Involvement fair encourages inclusion


Nina Bartlomiejczyk — Copy Editor

Owls both old and new flocked to the Academic Quad for the Involvement Fair on Wednesday, Sept. 4, where most of Southern’s clubs and organizations had set up tables showcasing what their group consisted of. The event brought prospective members together with the e-boards of these groups to get to know each other.

Tables were set up all the way from Engleman Hall to Earl Hall. The fair also extended towards the library where WSIN Radio was deejaying the event. Every table was diverse, as each club displayed their own posters, props, games and giveaways. One notably decorated table was that of the LARPing Club, whose table showed not only pictures of the group engaged in Live Action Role Play, di from Dungeons and Dragons and Magic: The Gathering cards spread across the table.

“We’re on our second year. We wanted to create a group for people to join where they can get involved in all sorts of nerdy and geeky things,” said LARPing Club treasurer Leo Palumberi.

Students took part in all the fair had to offer, from the clubs and their giveaways to the food vendors providing free cookies and kettle-corn. However, the most engaging part of  event for some was the captivating performances that took place near the end by groups like the Steppin’ Up Drill Team and F.A.C.E. Models.

President of F.A.C.E. Models Briauna Kline said the group’s name stands for Fashionable Artistic Creative Elegance,’ and that they wanted to perform rather than set up a table because they “wanted to reach as many newcomers as possible.”

“I wanted to put something together, just like some of the things we do in F.A.C.E., like the triangle runway, a T and a slow walk,” said Kline. “It was kind of like an advertisement for our tryouts.”

For some newer organizations, like the Chemistry Honors Society, Gamma Sigma Epsilon, this was a great opportunity to market their arrival to campus.

“[We] just started this honors society chapter this semester and we want to get the word out for [chemistry] majors and minors to join,” said Secretary of Gamma Sigma Epsilon Renée Chabot. “[The reception is] better than I thought originally. There’s a lot of people who are interested.”

Other clubs at the fair wanted to market their changes made since last semester, like the Muslim Students Association, or MSA, which spread info about their organization and a large poster around their table.

“We wanted to spread the word about how MSA will be this year. Every day we will be facilitating what we hope will be educating discussion, and we want to be more political this semester in terms of the political climate with the refugee crisis,” said MSA President Asma Rahimyar.

Many clubs, including MSA, who’s membership, according to Rahimyar “has been dwindling,” hoped to raise their membership numbers this semester and took the opportunity granted by the club fair to do that.

“We tried to get as many people on board as possible and spread as much news, not just on black culture but in general as well,” said Black Student Union Event Coordinator Milton Green, whose group’s table was adorned with a poster showing pictures representing the group’s beliefs, such as the Black Lives Matter movement and gun control.

Generally, most clubs found the reception to be positive, and the event helped them to find students who were interested in the things they catered to and gave them a place they could find like-minded people.

“We’ve had a lot of people come looking for a group to play with and this is where they can find that. We have people who are experienced, like myself, and people who are learning, and we help with [teaching them],” Palumberi said. Some students at the event echoed this sentiment and said they were finding their niches upon talking to the e-boards and members of certain clubs.

Public health major Melissa Howley, a junior, said, “I liked Love Your Melon; I like their cause. I love the fact that they help kids with cancer.”

Some also said they enjoyed that the groups not only fed off of the excitement the students felt towards them, but showed interest in the students as well. “[Crescent Players] were very interested in what I had to say and what I like, which is writing, and they encouraged me to continue writing,” said early childhood education major Naima Clark, a freshman.

Photo Credit: Izzy Manzo

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