Joining any club is a great way to make friends, but only bug club offers interspecies relationships between human UCCS students and creepy crawlers.
Club president and co-founder Audrey Fahland, a fifth-year Biology student, takes care of hundreds of bugs that live in Osborne B314. The classroom is a biology lab that doubles as a bug sanctuary and the headquarters of bug club.
While the club has no regular meeting times, they participate in one to two events per month. In addition to caring for the bugs in the lab, they host bug trivia, movie nights, bug-pinning demonstrations and they volunteer in the community.
The club focuses on activism and sustainability, hoping to educate people on the importance of bugs and what they need. “I want to inform people as much as possible about endangered species, protected species, plants that you can plant that are really needed for struggling bugs … and safe collection practices,” Fahland said.
Part of educating students about bugs includes getting out into the field to catch and pin bugs for later study.
“We do go out with our members and catch bugs in the wild with the intention of bringing them back and pinning them,” Fahland said. “We want to make sure that we’re doing this in a sustainable, environmentally friendly way.”
Bug club is active in the community, and volunteers at the Cool Science Carnival Day for Kids at UCCS each year, hosting Insectpalooza which provides kids with hands-on experiences with bugs and feeding demonstrations, as well as the Boo at the Zoo event each October.
Fahland expressed their desire to create a community around something that can tend to make people uncomfortable. “Sometimes it’s hard to figure out that you like these … niche things,” they said.
The club was created by Fahland and former graduate student, Abbey Swift, in 2021. It was originally Swift’s idea, but the two collaborated to form the organization, and now Fahland continues its operation.
One big goal of the club is accessibility; they charge no dues or fees and cover the cost of club excursions, such as their biannual trip to the Butterfly Pavilion and an upcoming excursion to the May Natural History Museum in the spring.
Students interested in joining bug club can follow the club on Instagram @uccsbugclub and learn more on Mountain Lion Connect.
Bug Club President Audrey Chun Fahland holds a scorpion. Photo by Lillian Davis.