McGill clubs have something for everyone

Student Living by

Red Thunder

Calling all fans of McGill athletics: Red Thunder McGill allows you to attend varsity games for free. The catch? None, if you’re a true fan. After paying a $25 fee, members get a Red Thunder Fan Pack containing a T-shirt, rally towel and bandana, and organized bus trips to the games.

With planned tailgating before games and after-parties to follow, Red Thunder is the ultimate fan experience. Look around at any varsity game and you are sure to see the signature Red Thunder shirt. The only events that the shirts do not allow access to are Queen’s and Management Carnival Hockey games and Playoff games. In the words of Red Thunder, “GO RED GO!”

The Red Thunder Room is in the SAPEK Office in room 201 of the Athletics Complex. Red Thunder can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.

Xtreme Sports

Xtreme sports, for those who don’t know, are activities associated with a certain degree of danger. Some of the better-known extreme sports are skateboarding, sky diving, and surfing. Given Montreal’s location, it is unlikely that the Xtreme sports club will be outfitting their members with surfboards or skateboards and sending them off to the beach.

The Xtreme sports club – which prides itself on “living life on the EDGE” – comes into its own as a SSMU club this semester. The club execs have their eye on a sky diving license for club members. The philosophy is not only about the sports themselves, but also about bringing people with all interests together in an extreme manner.

Email [email protected] for more information.

The McGill Outdoors Club

While going to school in Montreal might limit some of your outdoor activity, the McGill Outdoors Club is the university’s home for fostering and offering activities to outdoor enthusiasts. For more than 70 years, the group has been getting outdoors to snowshoe, ski, snowboard, ice climb, hike, kayak, and much more.

The Outdoor Club organizes trips throughout the year geared toward members of all different skill levels, from beginners to experts. In addition, the group’s listserv provides an excellent venue for members to meet up with others who share their passion for the outdoors and for conjuring up their own adventures.

Visit www.mcgilloutdoorsclub.ca for more information, or drop by a meeting, Wednesdays at 7:30 in room 302 of the Shatner building.

Fantasia McGill

Fantasia McGill is a group of amateur performers who put on shows at residences and hospitals in the Montreal area. The club draws musicians, dancers, instrumentalists, singers, and jugglers from a wide range of disciplines, and they perform together once a month. Past venues include Royal Victoria Hospital, Montreal Association for the Blind, Westmount One, and Montreal General Hospital, among others.

“The concerts usually consist of six to 10 performances, each that the performers have prepared on their own time,” explains Lisa Palladini. a Fantasia McGill executive. “And we usually try to cater to themes when proper months permit, such as Christmas or Valentine’s Day.

Fantasia McGill’s next concert is at Maimonides hospital in Cote. St. Luc on January 31. To get involved or for more information, email [email protected]

Salseros McGill

If your dance routine includes fist pumping and the robot, consider trying something a bit more flavourful. Salseros McGill, a social salsa club, will teach you how to turn up the heat on the dance floor every Monday through Wednesday. Every Tuesday night, Salseros McGills hosts a Latin Social at 8 p.m. in Gert’s for both beginners and the experienced. A beginner’s salsa lesson is also offered at the beginning of each social, so there’s no need to be intimidated.

Salseros McGill also offers Salsa lessons on Monday and Wednesday nights¬ – you can purchase 10 lessons for only $25. The club’s motto of “dance first, think later” is sure to take your mind off of midterms. In addition to teaching you sensual Latin moves, Salseros McGill organizes trips to Montreal’s best salsa clubs.

To learn more about Salseros McGill, visit their Facebook page, or stop by Gert’s on Tuesday nights at 8 p.m.

The Gamer’s Guild

If you’re one of those people that misses the days of good old-fashioned fun playing board games with friends, the Gamer’s Guild (aka the “Boardgames, Tea, and Cookies Club”) might just be for you. Whether you’re an ardent fan of Risk, Diplomacy, Stratego, Bang!, Settlers of Catan, Monopoly, Clue, Medici, Cranium, or RoboRally, this club offers you the chance to just relax and have fun.

Additionally, Gamers Guild has ties with the local gaming community, provides discounts to guild members shopping at specific stores throughout Montreal, including Tour des Jeux and Gamers’ World.

Check out the Gamer’s Guild in the Shatner Building (room 427) every Thursday and Friday at 6 p.m.

Friends With Food

Although relatively new on campus, Friends with Food has already been a hit among McGill students with a common interest in cooking. Friends with Food started last year by publishing a regular recipe column in the McGill Daily. This year, Friends with Food has taken on an additional project – a cookbook for students by students.

The concept is two-fold. “We want to promote a healthy relationship with food,” say Olivia Hoffmeyer and Sophie Busby, editors of the Friends with Food Cookbook.

Their new cookbook project has received considerable support from the McGill community. “This cookbook isn’t meant to outline what we love to make, but rather is meant to bring McGill together in the communal kitchen by having everyone – of all levels – share what they love to cook,” says Hoffmeyer.

