Student Life director encourages student
interest in clubs

UCC student Chase Gilley meets with a small group of friends in Snyder Hall every Friday at noon who all have one thing in common: the ability to exchange opposing views in a positive manner.

Later in the afternoon in the same building, the Association of Foreign Languages, meets to practice their second language skills and discuss culture, led by French and Spanish instructor NiAodagain. “Foreign Language club is a good way to encourage other students to learn French” says Whitney Davis, a first year French student.

The UCC Debate Club, which Gilley is the president of, spars over everything from world events and issues to local problems and challenges affecting the college. But students don’t have to be a debater to be in the club. “If you just want to come in and hear what other voices have to say, you’re more than welcome, but more times than not, people who come saying that they’ll never debate find themselves offering their insight,” says Gilley. “I’ve been a debater for six years now and it’s something really worth being passionate for.”

Debate Club argues more than just politics; they also debate fun things, such as what movies or books are better. Students learn research skills, build well thought out arguments and develop abilities in public speaking. “We like to keep a positive atmosphere where friends can come together and discuss topics in [a] structured setting,” says Gilley.

However, the Debate Club isn’t the only club on campus. A wide array of others are available that provide students the opportunity to connect with peers who have similar interests. Members of the most active clubs attend weekly ASUCC meetings. Currently the active clubs are ASTRA, a service oriented organization (on and off campus), Phi Theta Kappa, a group composed of honors students, computer club, science club, and softball club. The clubs that are less active are the Association of Foreign Languages, engineering club, SkillsUSA (an umbrella for all tech and career clubs), the Gay-Straight Alliance and the Campus Bible Study club.

Students who join clubs, “are more likely to stay at UCC,” according to Marjan Coester, Director for Student Life. Coester explains that being a member of a club can provide career and leadership skills, as well as help supplement what is being taught in classes.

To start a new club, a student must collect thirty signatures from other students who support the forming of an additional club. All of these students do not have to be future members; the approval from them is enough. A constitution or bylaws of how and why this club should exist have to be drawn up. Also, a student representative must be decided upon as well as the support and signature of an adviser. “Faculty are the backbone of student clubs,” according to Coester.

The possibility of streamlining club processes is in the near future, according to Coester. Club sustainability is a challenge for two year colleges. Coester has also discussed being a ex officio adviser for “interest clubs” that want to just get together and play chess or watch sports, instead of fundraising or providing community service. “It would be fun to have more students involved or to [have] more clubs,” says Coester.

To get more information or to start a new club, students can contact Coester in the Campus Center at 541-440-7749.

Campus Clubs

Associated of Foreign Languages Club
Contact H. NiAodagain
Phone: (541) 440-4643

Contact Robin VanWinkle

Computer Club
Contact John Blackwood
Phone: (541) 440-4701

Debate Club
Contact Paula Usrey
Phone: (541) 440-4647

Engineering Club
Contact Clay Baumgartner
Phone: (541) 440-4683

Gay-Straight Alliance
Contact Nancy Nowak
Phone: (541) 440-4714

Literature Club
Contact Jill Michell or Katherine Cunnion
Email: or
Phone: (541) 440-4646 or (541) 440-7681

Phi Theta Kappa
Contact Emery Smith or Marjan Coester
Email: or
Phone: 440-7749

Contact Jason Aase

Contact Kevin Mathweg
Phone: (541)440-4652

Contact Cheryl Yoder
Phone: (541) 440-7729

The Mainstream is a student publication of Umpqua Community College.