Are University Cliques Real?

(Graphic by Lena Yang)

The most exciting thing about finally leaving high school is also leaving the hackneyed stereotypes that just seem to take over your school. But are you, really?

University cliques, though not entirely a reality, do happen amongst certain clubs and sports teams. It is ultimately up to the team members and leaders of the club or sport to make the initiative to be inclusive to everyone involved in the organization. By now, it can be agreed that if cliques do exist in university, it is not because Mean Girls decided to explode in popularity outside of high school. Cliques exist only because we the students make them exist.

Wilfrid Laurier University Student Nathan Hayes had joined his fair share of campus clubs during his university career and he understands how clubs and sport teams can carry on that stereotypical high school clique due to students being afraid to get over stranger shyness.

“It’s scary to meet new people sometimes, and everyone comes to university with a social bubble of various sizes that needs to be broken in order for them to be able to grow,” Hayes said.

Hayes had shared that before he got involved in campus clubs, he did not know many other people outside of his floor. When he joined a few clubs, however, he found that the campus metaphorically got smaller as he seemed to see the other people from these clubs, many of which he made friends with, all over campus. This had helped to create the community feel that was discussed in O-week celebrations.

Though it will not end the cliques entirely, the club presidents or team leaders should help to create an easy way to promote inclusivity for everyone involved so that it will influence them to reach out and make friends with the people that they never would have been friends with in high school.

“It is one of the unspoken responsibilities of these leaders to be able to break these social bubbles so that they can grow into the individuals they were meant to become — they won’t be able to do that without the leaders’ guidance,” Hayes reasoned.

“The best leaders I’ve come across have been able to effectively create a family in these campus clubs instead of letting it turn into a bunch of different cliques.

“These are the leaders that are remembered — for the positive atmospheres they have been able to create and the ability to break down barriers while maintaining their own integrity and values.

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