Amanda Brail – Special to the Southern News –
Kristina Santoro, club and organization manager at Southern Connecticut State University, graduate intern at the Office of Student Life, and planner of the Spring 2013 Club Fair, believes that the best thing one can do in college is get involved.
“Being in a club is like running a small business,” said Santoro. “The most important part of college, beyond education, is socializing and being part of an organization or club.”
With Kristina’s enthusiasm, the Adanti Student Center ballroom was filled on Jan. 23 with organizations and clubs trying to get out the word of their presence on campus and attract potential new members.
“I just want people to know that we exist,” said Alix Lawson, president of the College Democrats club. “Even if they can’t join now I want them to know we’re here so that they can join in the future.”
Julian Wilson, graduate intern and spokesman for the Men’s Initiative Campaign, a campaign to reduce violence and sexual assault against women, said that he hopes the fair will “help people understand their message” and “get students to come to their events.”
All clubs, organizations, fraternities and sororities on campus are required to participate in the fair twice a year. They offer fliers that promote their events, free pens and sometimes even candy, all in order to increase membership and get the students involved in something on campus other than their classes.
Members of the Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity, better known as TKE, had their own way of getting students to understand their initiative. Enrique Calle, rush chair for TKE, said, “We walked around and talked to guys and just tried to get them over to our table. That way they can really find out what we’re about.”
Unlike last semester’s club fair, this semester’s event was held indoors; in case of temperatures like Wednesday’s nine degrees.
“The crowd is a little bit smaller,” said President of the Veteran’s Association Derek Torrellas about the turnout this semester as opposed to last semester.
Corinne Latham, president of the Pre-Law Society, also noted that the outdoor club fair “seems to be more successful.”
However, some club members involved were more than happy with the number of interested students that showed up despite cold the weather. Lauren Bryant, president of the Psychology Club, was one of them.
“The first meeting after the fair we usually have a lot more people present,” said Bryant. “We’re usually very successful at getting sign-ups at all the club fairs.”
Santoro was also proud of the turnout and said she thinks all of the hard work that went into planning this event was worth it.
“My biggest goal is to see people here and to see them having fun; to hear people laughing, see them giving out food, smiling, having member sign-up sheets fill up with interested new members-that’s great,” she said. “All of the students here–that’s what makes it a success.”
Santoro also explained why she believes it is important for the club fair to be held every semester–rain or shine, hot or cold for students.
“The club fair allows students who haven’t really found their niche at Southern, and students coming in, to visually see people participate,” she said. “It gets students thinking about what they want to do and how they want to participate on their campus.”