If you have a recipe to contribute, email [email protected]

STAND McGill

STAND (Students Taking Action Now at Darfur) – the leading youth-led anti-genocide group in Canada – lobbies members of parliament during elections to get Darfur at the core of its legislation, holds discussions and fundraisers, brings in keynote speakers to various events, and has pub crawls and other activities to raise money.

One of their recent campaigns, Stand for the Dead, is as simple as students wearing T-shirts with the name of a victim who disappeared or perished as a result of the Sudanese genocide. As part of the campaign, STAND has screenings of the otherwise unreleased Darfur, a film from Uwe Boll that, while an interpretive account, reflects real destruction.

“The crisis in Darfur is heading into its seventh year and we fear that the public is forgetting about it,” says Aoife Conlon-Martin, president of STAND McGill. “We want to remind readers through this campaign and film that the genocide has not ceased.”

The Rabbit Hole Café

Much like Midnight Kitchen, the Rabbit Hole Café – located at the Yellow Door in the McGill Ghetto – aims to provide students with a delicious and healthy meal that is, best of all, nearly free. Whether you’re short on cash, sick of eating the same food every night, or just looking for inexpensive dinner ideas, the student run organization offers you food assistance.

With free, three-course vega
n meals every Friday from 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., just drop by, pay a toonie, enjoy the company, and eat. All proceeds go towards maintaining the program. The Rabbit Hole Café also runs a food bank that allows students to take eight items of groceries for free.

“We know students are on a low budget, but they always need food,” says member Susan Wang, U2 International Development. And if you are looking to get involved, the organization can always use more volunteers to put up posters, find cookbooks and recipes, and help out with anti-poverty initiatives.

For more information, email [email protected]

Best Buddies

If you are looking to volunteer within the Montreal community, Best Buddies is a truly commendable and worthwhile way to do so. Best Buddies – a program that pairs McGill students with adults in the community with intellectual disabilities – is a great way to both have a great time and to give back to the community.

“[The organization] is important because it promotes interaction you normally wouldn’t have between these two communities,” says member Marline Armstrong, U2 philosophy. Going to hockey games, coffee, and movies, Best Buddies doesn’t require much of a commitment, but it does give back in an invaluable way.

To learn more, visit bestbuddies.ca.

The McGill Fencing Club

Fencing dates back to ancient Greece, and while the McGill Fencing Club is not quite that old, it has been around long enough to garner its own group of fencing students and experts. All interested parties are welcome, from those who have never held a foil to those who are fully familiar with every coupé and parry.

Students will learn bladework and tactics as well as the rules of fencing. As advertised, these classes not only teach students to fence through drills and exercises, but also teach students “better balance and control over their bodies.” The next level up in classes, Fencing II, is offered to those who have prior experience with fencing, either at McGill or elsewhere. In the words of the club’s website, “Sometimes you just wanna stab people.”

If your interest is piqued by the chance to wield an epee, visit www.mcgillfencing.com for more information. Classes for beginners are held at the McGill gym through campus recreation. There are 16 one-hour classes held per session, teaching beginners the basics of fencing.

Think Pink McGill

Among the countless advocacy clubs at McGill, Think Pink certainly stands out – and not just because of its colourful concept. “Our goal at Think Pink is to help put an end to breast cancer,” says Faryn Stern, vice president marketing. The club has made considerable progress toward achieving its objective through regular events aimed at raising awareness and funds for the Quebec Breast Cancer Foundation.

The upcoming “Breast Night of the Year” nightclub event in February is one of many initiatives with wide appeal to the McGill community. The most important fundraiser, a gala themed “Paint the Town Pink” is yet to come on March 28. “The Gala is a fantastic event for McGill students and the community at large,” says Stern.

Think Pink McGill puts on a variety of events that are both fun and raise money. “Think Pink not only raises money and awareness for a great cause, but we also have a great time doing it. Being a part of Think Pink is a fun and fulfilling way to get involved on campus.”

For more information, email [email protected]

McGill Eating Disorder Program

Eating disorders have always been a sensitive subject, but are all too prevalent in university life. The McGill Eating Disorder Program offers students suffering from eating disorders the opportunity to get help on campus.

“We have about 30 patients, but each day we get more and more,” says Vanessa Matic, a former McGill Student and one of the program’s nurses. The program offers support at all levels, including psychoeducation, meal support, and therapy. Matic stresses that patients are all there voluntarily, which is not always the norm in eating disorder therapy.

Another important feature of the program is its clinical methods.

“After the assessment we meet with the student again and we tell them our recommendations and they either go into the psycho-education group or the meal support or they start therapy,” says Matic.

While volunteers do not deal directly with patients, they have the opportunity to raise awareness on campus and in residence halls. The program hopes to raise awareness even more in the coming weeks, as the first week of February is National Eating Disorder Awareness Week.

If you’d like to volunteer with the McGill Eating Disorder Program, send an email to [email protected]@mcgill.ca. If you or anyone you know is suffering from an eating disorder, the program’s hotline is 514-398-1050.