Enter another universe with these unique RSOs

By Talia Duffy, Assistant Opinions Editor

Welcome, guys, gals and everyone in between to Quad Day! Each new year at the University is a chance to continue our growth as individuals and gain relevant experience. To many, this means becoming the president of their major-related club or scoring that perfect internship.

However, growth will stagnate without a well-rounded life. It’s just as valuable to participate in activities that give you a break from the constant grind of college life. Take some time this Quad Day to explore the variety of RSOs the University has to offer — especially the ones you might usually pass up. The eccentric, the exciting and the extraordinary all have a place at the University — and who knows? That might be your place, too.

Lego Masters at UIUC

Did you grow out of your LEGO phase as a child? Me neither. Fortunately, there’s an organization where it’s socially acceptable for adults to play with LEGO sets: Lego Masters at UIUC. Members combine their love for the classic childhood toy with their technical skills to enter LEGO set design competitions, run after-school educational programs for children and construct impressive engineering-based LEGO projects, like fully functional vending machines.

Shorthand Club

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Before computers helped speed up notetaking, people drastically increased their written words per minute with an alternative writing method called shorthand. Shorthand Club teaches students to read and write shorthand, which is no small feat — it consists of strange symbols and lines that look absolutely nothing like English. The organization is a great option for journalism students, as the professional community still considers shorthand an essential skill.

Altgeld Ringers

Altgeld Hall is many students’ favorite building on campus for its beautiful architecture and iconic bell tower. However, most don’t know they can join the Altgeld Ringers and learn to play the tower’s chimes themselves from the imposingly titled chimesmasters. Performances by members can be heard across campus — or on the organization’s official Instagram page, which boasts the preservation of this hundred-year musical tradition.

Capoeira Club at UIUC

True to the multicultural community at the University, students can step into a centuries-old Afro-Brazilian martial art with the Capoeira Club at UIUC. Originally, Capoeira was created by enslaved Africans in Brazil who concealed their combat training with dance. Now, the martial art — better described as a “unique and uplifting cultural experience that brings together beauty and power” — is passed on by ‘mestres’ and their students. Capoeira club holds classes and events for all experience levels. 

Lucha Robotics

This organization brings the 2011 sci-fi film “Real Steel” to life. Named after the Spanish word for ‘fight, Lucha Robotics designs and programs humanoid robots from scratch. Just like the movie, the robots are intended to “battle in the vein of professional wrestling,” according to their description.

Space Law Society

As humans enter a new frontier, their imposition of rule and order will follow. Thus, the highly specialized discipline of space law was born. Space Law Society is the University’s outlet for discussion and professional development in this field. From the treaties of space exploration, the treatment of astronauts, the ownership of space property and environmental regulations on other planets, students will gain an entirely different perspective on the stars above.

Talia is a sophomore in Media.

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