During winter break, two Penn State Lehigh Valley student clubs traveled out-of-state for what would be fun, bonding experiences.
The LAN Club at Penn State Lehigh Valley is a social club for people who share common interests and a love of video games. The club has had a recent rebirth on campus considering the last trip the LAN Club organized had five students attend. The trip in early January had 16 members attend, including their club adviser Mark Trusz. They traveled together to MAGFEST held at the Gaylord National Hotel in National Harbor, Maryland.
MAGFEST, short for Music and Gaming Festival, is a four-day long event dedicated to the appreciation of video game music, gaming of all types and the gaming community, according to the event website.
R.J. Santos, sophomore information sciences and technology major who is president of the LAN Club, heard about MAGFEST and spent time researching it before presenting it to the LAN Club.
“This was our first time going to an official convention. It was an inclusive environment and it was cool just seeing people be themselves,” said Johnny Tran, first-year computer engineering major. “There is a lot more offered at Penn State Lehigh Valley than you first realize. It means a lot to us that SAF funding from Student Affairs made it possible to go on this trip.”
“I found brothers in joining the LAN club. It was fun going on this trip and seeing everyone enjoy themselves,” said Tan Vu, first-year political science major, whose favorite part of MAGFEST was seeing the Sonic Adventure Music Experience concert.
“Because PSU-LV is a small school, you spend time with everyone and become close,” said Santos. “We invite anyone who is interested to join us. We will be discussing plans for upcoming trips and fundraisers at our meeting, and then after the meeting, we just hang out, play games and share information about games.
The club meets at noon every Tuesday in room 222 on campus. The Student Activity Fee (SAF) funding provided funds for the trip. Interested students can contact RJ Santos at [email protected] to join the LAN Club.
The Ski Club at Penn State Lehigh Valley spent four days in early January at Sugarbush Mountain Ski Resort in Warren, Vermont. It was the fifth year the Ski Club went on a winter break ski trip.
“The trip is a great bonding experience. You spend countless hours together whether driving or riding. On the mountain, we have a lot of fun riding together and joking around. We always push each other to try new trails and learn new skills while riding,” said Justin Iuliano, sophomore mechanical engineering major who serves as Ski Club president. “Once the day is done, we all head back to the house and have group dinners cooked by different club members each night. Having the experience of sharing a meal together is always a good time as people always bond over good food.”
Eight members went on the ski trip this year. SAF funding covered the four-day lift tickets.
“I enjoy the close-knit community on our campus. You get to know almost everyone so there's always someone to talk to and hang out with on campus,” said Iuliano.
The Ski Club adviser is Kim Garger. Interested students can contact Justin Iuliano at [email protected] to join the Ski Club.
Student Affairs at Penn State Lehigh Valley is hosting the Spring Involvement Fair from noon to 1:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 25, in room 135 on campus. This event allows student clubs and organizations to share information on their groups with fellow students.