Social clubs are an important part of the AU experience for many students that play a large role in the lives of many of these students over the course of their time in college. These clubs offer students of all backgrounds and interests an opportunity to be a part of a group with students that they may otherwise not get to meet and build relationships with through the club.
This spring semester, AU welcomed two new social clubs: Leona, a women’s social club, and PAK, a men’s social club.
Tristen Pettigrew, a junior management major, is the president of Leona, AU’s newest women’s Social and Service Club. Pettigrew said that she and some of the other current officers began planning and discussing the club in the fall semester and the club officially came into existence at the beginning of the spring semester.
When asked about what the club wants to focus on and be known for around campus, Pettigrew said: “Leona’s club pillars are service, intentionality, community and leadership and involvement.”
“We desire to be student leaders on our campus and to provide an outlet for intentional community,” she continued. “Leona is striving to cultivate a life in common while growing in our relationships with each other and the Lord.”
Pettigrew also emphasized the importance that social clubs play on AU’s campus as well. “Social clubs are such an awesome part of AU’s community, and I believe they provide a place of belonging to so many men and women on this campus.”
For many, college is a time period in which people seek community and a sense of belonging, and Pettigrew feels that Leona can offer a unique sense of both to the campus. “With each social and service club providing their own unique community, it’s just a matter of finding the right fit for yourself. I saw a need on our campus for something that looks a little different than what’s already offered, hoping to give more women on this campus that sense of belonging and to get more people involved in Social and Service Clubs,” Pettigrew said.
Pettigrew said that the club’s current membership is thirty-five currently, but that they are definitely hoping to grow in the coming years. “We are excited to see where the Lord takes this club. We hope to provide a safe place to get below the surface level conversations and relationships with as many young ladies as the Lord leads,” she said.
Saige Royer, a sophomore who is a member of Leona, said she is “most excited about the new friendships and spiritual growth alongside one another.”
PAK, the newest male Social and Service Club, officially came into existence this spring semester. Freshman Alphonso Blackwell is the current president of the club.
“PAK will be known as a diverse group of young men that excel athletically and academically, put God first and practice community service along with accountability,” Blackwell said.
In terms of the motive behind starting this new club at AU, Blackwell had a seemingly simple and straightforward reason: “We started PAK because my friends and I wanted to make an huge impact on campus.”
Each club has a set of values or pillars that they want to be synonymous with, and he said that their five pillars are “brotherhood, academic excellence, resiliency, community service, and accountability.”
“We have about 20 members and are still currently accepting members, and are definitely looking to grow,” Blackwell said. “We would love double our membership and grow to 40 members.”
When asked if there’s anything he would like the campus to know about PAK, Blackwell said: “I would like tell the campus that PAK loves everyone no matter where you came from or what you look like.”