Students huddled into Gampel Pavilion to participate in the Spring 2017 Involvement Fair–UConn’s largest event open to all students and staff on Wednesday. Over 350 clubs were represented at the fair, filling Gampel with noise and excitement.
At first glance, the packed building may have seemed a bit daunting, but the organizations represented were sorted into different categories like Academic, Club Sports, Community Outreach, Cultural, Health and Fitness, Performing/Visual Arts and Service.
Karolina Amigo, a second-semester undecided UConn student particularly liked the way the event was laid out, stating, “compared to last semester, this is a lot more organized. You can find things much easier.”
Gabriel Cassiery, a sixth-semester nutrition major, also praised the events organization, stating “I came here on a mission, I knew exactly what I was looking for.”
A lot of students seemed to be interested in some of UConn’s many service-oriented organizations. Jean Carlos Orbista, a fourth-semester communications major said that he came to the involvement fair to “look for community service so I can get more involved with the campus and community in general.”
Many other students shared his sentiment, like sixth-semester marketing major, Sanaya Bankwalla who said, “I’m mostly looking into community service clubs, specifically the tutoring clubs, because I love helping kids and I want to give back to the community.”
The Involvement Fair featured over 40 community service clubs and organizations, so Orbista, Bankwalla, and others had many opportunities to get involved both on campus and in the community.
The Involvement Fair also featured many cultural clubs and organizations, with organizations representing cultures from all over the world. One student who was particularly interested in the diversity of UConn’s cultural clubs was Kimberly Hernandez, a fourth-semester animal science major.
“I really like all the cultural clubs like the Italian Club [Italian-American Society] and Mexican Club [Mexican Student Association],” Hernandez said.
The clubs look forward to the involvement fair every semester, as many state it is their main source of new members.
The UConn Hurling Club, a club sports team that practices the ancient Irish sport of hurling, sees the Involvement Fair as a major opportunity to get new recruits for their team, according to member Elliot Whitney.
A member of Dramatic PAWS and eighth-semester HDFS major, Darcy Van Ness, felt similarly about the Involvement Fair’s importance, saying that “it increases the awareness of our club. We are not one of the biggest organizations on campus.” She also stated that the Involvement Fair allows them to “let people know when a show is happening,” which exposes UConn students to their theatre organization.
After participating students signed up for all the clubs that captured their interests, many were better informed about the activities on UConn’s campus. It is through events like the Involvement Fair that UConn students are able to become active members of the university community.
Lauren Brown is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.