Club Fair

Caroline E. Condon '13

It would be an exaggeration to claim that clubs at Olin outnumber the actual students - but frankly, not by much. Olin's SAO (Student Activities and Organizations) makes it as easy as possible for groups of students to get together and pursue a common interest (okay, the crucial part for us college students is they make it easy for us to get together and get funding to pursue a common interest). Some have been around for veritable ages in Olin years, like the Ultimate Frisbee team; some are new (Noodle Club, or the tricycle racing club); some are new versions of old clubs (like the re-formation of WHACK: the Weapons Handling and Combat Kakistotracy)

In order to keep up with this constantly changing set of clubs as upperclassmen and introduce them to first year students, we start every year with a club fair where organizations have a chance to do pretty much anything they can think of to explain their purpose, show off their toys, showcase past projects, recruit new members and generally be awesome.

ClubFair.PNGFig. Juggling, poi and frisbee at club fair.


This year, Massachusetts cooperated by providing a lovely sunny afternoon, which let us use the Oval between the main buildings on campus (the Campus Center, the Academic Center and Milas Hall) for displays and demonstrations. Here's a few students dancing on a section of ODP's (Olin Dance Project) floor, brought out for the occasion.
And here's Jared Kirschner (2013) with the sailbot built by the Robotic Sailing Club. This new club won 2nd place International Robotic Sailing Competition this summer, and are now moving towards building a boat capable of crossing the Atlantic Ocean in the next few years. Oh, and it will do it autonomously.

sailbot_at_club_fairAs a bonus, he's riding a community-owned bike provided by Olin's sustainability club GROW.

At Olin, clubs and organizations are considered part of the curriculum itself, not just an afterthought to technical coursework. If that idea is intriguing to you, it's worth looking up the "Curriculum Continuum" but the basic idea is that the learning we do happens in classes (of course!) as well as research, passionate pursuits, co-curriculars, service - to the Olin community and to the larger community, clubs/organizations and plain recreation. By the time most Oliners are seniors, they've probably experienced all of these! It's also probably part of why we're so busy - but I wouldn't have it any other way, and I can definitely assure you that the non-classwork parts of this continuum have made me think just as hard as my formal classes.

Posted in: Class of 2013