September 28, 2023

Conner Schuh | Banner Caylee Jackson (left), junior mathematics major, Kyle Reed, junior computer science major, Josh Thomas, junior mechanical engineering major, and Chris Davis, sophomore applied theology major, compete in “Mario Kart.”

Mario Kart Klub is one of the newest clubs at California Baptist University, gaining the attention of hundreds of people with 267 students signed up.

The club is based off of a love for the popular video game “Mario Kart,” and is geared toward students who like to play.

Kayla Ruiz, sophomore accounting major and club president, said she first got the idea because she and her friends enjoyed playing “Mario Kart” together in their free time. They all agreed someone should start a club dedicated to the game.

“The funny thing is I actually hated ‘Mario Kart’ growing up because I was really bad at it and I would always get last place,” Ruiz said. “This year I like it because it is an excuse to procrastinate and go hang out with my friends.”

Although not everyone may be a professional at this particular video game, Ruiz said students could relate to the club since many played “Mario Kart” throughout their childhood.

Ruiz has received positive feedback from her peers, and some students have joined in the hype surrounding the club.

“Kayla is one of the coolest gals I know so I think her starting this club was awesome because it was something we talked about since we would be playing it in our room,” said Jordie Beuch, junior communication studies major. “It’s great to see her diligently starting it.”

Mario Kart Klub was started in the hopes of creating a place where students can take a break from the demands of schoolwork and relax and become better acquainted with other students.

“Most of the clubs on campus are academic in nature, so when there’s an opportunity to come and meet people who want to play ‘Mario Kart,’ it’s just a low-stress and fun environment,” Ruiz said. “Since people are so excited about it, it makes other people excited about it.”

Mario Kart Klub is planning to meet once a month near the sand volleyball courts where people can challenge each other to competitions and compete in tournaments. Multiple game consoles and televisions are set up so many people can play at once. For those who do not want to play “Mario Kart,” there will also be other games and snacks if people simply want to talk and hang out with friends.

“The thing about Mario Kart Klub is that you don’t have to be good at ‘Mario Kart,’ because I’m horrible at ‘Mario Kart’ and I lose every single time,” said Caylee Jackson, junior mathematics major. “It’s all about community and we’re just here to have fun.”

Ruiz encourages anyone who wants to start a club of their own on campus to not be hesitant, even if they have never been a part of a club. She said taking a chance and starting a club will pay off in the end.

Ruiz said she ultimately hopes her club can be an environment where people can get together, creating new bonds and memories that come along with playing “Mario Kart.”

“I want to be able to form relationships and meet people who I would never have the opportunity to meet and also give that opportunity to members,” Ruiz said. “My goal is to make it a legacy club — 20 years from now I want it to still be going.”

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