Jordan Hearring, Life Editor
Joining a club is one of the many college experiences that students can look back on fondly. It can improve social skills, communication skills, time management and even academic involvement. It can ease the transition from high school into college, allow students to make friends with similar interests and give students a chance to have a voice and a support system. A-State offers over 150 student-led organizations and this segment in The Herald will spotlight one of the many diverse clubs on campus. This week, I am putting a spotlight on the Anime Club.
The Anime Club originally started as the Sci-Fi Club, which Dr. Robert Lamm, Anime Club faculty sponsor and professor of English, said it formed just before 2000. The Sci-Fi club held dual interests with anime and science fiction and eventually transitioned officially to the Anime Club in September of 2008. The Anime Club today functions as a social group that discusses and watches various forms of anime and manga. They also host various outings such as bowling nights and board game nights. There are 16 members involved in the club, which is quadruple the numbers the organization had when the COVID lockdown began in 2020.
Various members of the organization have regarded the Anime Club as a positive experience. Madison Sanchez, a sophomore English major from Jonesboro, said “It’s always fun to watch anime, but meeting the people there made it all the more fun. Coming to a club where everyone holds a similar interest makes me feel more comfortable to talk to and be myself around others.”
The Anime Club has also attended conventions in the past, especially before COVID impacted the group’s involvement.
Jacob Copeland, a sophomore computer science major from St. Louis, Missouri, talked about his involvement in the club. “It’s a really positive experience where we all get along and share our passion for anime and manga,” said Copeland, “We sometimes attend conventions, which is always a blast.”
One of the Anime Club leaders is Sarah Kinnison, a master’s of mathematics student from Conway. She serves as the vice president of the club and has been a member for 4 years. Reed Whitaker, a senior engineering technology major from Paragould, serves as the president of the Anime Club and has been a member for 3 years. Both officers have been actively involved in the Anime Club and lead discussions regarding the anime they watch during their meetings. The group decides whether they want to watch the anime “subbed”, which is the original language with English subtitles, or “dubbed”, which is the English voiceover of the anime. They follow up the episode with a group discussion and critiques.
Dr. Lamm also spoke on the ways that the Anime Club serves A-State students. “It meets different needs for different people. Some people come that don’t normally talk but want to work on talking with others, and it’s a great way to connect with others and make friends with similar interests. There are three main ways that the Anime Club contributes: social values, entertainment values and scholarly values.”
The Anime Club meets once a week on Mondays in the St. Francis River Room in the Reng Student Union and uses Discord as the main form of communication between the officers and the members. In the Discord server they can make announcements about meetings, play games and discuss anime. The club continues involvement over the summer and winter breaks and welcomes any and all new members. For more information regarding the Anime Club reach out to Reed Whitaker at firstname.lastname@example.org and Sarah Kinnison at email@example.com. For a full list of the registered student organizations at A-State visit www.astate.edu/RSO.
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