Students find their place at spring Club Row

Jan 14, 2020
Students during Club Row
Nicholas Sardano, vice president of the Themed Entertainment Association at Florida Polytechnic University, talks to another student about the organization during Club Row, the campus club recruitment event on Jan. 14.

Matthew Dutchess wasn’t quite sure what he was getting himself into when he agreed to participate in his first Nerf Tech Humans vs Zombies event at Florida Polytechnic University. It turned out to be one of the most consequential decisions of his college career.

“I didn’t originally want to play – I was like ‘I don’t know what this club is and it’s kind of weird,’” said Dutchess, a computer science sophomore from Indianapolis, Indiana. “When I got into it, it was honestly the most fun I’ve had in school.”

Dutchess has since become actively involved in Nerf Tech designing games, recruiting new members, and building strong friendships through the club.

Nerf Tech was among the dozens of clubs participating in the spring Club Row event on Jan. 14-15. The event allows student organizations to showcase themselves and expand their membership.

“As a STEM school, it’s really academically intense, so I recommend that every student get involved in at least one club,” said Samantha Ashby, a mechanical engineering major and the student organizations committee chair for SGA. “Sometimes you can get stressed from classes and it’s nice to be able to be outside in a hammock or go play ultimate Frisbee. Clubs give students something to do and a way to socialize.”

Club Row is typically held during the fall semester, but Ashby said it was added to the spring calendar for the first time after receiving feedback from students.

“A lot of freshmen don’t join clubs their first semester because they want to get to know the school first and once they’re settled, they’re like ‘what do I do now,’” Ashby said.

The Themed Entertainment Association at Florida Poly attracted many students to its table with an eye-catching display featuring a small roller coaster. The organization provides resources, education, and camaraderie for those interested in themed entertainment such as Walt Disney World and Universal attractions.

“We focus on a lot of professional opportunities, and just being a club that’s about theme parks is pretty cool,” said Nicholas Sardano, a junior majoring in computer engineering and the club’s vice president.

Club Row continues Jan. 15 in the Saddle Creek Logistics Commons inside the Innovation, Science, and Technology Building.

Lydia Guzman
Director of Communications