Das Tor News

A Tour of the Club World

By Mary Richardson, Staff Writer


Historically, clubs have been a major driver of the Thunderbird Mystique, the intangible spirit, mindset, and curiosity of the students. Those who attended Club Day on Sept. 9 had a sampling of these qualities, and with each table’s unique touches, clubs gave students a snapshot of all the different activities and events they have to look forward to this semester.

The T-Birdies show best form. Courtesy of Thunderbird Marketing Department
The T-Birdies show best form. Courtesy of Thunderbird Marketing Department

Walking in, no one could miss the sports clubs. Wondering where you’re at with your golf swing? T-Birdies, the golf club led by President Michael Chacon (MGM ’17), set attendees up with a practice net and also gave tips on proper form. Not sure what a typical rugby practice might include? Rugby Club President Nick Penna (MGM ’17) provided a 300-plus pound tire to flip over and test your strength.

For more epicurious club-seekers, Bandar Tahlawi (MAGAM ’18) and Ibrahim Sharif (MAGAM ’18), respectively President and Vice President of the Middle Eastern and North African Club, gave a taste of their culture by sharing Arabic coffee, Turkish delight, and date-filled Kaak el Eid at their table. ThunderLeaf President Solomon Frank (MAGAM ’18) offered a list of different vegetables members can grow this season (if they don’t mind getting their hands a little dirty). Just a few of the 13 vegetables the club will grow this season include bok choy, collard greens, garlic, bulb onions, and kale.

Circling around the tables, club-goers heard a range of music, from classical to Latin, blasting from various personal speakers. Global Sounds jammed out and let passing students try out their drums and guitar.

The MENA table offered insight about traditional Arabic food and drink to Club Day attendees. Courtesy of Thunderbird Marketing Department
The MENA table offered insight about traditional Arabic food and drink to Club Day attendees. Courtesy of Thunderbird Marketing Department

At the Bolivia Club table, Juan Carlos Quiroga (MGM ’17) shared a dinner invitation and government pamphlet from when his great-grandfather Felipe Segundo Guzman was the president of Bolivia. Quiroga also explained that he and Martin Zelaya Agramont (MGM ’17) formed the Bolivia Club because of how rare it is to find two students from Bolivia in the same year: “We decided to create the club, first of its kind or related to Bolivia… in order to be a cultural diffusion channel, to generate any kind of possible business, and facilitate information about Bolivia.”

Quiroga and Agramont will send out a bi-monthly newsletter to the club’s 70-plus members to update them on the country’s news as well as announce organized events with the Latin American Club. The Bolivia Club aims to promote Bolivia to current students and expand their knowledge about the country, as well as encourage students in Bolivia to come to Thunderbird.

The China Entrepreneurial Club, also at the event, shows off country's flag. Courtesy of Thunderbird Marketing Department
The China Entrepreneurial Club, also at the event, shows off country’s flag. Courtesy of Thunderbird Marketing Department

Similarly, the China Club offers Thunderbird students the opportunity to meet a diverse group of people who can help them to develop their interest in China. Yan Ren (MAGAM ’17) described how the emergence of the country’s economy makes it increasingly important for people to experience Chinese culture in order to do business there. “[The China Club] encourages student development through the communication and exploration of different interests when they experience another culture,” Ren said. “Since we’re T-birds, going abroad and experiencing something new is in our DNA.”

Of course, true to being a business school, there was a variety of clubs offering the tools and skills necessary to excel in the global environment. When asked what attracts people to join the Thunderbird Entrepreneurship Network (TEN), President Jacob Tibi (MGM ’17) explained, “Most people are drawn to the Thunderbird Entrepreneurship Network, not only because everybody wants to be creative, and not only because everyone wants to invent an innovative product or service, but because they see our mission and want to be a part of what we stand for.”

Ultimately, he also said, the club will connect members with entrepreneurial professionals around the globe, help develop new ideas that promote sustainable prosperity, and engage with key actors in the global marketplace to achieve their goals as entrepreneurs.

A few tables down from TEN, the Women International Club (WIC) showcased how it empowers women to feel confident and competent enough to thrive in the business realm. “We offer a range of female speakers in varying industries and functions to come speak to our members,” President Salma Kemmou (MAGAM ’17) said. “These serve as opportunities for our members to make connections with other successful women in the professional setting.”

WIC also offers self-defense classes taught by classmate Alex Marino (MAGAM ’17), who has 8-plus years of MMA experience, as well as some fun cardio workout classes taught by Kemmou. This upcoming semester, WIC members can also expect to have several guest speaker sessions, community volunteer opportunities, and social networking events. Similar to many clubs last year, WIC had lower participation from members, but with the larger student population as well as greater marketing efforts, the officers are excited for all the new possibilities this upcoming semester.

The Rugby Club brought on new players. Courtesy of Thunderbird Marketing Department
The Rugby Club brought on new players. Courtesy of Thunderbird Marketing Department

With such a variety of clubs, covering everything from sports to business to arts and culture, how do students take part in it all while also keeping up with classes? According to Thunderbird Student Government (TSG) President Brad Hoffa (MGM ’17): don’t sleep.

“Of course,” he added though, “the realistic way to look at it is that there are just things that you have to sacrifice. There are things that you want to do, and you will naturally prioritize those, and the things that are just not important to you will start to fall off because there are only so many hours in the day.”

