Student Organization of the Week: Carolina Skate
Club hopes to educate community on sport, bring students together
By Sarah Peterman
Published: Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Updated: Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Courtesy of Carolina Skate
Carolina Skate members get active in community and campus.
While there’s nothing new about riding a bike to class, students have found a new mode of transportation to race from McMaster to the Coliseum: skateboarding.
Carolina Skate, USC’s longboarding and skateboarding club, was formed after co-presidents Brandon Stroup and Michael Pulfer noticed the influx of skaters on campus.
“I noticed that more people were skating to class and I wanted to find a way to unify the skaters on campus,” said Stroup, a graduate student in the MEERM program.
Longboarding has in many ways been a grassroots skating movement. Friends share the sport with each other and the trend grows. The club is working to expand the number of people longboarding and help people get to know each other along the way.
“All different kinds of people longboard,” said Pulfer, a third-year international business and marketing student. “It’s a really diverse group.”
James Fulton, a second year pre-pharmacy student, found out about the group when he saw them skating. He introduced himself and has been skating with the club ever since.
“It’s an expression of yourself,” Fulton said. “It’s a good release from school and fun to have friends to mess around with.”
The club has grown exponentially through interactions like this. After forming in April, the club gained 50 members before the end of school. Now membership is over 75 skaters and is still growing.
However, the club is working to do more than simply find friends to skate together with.
“We are trying to make sure that people skate safely,” Pulfer said. “We want them to understand the rules of skating and to have a good reputation on campus. Basically, not run people over.”
Stroup said they’ve spoken with campus police and are working to “lend our sport an air of legitimacy with the police and the school.”
Stroup hopes the club will not only organize skaters but also get people to skate who’ve never skated before. He also wants to highlight it as an alternative form of transportation and let people know about the health benefits of skating.
The club is also involved in the community. Discounts at several skate shops have been arranged and with many major manufacturers such as Rayne Longboards. Carolina Skate is also working to organize a Halloween-themed longboard competition and skate jam to support Pour It Now, a local organization working to create skate parks.
Carolina Skate is always open to new members. Each Friday they meet in front of Russell House at 4 p.m. for a club skate. Whether you’ve been skating since you could walk, or if you’ve never stepped on a board before, the club accommodates all skill levels. There are also extra boards available. For more information, visit the Facebook group, Carolina Skate.