On Feb. 2, 2023, the University of Connecticut hosted its Spring Involvement Fair at Gampel Pavilion, where hundreds of clubs for all areas of interest advertised themselves and recruited new members. The fair hosted an amazing range of organizations — from recreational athletic teams and Greek life to political movements, religious communities and academic societies.
Right on the basketball court in the center of Gampel, rows of stands with posters, flyers, representatives and sometimes even treats invited anyone and everyone to learn more about the organizations, sign up for membership, meet members and ask questions.
Academic clubs and organizations related to almost any major and school at UConn could be found at the fair — business, healthcare, STEM, visual and performing arts and more. Joining can be helpful in many ways: obtaining new skills and knowledge related to your area of study, meeting fellow students interested in the same discipline, finding potential internships and employers and simply improving your resume by getting further involved.
There were also plenty of activism and volunteering organizations, Habitat for Humanity being one.
“Our main mission is to build strength, stability and self-reliance in partnership with families in need of decent and affordable homes,” said Maya Flash, a sixth-semester psychology major.
“Even though our actions have been limited due to Covid, this semester we want to build and construct more, so I am looking forward to that,” added Erin Olearcek, a sixth-semester political science and economics major and the club’s co-chair of fundraising.
A few clubs made their first appearances this spring. Fejiro Akhuetie-Oni, a fourth-semester physiology and neurobiology major, presented a new community service oriented club called Diversity In Healthcare.
“The purpose of my club is to cater to underrepresented communities in regards to the medical treatment they receive and the access that they have to it,” Akhuetie-Oni said. “We plan on volunteering opportunities throughout the semester like a pop-up medical clinic, volunteering in hospitals and nursing homes and participating in walks and marathons. We want to bring awareness to inequalities present in the healthcare system.”
Although the club was just established, Akhuetie-Oni revealed some of the events planned for this semester, including its participation in the Walk for Pancreatic Cancer in April.
Plenty of creative and visual arts clubs and organizations were at the fair as well. These clubs focused on poetry, painting, origami, creative writing, crafting, baking — the list goes on.
Some organizations, like Care Cakes, specialize in combining creative hobbies with community service.
“The main goal of Care Cakes is to get a group of people together and decorate cupcakes so we can do something good and donate to the soup kitchens,” said Alyssa Stancato, a sixth-semester finance major and the club’s fundraising chair. “My favorite memory was the club getting all together before Halloween, decorating themed cupcakes and delivering them locally.”
I wish we had that type of “fair” when I attended UCONN. GRADUATED IN 1957! Yes I’m no youngster.