This week I end my semester odyssey through the “Cullowhee club scene,” and while I can’t say that I saw one dance floor or an adult beverage, I have seen a diverse collection of activities for students to become involved with to enhance their college experience, both academically and socially.
According to their website, the Japanese Animation Society intends to promote the beauty of Japanese animation in Cullowhee and the surrounding areas. To accomplish this, the club has a wide variety of activities. They have weekly meetings, take road trips, and attend anime conventions around the region.
The weekly meetings are held on Wednesday nights beginning at 8:00 p.m. in either the Catamount Room or the Cardinal Room of the University Center. The club views and discusses different anime movies. According to Jim Howard, the club’s president, a meeting can last anywhere from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m. depending on the movie that is being shown.
Another activity that the club participates in is going to the anime convention in Raliegh. This convention is rather large, and there are representatives from many colleges clubs. Howard said, “A large percentage of the Western Carolina club attends the convention.”
Other activities include road trips. According to Howard, the club travels to Atlanta and Asheville, just to name a few, and visits different shops and watches new Japanese animation releases.
The club also had success with an 80s cartoon night. They polled a wide variety of students, and based on that polling, they selected some American cartoon favorites from the 80s. Among the favorites were “He- Man,” “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” and “G.I. Joe.” Howard stated that the 80s cartoon night was a success, and that they were considering another night next semester.
In addition to all the social activities the Western Carolina Japanese Animation Society are pioneers, they are one of the first clubs to obtain corporate sponsors for their club. Currently, the club is sponsored by Dark Horse Comics and Manga Entertainment. Howard stated that in the beginning other clubs looked down on them for gaining corporate sponsors, but now he says that other clubs across the nation contact them to learn how to gain their own sponsors.