The Pizza Club was officially disbanded in fall 2017 during its fourth year as an official club.
Clubs are an effective way to bring students together through a common cause, and for the Pizza Club, that common cause was pizza.
“The idea was essentially kind of a comedic tone to a social club, the idea is that we get together and eat something that everyone
Smith is a senior studying graphic design. Smith and a few friends founded the Pizza Club during their freshman year after he first heard the idea from a podcast.
“[The podcast] just threw out the words “pizza club,” and I thought that that was such an interesting concept to take something so informal and make it formal,” Smith said.
The club became official in its second semester and was up to 80 members by the end of that quarter.
“In was a club where you could meet anybody like you didn’t have to be a specific major or specific age or anything like that,” Mary Butgereit said. “It was just, ‘If you like pizza, come eat pizza with us,’ and so we met a lot of cool people that way that I don’t think I would have crossed paths with otherwise.”
Butgereit is a senior majoring in professional and public writing and was a secretary for the Pizza Club.
“Honestly, I think my favorite part was the disbelief most people had that it existed,” Butgereit said.
The club met every two weeks. A survey would be held each time to see when and where the club would go for pizza.
“I remember freshman year, people are aggressively friendly because they are desperately trying to cling
Smith and Butgereit both said that one of their favorite memories was going to pizza places and asking for club discounts.
“That was a bit of a terrifying experience,” Smith said. “If someone walked into your business and said they are from Pizza Club, would you really take them seriously?”
Despite Smith’s doubts, the club was successful in securing discounts with multiple pizza places including Mellow Mushroom and Pieology.
“We were all really nervous, and then they were like, ‘You guys have a club that legitimately just tries to get people to buy our food? Yes, we’ll gladly give you a discount,’” Butgereit said.
Members of the club were given official cards that provided discounts at local pizza joints. They also made a shirt with “Pizza Club, yes it’s real” written on the back. The club even had a cartoon skater dude as an official mascot.
“It’s a lot of fun to say that you’re in Pizza Club,” Smith said.
Butgereit said that one of her favorite memories is a time when the club met at Pieology.
“We found out that there was an upstairs room that, like now you have to rent it, but back then if you just had a big group they would just put you up there,” she said. “So we had the whole second floor to ourselves, and we had like two huge tables, and it was basically like a huge party almost. It was a lot of fun.”
Smith said that one difficulty the club had was finding dedicated officers to replace those who are graduating.
“The unfortunate nature of Pizza Club is while it’s a very fun club, and people love the idea of it – it’s not necessarily a club of prestige,” Smith said. “People don’t think, ‘Hey, I’d like to dedicate five hours of work a week to this club about pizza, and so we have a very hard time getting officers to kind of jump on board with that.”
Smith said that one reason he
Butgereit said that the Office of Student Involvement has offered to help the club find a new president.
“Starting this club took a lot of work out of us, and me personally; my heart’s tied to this club,” Smith said. “If I were just to hand this off to anyone, and they take it off in a direction that could easily be detrimental to the name, I would not necessarily find that to be the best fate for Pizza Club.”