Clubs with character

The Academic and Student Recreation Center opened this year and now houses many of the student rec clubs that are overseen by the Rec Clubs Council —the governing body comprised of five student leaders and three advisers.

The Academic and Student Recreation Center opened this year and now houses many of the student rec clubs that are overseen by the Rec Clubs Council —the governing body comprised of five student leaders and three advisers. RCC groups represent a wide range of interests, including two groups that aren’t tied to conventional sports.

Sami Faile, Rec Clubs coordinator and adviser to the RCC, oversees 27 clubs, among them the Board Game Society and the Medieval Combat Club. She said clubs are funded by the RCC—a recognized Student Fee Committee organization—and that groups are not required to charge membership dues. However, RCC funds are subject to restrictions and she encourages groups to assess membership dues so they have money to afford, for example, custom T-shirts.

She said the clubs she oversees represents a lot of diversity and that she enjoys her job because of that.

“I like working with them, it’s a good job to have,” Faile said. “They’re all unique and fabulous in their own way.”

Medieval Combat Club
This group of padded-weapon-wielding members meets for practice twice a week, including once on Saturdays in the Park Blocks near the Portland Farmers Market. Hao Tran, senior and whose official title is club commander, said he has been involved with the group—also called Valhalla—for three years and that the group has a lot of fun while retaining a competitive spirit.

“It’s a childhood dream,” he said. “We get to hit each other with sticks!”

Tran said there are no membership dues this term, but that they travel to bouts in the region, most recently to Ashland for a bout with a similar group at Southern Oregon University. He said they may implement a small due next year.

Seven members attended Wednesday’s practice, which Tran said is a typical group size for practice. They will participate in Western Wars 7 during May 20–24, the largest medieval combat gathering in the Pacific Northwest with groups from Oregon, Washington and Idaho competing.

Ximena Lemoine, sophomore, said this is her first term with the group and that she enjoys participating in practices, and is excited for Western Wars.

“The group is awesome, a really great way to relieve stress,” Lemoine said.

Jeremy Baker, also a sophomore in his first term with Valhalla, said he enjoys the group and that it is a “really good, refreshing experience.”

Faile said she likes working with Valhalla and respects the club for their effort. She said they draw a good amount of interest from college students and that she hopes they continue participating in bouts with other medieval combat clubs. 

“They really stepped up their game this year; they’ve done a lot as a group,” Faile said.

Tran said Valhalla’s status for the summer is “up in the air,” but that he plans to continue with the group in the fall. He said he hopes they continue to grow, and that teaching medieval combat to newcomers is exciting.

“Anyone interested is welcome to come in whenever they can,” Tran said. “More people means more fun.”
Medieval Combat Club (Valhalla)
Meets: Wed 3:30–4:45 p.m., ASRC, room 430;  Sat 1–3 p.m., Park Blocks  ?
Free to attend ?

Board Game Society

The Society meets twice a week to play a wide range of board games and meetings typically include five members. Jonathon “Wally” Dyer, graduate student, said Society meetings could mean playing several short games, though some meetings focus on a single game. They recently held a one-shot Dungeons and Dragons adventure that lasted for all of a five-hour meeting—and that wasn’t enough time to finish the game.

“It’s a good way to get away from homework and to relax, “said Society member Cody Bakken, senior. “Games might last for two hours.”

“Or two minutes,” Dyer added.

Alex Fiks, junior and group president, said they play a wide range of games brought in by members, typically Eurogames, such as Settlers of Catan, and that they encourage members to bring in any game they like, “except Monopoly,” he joked.

“They’re a pretty consistent group, always in here [ASRC, room 236] for their meeting times,” Faile said of the Society.

When asked about new members, Fiks said they welcome anyone who enjoys board games and would like to join.

“Our door is always open,” he said. “New members and new games are always appreciated.”
[Editor’s note: Cody Bakken is a Vanguard employee.]

Board Game Society
Twitter: @psuboardgames
Meets: Rec Clubs Office ASRC, room 236;?Thurs 6:30–8:30 p.m.; Sun 5–8 p.m.
$5 per term membership dues ? ?
Wii Tennis Tournament
Intramural Sports is hosting a Wii Tennis Tournament on Tuesday, May 25, in the ASRC Lounge outside the Rec Clubs Office (room 236). Rusty Vineyard, Intramural Sports coordinator, said it will last from 5:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m., and that there will be prizes for winners. The tournament will be held in single-elimination format, and it is free to participate.