For The Love of Lollicup

“Boba, $2!”

It seems like all members of the numerous clubs staked outside compete for my attention whenever I set foot on Ring Road. Some run up to me, some wave flyers at me and some just holler at me from within the comfort of their tables to buy boba.

Every clueless freshman on their way to class is viewed by an on-campus organization as another potential customer who can help them fundraise and meet their quota for the quarter.

This school year is no exception. Lollicup, located in the Diamond Jamboree Center off Alton Parkway kicked off their annual Battle of the Clubs, a friendly competition between UC Irvine organizations to see who can buy the most boba for a sizeable cash prize, this past Wednesday.

Lollicup’s Battle of the Clubs is one of the most anticipated events of the school year for campus organizations who are searching for creative ways to fundraise with the help of all their members.

“As of right now, people are already spamming our Facebook walls encouraging active members to buy boba from Lollicup,” Samantha Wong, a third-year sociology major and member of the co-ed community service fraternity Alpha Phi Omega, said.

The Lollicup in Diamond Jamboree is the first and only location to host a competition between college clubs. Last year’s total profit was $3,500. Now in its fourth year running and with over 32 clubs signed up, it’s clear that Lollicup’s attempt to reach out to UCI students was a smart one.

“Lollicup has partnered up with campus organizations in the past and is big on fundraising,” Chris Ng, the manager of Lollicup, said. “We’re always looking for ways to improve business and once we saw how hot campus life was, the idea was pretty simple from there.”

The battle for boba started October 10 and will continue until January 31. Clubs earn one sticker for every drink they purchase, which is then placed on a huge poster on the Lollicup wall so everyone who stops by can check in on the progress of the competition. The club who receives the most stickers for drinks bought will win a grand cash prize to be used at the club’s own discretion.

Promises of much-needed money are enough to get any student-funded organization involved and ready to fight. Social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have become public hubs for clubs to advertise, a welcome option from the usual on-campus tabling events. Chinese Association of UCI won the battle last year in a landslide when they sent all of their members to Lollicup to buy boba the last night of the competition (many members bought multiple drinks). Alpha Phi Omega ended up securing second place.

“We in Alpha Phi Omega are very proud and are doing everything we can to take first place this year,” Wong said. “Our fraternity advertises a lot, whether it be during our meetings or on Facebook in our private groups.”

But this ongoing event does more for clubs than just generate revenue. According to Lisa Hung, a fourth-year business administration major and coordinator of MCIA Dance Team, Battle of the Clubs unites club members and gives their outings purpose.

“Luckily for us, Battle of the Clubs is going on during our hip-hop workshops in preparation for auditions for the new team,” Hung said. “After a long night of dancing we can all head over to socialize and get to know one another not just as dancers, but as people, over boba.”

Many organizations have also used Lollicup for social “after events” after weekly meetings, which seems to be the easiest way to earn stickers. MCIA landed in third place last year, but generated the most gross income in just one night − a result of their post-workshop socials.

“We make the most money on Wednesday and Thursday nights because a lot of clubs bring their members over after their meetings. It’s a great tactic,” Ng said.

Lollicup has captured the true essence of what it means to be involved in a campus organization at UCI. Whether you’re in a community service club, fraternity or on a dance team, everyone shows the same kind of love and pride in representing their own club. Lollicup’s Battle of the Clubs brings out these qualities in everyone as they unite for a common cause; in the name of boba.