Offbeat RSOs are cream of Quad Day crop



By Jim Vorel

For a new student, or even a “super senior,” Quad Day can be a disorienting experience. More than 600 official booths are operated by Registered Student Organizations, University departments and nonprofit organizations, each trying to hold a minute of time in the fleeting attention spans of digital-age students. Even the most interesting and unique groups can get lost in the hectic shuffle around the Quad.

Compiled then, for your convenience, are some of the interesting and unique groups at Quad Day that you may or may not have heard of. Some are large, some are small, and the only thing they have in common is that they caught my eye.

They are arranged in absolutely no predetermined order of any kind. I implore you to check them out.

Chambana Medievalist Association

What they do: They are the boldly self-described “center of all medieval re-enactment in the central Illinois area,” according to president D.A. Davis-Howe. That said, the club participates in recreating virtually every aspect of life in medieval Europe.

Club members recreate medieval dancing, combat, horseback riding, archery, mead-making, blacksmithing and pretty much everything with the hopeful exception of medieval hygiene and disease. Nothing breaks up a good RSO faster than an outbreak of Black Death.

Why you should join: “You can actually explore in participation in the culture of the Middle Ages.”

– D.A. Davis-Howe, president.

Illini Railroad Club

What they do: The on-campus heaven for any student who never lost a childhood love of trains. Did you ever own a model railroad? Wait until you see the one these guys are housing underneath ISR.

Their model railway is one of campus’s best kept secrets, and they would love to show it off to you.

Check out the photos on the group’s Web site, at They’ve been at Quad Day for the last 15 years with a traveling portion of their train set.

Why you should join: “This group is one of a kind to the University and interesting to just about everybody. If you like trains, this is the place for you.”

– David Fullarton, senior in FFA and club president.

Club Kramerica

What they do: This is a club for low-talkers, double-dippers and re-gifters.

It also accommodates anti-dentites, puffy shirt-wearers and possessors of man-hands.

Who are they, you might clamor to know? They’re “Seinfeld” fans. Yes, we all remember Seinfeld, and probably still watch the reruns, but do you make an event out of it? Do you celebrate Festivus? Well this club does, and so can you.

Why you should join: “If you love ‘Seinfeld’ and you want to emulate it in your life, this group’s for you.”

– Mike Green, senior in FAA and club president.

Illini Juggling and Unicycle Club

What they do: I dare you to ask what this club does. I dare you. What you wouldn’t know from the name is that juggling and unicycle clubs from across the nation have their own national convention every March. The group meets every Monday night from 7:30-10:30 on the Armory track. All you need to bring? A desire to juggle things.

Why you should join: “It’s a really laid back place to come relax and juggle … and unicycle.”

– Jacob Nachsin, junior in LAS and club treasurer.

Underwater Hockey

What they do: They play hockey, except more underwater than most people play hockey.

The puck sits on the bottom of the pool and is pushed and slapped by swimmers with short sticks.

The most important thing to know, according to president Ben Holtzman, graduate student in Engineering, is that players do not need to be able to hold their breaths for long periods or bring their own equipment.

They need only bring their bathing suit. Check out the Quad Day booth for new practice times.

Why you should join: “It’s a lot of fun, a great way to stay in shape and you’ll meet a lot of interesting people.”

– Ben Holtzman, club president.

Free Thinkers Society

What they do: This newly formed student discussion group meets in small groups to discuss anything from current events to economics, the upcoming election and politics, race, health care, war and other social issues. All viewpoints are welcomed, which can lead to the occasional tiff, but it is all in the name of free exchange of ideas.

Why you should join: “You will be able to speak your mind on issues you feel strongly about and have your opinion heard and respected.”

– Josh Seiter, senior in LAS and club president.

Friday Night Dinner Club

What they do: Each Friday, the club meets for a dinner party, and two club members prepare dinner for the rest of the group.

According to president Matt Swecker, senior in LAS, “We’ve tried pretty much everything you can think of.

It’s sort of a competition to outdo each other, but everyone gets to cook whatever they want.”

As the club grows, Swecker said it would split into smaller groups to keep the small dinner party atmosphere.

Why you should join: “Everybody’s got to eat. It’s nice to learn how to make the food you enjoy eating.”

– Matt Swecker, club president.