By: Sarah Van Wie, Staff Writer
File photo by Mark Dragon and Alex Best
Towson University offers plenty of social opportunities for students apprehensive about making new friends and getting involved with more than 300 clubs and organizations offered to students. From academic, special interest and service organizations to arts, culture and religious/spiritual organizations, Towson’s wide and diverse range makes it easy for everyone to get involved on campus.
To get you started, here are a few clubs that might catch your eye.
Best Buddies International is an organization on Towson’s campus whose sole purpose of this club is to ignite friendships, but these friendships have a special purpose. Best Buddies friendships create opportunities for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). These one-to-one friendships provide harmonious leadership and employment skills to those with IDD.
“We strive to have fun with our friends while promoting inclusion,” Best Buddies President Gabby Mannino said. “We all are a part of this society, and we all need friends.”
In the beginning of March, Best Buddies hosts its annual “Spread the Word to End the Word” event outside of the Susquehanna Food Court. Everyone that passes their decorated table is asked to take a pledge by signing their name to stop the use of the R-word.
“The last two years, we have collaborated with the sisters of Alpha Xi Delta,” Mannino said. “Their support and enthusiasm is awesome.”
Best Buddies hosts a Friendsgiving catered by Black and Gold Catering, with games and dancing as well, to celebrate their friendships.
“We hope one day that people with IDD are not limited in society or viewed as less,” Mannino said. “That they are our co-workers, our friends, our family. How awesome would it be if you were a part of that change?”
Another club that changes things up is the Campus Activities Board (CAB).
“[We] provide Towson students with fun, diverse, and memorable events to bring [people] together outside the classroom,” said Alasia McDonald, Director of CAB. “Our slogan is ‘For students, by students.’”
An annual event hosted by CAB is Towson’s most anticipated event, Tigerfest, a two-day festival that is kicked off with a carnival the first day and continues with a concert the second day. Last year’s featured performers included 2 Chainz and Chase Bryant.
“We also have other great annual events that students should keep an eye out for,” McDonald said. “In October, we do Booingo, which is Halloween-themed bingo. Winners get some cool prizes — in the past we’ve given out TVs and iPads.”
That same week, CAB puts on an annual event called Survive Towson, a campus-wide zombie hunt.
“I did get a chance to play one year and it’s scary and intense, but super fun,” McDonald said. “Freshmen should get involved because, first and foremost, it’s fun! You can also learn more about yourself as a leader and as a member of a team or a group, leading to personal and professional growth.”
Another unique club on campus is The Tea Society, also known as the Tea Club. The Tea Club brings people together over fun board games with a vast selection of tea to relieve stress and meet new people.
“Over the course of the semester there will be tons of tea-related events that will involve free food, fun and, of course, tea,” Vice President Gabrielle Brager said. “We will be hosting these events so people can come learn about the history of tea and the different techniques people use to drink tea all over the world, and so they can drink tea to relax.”
The Tea Club encourages freshmen to join them in drinking tea as a great way to revitalize, or drinking decaf to release stress.
“I never would have thought I could have so much fun drinking tea,” Brager said. “I have made friends that have had my back through the semesters and I thank the Tea Club for that.”
New Student Programs’s First Look: Get Involved fair on Aug. 25 at 7 p.m. at SECU Arena will provide incoming students with many more opportunities to check out clubs and groups on campus.