This year was the first annual Clubbies Awards, which celebrated the achievements of various clubs on campus. The event was catered by Sodexo and featured several live artists as well as the presentation of the awards.
“The Clubbies was a brainchild of mine,” SGA President Xeyah Martin said in an interview. He felt that the clubs at Eastern weren’t appreciated enough, given that they are “the heart and soul” of the school. He pointed out that students pour hours and hours of free labor into these clubs, and he “wanted to give a thank you to clubs for all that they do.”
When he first got the idea, Martin reached out to the staff that make sure clubs run smoothly on campus: Krista Barnett, Sabrina Severe, and Stefan Martyniak. All of these staff members worked together with Xeyah to organize the event.
In order to determine which clubs received awards, a survey was sent out. According to Martin, “there was a total of 57 responses, which is not representative of the greater community or clubs.” Martin admitted to being disappointed with the number of responses; “I was expecting 150-250,” Martin said. However, he found that the clubs that were very active and engaged did turn out well.
The hardest part of putting everything together was the categories, according to Martin. He, along with other SGA members, separated them into two groups: the ones he thought of and the student engagement ones, which were based on metrics like the age of clubs and their reported weekly participation. “I wanted to come up with categories that were diverse yet meaningful,” Martin said. He also tried to determine what categories naturally formed due to what each club tended to fall into.
Overall, Martin thought that most of the clubs seemed to enjoy the event. They liked the food and the performances, and the response on social media was very strong. Besides the representatives from clubs receiving awards, the event was also attended by staff and administration of the university; President Matthews did the welcome address.
When asked if the Clubbies would contine, Martin responded, “Preferably, but I won’t be here.” He added, “You can lead the way, but you can’t force people to walk down that path.”