[ystud/sstud] Which club is right for you? (PIZZA MAY BE SERVED)
Welcome back to school. You know the drill. College is a short few years, and the countdown to real life is slowly ticking away. Here are a few ways to appreciate the unique opportunity that you have of being here--before it’s too late.
The Commentator/ The Observer
These are the two preeminent publications for undergraduate students. They both require a heavy time commitment for their writers, editors, and support staff, as the papers go to print more frequently than other university publications. They have a large reading base, dedicated editors who will work to get your article ready for publication, and independence from the university, which means they have total liberty to report a wide spectrum of issues. Both publications accept outside submissions from students and faculty.
Kol Hamevaser is YU’s Jewish thought magazine that comes out a few times a year. Writers publish thought-provoking pieces relating to current events or varied aspects of Judaism. The KHM community also joins together to read and discuss academic articles.
The Quipster is a satirical newspaper at YU. The paper pokes fun at various facets of YU, but tend to tread carefully around the administration and RIETS. They have always accepted outside submissions and there is a review process for what gets posted on the website.
Shield News serves YU’s student body through short video news segments. The club serves as a platform for students with communication and broadcasting skills. Shield News is a weekly staple of our inboxes and always on the scene at big events.
WYUR is yet another medium available for students with an interest in radio and broadcasting. The station hosts many programs, each typically an hour long. The nature of the shows vary, with some students opting for music while others use their time to address current events.
YCDS/SCDS (Drama Societies)
You should perform in front of a large group of friends and strangers at least once in your life. Acting is a way of experiencing a side of yourself that will otherwise lie dormant for the rest of your life. It’s incredibly scary for most people who aren’t natural actors, but that’s what our college drama societies are for. This semester YCDS will be performing “Terra Nova,” a story about the British expedition to the Antarctic, and SCDS will be performing “The Wizard of Oz,” the much anticipated sequel to the recently released film starring James Franco as Oz, the Great and Powerful.
Do you really love your homeland? If so, YU has just the club for you. The Five Towns Club meets every Friday afternoon in the main terminal of Penn station. If you’re not from the Five Towns, maybe you’re from Iran, Syria, Morocco, France, Russia, Ashkenaz or Latin America. The Persian, Sefaradi and Russian clubs celebrate their motherlands with fun events and shabbatons aimed at bringing like-minded students together with familiar food and language.
The Art Club is devoted to synthesizing the arts and Jewish culture on campus. In the past, their big events have been painting and photography contests and exhibitions, such as the Yom Ha’atzmaut art gallery. This year, they are planning a surprise event for Channuka which will include music and an exciting never-before-seen photography initiative.
The Psychology club--and while we’re at it the Neuroscience, Biology and History clubs-- sponsor speakers from their respective fields to speak to interested students. They occasionally show movies or host panels with professionals in the field. The Chemistry club is also associated with the American Chemical Society, which invites students to attend undergraduate and graduate student conferences. The club is also known for its unforgettable annual magic show.
SOY, or Student Organization of Yeshiva, is the student council which oversees most of the Jewish activities on campus. SOY brings in speakers, organizes the semi-annual chagigot, and arranges other programs - like shabbatonim, various publications and tisches. SOY is a student council, so all members are elected. Look out for elections in the spring. The Aguna Advocacy club is made up of students who travel to different parts of New York to participate in rallies protesting against husbands who refuse to give their wives a Jewish divorce. The Sharsheret club’s biggest event is the annual Sharsheret walk for Breast Cancer. The Chessed Club organizes charity drives, including the Midnight run and semi-annual clothing drives.
Israel clubs include the Israel Club and YUPAC. The Israel club has many events throughout the semester including a kumzits in the middle of Times Square. The club also serves to promote Yom Hazikaron and Yom Ha’atzma’ut, as well as Aliyah information sessions with Nefesh B’Nefesh. They frequently have pita and falafel at their events, so if you’re ever sick of pizza or ice cream, definitely stop by.
TEIQU, or Torah Exploration of Ideas, Questions and Understanding, is aimed at elevating the Jewish intellectual discourse on campus. Several times a semester they bring in well-known speakers in order to foster meaningful discussions about religion and philosophy.
Student Holocaust Education Movement, or SHEM, has their biggest event on Yom Hashoa. However, they also hold events throughout the year with speakers, reenacting the Eichman trial, and teaming up with other social justice clubs around campus.
The YU Democrats and YU Republicans are pretty self-explanatory. If you weren’t here for this past national election, you missed quite a debate between the two sides.
Yeshiva University Environmental Society.
YUES is one of the more dynamic clubs on campus. The students who are involved are interested not just in how they can make YU worth their while, but also how they themselves can be worthwhile for YU. They hold a number of events throughout the semester - such as a competition to reduce energy consumption between the dorms on both campuses, pledge drives to implore students to recycle in exchange for enviro-conscious mugs or water bottles, and host Builder Battles, a themed art contest in which teams compete to build collages and sculptures entirely out of recyclable materials. Additionally, look out for their ystuds/sstuds about upcoming hikes that they do around scenic areas of NY and NJ.
Music Vs. is an initiative that serves to foster relationships between students and sick children, veterans, and seniors. Members of the club visit hospitals and nursing homes periodically throughout the semester and play musical instruments for the residents. The club currently has over ten chapters at various universities across the country, and has a very large, dedicated member base.
Students Helping Students
Another of the largest clubs on campus, SHS is dedicated to seeing that every student that wants to attend YU is financially capable. They host events like pizza-making at Grandma’s and a video competition in order to raise funds. One specific event coming up is #givingtuesday, where institutions all over the country will be collecting donations for scholarships.
With a rather impressive website describing who they are and what they do, the club itself has forums for members to present speeches to the rest of the group on a topic they decide. The club encourages constructive criticism of members in order to better their public speaking skills.
Film Club, SciFi club, and FantaSciFi
These clubs feature really great movies, and are really genuine in their appreciation for what they are doing. As an example, when the SciFi watched “Harry Potter,” they had Butter Beer and house sorting for the members - many of which came in costume. When the same club showed Back to the Future, they gave out official YU flux capacitors and free plutonium.
Active Minds is a national organization meant to empower individuals with psychiatric illnesses and disorders. The club also serves to educate others on what living with an illness or disorder is like. Active Minds holds a number of powerful and informative events throughout the semester with either courageous students speaking out about their own personal struggles, or outside professionals coming to enlighten the public on little known issues.
This is just a small sampling of some of the clubs at YU. Whatever you’re into, there’s a club for you. So, get out of your room and find something you love.