As a sophomore from the East Bay studying Finance and Environmental Studies, Andrew’s passion for the outdoors developed far before his college career started. In fact, for him it was a requirement that his college was in an area where he could enjoy the outdoors all year round. After his first visit to Santa Clara he loved all aspects of the school but one: Santa Clara did not have an outdoor adventure club or student group. Thankfully, his mom advised him to create one and not let the absence of a club deter him from selecting a university!
Into the Wild (ITW) was created by other SCU students in 2009 who share a similar passion for the outdoors; Andrew is now the president and has high hopes for where the club will grow in the future. Andrew explains there are a lot of beginners on the excursions and a majority of people on the trips have not previously participated in outdoor activities. The club is welcoming to all, and draws many students who want to go out and try something new. Every weekend, the group organizes a trip ranging from activities such as day-hiking in the local area, white-water river rafting trips, indoor rock climbing, kayaking, surfing, and camping. In addition, this year the club organized the first ever ITW spring break Grand Canyon backpacking trip. A group of 20 students spent five days backpacking and enjoying the beautiful outdoors while bonding with other Santa Clara students. ITW aims to make outdoor trips as easy as possible so that participants can just show up with forms and proper materials for the day and go.
The club’s main goal is to get people outdoors, and it also strives to raise awareness regarding the environmental effects of human action. Eventually, Andrew hopes to integrate service projects and a community service aspect to the club in the future. In addition to adding service projects to the outdoor adventure club, Andrew explained how he would also like to make the club as big as possible to reach out to as many students as possible. One of the long-term goals of the club is to eventually become a chartered student organization (CSO) so that it can be a more permanent establishment. In addition to growing and becoming more permanent, the club would like to sponsor and pilot a trip in August where freshman can take trips together such as a two-day rafting trip before school starts. Along with more student involvement, faculty and staff involvement on the trips are desired to “break the teacher-pupil barrier” so everyone in the Santa Clara community is more connected.
Andrew’s story is one of many that displays how Santa Clara continues to grow and adapt to cater to the numerous interests of the student body and employees. At Santa Clara, many students and employees with passion and persistence are able to make their visions come to life.
If you would like to join the Into the Wild email list or if you have questions, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
By Elizabeth Hart, '12 Sustainability Intern -- Faculty and Staff