Virtual Reality Alliance club hosts first meeting

Students at Cal Poly Pomona can now visit a different realm at the new Virtual Reality Alliance club on campus. The club was created by second-year marketing student Madeline Metis and second-year computer science student Selena Aungst. 

Metis serves as the club’s president and Aungst as vice president. The club was originally created by Metis due to her strong interest in virtual and augmented reality (AR). 

“I wanted to create something that I felt wasn’t entirely present at CPP, which was sort of a really essential outlet for students to be able to get involved in the industry of VR (virtual reality) and AR,” Metis said. 

Leilani Scott Young, a second-year civil engineering student, experiments with the Oculus Quest VR headset after attending the first club meeting.
Michael Acevedo | The Poly Post

The club, which currently meets on Wednesdays at noon (Building 163, room 1020), focuses on educating members of the practical uses of VR and AR in the real world. Striving to promote familiarity with the technology of both, the club is working with the Innovation Idea Lab (iLab) and computer science department to provide equipment for members. The iLab was designed to inspire students to create through the use of its resources, which includes VR equipment.

The club is currently unofficial this semester and club leaders were unable to obtain funding. Currently, club leaders plan on receiving funding from the student interest council’s budget during the spring through fundraising by planning events on and off campus.

VR can be best described as computer technology that takes the user and places him or her into a virtual world through the use of a headset device. AR takes a live view, usually from a smartphone camera and adds digital elements. Snapchat filters often use AR to add new elements to photos. 

Focusing on the current industry of VR and AR, the club plans on creating a community of students with unified interests and connecting them with industry professionals. 

The club’s first meeting drew in a very intrigued crowd, some of which had already had prior experience with VR and AR. 

Ralph Martin Agbayani, a fifth-year industrial engineering student, attended the club’s first meeting and was excited to see what the club has to offer. 

“I’m definitely seeing the potential of VR because from when I first learned about it, it was really just for games,” Agbayani said. “But now, going into the future, there is a lot more applications like training for workers or building things in 3D space. Just possibilities I never thought about before, so I just really want to learn more about VR applications.”

The club currently is looking to expand membership and become a campuswide, known club. According to Aungst, “Right now, we’re just open to anyone with any sort of interest in VR, whether they have no experience at all (or not). Anyone who is interested, we welcome them to come to our meetings and utilize our resources.” 

Due to the club’s late start in the semester, only two more meetings will be held in the fall. Club members plan to change the meet date, however it has not been decided. 

Club leaders are also looking to fill the positions of scheduler, public relations and treasurer. If interested, contact the club via vrallianceclub@gmail.com.

Metis emphasized the club is open to anyone. “Don’t be intimidated; don’t feel like you can’t come in,” Metis said. 

As for the future of the club, Aungst hopes to see at least 50 members and have recognition across campus by the time she graduates. 

For more information on upcoming meetings please visit https://www.vrallianceclub.com/.

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