The Fun Club on How to Have Fun
Written by Bwog Staff
Bwog had the distinct pleasure of interviewing the visionaries behind one of Columbia’s newest (and largest) organizations: the Fun Club. Founded at the start of this semester, the Fun Club is dedicated to simple, free, non-résumé-stuffin’ fun. The brainchild of two seniors, Neil Shahrestani GS’11 and Lior Hemi GS’11, and a sophomore, Nicole Rumore CC’13, the Fun Club seeks to build the community that so often is lacking at Columbia. With a listserv of over 500 people (50% freshman), the Fun Club is open to any suggestions that jibe with it’s love for spontaneous, goodhearted fun.
What inspired you to found the Fun Club?
Shahrestani: Last semester, I walked through Butler at midterms. I usually study in my room, but I was in Butler. So many people just looked miserable. You see people cracked out on Adderall, studying for hours. People need to learn that if you stop and play, give time to yourself—devote to whatever you love, then you will be happier and more productive. It’s good to do something you can’t put on your resume, something just for you.
Rumore: I thought that as a school, we’re good at fun, but we could be better.
How long did it take you to gain this perspective?
Shahrestani: Well, first semester freshman year went by in a rush—and I realized, wait, I’ve done nothing except read books. So I got involved. It was second year that I realized that fun isn’t just fun but crucial to success, and to happiness.
What fun things do you suggest doing to fight midterm blues?
Shahrestani: Do whatever. Balance is key. We’re capable here, but we need to find balance. Study for eight hours. After all, we’re students first. But give yourself time just for yourself.
Rumore: Work hard, play hard.
And why the Fun Club?
Shahrestani: We want school spirit. I’m a Big Ten kid at heart, and I want to go to sporting events, I want to root for a team. That’s why our events have passwords, because it’s cool to hear a crowd shouting “Beat Dartmouth!” in Lerner. It turns heads.
What was the most fun night you’ve ever had?
Shahrestani: When I finished my Goldman internship, all the other interns and I went down to the Frying Pan in NYC, and it was so organic, it just came together. We talked, enjoyed each other’s company and relaxed after a tough internship.
Rumore: My Theta formal.
Do you two consider yourselves experts on fun?
Shahrestani: I think we’re novices on fun, experts on people. We organize events for the Fun Club as spur of the moment—whatever we or our members want.
Rumore: We like what we do, but we are open to all ideas.
Shahrestani: That’s right, we don’t have a corner on the fun market.
And you guys started as anonymous?
Shahrestani: That’s right, because the Club is bigger than the leaders who run the email. We want the club to grow and live on. We take any suggestion from any member into consideration. It’s everyone’s.
What is the best way to have fun on campus?
Shahrestani: Join the Fun Club.
The best way to have fun for free?
Rumore: (laughs) Join the Fun Club.
Shahrestani: That’s right—we subsidize all our events, everything is free to members.
Finally: is the Core fun?
Shahrestani: Not while you’re in the midst of it, but in retrospect, yes. Columbia alums just love to talk about it, it’s such a bond between years.
Rumore: Yeah, my dad and I love to talk about it.
Image via Wikimedia Commons