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Friday, May 27, 2022 — Houston, TX

The Coolest Clubs You've Never Heard Of

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Wesley Lee

By Kaylen Strench, Arts and Entertainment Editor     9/17/14 5:05am

Sometimes it may seem as if all Rice University students have time to do is go to class, study and perhaps party a bit on the weekends. Certainly these activities alone can make for a packed schedule. However, hundreds of Owls cram their Google calendars even further with participation in weird/unique/innovative recreational clubs. Some you probably know well, and others, well, may blow your mind a bit. So, just for you, the Thresher has scoped out the student activities list to find some of the coolest clubs on campus that help make Rice the “unconventional” place that it is.

Fast Warp

What is it? Despite its somewhat intimidating name, Fast Warp is really just a laid-back club in which members get together and play cards and board games. Fast Warp is also responsible for organizing “OwlCon” in February, a large-scale board game convention with a broad draw of attendees.



What do you do? Typically, members meet up at Sammy’s at 2 p.m. and play some games together while eating free pizza provided by the officers. The leadership stresses that you don’t need to know how to play any of the games prior to joining the club — they’ll teach you everything you

need to know.

How can I join?! Hit up a regular meeting Sundays at 2 p.m. at Sammy’s or email Brandon Wilson at baw6@rice.edu to get on the listserv.

 

Rice Badminton

What is it? Rice Badminton attempts to promote and celebrate the beautiful sport of badminton on campus. In fact, it is actually the only badminton club in West University Place, so members from other clubs occasionally join in on team practices. They compete in tournaments within the club and against other universities throughout the year.

What do you do? Essentially, members get to play a lot of badminton. There are weekly singles and doubles practice matches, as well as trainings with professional coaches. Since the vice president of the club is the co-founder of Texas Intercollegiate Badminton Association (TIBA), members also play TIBA games against other college badminton clubs every month.

How can I join? To join, contact Yu-Jiun Lin at csjiunn@gmail.com to sign some forms and get started.

 

Cube Club

What is it? The name says it all. Cube Club is literally a club where students come together to learn how to solve Rubik’s Cubes and other similar puzzles. These are not your average puzzlers, though — the Cube Club is perhaps best known for creating a massive portrait of Nelson Mandela last year comprised solely of 600 Rubik’s Cubes.

What do they do? Cube Club is very chill — members meet up on Thursdays between 4 - 6 p.m. at Willy’s Pub or Valhalla and just talk and solve together. On occasion, they also organize events; this October, they will host a major competition that will feature “speedcubers” from around the world. Cube Clubbers also participate in Houston’s annual competition, featuring categories like “2x2, 3x3, 4x4, one-handed and blind solving.” These are not for the faint of heart, however — average 3x3 winners solve their cube in less than 10 seconds.

How can I join? All the contact and member information can be found at: http://business.rice.edu/RiceCubeClub/. You can also find out more about the October competition at: http://www.cubingusa.com/RiceUniversity2014/index.php

 

Real Food Revolution

What is it? Have you ever been just hanging out, eating a Fruit Roll-Up or some Cheetos, and thought to yourself, “Do I even understand what it is that I’m eating?” Real Food Revolution is a club that encourages members to think about this kind of question, as well as others regarding health, food politics, sustainability, animal welfare and more. The club strives to bring more local food to campus and the surrounding community, believing the world can be improved by what and how we eat.

What do they do? As expected, RFR’s meetings revolve around food and eating. Meetings are Thursdays at Baker College over dinner, and members simply dine and discuss upcoming events, plans or just life in general. The group also goes on weekend trips to various community farms, farmer’s markets and restaurants. The leadership stresses that you certainly do not need to be a “granola person” to enjoy being a part of the group; you just have to love and care about food (REAL food, not Oreos and Twinkies).

How can I join?!

1. Attend a meeting at Baker, 5:30 p.m. on Thursdays.

2. Like the Facebook page (Real Food Revolution) or join the Facebook group (Real Food People)

3. Email ricerealfoodrevolution@gmail.com with questions or to get on the listserv.

 

Rice Ballroom

What is it? Learn how to dance. And no, not the kind you’d find at Sid 80s or Architectronica. Rice Ballroom is a group devoted to teaching students how to dance classily and show their new moves off at social events and competitions. Club leaders claim Ballroom is a “team sport” that is highly conducive to meeting other people.

