship with the Harrisonburg community.
6. Reality Educators Advocating Campus Health (REACH): though this club’s name is a mouthful, don’t let it scare you away! This club is all about spreading health awareness through peer education. Members have the opportunity to reach hundreds of students and organizations across campus through peer facilitated discussion on safe sex, healthy relationships, alcohol safety, and more.
7. EARTH Club: the name is pretty self explanatory, but this club’s main focus is the environment. They strive to advocate and educate the JMU community on topics regarding environment and sustainability.
8. Gardy Loo: if you’re a creative person looking for an outlet or consider yourself a strong curator, this club is for you! Gardy Loo is a literary and arts magazine that publishes student work from all majors.
9. Knitwits: who knew all you knitters out there had a special place at JMU? Join a group of fellow crafters, and learn the art of crochet and knitting as well as make new friends.
10. Outdoor Adventure Club: a group of adventurous students who enjoy the beauty of nature through hiking, camping, exploration, and more!