Written by Caleb Chunn // Photo by Balazs Balassa
A new skate club has made its way onto the campus scene, started by a few students who not only want to have fun skating around but make an impact in the surrounding community.
Eighteen students attended the first meeting of skate club this semester to mark the founding of one of the newest organizations.
Freshman Christian Shaw was one of the lead students that spearheaded the club’s emergence and has worked behind the scenes to go through the necessary steps to get this club up and running.
“I contacted the assistant dean and set up a meeting and emailed the stuff I needed to give him,” Shaw said. “I started a social media account last semester, and I kind of spread the word through that and then spread the word through word of mouth.”
Freshman Caleb Hartzell is also a member who helped get the club off the ground. Hartzell had very little experience with skating outside of longboarding, but with the help of some of the other members, he has begun to branch out and try a few new tricks.
“When I first met Christian, I longboarded, but he’s been teaching and showing me stuff here and there, and it’s really fun,” Hartzell said.
As with any club, there needs to be support from a faculty or staff member in order to get the request for a club approved. Dr. JD Yingling, professor of kinesiology and aquatics director, answered when called upon by Shaw.
While Yingling was initially unable to be the sponsor due to a school abroad trip last semester, his presence back on campus this semester meant he was willing and able to lend a helping hand.
“Christian is in my wellness class this semester,” Yingling said. “So I saw him, and he said, ‘I still haven’t gotten a sponsor, would you want to help?’ and I said, ‘I’ll help any way I can.’”
Both Hartzell and Shaw said this club is not just for those who have experience skating. It is for anyone who has an interest.
“You don’t have to be super good at skating or even know how to skate,” Hartzell said. “But if you want to learn how to ride four wheels, we’d be happy to show everybody.”
The plans of the club extend past the skating aspect. The leadership team and the members hope to have an impact on the surrounding community. In the future, Shaw would like to plan community service trips and help those around town.
“I’m hoping to do some community projects eventually,” Shaw said. “So not only would we be building relationships with each other, but we’d also be helping the community.”
Those interested in joining the skate club should be on the lookout for flyers coming soon and can follow the club on Instagram @huniversal_skate.