UA has more than 500 clubs. How many have you heard of?

Many student organizations continue to meet while adhering to COVID-19 precautions. And more than a few of them want to recruit new members.


Courtesy of Brianna Harvey

Claire Yates, Contributing Writer

The University of Alabama has more than 500 clubs for students to participate in. However, some students may not be aware of all the clubs the University has to offer since Get On Board Day (GOBD), a day dedicated to UA clubs showcasing what they bring to the table, was virtual this year. 

The University has a wide range of clubs that include sports, Rubik’s Cube solving, fashion design and academic and philanthropic endeavors, but many club leaders feel forgotten about this year due to the pandemic. 

For those interested in service opportunities, there are many clubs that are committed to helping others, like the Alabama Student Rural Health Association (ASRHA)

ASRHA is a club that educates students and Alabamians about issues regarding the health and well-being of citizens living in rural Alabama. The club members educate others by engaging in outreach activities, volunteering and distributing information. 

“It is truly a rewarding organization that we are hoping to grow and spread our outreach in the coming years,” said Hannah Robinson, a sophomore majoring in political science and the secretary of ASRA. 

ARSHA volunteers at the West Alabama Food Bank to prevent food scarcity in rural areas. The club has volunteered during the pandemic while wearing masks and social distancing. 

Robinson said there are about 20 people in the club, and they travel within the Tuscaloosa community to take on service opportunities to help rural Alabamians. 

“Our goal is to educate students and people about the hard facts of rural Alabama and the lack of healthcare, food, transportation and more in these areas,” Robinson said.

Robinson feels as if ARSHA is truly a forgotten club since they only have 20 members. She said that is a low number compared to their past rosters. 

To try and solve that problem, the club is trying to expand their outreach to attract people as much as they can. 

For those looking for something more laid back—and involving animals—there are clubs that fit in that category too. 

Brianna Harvery, a junior majoring in secondary education with a concentration in legal history, is the president of Paws of UA.

Paws of UA is a club that volunteers with the Tuscaloosa Metro Animal Shelter during their happy hour. During the happy hour, anyone can take a dog out of the shelter for a day to play with them. The dogs can go home with volunteers and have a day out of the shelter. 

“We impact the animals by making sure they never go without love and try to make them as comfortable as possible while also encouraging others to adopt them,” Harvey said.

The club also has percentage nights at multiple restaurants in Tuscaloosa, uplifting words about that club that inspire people to donate old shirts or toys to dogs, and a willingness to advocate for shelter animals. 

Harvey added that her goal is to make sure all animals find a loving home. She said she was “very emotional” when she saw how many other people in the club shared her same passion for caring for animals. 

Harvey said her club is trying to advertise and spread the message about the club as much as they can, but she feels like it is hard to start advertising during this time. Volunteering also is not as consistent as it once was, she said. 

“Since this club is new, the low numbers do make us feel forgotten,” Harvey said. 

Campus also has its fair share of sports-related clubs, like the UA Collegiate Ballroom Competition Team (CBCT). 

“Ballroom dancing is a partnered dance that incorporates four main styles of dance…, and the choice on which to dance is mostly based on region, though our team focuses on both,” said Kristina Woodward, a senior majoring in international studies and German and the president of CBCT.

Woodward said there are multiple types of dances that students can learn from being in the club. While the team is primarily student-taught and relying on posted videos, the team has also been taught by experienced people such as local ballroom instructor Phillip Farley and two UA professors, Rita Snyder and Richard Richards. 

Before the pandemic, the Collegiate Ballroom Competition Team traveled to many states to compete. Their nationals were supposed to be in Chicago, but the plans were cancelled due to the pandemic. Despite a drop in participation, the team still practices throughout the week in the Student Recreation Center. 

Woodward said anyone can join the team with “absolutely zero experience at all.” She said she wasn’t even a natural herself when she started ballroom dancing.

“We start from the ground up and provide everyone with the basics necessary to succeed in ballroom dancing,” Woodward said.

Some UA clubs offer opportunities that will help students after graduation. 

Allison Krajewski, a junior majoring in human performance exercise science and president of the UA Exercise Physiology Club, said that the club helps students prepare and apply for graduate school within exercise physiology.

“We have monthly meetings and bring in general speakers to talk about what you can use an exercise physiology degree for post graduation,” Krajewski said. 

The club attends a conference held by American College of Sports Medicine every February and they learn about new research found in the realm of exercise physiology. 

“My favorite part of the club is the conference every year because it opens up a multitude of opportunities for the future, and you get to bond with others in the club and majors all across the Southeastern Conference,” Krajewski said. 

Krajewski said club leaders are feeling forgotten, as they have been trying to attract members for two years now. The only reason people show up to the meetings is because extra credit is offered. 

Krajewski would love for people to join the club “whether they are part of the kinesiology department or not.”

The University has many other clubs that may feel forgotten as well. To see a list of all clubs and organizations, visit the SOURCE.