Variety of new student groups set to start spring semester

Gaming, advocacy and a capella among organizations new to the University of Minnesota campus.

Norah Kleven

From gaming to public advocacy to a capella, there are a variety of new student groups for University of Minnesota students to take advantage of this semester.

These newly formed groups add to the hundreds of student organizations on campus, which allow students to explore their interests and become active members of the University community.

That’s a good thing for the University, said Patrick Haught, student activities advisor with the University’s Student Activities Office. 

“We know from data and statistics that students that are more involved in student organizations, specifically those that take officer or leadership roles, show higher rates of retention, graduation and satisfaction with their college experience,” Haught said. 

NintenDomain

The NintenDomain gaming club emerged from the disbanding of the Pokemon League — a student group that played cards and Pokemon-related games. The Pokemon League dispersed last spring due to a lack of members. In hopes of attracting more students, members from the group rebranded as NintenDomain.

The NintenDomain club, which registered with the University in November, will have its first meeting Jan. 29.

The group’s founder and president Johnathon Farra said NintenDomain’s goal is to create a new, more diverse place for people to enjoy both video and non-video games together. While the club already has some of its own assets — including a Wii, the newer Wii U and Pokemon card decks — members are encouraged to bring their favorite games to enjoy at meetings. 

“It is a comfy place to hangout, unwind, destress, meet new people [and] meet new friends,” Farra said. “To me, this club is not meant to focus so much on the games as [on being] an enjoyable place.”

Leading Women of Tomorrow

For women interested in holding public office, the University has a newly implemented chapter of the national and nonpartisan organization Leading Women of Tomorrow. 

“Our organization strives to equip women with the skills, resources, and confidence to become advocates in their professional fields,” the Leading Women of Tomorrow’s website states.

Though the organization was formally registered with the University in November, president Lilli Ambort said that last semester was devoted to planning meetings and events. She said she hopes to create a community of those who are exploring opportunities in public service and prove women can hold office.

“Our main mission is to breach the gender gap,” Ambort said.

Chinese Singers

The Chinese Singers Club, like the NintenDomain club, was also reborn from a previous organization. Chang Liu, originally a member of the Chinese Students and Scholars Association, started the Chinese Singers Club to offer a place for students to focus exclusively on singing. CSSA did have a singing program, but Liu said she and other members wanted a group more devoted to to singing.

Liu said that while the name might seem exclusive to some people, the club is open to all ethnicities.

In addition to meetings, which consist of rehearsal and planning for events, the club hopes to showcase its talent for the University community. Liu hopes to organize two performances this semester, but says definite plans are on hold until grants are secured. 

To join the Chinese Singers Club, Liu said potential members must attend an audition. This semester’s audition is set for early February, with a date to be finalized soon.