Men’s Lacrosse and Aerial Blue Circus seek to fill new club niches

Naia Willemsen, Campus Life Reporter

Visit Whitman’s Presence page and you’ll find dozens of clubs: from pre-professional to sports and other activities. Even with all of these, though, there are still plenty of niches for new clubs to be created. First-year Luke Mangino saw such an opportunity in the currently inactive Men’s Lacrosse Club. 

After playing lacrosse for much of his life before coming to Whitman, Mangino wanted the opportunity to play again. Since sending out information about the club, he has received demonstrated interest from students of different grade levels, majors and lacrosse experience.

“We’ll be starting next semester… a little under half of the people have actually played before, so we’ll spend a lot of time teaching people how to play lacrosse in general, and we’ll try to bring all the different skill levels together,” Mangino said. “Even if we aren’t very good, I think it’ll be fun.”

However, Mangino hopes the club will do more than just teach lacrosse skills.

“I’m hoping that it’ll be a way for a lot of people who don’t have a sport here—I played lacrosse for a long time and it was my sport and I didn’t really do anything else—so I’m hoping that it’ll give people like me and the 30 other people in that boat like me on campus something to be involved in that’s not necessarily academic,” Mangino said. “I know that I, for one, definitely need a break from classes and school and whatnot, so it’ll hopefully be a good outlet for people.”

Similarly, first-years Clara Flesher and Alder Sigal are in the process of creating a new club—Aerial Blue Circus. The two met during orientation week and, after realizing they had both been involved in circus (primarily aerials), decided to start the process of club creation.

“There’s many reasons we wanted to start [this club]. One is that we both really enjoy and miss [circus]; it’s probably one of the main things I miss in my college experience, so I wanted to find a way to fill that void in my life,” Flesher said. “It’s something that you can really tailor to your experience. It has the potential to be something a lot of people like and take ownership over.”

Creating the club has been a months-long process, including answering questions and figuring out the liability process. 

“We haven’t started a club before, but our advisor was telling us how abnormal this is because we’ve been in email chains with all of the administration… I think it’s something that would definitely be a lot harder at a bigger college where the administration is less accessible,” Sigal said.

Flesher and Sigal ordered equipment for the club recently and hope to have meetings starting in the fall.

Both Men’s Lacrosse and Aerial Blue Circus can be found on Presence.