Sara Poirier, Class of 2006
Every College and University across the country has ways for their students to get involved. While the University of Vermont is no different in that aspect, they do have quite a few unique activities that I can honestly say no other school has to offer. I started out my UVM career as a Varsity diver, then moved on to intramural volleyball and finally became a Senator for the Student Government Association, and I stand here today as the President of that organization. The key is having motivation in whatever you choose to pursue.
From boxing to band, fencing to figure skating, college republicans to campus progressives, dairy club to dance team… UVM offers over 140 Student Government Association recognized clubs. In addition to the variety of clubs there are a number of other organizations who stimulate campus life, including UVMPM, a new initiative designed to create more late night social programs for UVM students, the Campus Activities Team, or CATS, a student organization that initiates, plans, develops and participates in programs designed to enhance the social needs and the UVM community, and Recreational Sports who provide intramural sports such as broom ball, wiffle ball and inner tube water polo, for the inexperienced or those who are just curious.
Though these organizations seem typical for any university campus, what makes UVM different is the way these activities are integrated seamlessly into college life. With simple walk around the UVM campus you will see signs that our University’s activities do indeed stand out while at the same time blending in better than a hippy living in our very own Slade hall.
One of the things truly unique to Vermont is the weather. On a classic Burlington Vermont night in the middle of December, with temperatures well in the negatives, you might find a giant hot tub right in front of Royall Tyler theater, thanks to the UVMPM programmers. And when the weather is as beautiful as it has been lately, you can be sitting on one of our greens enjoying the warmth, when, out of no-where, you find yourself smack in the middle of an intense Ultimate Frisbee game, which happens to be typical practice for the UVM Ultimate team. Other campuses might react differently to witnessing twenty students outside on green speaking Elvish and celebrating Frodo’s birthday, an annual event for the members of our Elvish Language Club. You could be unexpectedly walking through the Bailey Howe Green and run into a large group skiers and snowboarders on a giant student-made mountain of snow that has been trucked over from the hockey rink, courtesy of the UVM Ski and Snowboard club. I struggle to think of any other campus where at lunchtime you can be deciding between Ali Baba’s, Lucky’s Chinese, or Cook Commons, and have a human-sized grilled cheese wander up to you advertising for grilled gourmet sandwiches, as a fundraiser for the Hunger Project by the UVM Feel good club. But here on the UVM campus, these are everyday events.
The point is this, it doesn’t matter if you’re a seasoned elite or a novice in any of the activities UVM offers – there is a group for you. All you have to do to get involved is to keep your eyes open – or at least throw the Frisbee back when it hits you in the head.