Olivia Lee: Clubs and Societies at JCU

While you’re at JCU, joining a club/society is something you can consider because it gives you an opportunity to meet other like-minded students. I’ve tried my best to make this list after contacting people from different disciplines, so I hope I’ve captured a larger portion of the Uni. Nevertheless, I’ve definitely missed out on a few clubs and possibly added a few non JCU-affiliated ones, so here we go!  

Degree-Restricted Societies

Medicine

JCUMSA is specific to medical students and they have an academic and social rep for each year. I’ve been told they go over med-related issues that affect the student body, i.e., I’m not sure what they talk about. SANTE is the global health group and although it has its origins in the med school, they are open to the whole university and work to raise awareness on global health issues and host events to fundraise for international charities. There is a membership fee of $15 attached but that is for the duration of your entire degree. RHINO is the rural health group and they travel to rural areas within Australia (that are aplenty) to talk to schools about the importance of health and fundraise for events and charities.

Pharmacy

JCUPSA is ideally targeted for pharmacy students because you can get cheaper textbooks and social event prices if you become a member (~$10 fee attached but it is lifetime). They are a tight-knit group that promote social aspects between pharmacy students and help to build a network within the faculty. As with the medical groups, they fundraise for charities each year and raise awareness on various health issues.

You’d think with so much awareness on health issues we’d be more well…aware. Jokes aside, the med and pharmacy groups do good work and always try their best to get those of us outside the faculty interested.

Marine Biology

Diving is probably a big part of how most of us ended up studying Marine Biology at JCU, and what better way to continue that passion and join other divers than being part of the JCU Dive Club (https://www.facebook.com/JCUDiveClub/?fref=ts)! Each semester, they arrange cheap dive trips (if you look at the prices of other dive companies, you can see the dive club does their best to subsidise) to the outer reef and the Yongala dive wreck, and more recently Bali has been included on their trip list! They also offer dive certifications and rent out gear for those field trip necessities lest you want to see all your friends snorkelling without you.

Zoology/Ecology

The JCU Zoological Society (https://www.facebook.com/groups/JCUZoology/?ref=br_tf) is new but ambitious. They have a $10 fee to join and paying this means you can get discounted fees for all their social events, however they are also open to non-members attending. They are currently working on a few events for the year such as night walks and camping trips, and they are in the process of organising a stall at the March for Science event on The Strand on April 22nd where they hope to have a display of live reptiles.

Joining your degree specific society is great because it helps to build relationships within the cohort so that freshers can rely on seniors and you have a place to meet people in your degree outside the classroom. The JCU Business Society (https://www.facebook.com/JCUBusinessSociety/?fref=ts) have one where they have pub crawls and trivia nights and so do the Law Society (https://www.facebook.com/jculss/). I’m always slightly jealous when I hear of my friends going on degree-specific events or dinners because the marine school is so big that we don’t have a committee to organize anything for us!

Sports

Social sports are a big part of the Monday night life at JCU. They have social volleyball, soccer, netball, touch, and dodgeball on offer. You can choose to pay $60 for the whole semester or an upfront payment of $5 per match. You get a group of people together and play matches every Monday night till the semester ends. It’s a lot of fun and even if you start out unsure, playing every week builds up your confidence (if your teammates aren’t the ones bashing you down)!

Ultimate Frisbee happens on Wednesday nights and it’s open for everyone to join like social sports. Check with the Student Association for more details on how to join, but sign ups might already be too late now in the semester.

Rock Climbing (https://www.facebook.com/groups/jcu.rockclimbing/?hc_location=ufi) was a club I didn’t know was part of JCU till recently. Unlike my fellow blogger Edith, who very adventurously pursued this information and wrote an entire blog post on it, I took a back seat. It appears they climb up Mt. Stuart every weekend and will provide all the gear for you. There is a one-off fee for those who choose to go sporadically and alternatively a membership fee for those long-term players. A friend of mine did this while she was here and she said the progress you make if you go every week is amazing.

