Ramapo Adds More Variety to Its Collection of Clubs

Ramapo recently added two new clubs, the Ramapo College of New Jersey Running Club and the Veterans Student Organization, to its repertoire.

The Running Club was recently approved by the Student Government Association, and since then, they have been working hard to spread the word about the club through interest meetings.

Emilija Gligoroska, creator and president of the Running Club, saw the club as a good opportunity for students who do not want to join the track or cross country teams to still have the chance to run with their fellow students.

"In high school I ran cross country and track all four years," Gligoroska said. "Coming here and being a commuter, I decided competitively running wasn't the best choice for me. I felt like other people were on the same boat."

She was right. The club currently has 20 members, who are in the process of coordinating two days a week to meet up to run together. The club plans to begin their biweekly runs in about two weeks.

"Running releases a lot of stress and anxiety, and lets you get away, and finding other people to run with is really cool," said Gligoroska.

Anyone, despite their pace or the type of race they are interested in, is encouraged to join the club.

"When you meet with us you can find people that run your pace, and want to run your type of race," said Gligoroska. "We can help with that."

Along with their biweekly runs, the club also plans to do some local 5k or half marathon runs together. They are also planning some bigger trips, including a possible adventure to Florida to participate in the Disney run with the Disney Club next spring.

Another new addition to student life here is the Veterans Student Organization.

Ernie Szucs served in the Navy for eight years, and now, at age 30, is returning for his information technology management degree at Ramapo. After he spent time deployed overseas in Japan and experiencing the support and generosity of people back home, he was inspired to bring a similar spirit to the college community.

So, he relaunched the Veterans Student Organization (VSO) on campus, and the club was just approved by the Student Government Association on April 1.

"It honestly got a little bit overbearing for members that are on the e-board. Several people graduated, several people lost interest," Szucs said of VSO's dissolution. "This semester has been a lot about bringing the club back together, trying to get more members."

So far, Szucs said the club has 18 members-mostly veterans right now, but some commuter students. Next fall, Szucs, the current president, said he hopes to generate more interest among the campus population.

"I wanted to give back to the community and help out service members near and far," he explained. "It's also the chance for students who have not been in the military to build up their resume. The main thing I want to dispel is that we're not trying to enlist anybody in the service."

Rather, the VSO's main objective is to raise money and awareness for veterans' organizations, like Wounded Warriors and Disabled American Veterans, and enlisted troops.

"Basically we're just going to move forward. We have done a few events in the beginning of the semester."

"We're nonprofit. Any money we do [raise] we just give right back," Szucs said. "We do have a lot of stuff in the works."

One such project Szucs is working on is the development of a Veterans' Lounge on campus.

"We already have the wheels in motion, but we're trying to find a place and trying to get it approved," he explained.

The club is also looking to partner with Residence Life and other organizations on campus to host events, plan community service trips and create CEC opportunities for students.

For the remainder of the semester, VSO will meet Mondays and Thursdays at 1 p.m. in A102. Interested students are encouraged to contact Szucs at eszucs1@ramapo.edu to find out more.