From attending Club Day, second-year students noticed a big change in how funding works. Previously, club funding was an allocation-based process. Part of the students’ tuition or fees for the school was actually given back to the students, and they had to spend it in a certain way within the clubs. For example, last year the school would give a student, let’s say, $60, and he or she could disperse it across clubs at his or her choosing. While this might have worked for clubs in the past, because there were so few students last year allocating across so many clubs, clubs couldn’t hit the minimum requirement of funding and then couldn’t be recognized. Previous to last year, it might have weeded out less active clubs, but with a dearth of students, it prevented clubs from forming on campus and kept dedicated people from participating.

So how does it work now?

TSG is in the process of adopting an application-based allocation system, so there will be three sources for club funding: TSG, the Thunderbird Executive Leadership Committee (TELC), and the Graduate and Professional Student Association (GPSA). TSG adopted an application process similar to those of the other organizations, so if club leaders put in an application with TSG, they can easily turn around and submit them to the other two as well.

The Thunderbird Oath of Honor stands at the front of the event. Courtesy of Thunderbird Marketing Club
The Thunderbird Oath of Honor stands at the front of the event. Courtesy of Thunderbird Marketing Club

A TSG committee reviews club applications with a prioritization system and allocates money to those club leaders based on the criteria and needs of the club. Some of the criteria include impacting the student population in a positive way, furthering the educational objectives of Thunderbird, and providing cultural awareness for members of the entire Thunderbird community. TSG will also give priority funding to clubs with alumni engagement goals.

Overall, TSG aims to serve as a facilitating unit for clubs. “We’re trying to do everything we can to encourage club activities,” Hoffa said. “We want to be seen as a group of people that you can come to, for you to get information quickly and simply… We want to be enablers, not regulators.”

 Below is a list of all registered clubs as well as contact info for their leadership.

Club Name Category First Name Last Name Email
Africa Business Club Cultural Gabrielle Gueye gabirelle.gueye@tbird.asu.edu
Between the Covers Social Nuno Muandumba Nuno.Muandumba@tbird.asu.edu
Bolovia Club Cultural Juan Carlos Quiroga jquirog1@asu.edu
China Entrepreneur Network (CEN) Professional Youfeng Pan youfeng.pan@tbird.asu.edu
Cultural Intellegence Club Professional Anisha Saini Anisha.Saini@tbird.asu.edu
Dance Club (Boogie Woogie) Sports Sneha Pherwani spherwan@asu.edu
Engineers Club Professional Shushant Ahuja Sahuja17@asu.edu
Football Club Sports Tomás Thomas tathoma5@asu.edu
Global Sounds Social Afdaly Sabirin asabirin@asu.edu
Golf Club Sports Afdaly Sabirin asabirin@asu.edu
Greater China Club (GCC) Cultural Jialu Yu jialuyu@tbird.asu.edu
India Sub-Continent Club (ISSC) Cultural Aproov Joshi Apoorv.Joshi@tbird.asu.edu
International Development Assoc Professional Jacob Tibi jtibi@tbird.asu.edu
International Film Club (AKA Tbird & Chill Club) Social Rachel An rachel.an@tbird.asu.edu
Investment Banking Club Professional Pier Armando Vender pvender@asu.edu
Latin America Business Club (LABCC) Cultural Stefani Chaney stefani.m.chaney@tbird.asu.edu
Middle East & North Africa (MENA) Cultural Bandar Tahlawi Bandar.tahlawi@tbird.asu.edu
Net Impact Professional Faduma Dhool Mohamed faduma-dhool.mohamed@tbird.asu.edu
Project Management & Bus Analyst Club Professional Vishal Bhardwaj vbhardw5@asu.edu
Rugby Football Club Sports Patrick Shields pjshield@tbird.asu.edu
Start Up Club 1 Professional Mahmood Alabbas Mahmood.Alabbas@asu.edu
Start Up Club 2 Professional Ayshe Ulgen ayseh.ulgen@asu.edu
Sustainable Global Business Club Professional Allison Shannon Valencia asv@asu.edu
Taiwan Club Cultural Ming-Hsuan Lee lminghsu@asu.edu
TEMBA Professional Vyoma Mehra vyoma.mehra@asu.edu
Tennis Club Sports Liyang Chai chailigang@outlook.com
Thunderbird Entrepreneurship Network (TEN) Professional Jacob Tibi jtibi@tbird.asu.edu
Thunderbird Management Consulting Assoc (TMCA) Professional Savijeet Singh savijeet-singh@global.t-bird.edu
Thunderbird Marketing Association Professional Lening Li lening.li@asu.edu
ThunderBirdies Sports Michael Chacon mjchacon1@gmail.com
Thunderbirds Reaching Out (TBRO) Social Joe Jaeger jjaeger1@asu.edu
ThunderFit Sports Nuno Muandumba Nuno.Muandumba@tbird.asu.edu
Toastmasters Professional Donald Kurangwa donald.kurangwa@tbird.asu.edu
Veterans Club Social Benjamin Bronson Benjamin.Bronson@tbird.asu.edu
Women’s International Club Professional Salma Kemmou Salma.Kemmou@tbird.asu.edu
Yoga Club Sports Gaurav Shetty gshetty2@asu.edu

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