Clubbin' In College

Author: Qai Gordon

No, not THAT kind of club. Today, I’m going to focus on student-led organizations -- where you'll meet your best friends, turn interests into passions, and make a difference in the community. It's #LIT.

Many students get exposure to joining or leading clubs in high school, whether it be out of genuine interest or just to add something to their college applications (I get it, do what you gotta do). But, when comparing high school clubs to college clubs, it’s a whole different ballpark. You have more people to deal with, more money to handle, and more responsibilities to juggle.

Now I’ll tell y’all a little about my clubbin’ experience at Notre Dame:

I have been in and out of various clubs throughout my college experience (it’s normal), but I’ve been the most dedicated to three clubs: The Black Student Association (BSA), Shades of Ebony (Shades), and the Voices of Faith Gospel Choir (Voices).

Black Student Association

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Role: President! *cue royal wave*

Involved since: Freshman year

Description: The purpose of The Black Student Association is to promote unity among Notre Dame’s Black students by serving as a representative body for Black students, acting on issues of importance to the community, serving as a support and discussion forum for black organizations, clubs, and affiliates on campus, and voicing concerns of the Black community to the University. We also strive to strengthen the relationship between the Black community and the wider Notre Dame community. Since high school, I knew I wanted to be the president of the BSA at whichever college I chose. I don’t remember my specific reasons, but I knew I wanted to make an impact on my university through a community I would identify with. 


Shades of Ebony 

Qai - Shade of Ebony

Involved Since: Freshman year

Role: previously Social Media Coordinator, currently a member

Description: Shades of Ebony is an organization geared toward Black women on campus that meets weekly to discuss various topics related to the Black and female perspective, and mentors middle and high school girls in the South Bend area. Shades has made a wonderful impact on me, as I formed great relationships and participated in very insightful conversations. Also, I was on the boards of both Shades and BSA for my sophomore and junior years. Would I recommend holding two executive roles at the same time? ….maybe not, but it’s pretty common at Notre Dame because there are so many interesting things to be involved in!


Voices of Faith Gospel Choir 

Qai - Voices of Faith

Involved since: Freshman year

Role: Member

Description: I’ve always been a fan of Voices since my freshman year - I went to all of the concerts and even to some practices, but I didn’t become a dedicated member until my senior year. And I’m so glad I finally did! Voices of Faith Gospel Choir is a faith led student-run organization and diverse choir in faith and heritage that gathers weekly to sing as one to praise the Lord. It is a great community of people that spread the Love of God to others through song during Rejoice Masses, semester concerts, and other performances throughout the year. We also go on tour from city to city to perform and sing with other choirs every two years, and this year is a tour year! I am not Catholic and I have not found a church home at ND, so being able to be in a similar presence with praise and worship is refreshing and comforting.

After reading through where I’ve been clubbin’ during college, you’ve probably noticed a common theme among my interests - culture/diversity/inclusion/community. Organizations like the BSA, Shades, and Voices are ones that bring people together from similar backgrounds and provide opportunities to build community between such people. They are also available as a sense of comfort, as well as a medium to meet others in the Notre Dame community. Even beyond being an outlet for students of color, they also establish a multicultural presence at Notre Dame, which I find extremely important in a college space for all students. In my opinion, exposure to new cultures, religions, ideas, and perspectives is one of the best aspects of college. That’s just one reason why clubs are so important in college! So, make sure you check out all of the clubs at ND, and LET’S GO CLUBBIN’!