When rugby enthusiast Peter Swain '12 of Falmouth, Cape Cod, Mass., transferred to MCLA last fall, there was no club or team devoted to the sport on campus. That quickly changed.
"Even before I was accepted to MCLA, I was thinking about starting a rugby club. The club right now is a co-ed club. The big picture plan is to register in the fall into the New England Rugby Football Union conference for both the Division IV men's and women's team. Right now we already have six men's matches planned and at least three women's," said Swain (pictured center, right).
"Rugby is my favorite sport to play," said Swain, who is majoring in business administration with a concentration in accounting and a minor in mathematics. "The thing you learn about rugby is that it has a sense of camaraderie that is not really found in other sports. Anywhere you go in the states, if you meet someone who played rugby you have an instant connection and you can talk about it for hours."
Swain wanted other people to enjoy the sport as much as he does. Approximately 20 men and 15 women participate in the two to three practices held weekly. Several games are planned for the spring. They also watch rugby matches and screen rugby movies.
He comes to MCLA from Cape Cod Community College, where he graduated with an associate's degree in liberal arts and a concentration in environmental technology. Swain decided upon MCLA to further his studies in part because of its affordability and location within Massachusetts.
Since he arrived on campus this past fall, Swain has lost no time in getting involved. In addition to being the president and captain of the Rugby Club and a member of the Outdoors Club, he is the treasurer on Town House Aboard, which plans residence area events such as game and movie nights, cook outs and much more. He has become involved with Pillars (Peers Instituting Life Lessons around Responsible Service), and attended the Northeast Affiliate of College and University Residence Halls (NEACURH) conference at the State University of New York College at Oneonta.
That's just the beginning. Swain hopes to become involved with the National Residence Hall Honorary (NRHH), become an MCLA peer advisor and join the Student Activities Committee.
Swain's involvement with the Aboard group led him to meet most of the people he knows on campus. "Once you can make that first connection and get that first 'in,' then it's easy from there," he said. "All the staff in student activities and everywhere else on campus are very friendly and easy going.
"These experiences give me a sense of community and togetherness. They make me feel more comfortable in my surroundings. I didn't know anyone when I came here. Now I know at least 20 people who could answer any and every question I have. Hopefully I can do the same for other people who transfer or come here next year."