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Up in the air: Resurrected juggling club brings students together

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Juggling balls

After a few year hiatus, The Juggling Club of Oklahoma State is back and better than ever.

Not only is the juggling club teaching the skill of juggling, but it is bringing a new and unlikely community together. 

The mastermind behind The Juggling Club is freshman accounting and economics major, Samuel Oakes, who decided he would take charge of this organization’s ressurection. 

Starting his juggling journey around a decade ago, Oakes now stands as Juggling Club president.

“The Juggling club was first established several years ago, but it kind of died off,” Oakes said. “So, I texted the guy who was in charge of it and told him I wanted to try to revitalize it, so he gave me the president position in the club. I’ve worked together with some friends and we’re trying to grow it into something that’s big and influential, to make a positive impact on campus.”

Oakes has always enjoyed juggling, and is hoping that this club will bring that same joy to other students as well.

“I learned how to juggle probably around age nine or ten,” Oakes said. “My dad gave me a book called “Juggling for The Complete Klutz” and I learned how to juggle from that book.”

Freshmen finance major, Harrison Smith, stands alongside Oakes as vice president.

“So my role in the juggling club is essentially, vice president, to come up with content for meetings and to ultimately give the people broad goals in which we can attain such as juggling in the homecoming parade or juggling at hospitals for children,” Smith said. “Giving vision. Giving vision is a huge part of the Juggling Club.”

With goals that go beyond just entertainment and learning the skill of juggling, Smith has three major takeaways from the biweekly meetings.

“The biggest thing I want people to leave with is, number one, they had a great time. Second of all, they meet great people. They now have a comprehensive network that goes throughout the whole campus,” Smith said. “And lastly, they now have more influence because they are in the Juggling Club.”

For active member and juggling newbie, Sam Alaback, this club has brought him a new support system.

“My favorite part about the juggling club is the support I’ve gotten from my friends. They are so encouraging whenever I mess up,” Alaback said. “Coming in as a newcomer, it was difficult, considering I had no experience juggling but the president and vice president made me feel welcomed during the first meeting.”

President Samuel Oakes hopes to continue to grow the club as well as dive deeper into the craft of juggling. 

“I want people to come away not only having a greater appreciation for the art of juggling, but also knowing that they were able to make great connections with their peers, learn a new skill they hadn’t learned before, and allow themselves to be built and motivated in a positive way. That’s kind of what we’re going for here,” Oakes said.