By Lexus Yamashiro | Staff Writer

When Tomy Han entered KCC in Fall 2017, joining a club was the last thought he had running through his mind. But when he attended New Student Orientation Part III and heard that the International Club (I-CLUB) was seeking students to fill its officer positions and attend a picnic event at Magic Island, Han jumped at this opportunity.

Now in his second year, the 20-year-old Hospitality and Tourism major has been an officer for I-CLUB since joining. Having been a chief of a broadcasting club for a high school he attended in his hometown in South Korea, this was one of the reasons why Han felt inclined to take up an officer position with the club. But it was the motivating factor of wanting to make new friends that drew Han the most towards I-CLUB, believing that becoming involved with the club would create new friendships.

“For me, [I-Club] just gave me more friends,” Han said. “It gives [international students] more opportunities to hang out with other friends.”

It’s during campus events such as NSO and, especially, RIO Club Day, which will be held on Monday, Feb. 11, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the Great Lawn, that KCC students can learn about how they can get involved through the various clubs that are active.

Aside from providing leadership opportunities and a chance to learn about how each club plays a role on campus, it is the idea of being able to build new relationships among peers that Anime Club president Carolyn Coke believes stands out.

Coke, a 19-year-old who is majoring in Liberal Arts, thought back to when she also attended NSO Part III when she started KCC in Fall 2017, recalling how friendly students of the club were, which ultimately led to her decision in joining. Since working her way up and being elected to club president this semester, Coke said that the opportunity to connect with others is what she realizes makes a club worth being involved with.

“You get to hang out with really fun people, you can make friends, just have all sorts of fun,” Coke said. “It’s not as serious as being in a classroom. Clubs, in a way, it’s a way of gathering people who have the same interest as you.”

With roughly 20 clubs active on campus, students have a variety of groups to choose to be a part of. But in the case that none of these already available clubs are appealing, students have the option of creating their own club through the Office of Student Activities (OSA).

Vanessa Ranon, who has been an OSA student assistant since Fall 2017 and former head of the Board of Student Activities, said that students can get started with developing a new club by filling out a RIO Application Form online or in person at OSA’s office in ʻIliahi 126. At least four members are needed in order to create a club.

Although it is optional to have a faculty advisor, Ranon said it is recommended to have one present for the club since he/she can grant members access to meeting rooms and facilities on campus.

Upon completing the application, the student making the club will need to write out a charter and policies for it to essentially state the purposes of having the club present. A template is provided through OSA’s toolbox on the KCC website.

Once OSA reviews and finds the forms to be adequate, the student will have to attend RIO orientation, a session that is about 15 – 30 minutes long in which an OSA employee will discuss the benefits of being in a RIO Club and what resources are available. One of these benefits include having a seat in Student Congress general meetings where RIO representatives have voting rights and the option to request for club funding.

Whether students decide to join or create a club, choosing between these two options allow those the opportunity to have an active role on campus. For Han, jumping at a position in I-Club is a decision he said he was grateful for, seeing how his role has pushed him to want to achieve speaking a new language.

“If I didn’t decide to become an officer, I wouldn’t have … joined I-Club,” Han said. “Plus, a lot of Japanese students here don’t speak much English so it’s fun to help them out, especially because they don’t have much friends. I’m also interested in learning Japanese as well so I think it’s fun.”