Non-Traditional Student Activities at the ‘Bury

QuidditchBY KAYDEE JONES
Gull Life Editor

Students at Salisbury University have the opportunity to get involved with a club no matter if their interests range from Greek Life to gaming, or from media to math.
Organizations form on campus all the time, and either add to the current list of 99 Registered Student Organizations on the Student Activities page or choose to stay independent.
With so many clubs to choose from, it shouldn’t be a surprise that there are many organizations that are not the most traditional. Check out this list of just a few of the non-traditional student activities here on campus.

1.    Quidditch

Yes you read that right, SU has its own Quidditch team straight out of the Harry Potter world called the Salisbury University Phoenixes.
Okay, maybe they’re not straight out of the books (they’re still working on the whole flying thing) but the team does practice a modified version of the game that includes running with a broom. The Phoenixes, which were founded in 2008, regularly compete in tournaments and play against other schools, including the University of Maryland and Johns Hopkins Unversity.
Max Goodspeed, a senior and chaser for the Phoenixes, has played quidditch for three semesters and said he joined the team after his friends convinced him to play. He said that they stress comradery and being a family above everything else.
“I’ve been involved in a lot of different groups at Salisbury, and quidditch is by far the most cohesive and all around best group I’ve been a part of,” Goodspeed said.
Goodspeed also said its often hard for people to grasp that qudditch is played in real life. But it’s been adapted for “muggles” as a combination of rugby, European handball and dodgeball.
“I bet people will actually fly on brooms in the future,” he said. “I think we’ll have the technology for it, especially if the sport continues to grow.”
The team practices on Fridays from 4 to 6 p.m. in front of Holloway Hall and are planning to add Sunday practices next semester, said Goodspeed. The practices are not mandatory and are open for people to watch or participate in.
To see the Phoenixes in action, students can attend their tournament on April 23 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the intramural fields. They’re also playing beach quidditch against JHU on April 30 on Assateague Island.
Interested students can either attend a practice, visit their Facebook page or contact team captain Francis Morgan at fmorgan1@gulls.salisbury.edu or co-captain Vinnie Ianucci at vianucci1@gulls.salisbury.edu.

2.    Gymnastics
About eight minutes away from campus and tucked away in Fruitland is Beach Bounders Gymnastics, which happens to be the home of SU’s club gymnastics team.
Stephanie Keller, the team’s president, has been a gymnast since she was three-years-old. She said the team is inclusive and takes in people who have been in gymnasts their whole lives and also people who have no experience.
Keller explained that they get their team motto, “For the love of the sport,” from the association they compete through, National Association of Intercollegiate Gymnastics Clubs.
“It means that you don’t have to have experience, you don’t have to be really good, you do it because you want to do it and because you love the sport,” she said.
They participate in a few competitions every semester and against schools like UMD, University of Delaware, Virginia Tech and James Madison University. Keller also said the team took first place in their session when they attended nationals last year.
The best part of the team for Keller, and others on the team, is getting to compete for fun.
“I definitely love that I can still compete,” said Courtney Grissen, a senior on the team. “When I quit in high school I thought I would never get to compete again.”
The team practices three days a week at Beach Bounders and competitions vary from year-to-year, though members can choose when they practice and which competitions they want to participate in. Interested students can email Keller at skeller1@gulls.salisbury.edu or like the team’s Facebook page and send a message.

3.    Ultimate Frisbee

Two Division I teams are nestled inside Salisbury’s Division III school, and they belong to ultimate frisbee.
Ultimate frisbee was first established at SU in 1996 and it has grown to two core teams, the men’s team called The Buzz and the women’s team called The Flash. Both play in the college division of USA Ultimate and usually compete in three tournaments a year.
Coye Gerald, a senior and a captain of The Buzz, has been playing ultimate frisbee since his freshman year. He said that the team is like a family and stays connected through alumni pages even after team members graduate.
Gerald also said he likes that he gets to meet people he wouldn’t normally hang out with through Frisbee.
“My favorite part is that we’re all really cool with each other,” he said. “We are out there to play Frisbee at the end of the day but we understand the line between being a team and being friends.”
The teams practice every Tuesday and Thursday at 3 p.m. in front of Holloway Hall. Interested students can contact Gerald at coyger@gmail.com or come to one of their practices.

4.    Outdoor Club

Whether it’s skydiving, white water rafting or hiking, if it involves the outdoors, SU’s outdoor club has probably done it.
Catherine Raley, a junior and president of the outdoor club, has been involved in the club since she was a freshman. She said the outdoor club goes on trips throughout the semester and also plans on-campus events.
Trips are either free or at a small fee, usually no more than $20.
Raley also said her favorite trip was when the club did the Maryland Challenge, which is a 24-hour, 48-mile hike through the Maryland portion of the Appalachian Trail.
“I love having different people from different majors all coming together for one common goal, to love the outdoors and be enthusiastic about nature,” she said.
The club is planning a rock wall climbing competition at the end of April and a kayaking trip before finals.
They meet on Mondays at 7 p.m. in Henson 115 if it’s cold outside, and in Red Square if it’s nice. Interested students can contact Raley at craley1@gulls.salisbury.edu.

5.    Tai Chi Club

A combination of meditation and martial arts, Tai Chi forces the mind and body to slow down – something not all college students get the chance to experience that often.
Jacob Myers, a senior and president of the Tai Chi Club at SU, first practiced Tai Chi while on a study abroad trip to Japan.
Myers said that during the first half of Tai Chi sessions, the more experienced students will teach beginner students how to do Tai Chi and then the second half of the session is for meditating. Club members also go to Parks Martial Arts in Salisbury twice a week to train for free with professional martial artists.
Tai Chi is directly related to Kung Foo, Myers said. Kung Foo is the martial arts side of it, while Tai Chi is related to health and wellness.
“I like that Tai Chi is a holistic thing, it takes into account a lot of different types of wellness,” Myers said. “It’s physical but also very spiritual and mentally based, as well.”
The club meets on Fridays in front of Fulton, and meeting times vary. Interested students can contact Myers at jmyers1@gulls.salisbury.edu.

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