When Butler woke up to a fresh coat of snow Friday morning, no one on campus was more excited than the members of Butler’s Ski and Snowboard Club.
“We get really excited about it,” said sophomore Jesse Warner, the club’s treasurer. “It’s pretty much what we wait for all fall. It means we can be taking trips soon.”
Butler’s Ski and Snowboard Club is a relatively new organization on campus. The club celebrated its first birthday this October.
The club started when sophomore Andrew Gudac noticed there was not anything like it at the annual block party his freshman year.
Gudac, who now serves as the club’s president, immediately began researching online how he could bring a ski and snowboard club to Butler’s campus.
Gudac said he quickly found some like-minded students through talking to people in his dorm and posts on Facebook.
After writing a group constitution, Gudac and others presented it to the Student Government Association. It was approved, and the group soon received an email saying it was an official campus club.
For Gudac, he said founding the club was about more than just his love for snowboarding, which he said he got into during high school.
“I started the club because I would like to ski cheaper and provide that for everyone else on campus,” Gudac said.
Sophomore Daniel Oepkes serves as the club’s vice president and is originally from San Diego, Calif. He said the University of Southern California’s ski club served as inspiration for Butler’s club.
“One of the things I wanted to do when I went to college was skiing and snowboarding,” Oepkes said. “When I found there were mountains out here I could go on and there were other people interested, it made me want to start the club.”
Gudac said the club went on two trips to Perfect North Slopes, a ski area in southeastern Indiana, last year. He said the club will return there this year, but it is also planning an overnight trip to Pennsylvania during the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend.
Gudac said the club’s biggest goal is to make a trip out West.
“We’d like to go to either Colorado or Utah,” Gudac said. “This year, we’ve taken a step in that direction by going out East.”
One of the obstacles to making that trip is the club’s financial situation. Oepkes said the club can only receive $3,000 per year in grant money from the SGA.
The club does what it can to raise extra funds. Each member of the club pays $30 in dues and receives a long-sleeved shirt in return.
The club has also sought out sponsorships and recently held a give-back night at Noodles & Company.
As the club works toward organizing a trip out West, its current executive team is also looking for fresh faces to get involved.
“Everyone on exec was founders of it, so we’re now sophomores, and we have a couple upperclassmen as well,” Warner said. “We are hoping this year to get some new blood in there and (to) try to get some freshmen involved.”
Warner said anyone interested in getting involved with the club should reach out to one of the executive members via email.
Dylan Cozad, the club’s secretary and another founding member, said the club is open to all who are interested, not just experienced skiers and snowboarders.
“If you have skied or haven’t skied before, it doesn’t matter,” Cozad said. “We just want to make skiing and snowboarding as cheap as possible and promote it as a fun winter sport.
“For those who haven’t skied or snowboarded, we’d like to give them the opportunity to try it for a cheap price.”