Soccer. If social soccer isn’t serious enough for you, try joining the Ross River club, which is the official JCU Soccer Club. In Townsville, there are 3 divisions: premier league, city league, and country league (ranked from more competitive to less), and you choose the league you’re more comfortable with, unless its premier then you must qualify for it. There is quite a hefty registration fee (unless you play for premier which is free), but if this is what you love doing, it’s a great way to get the best out of the game because you are required to attend all the training sessions and they have matches every weekend. You’re allowed to do a trial run and train with various clubs before you sign up. If you’re an international student you need international clearance once you sign up for the club but that is something the club will do for you.

Arts

There is a Photography Club (https://www.facebook.com/groups/JCUphotographyclub/) that is still in its infancy but it can be a great platform to meet other photographers and swap tips. Although there is no dance club, there is the K-Pop Dance Group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/401951159979063/?ref=group_cover) who perform for the Cultural fest every year. 7 or 8 dances are usually chosen and practices start in the first semester with all that work culminating in August for the big event. Despite the performance being the main goal of the club, they welcome dancers of all levels of experience and are more than happy to teach those who want to learn for fun.

Student Groups

Internationals make up a large part of the Uni and it’s no surprise there is a Townsville JCU Internationals (https://www.facebook.com/groups/174369722979255/) page for international students looking to find anything from road trip buddies to advice on which places in Townsville have the best meal deals. There is also the JCU Globetrotters (https://www.facebook.com/jcuglobetrotters/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel) which was a club initially created by students who went on exchange and wanted to engage with the international community on the JCU campus as well as the Australian students keen to do exchange. They have organised afternoon paintball events, tea and games to share different cultures, and have an upcoming language exchange event. The JCU Christian Union (https://www.facebook.com/ChristianUnionJCU/) aims to let people know about Jesus and is open to everyone- for those who are Christian and for those who want to find out more.

The JCU Asian Cultural Association (https://www.facebook.com/groups/JCUAsianCulturalAssociation/) is still young but their aim is to build a network for Asian students to connect as well as to host events on culture days to give more people at Uni a chance to witness and partake in the Burmese Water Festival, Mooncake Festival, etc. Similarly, the Latin American Student Association (https://www.facebook.com/JCULatino/?fref=ts) often host Latin-related food or dance events to promote their culture. They have a Latin Party each semester that has become quite an expectation for people to attend! Both clubs are also open for anyone to join.

Aside from that there are student groups for countries such as Indonesia (http://www.ppia-jcu.org/), Malaysia (https://www.facebook.com/groups/JCUMalaysianStudents/), and Papua New Guinea (https://www.facebook.com/groups/167883930079031/). There are probably more out there, but I suspect these are the few that have more students staying for the long-term in larger numbers.

Hobbies

JCU Chicks with Sticks (https://www.facebook.com/groups/jcuchickswithsticks/) is a place for people to come together to learn how to knit or crochet. They meet twice a week and people of all skill levels are welcomed to join. They put up yarn bombs around campus sometimes to promote causes. There is also the Society of Anime, Manga, and Gaming (https://www.facebook.com/JCUSoMAG/?fref=ts&ref=br_tf ) that can offer members deals for certain stores and the Dungeons & Dragons Club (https://www.facebook.com/groups/145571238941966/) that meet every week to play board games and they don’t always stick to D&D! Aside from that there is Amnesty International (https://www.facebook.com/AmnestyInternationalJCUTSV/) which champion human rights and are part of the larger global movement of 4.6 million people. They organise activities such as fundraisers, vigils, and petitions.

The JCU Sustainability Club (https://www.facebook.com/groups/1709526015943379/?ref=br_rs) has done a lot of good work around campus to promote recycling and to explain food waste, as well as hosting events such as clothes swap, gardening and compost day, and bringing the fresh food market to Uni every week (yet to be confirmed this semester). We have a bike shed on campus and if you join the JCU Bicycle Users Group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/109270575751212/) you can keep up to date with when the shed will be open for repairs and if anyone is selling bikes.

Clubs are always looking for keen participants and potential committee members. Take some time out to join and see what you can do for a club!

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