Student Organization Spotlight: CCRG Chess Club

(Photo courtesy of GRCC Chess Club Facebook)

Grand Rapids Community College has many student organizations that you can join and participate in. One such group, if you like strategy, is the GRCC Chess Club.

The GRCC Chess Club, which has over 50 students, meets Fridays from noon to 1 p.m. at the Library and Learning Commons. On the second Friday of each month, they hold monthly status meetings for their members.

The group is led by chess club advisor Brian Beecher, who is also director of the library and the Learning Commons.

“It’s not just about checking books and laptops,” Beecher said. “He also works with librarians and students. We are our own microcosm of a big family here at the GRCC. We treat each other like family. We’re so student-centric now, thinking, ‘What barriers do our students have that we can help break down?’

The Chess Club also prides itself on the diversity of opportunities it offers, especially with regard to the future of professional development for students.

“They have opportunities to be part of our executive committee, and there are leadership roles within that group that can help you later in life,” Beecher said. “There are people who want to learn how to run a meeting, you know, how to put together a purchase order, how to find the best price for a product. These are all examples of something you could do in a leadership role as a Chess Club member.

This organization has continued to thrive despite the pandemic as they use chess.com to play together. They organize online tournaments and matches from time to time, and if you are interested in playing virtual chess with the club, you can get involved. here.

“We have students who are active at the Grand Rapids Chess Center, which is the local club,” Beecher said. “We have some overlap between members who attend their events as well as ours.”

With the Chess Club, Beecher hopes to create an open and engaging environment for all students, regardless of experience level.

“I think there are people who want different things from the club,” Beecher said. “There are people who want tournaments. There are people who just want to get together for the social aspect (of the club). And then you have people curious about chess, real beginners, who have just seen “The Queen’s Gambit”, and we help all these different types of people.

The club is a place of gathering as well as education. They have a variety of DVDs you can check out on Chess Strategies, Tactics, Openings and General Improvement.

“We have quite a few chess lessons that people take, and then they can learn more about chess at their own pace,” Beecher said.

Of course, the nature of chess also makes it an inherently productive learning activity. Beecher hopes the fun of the game can be matched with his potential to learn life lessons at the GRCC Chess Club.

Chess helps with logic,” Beecher said. “While you play chess, you engage with the logical centers of your brain. These will grow stronger as you live your life, you will be able to think more logically, and you will be able to create plans and prioritize decisions. important in life.

Participating in online tournaments is also a way for GRCC to show off their competitive prowess. They recently faced Boston College and the University of Washington in virtual tournaments.

Prior to enrolling at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Beecher attended the University of Wisconsin-Rock County Community College. He credits the hands-on learning experience with helping him become a better student.

“The education I learned at community college was no less than at the university level,” Beecher said. “I think it was just as difficult, if not more so, because I was being taught by PhDs and not by teaching assistants, as is often the case at the university level. Teaching assistants worked for themselves, trying to complete their studies, but for the doctorate. instructors, I was the priority, the student. The level of care and attention is so much better at the community college level.

For current and prospective students, Beecher reminds them how important it is to use the resources available to you at your college.

“Get to know the college staff,” Beecher said. “Everyone here that I know and work with, they care about me. They are genuine. I’ve worked on many campuses, and that feeling is rare. We are unique in this respect. You will find that people here want you to succeed, not just in school, but also in life.

If you want to learn more about the GRCC Chess Club, consider visiting their Facebook page here.

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