As a Catholic liberal arts college, Christendom’ offers a rigorous academic program, with the integrated 86-credit hour core curriculum at the center. But students have not only minds, they have bodies and souls too, and as such need to find innovative ways to take breaks from their studies and take their minds off the books. The various clubs on campus exist for that purpose, allowing students to relax, express their creativity, and just have fun, building up the campus culture in the process. At the same time, these student-run clubs teach valuable leadership and organizing skills, continuing education outside the classroom and preparing students for life after college.

Swing ‘n’ Sundaes (left) and Shield of Roses (right) are just two of the many clubs at Christendom

There is something for everyone when it comes to clubs on campus. Christendom currently has nearly thirty different clubs, with some existing since the founding of the college. For example, Shield of Roses has been traveling to the DC area to pray the rosary outside abortion clinics since the 1977. Other clubs have recently been created to express interests of incoming classes, including the new pool club, for those interested in honing their skills in game of pool. This club and the rest represent the varied interests of students who want to share these activities with fellow classmates.

The Student Activities Council works with each club throughout the year, providing support and advice for club presidents but leaving the hands-on work to the students. Taking charge of a club and planning activities gives students the opportunity to form themselves outside of the classroom – and gain great experience in leadership and event planning. The events on campus become even more enjoyable to those who put their time and talents into these events, while at the same time, adding a lot to the college’s vibrant culture.

One of the most popular activities put on by a club at Christendom is swing ‘n sundaes. Founded by Catherine McFadden ’16 in the fall of 2012, many students come together for swing dancing instruction and ice cream every second Sunday, giving the participants a chance to learn basic dance steps – and more exciting moves – to try out at the many dances put on throughout the year. Swing dancing is not the only thing that is learned through this club, however, for this club runs entirely on the work of student volunteers. The leaders learn what it takes to plan a large-scale event through advertising, budgeting for refreshments, setting up sound equipment and playlists, and keeping the two-hour event moving along at a good pace.

“This has been a great opportunity for growth, because, after participating in this club, I was more willing to transition to a leadership role,” remarked current swing ‘n sundaes president, Katarina Federici ‘20. “I wanted people to know how to swing dance because it is an important part of the Christendom culture.”

The four years here at Christendom are a great opportunity to bond with those who share similar interests, take on leadership roles, and build up a positive culture on campus. Christendom may be smaller than other universities, but the variety of clubs highlights the wide range of interests present on campus. Everything from sacred music to animation to flag football finds a place here, offering each student a chance to get involved.

Special to Christendom College by contributing author Riley Damitz ’20.

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