Two new clubs you can discover at ClubFest Wednesday


Danielle Peterson/Iowa State Daily

Polish Heritage Club and Baking Club are new student organizations that will attend ClubFest for the first time Wednesday.

Students pose for pictures in lavish evening gowns and classy suits with neckties. Colored lights streak through the air while people crowd the dance floor, twirling their partners in a flourish of twists and turns in a Polish swing dance.

The air is warm and brimming with laughter, and the rhythmic pulse of disco polo pours from the speakers before modern pop hits flood the room.

Iowa State’s new Polish Heritage Club hopes to bring this celebration, a Studiniówka, to campus in the 2022-23 school year.

Students can meet the Polish Heritage Club at Iowa State’s bi-annual ClubFest from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday in and around the Memorial Union (MU).

Those with other interests can explore over 300 additional student organizations at the event, including Girls Who Compete and United Nations for Christ.

ClubFest will also include a volunteer fair from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Campanile room of the MU.

Attendees can navigate through the displays with printed and digital maps available at the event.

“You can find people who love what you love and connect with them and really start to form and build community and find new communities,” said Tim Reuter, service learning and student organizations coordinator.

Community is the reason Phillip Gorni, a junior studying aerospace engineering, founded the Polish Heritage Club. Gorni noticed the lack of a Polish community on campus after attending his first ClubFest as a freshman.

“In Chicago I was always surrounded by Polish people, but when I came to Iowa State, it was really hard to find people,” Gorni said. “So I said, ‘okay, let’s make a club that connects a bunch of Polish people together.’”

One of Gorni’s goals for the year is to host a Studniówka. A Studniówka is a traditional ball that Polish high school students celebrate approximately 100 days before graduation.

The Baking Club is another new club that will participate in its first ClubFest on Wednesday.

Olivia Petsche, a junior studying music and the club’s founder, hopes the organization will provide “gift-giving, community and connections with other people.”

The Baking Club has potential plans to host a Great Ames Bake-Off in the spring in addition to handing out baked goods during music performances and finals week.

“With the sheer number of clubs at Iowa State, you never know what’s out there,” Reuter said. “You may find something you weren’t considering before, but it really piqued your interest.”

In the event of severe weather, any outdoor displays will be pulled inside the MU and ClubFest will still take place.

A list of participating clubs and organizations can be found on the Student Engagement website.