Combat Zone

Log Jam Identity Crisis

By Claudia Elsenbast

Freshman joins too many clubs at Log Jam.


Last month, The University of Puget Sound hosted its annual school year kickoff event, Log Jam. The all-campus event introduces  students to clubs and groups they can join this academic year.


Most students join one, maybe two, new clubs and steal stickers from the rest— Freshman Isaiah Shawford is not most students. After spending two and a half hours perusing the tables, signing his Puget Sound email, and chatting club founders, he had joined a grand total of 26 clubs.

After only the first few weeks, Isaiah missed 12 clubs meetings and had to kiss his dreams of being rugby team captain and president of geology club goodbye. “It was super hard to get over the idea of not reaching my full potential, like I might have never played rugby, but now I don’t know if I’ll ever get the chance to. I’m working through it slowly,” said Shawford. He seemed genuinely bummed about missing the interest meetings, even for clubs he admitted to having no interest in. After the second week Isaiah reflected on his talents and bid farewell to crew and the three accapella groups he signed up for. “I just know in my soul that waking up at 5 a.m. isn’t what I’m meant to do, and I really don’t know what I was thinking with the a capella– I’ve seen like two, three tops, episodes of Glee.” Shawford Said.

“Now that I’m down to the final ten clubs I really feel like I’m figuring out where I fit in at college,” Shawford said with a gleam in his eyes. When The Flail asked which lucky clubs made the cut, Shawfords eyes darted away and he mumbled something about sailing, indoor, chemistry, basket weaving. with local seniors and dogs.

“My mom said it is essential to take every opportunity and it’s worth the 360 emails I get every week. Who knows, maybe one week I’ll want to pick up the old skates I have in my dorm and join hockey, or learn to read and go to comics club. I just know I need to keep my options open. It’s fine, I’m fine. Everything’s fine,” said Shawford. Unfortunately, despite Shawford being okay with hundreds of new emails a day, the Puget Sound internet servers are not. “”The system has crashed three times in the past week, and Mr. Shawford has been using more than fifty percent of our bandwidth to check his email alone,” said a tech expert who wished to remain anonymous “just for fun.”

As University of Puget Sound students are  finishing their first full month of classes, most have fallen into a routine. Yet again, Shawford is not most students. Armed with a planner and sticky notes, he rushes to meetings with a crazed look in his eyes. “I don’t even know who I am anymore and I haven’t been to class in a week, but I’m running late to an Exercise Science Club meeting.The Flail reached out to Shawford’s worried roommate Norman Wallace and clubmates to check in. “I thought he had dropped out, his stuff is in the room but he is never here. It never occurred to me that he was just at club meetings,” Wallace, said. We were unable to reach his family, but did find his twitter account. Recently, Shawford has “liked” many tweets that center around lack of time, sleep, and identity. To the outsider’s eye, this could either mean that  Shawford is reaching his full potential or having a quarter-life crisis– The Flail is unsure which it is, but will keep you updated as Shawford narrows down his extracurriculars.