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Cruze Club becomes a new addition to UWRF

November 15, 2007

The UW-River Falls Cruze Club became the newest campus club four weeks ago thanks in large part to club president and founder, Allen Chapdelaine.

The club aims to develop motorcycle riding skills and bonds for students and faculty who enjoy riding and to create an opportunity for students to ride together by creating a familiar and inviting atmosphere, according to the Cruze Club mission statement.

“The whole basis of the club is to get riders from all around campus to be able to have that connection with other riders,” UWRF senior Chapdelaine said. “If anybody has a new [bike] problem they can get help from more experienced riders and fellow club members.”

Cruze Club is also considered a recognized student organization designed to provide students, faculty and staff an opportunity to share their love for motorcycles, and it’s not exclusive to bike owners.

“It’s not just for people who ride,” Chapdelaine said. “It’s for anyone who is interested in bikes.”

Chapdelaine’s interest in bikes and inspiration behind the club was heightened after watching the movie Wild Hogs, a comedy about four friends who decide to shake up their ordinary suburban lives with a cross-country motorcycle adventure. The movie ultimately led him to buying his first bike June 26.

The club originally started with five members, the bare minimum necessary to start a student organization on campus.

Since its creation, the club has grown to 18 members, two of which are UWRF faculty.

One of those faculty members is UWRF User Services Manager Dan Semi, who also serves as Cruze Club’s advisor.

Chapdelaine asked Semi if he was interested in the position of club advisor and highlighted some of his plans for the club.

“We talked about some different things we could do on campus,” Semi said. “It sounded like a really good idea.”

As the advisor, Semi is responsible for attending meetings of the organization and to become familiar with events and activities sponsored by the group, and see that they adhere to State and University policies, according to the Advisor Responsibilities Form.

Semi also serves as a valuable resource and mentor to the group.

“I help the club utilize the resources that are available to them on campus,” Semi said. “Besides that, I also help them with their campaigns.”

Serving as part-time as club advisor appears to be a perfect fit for Semi, who has owned motorcycles off and on since the age of eleven.

Bikes have been a huge part of Semi’s life since his dad bought him his first motocross bike.

For their honeymoon, Semi and his wife took a motorcycle trip from Milwaukee to Los Angeles and back. When their 30th Wedding Anniversary came around, they both chipped in on a new Harley Softtail Custom bike.

As for Cruze Club, Semi is excited about its future.

“There’s not a group on campus like it,” Semi said. “It’s a great group to be able to campaign and create awareness about motorcycles and safety issues for.”

The organization’s mission goes beyond riding and talking bikes. Although the club is young, members are already striving to make a positive impact on the community.

“We want to volunteer a lot around campus and the community,” Chapdelaine said.

One of their recent volunteer missions involved helping out at Westside Elementary School on Nov.9, where volunteers were needed to run basketball, rock climbing, tumbling and craft stations as part of Family Fun Night.

Cruze Club also plans to help out with upcoming campus events like Volunteer Day and participate as part of the student move in crew next year.

“We want to give bikers a good name,” Chapdelaine said.