The University of Connecticut Fall Involvement Fair drew over 7,000 students and 487 different clubs and organizations to Fairfield Way on Wednesday afternoon, despite a 30-minute downpour halfway through the event.
Originally rescheduled due to worries over inclement weather, the day began clear and sunny before darkening with rainclouds at 4:00 p.m. Some fairgoers and clubs fled the storm, seeking shelter in the Student Union and the School of Business building.
Others braved the downpour, protecting their club posters with umbrellas, raincoats and even garbage bags as they advertised to potential members.
“They should have had a back up plan of Gampel, because that’s what they do for the Spring Involvement Fair,” Leah Miller, a third-semester Eurotech major and president of Escape Storrs, a club dedicated to organizing and building escape rooms, said.
The fair still brought in a crowd, with organizations such as EcoHusky, Gamer’s Guild and the Kendo Club set up with pamphlets, trifolds and candy to attract students.
“I’m surprised how big it is,” first-semester chemistry major Katelyn Mooney said. “The students are so excited about this.”
The Involvement Fair is held at the beginning of the fall and spring semesters, and students are encouraged to attend.
Due to UConn’s large size and diversity, there is a large variety of clubs for new students to get involved in. Academic clubs such as Delta Sigma Pi and the Pre-Med Society help students connect with others involved in their career path, as well as finding internships and networking opportunities for their members.
Health clubs such as the UConn Boxing Team offer sports training and exercise opportunities, while students seeking to become active in the community can join an activism club such as IQConn.
Of course, it’s not all work and no play, with specialist and entertainment clubs such as Page to Stage and the Cosplay Club allowing students to exercise their creative side and have some fun. This, of course, only scratches the surface of the numerous organizations and activities UConn has to offer.
“Everyone has their own interests,” Tava DeQuattro, a freshman physiology and neurobiology major attending the fair for the first time said. “They’re looking to get involved.”
The fair is also a prime time for recruitment and is vital to keep many clubs running.
“It’s essential to getting new team members,” Vimratha Teepireddy, a member of Shah Ru UConn said. “Last year, 40 people showed up to tryouts after the fair, and we got 10 new members on our team because of it.”
The Involvement Fair also gives new clubs a chance to get a jump-start on becoming recognized and expanding their ranks.
“It helps get our word out,” Ryanne Ramadan, a third-semester biomedical engineering major said. Ramadan helped run the table for UConn Next Step, a club that teaches students life skills such as cooking, accounting and sewing. This is the club’s first Involvement Fair.
“It connects with people,” said Ramadan. “It’s important, especially because we’re new.”
Overall, the Involvement Fair is a valuable asset to students, who use the opportunity to get involved and meet new friends through UConn’s organizations.
“I think it’s awesome,” Joshua Frigo, a first-semester student majoring in athletic training said. “There’s a lot of clubs and a lot of people.”
Missed the Involvement Fair? Check out uconntact.uconn.edu/organizations for a list of clubs and organizations to get involved in!
Marlese Lessing is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. She tweets @marlese_lessing.