Posted Friday, April 13, 2012 by Katie Hippert
Every college student is looking to gain the "total college experience" that everyone seems to tell you about when you enter as a freshman into the University world. One of the key aspects of the college experience involves becoming an active member of the greater University community, which can be a lot harder than you think. Issa Beekun, a senior majoring in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, and Lisa Kasum, a junior majoring in Neuroscience, are a prime example of what students can do to take those steps to becoming an active member in the campus community through ASUN. The two founded the Fire Spinning Club on campus in 2010, (an extension of the Poi Spinning Club) after deciding it would be a great way to not only meet new people and congregate with friends, but to enjoy an activity with people that shared the same interest in fire spinning as they did.
"Looking back to when I first started college it was very much like, I showed up, I went to class, and I went home," Kasum said. "Once I started realizing that the University offers a lot more than just classes and we started the club it was just this huge step."
Fire Spinning is a performing art that involves manipulating objects for a fiery and entertaining show. The objects are typically one or more bundles of wicking that are soaked in fuel and ignited. Kasum decided to master the art after seeing a controlled burn in downtown Reno about four years ago. She and her good friend Beekun (who decided that fire spinning would be a great alternate talent to dancing) were able to learn the skill from friends in the Reno community and have enjoyed the art ever since.
The Fire Spinning Club currently has around 20 members, with about 10-12 regulars at their weekly meetings. Their meetings are fairly informal; students have free range to practice fire spinning and can use club equipment, available from ASUN club funding. The Fire Spinning Club attracts a diverse range of members within the University, and has established solid relationships with the overall Reno community due to their interest in the performing art.
"You realize more and more in life that there are few things you can really get into and want to do just for yourself without being paid or any external award," Kasum said. "So if you find other people that share the same thing with you its pretty cool."
Some of their best college memories thus far include late night study sessions in the Physics buildings where Beckun works, spinning fire in front of the Joe, and most importantly, finishing class and heading straight from campus to the Burning Man Festival in Black Rock City during the Fall.
Beekun and Kasum advise students to not only check out various clubs on campus, but to show an interest in all things they choose to dedicate their time too, academics in particular. Additionally, they encourage students to stay on campus and linger around to study rather than booking it home right after class.
"Take a genuine interest in what you are studying," Beekun said. "If you don't at least have an appreciation for what you are learning it's just going to suck. So take classes you feel passionate about, and don't forget to brush your teeth."
Beekun also included some advice for current club members to promote their clubs on campus.
"I want current club members to have a sense of being extroverted," Beekun said. "A lot of people just want the chance to be given the attention they need and they will shine. Club members should strive to give people that attention and show them their potential through clubs."
If you are interested in joining the Fire Spinning Club, please contact Issa Beekun at email@example.com or Lisa Kasum at firstname.lastname@example.org