September 26, 2020

BY TONY MCLELLAN
For a first-year student arriving at Conestoga College, the experience as a whole can be quite daunting. College is a big leap from high school or the working world, and the college mindset is one that takes time to properly acquire. From homework to classes to the massive facility, arrival at Conestoga College is slightly overwhelming for some, and terrifying for others.
To make the transfer to post-secondary education easier, first-year students should try to integrate themselves into the social fabric that makes up the gigantic human-made quilt that is Conestoga. One of the best possible ways to do this is to join one of the many clubs and societies that Conestoga Students Inc. (CSI) plays host to.
Or, you can start your own. As a CSI club or society, you will receive start-up funds, fundraising support, website promotion and a poster printing account.TMphotoretake
Without looking too far, chances are good that you will find a club, or multiple clubs, that pique your interest. Currently, there are around 27 clubs spread between the Guelph, Cambridge and Doon campuses, each specializing in a unique and interesting area. From the Conestoga College Accounting Association to the DJ Club, there is something for everyone. The following are three particularly interesting clubs.
The Conestoga Gamers Club is one of the longest continuously running clubs at Doon campus, having been started over three years ago.
“Our main focus is essentially to provide a place where people can come to relax and talk about gaming,” Shawn Olson, the club’s leader, said.
“It’s also a competitive environment for those wanting to get better at games, or to find something new to try.”
The club is quite large by normal club standards, with over 55 regular members. More have joined via the club’s Facebook page, “Conestoga Gamers.” Members meet daily at 4 p.m. in The Den, the upstairs portion of the college’s Sanctuary cafeteria.
As with most clubs, the Conestoga Gamers Club sometimes hosts special events involving prizes. The Gamers Club does this through 24-hour-long LAN parties. These events involve linking up multiple gaming consoles for maximum player capacity, increasing the fun that can be had by the students attending.
“We normally hold these events after final exams or mid-terms,” Olson said. “All the money we make goes to charity, so we really try and promote the events when they happen.”
The Magic Club is another interesting club, which has 15 individuals dedicated to trading, meeting and playing as fans of the Magic: The Gathering card game. The group is sponsored by Wizards of the Coast, one of the largest card game publishing companies in North America, which provides prizes for the winners of the tri-weekly tournaments the club hosts.
“If you play Magic or are interested in learning how to, this is the club for you,” said Nathan Cerone, leader of the club. “We have a bunch of friendly, experienced players who can teach you the game or help you improve your existing skills.”
The club currently meets every Thursday in Room 3A505 at 5:30 p.m., although the location may change from time to time. Cerone suggests that potential members join the Conestoga College MTG Club, the group’s Facebook page, for exact details.
Another interesting club is the Conestoga College Photographer’s Club. It was founded last October and is made up of a small, dedicated group of students who love the art of photography. The club has a very open, relaxed structure to it, allowing members to designate their own meeting times, places and styles, as many of the members within the club have rather hectic school schedules. The experienced photographers within the group are more than willing to give potential photographers a helping hand.
“As long as you are dedicated to what you do in the world of photography, we want you,” said Shayne Noel, one of the club’s founding members. “If you want to have your work presented anywhere, or you want to make crucial connections with the professional world, this club is for you.”
You can contact them via their Facebook group, Conestoga College Photographer’s Club.
The complete list of clubs that Conestoga has to offer can be found on the CSI website at www.conestogastudents.com. A list of guidelines can also be found for students wishing to create their own clubs. You can also call CSI at 519-748-5131 for more information.

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