Getting involved as a college freshman is tough. There’s a ton of pressure to join clubs and start building a résumé, even if you’re not passionate about the ones you join. The Anime Club at IUPUI is one that stands out from the rest in focusing on students’ passions without the pressure of making it fit into a future career.
The club’s den page states: “The Anime Club is a relaxed gathering of people who enjoy watching anime and reading manga. We meet Fridays to socialize, play games, watch old and airing shows, and do movie nights. No matter what you like, you're welcome to join and have a good time.”
Patrick McMahon, the club treasurer, said that the club has grown and evolved a lot since its founding.
“We started off as a pretty small club that went purely off suggestions, but recently we've followed a loose schedule of what shows we watch since we have a larger volume of consistent members,” McMahon said. “Occasionally we hold events [sic] and parties where people can compete for various anime related prizes through trivia, name that anime, name that theme song, fighting game tournaments, etc.”
McMahon said that the friendships formed in the club are what separate it from other IUPUI student organizations.
“Many of us meet outside of club and it’s a great place for people to make friends. We are allowed to talk while shows are on, it’s much better than a bunch of people in a room silently watching anime,” McMahon said. “I would honestly recommend anime club to people who don't even like anime, it’s just a fun place to be every Friday.”
The club’s public representative, Scott Hager, says that the club centers on a mutual appreciation for Japanese culture and the aspects surrounding that.
“It's a really fun way to meet other people with hobbies that range from appreciating Japanese culture, to watching animated cartoons and gaming,” Hager said.
The club president, Shane Etheridge, agrees saying that the anime club members have gotten closer than other IUPUI clubs.
“I feel that a lot of informatics clubs are great and people generally have a good time with them, but from what I’ve seen and experienced, the anime club members especially seem to have formed solid friendships from the club,” Etheridge said. “Yes we have our weekly meetings, but it’s also extremely common to meet up as a group or do activities together outside of club days. There’s just a genuine camaraderie.”
As president, Etheridge has worked to make the club a more lively and open environment for members. Those who are involved with the club can try new things and even learn about the technical aspects of running the club and get involved in leadership positions for the future.
“I initially joined the club because I enjoy watching anime, as I'm sure was the original reason for most people who walk through our doors,” Etheridge said. “But I've stayed because of the fun that it's provided me over the past couple years; it's become more than simply watching new shows.”