8 quirky US student societies you should consider joining

Sean Campbell
Sean Campbell
Last Updated: 2 June 2021 • 6 min read

Joining a club or student society while at college in the US is a sure fire way of making new friends, expanding your horizons, and having tonnes of extra-curricular fun. 

But US student societies aren’t all strictly study-related. Some of them are so far out that you’d wonder how they’re even a part of college life! But studying at university isn’t all about books, lectures and labs, it’s about trying new things and discovering more about yourself. 

We’ve covered 8 strange and quirky societies you can join at UK universities before, but now let’s hop across the water to the US to check out some of their strangest, yet still popular college clubs!

Quirky US Societies

1. The MIT Assassins' Guild, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

2. Gosh Yarn It, Columbia University

3. Adopt a Grandparent, Whitman College

4. Happiness Club, Northwestern University

5. Ukulele Tree Climbing Club, University of Wisconsin

6. Bad Movie Club, Bradley University

7. Competitive Gaming Club, University of Illinois at Chicago

8. Skydiving Club, Virginia Tech

1. The MIT Assassins’ Guild, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

This one’s pretty killer…

Ok enough poor humour. But you’ve no doubt heard of MIT, where brainy people go to get even brainier? Well, turns out they have a society of umm... assassins. That seems a little irresponsible, but also pretty cool. 

Thankfully the MIT Assassin’s Guild doesn’t actually go around assassinating people — they just pretend to. In their own words, it’s a “live action role-playing society”. Members take on characters and basically play a great big game of make believe murder! 

Oh, and they also meet up every week to chase and shoot each other with foam dart guns. That actually sounds like a lot of fun!

2. Gosh Yarn It, Columbia University

OK let’s take things back a little and relax. As the pun-tastic name suggests, this popular college club is all about knitting and crochet! Once the sole preserve of grandmothers, the craft has been growing as a hobby among the younger generation for its relaxing effect. 

So what’s all the fuss about? Well, the process itself is kind of meditative, allowing you to just sit back and let your mind drift while you focus on one task. The bonus? Get good at it and you can make your own clothes and handicrafts!

3. Adopt a Grandparent, Whitman College

This is just so sweet that I had to include it. At Whitman College, this group of kind hearted young students goes to a local retirement home for an hour every week to spend quality time chatting with the residents.  

It’s all about providing companionship, bringing joy and a higher quality of life to the residents, because for some, growing old can be a lonely business. One hour of the students’ week, to make someone else’s so much better. 

That’s just the sweetest thing. ***Reaches for a tissue to dry eyes***

4. Happiness Club, Northwestern University

OK we need some cheering up after that. Seems a perfect time to bring up the Happiness Club at Northwestern University! Again, it’s all about spreading joy, and we like that kind of thing here.  

You see, the Happiness Club believes that those who make people happy become happier themselves, and so they encourage random acts of kindness in and around the campus. 

According to their website, they “try to make everyone at Northwestern smile a little wider and a little more often by putting on fun, free events and creating the moments that make you think, ‘That just made my day!’”

5. Ukulele Tree Climbing Club, University of Wisconsin

The quirkiest of the quirky student societies in the US, the Ukulele Tree Climbing Club members take their tiny little guitar-like instruments, climb up a tree, and just play some lovely music. 

Why? Well first, it’s fun to climb trees and it’s fun to learn and play music! Secondly, it’s actually something of a social movement, encouraging love for the natural environment around us.  

6. Bad Movie Club, Bradley University

There’s nothing better than a bad movie. Like a truly bad movie. Not pretty bad, but so absolutely helplessly TERRIBLE that it’s funny. At least that’s how I feel.

And so do the brave members of Bradley University’s Bad Movie Club. There’s no need to explain what goes on here, is there? Meet up, bring some popcorn, watch a hilariously bad movie that probably never made it to the cinema, have a laugh, and then go home to watch something good!

7. Competitive Gaming Club, University of Illinois at Chicago

Gamers unite! The University of Illinois at Chicago has a home for you! There’s a society to join for every personality type at university, and that also applies to the gaming community. 

Plug in and play, make friends, be competitive, win, lose, have a lot of fun. That’s about all the Competitive Gaming Club stands for. 

The good thing is that you don’t have to be a gaming whizz to be welcome. They say they “welcome gamers of all kinds from casual to competitive, MMORPGs to MOBAs, and tons more!”

Now for me to Google NMORPGs and MOBAs...

8. Skydiving Club, Virginia Tech

Something high-octane and adrenaline-rushing to finish off. The skydiving club is exactly what it says it is. Diving, from the sky, hopefully with a parachute attached. To quote the movie Toy Story, “It’s not flying, it’s falling with style!” 

The club meets every week, members take to the skies and hurl themselves into the great beyond. So do you have to be an experienced skydiver to join? Not at all! All you need is a dose of bravery and a sense of adventure. Beginners can take a “tandem jump”, meaning you’ll go along with someone who knows what they’re doing. 

But on top of just having a blast, the skydiving club can also help members obtain their skydiving license and even compete in the collegiate national skydiving championships. 

So you’re thinking of studying in the US? Fantastic! Before going any further, have a read of our article on 5 things you should know about applying to study in the USA

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Sean Campbell
Written By
Sean Campbell

Sean is a writer, copywriter & editor from Ireland.


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