And it looks like my universal truth assumption about all college anime clubs is being validated.
Well, I guess I have to come here with a counter example. My college anime club was actually quite different.
Mind you it was a very
old club (by anime club standards anyway) with actual history and traditions behind it. I believe it's one of the oldest still operational anime clubs in the country. They go back to the days when if you wanted to watch anime with English subtitles you had to make those subtitles yourself. "Fansubs" were made by
college anime clubs back then (and they were on tape, none of this digital crap) and commercial anime was non-existent. Actually AnimEigo--the fist company to ever
commercially release anime on home video in the US--was founded by my club's alumni.
Obviously the club changed a lot over the years. As commercial anime became a thing they got out of the fansubbing business and during the time I was there we started going in the complete opposite direction. We used our industry connections to start getting official permission from the license holders to show their stuff (even if you own something on home video, showing it in a large public venue is
normally against copyright law) and in some cases they even started sponsoring us to a degree. But we never lost sight of the club's history and our focus wasn't just on showing whatever was popular at the moment (though we showed some of that too of course) but also on old classics so people could learn where this stuff all came from. And we also participated in more general Japanese language and cultural events.
Actually that club is the whole reason I'm an anime fan today. I had barely even watched any anime when I went off to college. It's probably not an exaggeration to say that club had a pretty profound impact on my life (for better or worse...). It's been over 10 since I graduated and I still keep in touch with people I met there.
Mind you when I went to grad school I tried out the anime club there and couldn't even stand it. I think it wasn't until then that I realized just how special my college anime club was.