The first weekend of freshman year at Ohio University is unforgettable. There are many staples to Welcome Weekend — move-in, convocation, class photo — but none are like the Involvement Fair.
The Involvement Fair on College Green showcases student organizations of every kind. When faculty and resident assistants say there’s an org for everybody, for any interest — they aren’t kidding.
It’s one of the first opportunities for students to get involved and make friends on campus. One such org is Ohio University’s Nordic Club.
The Nordic Club is a small, niche club themed around the Nordic culture. Nordic countries include Denmark, Norway, Iceland, Greenland, Sweden and Finland.
Each meeting kicks off with a discussion of a Nordic-related topic. Sometimes it’s a Nordic country, such as Sweden or Norway, other times it’s a discussion of Norse mythology, like gods such as Thor and Odin.
Norse lore is something that interested Brock Orr, a freshman studying family consumer science and education.
Orr saw the Nordic Club at the Involvement Fair and it sparked his attention.
“I thought it’d be neat to be a part of,” Orr said.
The Nordic Club has been a rewarding experience for Orr. He’s enjoyed meeting new people and making new friends.
“Everybody in (the Nordic Club) is very fun and nice to each other,” Orr said. “It’s like its own little community.”
For Cirus Stowe, a freshman studying Spanish, the Nordic Club is a fun way to learn about a special part of the world.
“(The Nordic Club) gives me a global perspective and helps me learn about the Nordic languages,” Stowe said. “(The club allows me to) explore something that’d otherwise go unexplored.”
Stowe joined the Nordic Club because his friends made it sound like a good time. Stowe saw the Nordic Club as a great opportunity for future professional endeavors.
“As an undergrad I hope to achieve fluency in seven languages by the time I graduate, but none of them are a Nordic language,” Stowe said. “As I start looking at grad schools, (Nordic Club) helps me pad my resume.”
The Nordic Club was founded by a Finnish student in 2017, Haidar Bin Hamid, the current president of the Nordic Club, said. Bin Hamid “inherited” the club after the founder graduated.
Bin Hamid, a fifth-year studying international business, management information systems and business analytics, enjoys the club because it’s something that brings people together.
“(The parts I like the most are) coming in and meeting people and bringing people together,” Bin Hamid said. “A lot of people come in and know each other and meet new people and are now really good friends.”
Members of the Nordic Club don’t have to be Nordic, in fact, no current members are Nordic, Bin Hamid said. Prospective members just have to have an interest in Nordic culture.
Beyond just learning about Nordic culture, the Nordic Club does activities like bowling, cookouts, trips to Pawpaw Fest and even the Finnish American Museum in Cleveland. It’s a fun time to just hang out, Bin Hamid said.
The Nordic Club meets every other week on Sundays.