Scarlet Spotlight

Grasshuggers of the World, Unite!

by Alyssa Sunkin
Scarlet Editor-in-Chief

November 10, 2005

This article originally appeared in the November 10, 2005 issue of The Scarlet - the student newspaper of Clark University - and is posted here with permission. Accompanying photo by Jesaca Lin, Scarlet Photo Editor.

Outing Club Ossifers (photo by Jesaca Lin)

It may take seven to start a club, but it really takes only two people to make a meeting, and on Wednesday, Stephanie Oleksyk '07 and Celia Hoffman '07 were the Clark University Outing club. They went to the Arboretum, the woodsy area past Park Ave. in Worcester. There, they could enjoy the walking trails and the escape from the gritty Worcester city. And that's what an Outing Club is for.

It's not just Oleksyk and Hoffman literally taking a walk in the park. There are 321 undergrads and 31 grad students on the mailing list, and 100 students have taken part in club events [during the fall '05 semester]. According to the club's posted mission, the idea is "to experience and integrate nature" into the Clark experience. Their activities include all kinds of stuff you can't do in a quad (not comfortably, at least), including "hiking, camping, snowshoeing, skiing, sledding" and more. Stargazing and rafting are mentioned. There have even been films and slideshows.

"When I got to campus in fall of 2002, my friends and I were really disappointed that there was no Outing Club at Clark," says Stephanie Sheridan '06, co-founder of the club. She had heard there was one once, but word is it floundered and by the time she got on the scene, it was inactive.

At first, members pulled together with the idea that they would carpool on day trips, she says. "But with the help of some Student Council special budget requests, we got some amazing events in that first year, including our first whitewater rafting trip," says Sheridan.

It didn't take long for the rest of the Clark community to catch on to the Outing movement. In just three years, the number of events and members involved increased dramatically. This semester is by far the busiest the club has ever seen, producing a whopping 18 events with six more in the works before mid-year break.

The success of the Outing Club this year doesn't make the eBoard members cocky in any respect. Rather, their down-to-earth personalities are reflected in the goals for which they strive to achieve. Maintaining a good and plentiful selection of events and expanding the mailing list are on the top of the short-term goal list. Additionally, "We want to build a core group of people," says Officer-at-Large Amanda Lee '09. But the aspirations of this group of dedicated people don't end there. "We want to introduce people to things they've never done before," says Oleksyk. "We also want to be known as an organization that would support people to plan their own trips."

After reading this 437 word schpeil, the one question you all should be asking is, "How can we sign up for this incredible organization?" All you have to do to receive information about future events is send one little email to outingclub@clarku.edu. Another little email will reserve your spot for these events, the next being a hiking trip on November 19 at Mount Tom. And if being a member does not fulfill your Outing lust, the eBoard position of Treasurer is currently vacant. Whether it's making sure the outings are being funded or merely attending them, joining the Outing Club is not a decision that should be deliberated.