CRU looking to recruit new members
By Valerie Hilkert
photo by Riley Hays
Sophomore Rebecca Thompson leads CRU members in a
biblical discussion in room 1229 Nov. 1.
The Campus Crusaders for Christ (CRU) is a nationwide student organization that has been life changing for many UW-Fox students.
"Before CRU, I didn't think God was there for me," Velena Bascue, vice president of CRU said.
Bascue became a member through CRU secretary Rebecca Thompson, after attending a club fish fry.
"I was not really a Christian then. I had a crazy life and needed a God. I am a much happier person now [and] my life is fulfilled with God," Bascue said.
CRU is active at UW-Fox Valley, with about 50 members of all different age groups.
The organization meets every Monday at noon in room 1229. The structure and content of the meetings changes weekly.
During the meetings, members participate in group discussions and icebreakers like performing skits and playing games.
Other UW campuses also have active CRU clubs. Madison's CRU club alone has over 300 members.
The club's mission is to explore the Christian face, but having fun and making friends is also important to members. The group participates in activities and gatherings with other UW schools.
"[CRU is] open for anybody to come, they don't have to believe in God. We want everybody to feel like they can come no matter where they are at [in life]," CRU president David Shaver, said.
"If you are a believer in God, you don't need others to believe in order to show what you are like inside," CRU member Andrea Douville said.
Club leaders and members recommend joining CRU, especially to freshman.
Shaver has been a member of the club for a long time, but this year he is part of the leadership as well.
"It's kind of stressful, but rewarding. It's cool to see a group grow and become more structured," Shaver said.
Club leaders meet to prepare for the next week's meeting every Wednesday. They call this "The God Who Is" discussion.
Bascue believes the organization has benefited the group's number of attendees this year.
"I really feel like we are more organized and that's why we have so much more people this year than last year," Bascue said.
Club coordinator Tom Engstrom helps with fundraising, CRU outreach events and coordinates gatherings with other colleges like UW-Green Bay and St. Norbert College.
"It has been really great to have Tom here. For the last two years we haven't had somebody on campus," Bascue said.
Ice cream socials are a way of getting more people involved in CRU.
"It's an awesome opportunity for people on campus to get to know us, [we don't want to be] this secluded club that no one knows about," Bascue said.
One of CRU's goals is to help members form a personal relationship with God. This is achieved through fellowship.
"[CRU fellowship] is like going to church, it's very cool," Shaver said.
The club hosts many events like the Barn Bash, where members meet at a barn and dress up as cowgirls and cowboys.
Another CRU event was the Fall Getaway Oct. 19. The group visited Lake Lundgren for a bible camp.
The retreat included workshops, Christian speakers, bonfires and games, as well as food served family style.
"We do wholesome things and it is not judgmental at all. I like that I can be myself," Douville said.
Most students involved with CRU feel encouraged and supported by fellow club members in every life aspect.
"The people I hang out with now are just a better influence," Bascue said.
"[CRU] has been a big part of my life and it was the starting point when I changed my life... every day that I wake up my life does have meaning, and I have amazing friends, and I know that no matter what I am safe."
Students interested in joining CRU can contact club president David Shaver or club coordinator Tom Engstrom. Anyone is welcome to attend the weekly meetings.