From politics to martial arts, Pitt has an organization for you


You’ve plugged in your refrigerator, hidden the Foreman Grill under your bed and watched… You’ve plugged in your refrigerator, hidden the Foreman Grill under your bed and watched your parents laugh as they drove away. But now that you have completed the move-in experience, you already hate everything about your roommate.

Classes account for only about 15 hours a week, you aren’t doing homework and you need a way out from the empty shell of an existence that is dorm life.

What you need to do is become involved in one of Pitt’s many, many, many campus organizations.

If you stay up late watching taped episodes of “The West Wing” and wax nostalgic while watching movies like “Nixon” and “JFK,” the Student Government Board may be for you. Their many committees will last any student a lifetime.

If SGB isn’t for you, but you still want to be part of a large and involved organization, Black Action Society is a very active student group. Asian Student Alliance, Hindu Student Council and the Engineering Student Council are also groups to look into.

If you like to be on the supply side of politics or you want to exercise your right to political expression, there are the College Republicans, the College Democrats, the College Libertarians and many more politically oriented groups.

But if you are looking to reawaken the child inside you or just set the little guy on fire, try the new 4-Square club, which allows members to play the ageless and popular childhood game. If spheres aren’t for you, try a disc with ultimate Frisbee or any shape you can think of with Pitt’s many other sports clubs.

Let’s see, there is lacrosse, hockey, soccer, badminton, judo, bowling, paintball, billiards, snowboarding and tennis. OK, deep breath.

If you are interested in service, you can always join Panther Habitat for Humanity, the American Red Cross Club or First Book, formerly known as America Reads. With Pitt’s large service community you can also help with shoe drives, blood drives and all sorts of drives that leave you strangely fulfilled.

Now its time to dust off those little-used rapiers, since you have both the Pittsburgh Fencing Association and the Medieval Interest Group to act as your foils. But they don’t have a monopoly on fun. That belongs to the World Series of Monopoly, a group at Pitt that is up to its ears in money and property.

But maybe you are interested in certain cultures and with Pitt as diverse as it is, you will not be disappointed. Choose from the Edward and Rose Berman Hillel Jewish University Center, the Brazil Nuts Portuguese Club, the Korean Culture Association, the Italian Club or any number of other cultural organizations.

Don’t forget to visit the fourth floor of the William Pitt Union, where you can work as a disc jockey at WPTS, the Pitt radio station, or help create television shows at UPTV, which pipes programming into the dorms. And last but not least, there is your daily, independent and exceedingly handsome student newspaper, The Pitt News.

Now remember, many groups may have small fees for joining or some other type of dues. But it is usually worth the money and the effort, especially for that warm feeling in your stomach that may or may not be heartburn.

Pitt also offers one-credit physical education classes such as racquetball, aerobics and martial arts. These usually come with a lab fee and can be very satisfying when done in moderation.

If nothing here has caught your eye, just check out the Office of Student Activities for what was left out here. Pitt offers hundreds of clubs and organizations and they are all looking for dedicated people. So do them and yourself a favor and check them out. If you are too lazy to brush the crumbs off yourself and leave your room, you can go to Pitt’s Web site and look for fun and interesting activities.

If you think you have a good idea for an organization and want to start your own, you can submit a proposal to SGB so that you might be able to get start-up funds for your fledgling organization. You will have to get a charter, but with it comes many free perks, such as an e-mail address and the challenge of trying to build your own Web site. But don’t worry too much; there are classes to help you with that.