September 10, 2021 | NEWS | By Iona Ellsworth | Photo by Tamar Crump
On Thursday, Sept. 2, Worner and Cornerstone buzzed with the excitement of the annual Colorado College club fair. The large gathering of some 131 clubs and organizations provoked a room full of conversation that welcomed in new and returning students alike.
Students had a two hour window in which to chat with club representatives and sign up for a wealth of activities. From Boxing Club to Room 46 Acapella, there was something for everybody to get excited about, especially after a year and a half of Zoom interactions.
Club leaders were particularly enthusiastic about getting a new year of in-person meetings and activities underway. The leaders of Twit, CC’s improv group were especially eager for an in-person return.
“[Being remote] is hard. With improv, it’s so much about reaction time and being able to feel other peoples’ energies,”Cameron Bacher ’22 said, as co-leader of the group. “That’s really hard to do over the internet.”
There’s no question that Twit is eager to get back to live performances, with two shows planned for first block alone. Twit is also looking for new members who, as member Lili Whittier said, “are excited about being goofy.” For those interested, auditions will be held on third Thursday, Sept. 16 at 4 p.m. in Cornerstone.
For those in search of a more athletically-oriented club, CC’s Nordic Ski Team might fit the bill.
“Rather than going downhill, it’s more like running on skis,” Captain Jamilah Marondo ’23 said. “The skis are a lot lighter and thinner than downhill skis, and we go on flat terrain and up and down rolling hill terrain.”
Along with regular training sessions, during the winter members of the Nordic Ski Team participate in races around Colorado.
“[Club members] can choose how competitive they want to be with it,” Marondo said. “At races, some people will just dress up in flair and have a good time, whereas other people might use those races to go really hard.”
Marondo encourages potential members to keep an eye out for posters in Worner announcing practice dates as well as to follow the team on their Instagram, @CC_Nordic, for updates on the weekly schedule.
For those interested in honing their public speaking skills, the Speech and Debate team is also looking forward to a full and exciting schedule this year.
Club leaders Colleen Campbell ’23 and Stephen Sigman ’22 reflected on the club’s overall objectives. “We really try to keep in mind the goal of whoever is participating,” Campbell said. “We have members on the team who are interested in getting more comfortable with public speaking, and other people that want to be really competitive.”
On a larger scale, the Speech and Debate team is focused on issues of social justice and representation. “Thinking about how to use Speech as a place to talk about important issues and thinking about organizing resistance is something a lot of us try to incorporate into the work that we’re doing,” Campbell said.
The Speech and Debate team also offers members plenty of opportunities to build community. “One unexpected silver lining [of the pandemic] is that we had Zoom socials with Arizona State University,” Sigman said. “There was a really strong sense of camaraderie that we built with students from other programs.”
After having to adapt to a virtual format, Speech and Debate members are thrilled about the prospect of returning to in-person tournaments sometime this year. Members may even get a chance to tour and compete in other cities this spring, with potential competitions as far as Mexico City.
Despite the massive challenges of 2020 and the strains of virtual community, CC clubs tried to maintain a lively club culture. Twit members kept their creative energies flowing, even from a distance, by offering virtual performances.
“Those of us who were [at CC] were seeing each other outside to do some distanced improv,” Whittier said. Twit leaders also organized multiple Zoom performances. “My parents had never seen me do Twit, and they were able to tune in, so it was kind of cool to have Twit in the ether,” Bacher said.
During the pandemic, the Nordic Ski Team preserved a sense of community through their Instagram page. “If someone went skiing, they’d post it just as a way to remember that we’re all here,” Marondo said. Now that they can meet in person, the team is looking to grow the social aspect of the club.