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Western’s Club Hub provides student engagement opportunities

This small team in the Viking Union supports hundreds of clubs and helps students find their footing in the world of extracurriculars

A group photo of the AS Club Activities Office staff during the 2022-2023 school year in Bellingham, Wash. The office helps students and club officers stay connected through extracurriculars. // Photo by Austin Wright

First came the spark. What came next for Western Washington University student Simon Young, officer of the university’s newest club, was two weeks of procedural requirements that concluded with his club becoming officially recognized by the university through the Associated Students organization.

Young was initially inspired to create the Disney Lorcana Club this April with his friends after learning about the trading card game Disney Lorcana, released in August of 2023. The game has nearly tripled in popularity in the last six months, according to Young, who was eager to establish his club after being involved with clubs at Western for three years.

“For me, I really enjoy the extracurricular side of things because it just gets me involved, and when I’m not involved I feel less motivated to do things,” Young said. “It helps me do better as a student and also just find life at school more enjoyable.”

Young’s sentiment echoes what researchers at Ohio State University claim: students who are “highly involved” with extracurricular activities are 18% more career ready than those who do not participate.

For Western to recognize a club, they first need to formally apply. Young applied remotely for the Disney Lorcana Club. Students who want to apply in person can visit the AS Club activities office tucked away on the fourth floor of the Viking Union. 

This serves as the final hurdle for new clubs to clear, while simultaneously providing access for students to get involved with the nearly 200 organizations at Western.

Destiny Rodenberger is the AS Club Event Coordinator in the Club Activities Office, affectionately known as the Club Hub. Rodenberger said the basic requirements for clubs to retain their status are to have at least five members and for officers on the Western Involvement Network (WIN) to submit a yearly constitution on their club page, where social media and meeting info can be found.

“We updated it this year. We now have non-discrimination and anti-hazing policies that have to be in the constitutions,” Rodenberger said. “That’s the only thing that trip[s] people up because, especially when they’re reregistering, they forget to put it in there.”

But for new clubs and Young, who is getting his start with the Disney Lorcana Club, writing the new constitution from scratch can take longer than expected. Club leadership is often very casual and member numbers are low in the beginning. 

“That probably took me the most amount of time — it took a couple of hours. So that was — I wouldn’t say frustrating, it just took extra time,” Young said. “I think it’s nice, but also I was surprised by how long it took to write the constitution and submit it.”

Sebastian Mayotte is the AS Vice President for Activities and one of six members on the AS Activities Council, which allocates funding for clubs that request support through Student Enhancement Funds. The funds are used to cover expenses such as travel and lodging.

“I think getting involved has so many facets, and that really is what a club does,” Mayotte said. “It helps you get involved professionally, it helps build you up, it helps you find community and explore areas you’ll never find [otherwise].”

Established clubs have the right to reserve areas on campus at no cost, except for events that require a janitorial or setup fee, according to Rodenberger.

The Club Hub often sees a couple of groups that use their space, from storing bags during larger events in the VU, to club meetings within the office.

“Unfortunately, the clubs who know that we’re here know that we’re here, and the clubs who don’t, never find out,” Rodenberger said.

The driving force behind the Club Hub and Activities Council is offering support to active clubs and students looking to get involved in extracurriculars. Students are encouraged to find clubs and campus events on WIN, but if people “don’t even know where to start,” according to Rodenberger, the office acts as a matchmaker for prospective students who can stop by in person.

Austin Wright

Austin Wright (he/him) is a campus news reporter for The Front this quarter. He is a second-year journalism/news ed major. When he’s not reporting, you can find him playing ultimate frisbee, watching soccer or hiking. You can reach him at

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