Construction Club is a service-based registered student organization that helps students learn the skills they need in a career in construction.
It started as a way to create an environment where students can prepare for the construction industry, providing them with the experiences that look good on a future construction manager’s degree.
Since its conception, it has become a space where Eastern students can get to know their peers interested in construction and work together to provide for the community.
Anh Bui, a senior construction management student, is the president of Construction Club. For Bui, Construction Club was a “valuable opportunity for work experience and networking since the construction industry requires you to have knowledge about the industry but also have a large variety of networks that can help you.”
He said that the student organization helps students enhance their construction skills then use that to improve the Charleston community.
“We want to improve the community, our school, and our members to the best of our ability,” Bui said. “The club uses construction skills to build projects for nonprofit organizations that serve EIU and the Charleston area.”
The RSO meets twice a week in 1118 Klehm, meeting every Wednesday from 3 to 5 p.m. and every Friday from 12 to 2 p.m. During these meetings, Construction Club works together to build projects.
Rhonda Rogers, a senior construction management student, is the vice president of Construction Club. Rogers said that the process of working on a new building project begins when a department on campus or an organization in the community asks the RSO for help.
The RSO will then sketch some ideas and ask the department or organization if that is what they want for the project. If it is, the organization will get to work, starting with finding funding for the materials needed for the project.
“For a couple of weeks, we have it sketched out where every club meeting, we go down to the lab,” Rogers said. “We meet and we basically start knocking out the project. We are down there cutting materials, measuring materials, we paint materials, furnish them. The whole nine yards until the project is complete.”
Construction Club has worked on many building projects throughout the years. For example, they helped build a wooden cross for a Charleston church. Also, they helped build the snack stands in Booth Library.
Booth Library pitched the idea of the snack stands to them because they wanted to have areas where students could easily grab snacks when they spent time in the library.
“Before, they just had little baskets on the counter in the little rooms, but they said they wanted something where they can hold more food and different types of snacks,” Rogers said. “They wanted variety.”
Most recently, they built shelves for the EIU Campus Food Pantry that officially opened Friday, Oct. 1, which Rogers said was one of their biggest projects.
“The Civic Engagement and Volunteerism Department reached out to us, and they asked us to build some heavy duty shelves to hold canned foods and dry foods and different things like that for the food pantry in McAfee.”
Rogers said that they are very proud of the projects they work on because it helps them provide for the community.
“We get to contribute something meaningful to the campus for all of our peers, including ourselves, that can last for many years to come,” Rogers said.
Though the organization mainly focuses on construction projects, Construction Club also hosts events such as workshops.
“In the past, we had the Basic First Aid workshop, Project Management workshop, Toolbox training for Habitat for Humanity RSO, and mixer with all students in the major and our partners in the construction industry,” Bui said.
Bui said that the organization is also planning on having more events in the near future, such as more mixers and social events like cookouts and bowling parties.
According to Rogers, the RSO also wants to work toward getting to know more student organizations within the Lumpkin College of Business and Technology, collaborating to host events such as resume-building events and presentations from guest speakers.
The organization is also working on building and selling items for the community.
“We are working on selling items like birdhouses/feeders and Nativity stables to raise club funds, beginning at the homecoming; we will have a table to present our club, and we can take orders for the items we offer ‘just in time for holiday gifts,’” Bui said.
Construction Club has also helped the members find a community of people with similar interests and build relationships with their peers.
“It’s just so heartwarming to be a part of that,” Rogers said. “To know that teamed up with this group of people, we all have a mission, and we all have a goal to do something that’s bigger than just us.”
Kyara Morales-Rodriguez can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]