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BC's Clubs Provide Opportunities for Participation

Brightly colored booths dotted Alumni's Baird Lounge as music from all ranges of ethnicities blared from laptops. Berea College's annual Club and Organization Fair was a mix of colors, sounds and candy for all--as well as the opportunity to meet new people and join in new activities on campus.

Students browse through booths at the Club fair this past week.

Many diverse and exciting groups were on hand at the fair. Students milled about, talking to people at different booths and signing up for email lists. Sonya Reed, a sophomore, is already a double major. Even so, Reed says, "I definitely feel like I'll join Adopt-A-Grandparent, and I'd really like to be more involved in the FCA."

Some of the more popular groups included the Buddhist Student Association, the Berea Entrepreneurs Club, Psi Chi, FCA, the Berea Middle Eastern Dance Club, the Swing Club and the Capoeira Club.

The Buddhist Student Association is one of the newer clubs on campus, formed in 2002. The group contains representatives from every sect of Buddhism. The BSA represents a broad range of people, and not all of them are Buddhists. President Suzanne Ritter wants to see "anyone with an interest in Buddhism or the cultural aspect of the religion" to feel welcome to join the group. The BSA has plans to be more active on campus this year. They would like to work in conjunction with the other religious groups on campus to put up peace flags around Christmastime.

With a unique booth modeled after a lemonade stand, the Berea Entrepreneurs Club attracted student attention. The club was formed in 2003, and it supports and educates students on business ownership. It also gives them the foundation needed to later own their own business, and is not just for majors in the field. The group brings in outside speakers, usually local social entrepreneurs who teach students how to also benefit their community. Melissa Williams, the CEO (or President), says the group "wants to prepare students for their future, no matter what that future may be."

Psi Chi, an old staple on the Berea College campus, is the college's chapter of the Psychology Honors Society. The club is active on campus in many ways: producing movie nights for students, organizing community service projects and selling tee shirts are just a few of the things you can catch them doing. This fall, they are working on the NAMI project, which is one of the largest grassroots organizations dedicated to improving the lives of people with mental illnesses. This year's NAMI walk in Ky is being held in Lexington.

Berea's chapter of the nationwide Fellowship of Christian Athletes, or FCA, focuses on outreach to the students through athletics, coaches and athletes. The group focuses on worship as well as the Bible in their weekly meetings. The FCA is the largest interdenominational, school-based Christian sports organization in America, and focuses on serving local communities by equipping, empowering and encouraging people to make a difference for Christ.

The Berea Middle Eastern Dance Club is also new, formed in the Fall semester of 2005 after students expressed an interest in forming the group. The BMEDC wants to bring Middle Eastern culture to Berea College and help students understand it. The group teaches through dance, music and informational sessions, and also offer lessons at the dance studio on Friday nights. Sessions are led by Nashwa Cahill, who instructs in Middle Eastern Dance movements that help tone the body, improve posture, empower the spirit and improve confidence.

The Swing Club also gives dance lessons to students on Saturdays. The group travels to swing dances in nearby communities such as Richmond, Lexington and Knoxville, Tenn. They have been known to facilitate a few dances on campus for the whole student body. Anyone can join, and diverse majors and fields of experience are welcomed, from Biology majors to the members of Berea’s other dance clubs.

The newest club on campus, the Capoeira Club, is so new that it's still in its formation process. The club began recently after the Short Term Capoeira class trip to Brazil and Argentina. They wanted to bring the dance back to the college and educate the students about the art form.

Though there were a wide variety of clubs on hand, there are still clubs remaining to be made. Virgina Triplett comments, "I'd like to see an Outdoors Club, or something like that. I'd definitely join!" Rose Goble wants to see a Marksman Club, reminding those around her that "it is an Olympic sport, after all!"

For more information on these clubs and a complete list of all the clubs Berea College has to offer, click on the link below.

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