Kirsten O'Brien/The AS Review
The Associated Students recognizes well over 200 unique clubs on campus. From the Appreciate Beyoncé Club to the Scottish Country Dance Club, there seems to be an AS club for every imaginable group, activity or cause. However, freshman Leanne Young found a gap in Western’s extensive club directory. It is Young’s first quarter at Western, and she was surprised that there were no social clubs for single people on campus.
“I thought there would be some kind of dating club on campus,” Young said. “And when there wasn’t, I thought, ‘Why don’t they have a club for singles here? They need one!’ I was surprised that there wasn’t already one here.”
On Jan. 28 she posted a thread on the Viking Village Forum proposing a club for single students, and was surprised by the amount of people who were interested in joining. She said the club could provide a place for single students to socialize and mingle. She said that having a club specifically for single students is important because it can be awkward or uncomfortable asking someone if they have a significant other.
“You have your everyday social gatherings, and you never know who is taken and who’s not,” she said. “If you have a gathering of people who are all available, then you’ll know for sure.”
Although the idea for the club is still in its infancy, Young plans on making the singles club official so that it can receive funding and recognition from the AS.
While the club’s main focus might be dating, freshman Grant Erickson said that it could also be a great way to meet new friends.
“If you meet someone and they are cool but you’re not into them romantically, you could still be great friends,” he said. “You could meet a lot of people that way.”
Erickson lives in the Edens North dorm, and said that many of the people he has met are over 21. He said that a singles club could be a way for him to meet more people his own age.
Naton Candiotti, a junior who recently transferred to Western from Los Angeles, Calif., said the club would provide a safe space for shyer students to meet friends or potential significant others. He said that for some people, it isn’t easy to walk up to a stranger and strike up a conversation.
“If you are a shy person, you either have to become less shy and put yourself out there, or you may have to accept that you wont meet as many people as you would like,” he said. “Having a singles club would provide a practical and effective way to meet other people who just want to come and hang out.”
Still other students, like sophomore Richard Grunert, see the club as a way to expand their social circle. Grunert has living in the Fairhaven dorms the past two years, and has become close friends with the people living in his stack, but he still does not know many people in the surrounding areas.
“The social scene in my stack has exploded this year,” he said. “We’ve all gone out to dinner a few times as a stack, but I still don’t know many people outside my dorm. It’s very clique-ish.”
Grunert said that he is not interested in any of the current AS clubs, and sees a singles club as a general interest club.
“At least for me, I’m not into sports, I’m not active politically, I’m not religious and I’m not part of a minority group; for a straight white guy there is not much out there,” he said. “I don’t envision singles club being anything formal, just a loose group of people having fun. Even if we just have an empty room in the [Viking Union], just bring out some board games and let people talk.”