Campus Clubs Enrich Campus Life

2010 Club Fair

10 a.m. - 3 p.m. Friday, Sept. 3 -- Fidel Center

SOCORRO, N.M. September 2, 1010 – New Mexico Tech students find a variety of activities to fill their free time.

“What free time?” some would say. Honestly, though, Tech students are active in many campus clubs – from sports and outdoor activities to academic clubs to dance and music.


The rugby club is perhaps the highest profile student organization on campus. However, the Student Association supports dozens of clubs that cater to the varied interests of Tech students.

Clubs give students a chance to make friends and indulge in extracurricular activities, but they also present opportunities for students to explore leadership roles and engage in volunteer work.

The Student Association supports all campus clubs that have no membership requirements, with a proviso that each club must do volunteer work each year, either on campus or in the community.

Jacob Douglas, vice president of the Student Association, said clubs help students feel at home on campus. The S.A. is hosting the annual Club Fair from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, Sept. 3, in the Fidel Center atrium.

All active clubs will have tables and information about membership, activities and volunteer opportunities.

“It’s a very good way to find something to do,” Douglas said. “Especially for the freshmen who aren’t quite sure what’s going on around campus.”

The American Society of Mechanical Engineers is one of several academic clubs that engages students in professional and volunteer work.


The campus chapter of the Society of Economic Geologists takes a series of field trips each semester. In 2009, the club offered a trip to visit mines in Chile.


The climbing club members occasionally visit Stone Age gym in Albuquerque, but they predominantly explore the great outdoors around Socorro.


The Indian Student Association has a large membership and is active throughout the year on campus. The club also helps new students settle in to Socorro.

Matt Swanson, president of the student chapter, said the club provides an excellent way for new students to become acclimated with campus life.

“Freshmen get to network with upperclassmen and get help in classes,” he said. “They can also find out what they’re getting themselves into.”

The club has built an air cannon and is currently working on building a glider to compete in the Red Bull Flugtag event. The Tech chapter also sends students to professional conferences twice a year, hosts guest speakers, visits local schools and takes field trips to industries that employ Tech graduates.

Another academic club is the Society of Economic Geologists. President Sara Drueckhammer said the club takes several field trips throughout the year to mines and sends students to the national organization’s annual conference.

“If you’re interested in rocks and minerals or mining, you can fulfill those interests,” she said. “It’s a good resume builder too.”

Many of the clubs sponsored by the Student Association are not related to academic interests. The sporting clubs include rugby, soccer, volleyball, rock climbing, billiards and paintball, just to name a few. The rugby club is the longest running athletic club on campus. The Pygmies travel throughout the year to compete against other college and club teams. The men’s soccer team is sporting an expanded schedule this fall. The volleyball teams are also building a tradition on campus.

Danielle Shipley, an active member of the Climbing Club, said she enjoys traveling with friends to interesting and scenic locations in New Mexico. Club members – from 5 to 20 – use Tech vehicles for weekend trips or day outings to climb around the Southwest.

“For me, it’s really fun to go and climb all day and camp at night with my buddies,” Shipley said.

The club also participates in rock climbing competitions in Albuquerque.

Shipley is involved in a handful of other clubs as well, including the new women’s rugby club, the Environmental Engineering Club, Aditi Natesi belly dancing troupe and the new women’s sorority, Alpha Sigma Kappa.

“I think it’s fun to be involved,” she said. “Meeting upperclassmen is very important. They are your future RA’s and TA’s who can help you out. In the Environmental Engineering Club, I see the classes that the seniors are taking and that I will have to take eventually. They give really good advice about how to get through it and how to schedule classes.”

Other non-athletic clubs include the Society for Creative Anachronism, creative writing, gaming, ham radio operators and Socorro Search and Rescue (just to name a few). Ethnic clubs include the Chinese Student and Scholars Association and the Indian Student Association. Of course, these clubs are open to all students.

Barani Krishnan, an active member of the Indian Student Association, said the club has about 45 members, 32 of whom are from India or Nepal.

“We celebrate all the Indian festivals throughout the year,” he said. “We provide food and we dance. A few of them are religious, but 90 percent aren’t – like the Indian new year, the spring festival and the Festival of Fire. Students get to know about India and its culture.”

The Indian students invite all students to their celebrations. The club also has a large presence at Global Village Day. The organization also goes out of its way to help new Indian students become familiar with Socorro and New Mexico Tech.

“If a new student is coming, we go to Albuquerque and pick them up for free,” he said. “We help with accommodations for two or three weeks, take them to the bank, shopping and help them get settled in Socorro.”

– NMT –

By Thomas Guengerich/New Mexico Tech