What do you do? On Tuesdays at 8 p.m., club members meet to learn two dances with two to three moves and then reconvene Thursdays at 8:30 p.m. to refine their new skills. Members also go to classy competitions at the University of Houston and the University of Texas, where they try to impress judges in their respective divisions and take home some ribbons. Finally, the team bonds by attending dinners and other social events together.

 How can I join?! Contact the president, Peter Lambert, at pml2@rice.edu to get added to the listserv. Also check out the “Rice Ballroom Dance Team” Facebook page.

 

 

ONLINE EXCLUSIVE! More clubs you should check out...

Rice Dance Team

What is the mission of your club?

Rice Dance Theater's mission is to give students a creative outlet where they can receive training in theatrical production, choreography and dance technique while pursuing degrees in various fields.

What are typical meetings like?

The minimum weekly commitment to RDT is 3 hours of technique class (which can be modern, jazz, ballet, etc.) and about 1.5 hours per rehearsal with student and/or guest choreographers.

What makes your club unique?

Although there are many dance groups on campus, RDT gives students the opportunity to be part of a pre-professional dance company. Students are also given the opportunity to choreograph their own work, which is featured in annual performances.

What kind of person should join your club?

RDT is a great mix of majors and people from across campus, including undergraduate and graduate students. Previous dance training is not a requirement but is helpful. Anyone with a strong interest in dance, technique development and performing should consider auditioning.

How can people join? Whom should they contact?

RDT holds auditions at the beginning of each semester to cast for the upcoming performance. Although auditions for fall 2015 have already taken place, contact Heather Nabors if interested in learning more about RDT.

 

 Rice Salseros

 What is the mission of your club?

The mission of our club is to promote Salsa dancing. Salsa is a general name used for a variety of rhythms from Latin American culture, that has nowadays spread through dance schools, competitions and clubs all over the world. Our intention is to share the sweet discovery that dance has the power to release the inner joy in each of us!

What are typical meetings like?

Our public meetings are our classes, every Monday at 7 p.m. (for beginners) and 8 p.m. (for intermediates). During our classes, the instructor will teach new individual and couple patterns, starting from the basics up to challenging figures for the more advanced class. Because the classes are progressive, we also offer a review of the previous classes before the normal class, upon appointment, to facilitate the participation of new members.  

What makes your club unique?

Our club is pretty unique from many different points of view. It's extremely diverse and it provides high quality dance training at all levels with a professional teacher, while keeping a friendly and relaxed environment.

 Participation in a student activity club is, in general, a great way to improve managing and teamwork skills, while being enriched by different opinions and points of view. Our club is particularly excellent in this, because our members and officers are graduate and undergraduate students who come from very different academic and personal backgrounds. This creates a prolific environment in which everyone has the opportunity to be creative and take responsibility.

This year, we are lucky enough to have professional teachers from Amaya Dance to teach for us. The connection to a professional dance school in Houston is pretty unique and allows us to co-host events and socials, as well as become more connected to the Houston community.

The social nature of the dances we learn (Salsa, Bachata, Merengue) facilitates the creation of a friendly and relaxed environment, where new and long-lasting friendships are born.

Do you compete? If so, describe competitions.

Although we have not competed as a team yet, our members have participated in competitions organized by the Rice Ballroom team. We support participation in these competitions as well as other events hosted by other dance clubs at Rice and in Houston.

What kind of person should join your club?

Our club is a perfect fit for anyone with an interest in social dancing. It's an excellent way to make new friends, stay fit and manage stress. It's also a great occasion to develop managing and mentoring skills as a member of the directive. We believe the best way to train future managers is to give room for personal creativity and initiative, along with an increasing grade of responsibility. All the members of our club are given the chance to do that while getting involved in something that we share: our passion for dancing. 

How can people join? Who should they contact?

The best way to reach us is to join our Facebook page, Rice Salseros.

People can join at any time, although early in the year is recommended, especially for newbies. No partner or experience is needed, but if this is your first time at Salsa, it's recommended that you contact us through Facebook first, so we can set up an appointment with you to review the basics.

 

Rice Chess Club 

What is the mission of your club?

To engage the Rice community with an intellectual and enjoyable escape from work.

What are typical meetings like?

We play games, talk about significant international players or tournaments and connect with other chess enthusiasts from around campus.

Do you compete? If so, describe competitions.

We compete against each other and are aiming, by the end of this year, to have a Rice contingency represent the university at collegiate tournaments in the state/nation.

What kind of person should join your club?

Anyone. All skill-levels are welcome. People who like to have a good time.

How can people join? Who should they contact?

Find us on Facebook (Rice University Chess Club) or email Michael Portal at map16@rice.edu.



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