While most of the campus community spent the week bundled up and snowed in, a few dedicated clubs met to take care of business, one of those being Circle K. The club is an international organization, which branches from the Kiwanis family. There are over 12,000 members worldwide with a total of 500 clubs in 18 different countries. The mission of the organization is to encourage students to engage in campus and community service.
Once a smaller organization on campus, Circle K has grown tremendously in the last year. Jumping to 75 members, the club is the largest division of Circle K in the state of New Jersey, with an association greater than schools such as Rutgers University.
“I like to think that the executive board this year is really passionate and for the most part we’re really self-motivated. Also I think we really try to have a lot of events and a lot of us on the board try to think in terms of ‘oh, what would make me want to join the club?’ That’s a big part of it,” senior communication studies major and Circle K president Christine Rehm said of the club’s thriving membership.
The club is known not only for volunteering in the surrounding community, but also for hosting campus-wide events to encourage students to get involved. Circle K holds Zumbathons to raise money for charity and also hosts on-campus blood drives. At the start of this semester, the club also hosted the Winter Social for the New Jersey District here at the College. The event brought a total of 100 people in attendance and raised $945. Proceeds were donated to the Eliminate Project, a partnership with Kiwanis International and UNICEF dedicated to raising money to eliminate maternal and neonatal tetanus.
The club also takes the opportunity to work with members of the Ewing and Trenton communities. Much of their service includes venturing out and working with other campus organizations, such as The Bonner Center, to tutor children, as well as volunteering at the TASK soup kitchen and the Ewing animal shelter. Rehm also considers the club’s effort to get off campus a reason why students at the College have come to find joining appealing.
“We do a lot of fundraising, but what I think is more enjoyable is actually going to places and actually doing something as opposed to just raising money and I think a lot of our members really enjoy that,” she said.
In addition, Circle K works with a sponsoring Kiwanis club located in Ewing. The sponsor club is an organization that branches from the Kiwanis family, like Circle K. This organization, however, is made up of members of the Ewing community who volunteer within their neighborhoods. Circle K works closely with these sponsors to take part in more service projects within the area.
It is no secret that the Ewing community and the College have had poor relations in the past, but by getting involved with members directly in the community, the club hopes to establish a better association between the College and Ewing residents.
“I think a lot of it is building good relations with the community, especially Ewing. I know (the College) really doesn’t have the best relationship with Ewing and I think community service definitely helps that,” Rehm said.
Circle K is not only a club based here at the College, but also expands its services worldwide. Its members stress that it is much bigger than most people think and that it is important to acknowledge this level of service and what it does for those directly affected by it.
“I hope especially with the new members they realize it’s not just our club at (the College), it’s a bigger organization and that they take the opportunity to meet people all over the world because you really get that opportunity with this club,” Rehm said.