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UB's Table Tennis Club bounces back

Club wins back recognition on campus

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Without an organized executive board, any club at UB would have a difficult time functioning.

The UB Table Tennis Club is no different.

The Student Association derecognized the club last fall for not fulfilling the requirements of a permanent club. A glimmer of hope appeared for the group this semester, when they received temporary club status – a step to getting back on its feet.

The club, which plays table tennis in Alumni Arena, is now looking to participate in the National Collegiate Table Tennis Association’s (NCTTA) upcoming tournament at Cornell University. The UB team hopes doing so would put the group back on track to where they once were.

According to Jian Clemente, a senior mathematics major and president of the club, UB’s Table Tennis Club has been around since 2004 but experience a setback in the fall of 2014.

“One of our e-board members wasn’t aware of the requirements, so we were derecognized,” Clemente said.

Permanent clubs at UB are required to live up to certain standards outlined in SA’s Club Handbook, available on the SA website. There are 15 basic requirements to be a permanent club, like keeping a Monthly Track Sheet and creating a constitution.

Temporary clubs exist within a time frame, according to the SA Club Handbook. If they meet the requirements for two semesters, they can apply for permanent status.

In an effort to regain interest and membership, the Table Tennis Club meets every day of the week in the Alumni Arena at 6 p.m.

Clemente suggests those who wish to attend the club should first check its Facebook page to see if practice is occurring or not. The hectic scheduling of Alumni Arena causes the club to cancel practice around once a week, which means it can’t guarantee space for the group every day it wants to practice.

“We try to meet every day because most of the people are new,” said Willian Sueyasu, a senior finance major and vice president of the club. “We want to see which days people show up the most. Next semester we’ll only have practice two or three times a week instead of every day.”

Practicing two hours a night for several nights a week seems vigorous for any student, especially for a recreational club.

But some find it useful to practice so often – even therapeutic.

“I’ve attended every practice and every meeting,” said Richard Mui, a sophomore history major and treasurer of the club. “I’ve only been playing for a year but practicing that much has helped me get better.”

Because of its temporary status, the Table Tennis Club has lost its SA-provided budget, which forces the team to participate in extra volunteer work in order to make up for the lost funds.

Clemente and Mui helped run the concession stands at UB’s opening football game and Clemente helped provide security at Fall Fest.

Though they are forced to do extra work to keep their club afloat, Clemente notes that they often have easy jobs since they’re working with other students.

Part of the money the club raises from volunteering will go toward the team’s membership fee in the NCTTA.

Tryouts for those who wish to attend the tournament will be held in Alumni – any students can tryout for the tournament, not just club members.

John Jacobs is a staff writer and can be reached at features@ubspectrum.com.


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