Today: May 29, 2024

Clubs and organizations get students involved

Ali Fernand Features Editor

Every student can find their unique place on campus. With over 150 organizations on campus that can be found on OwlConnect, this can seem a bit overwhelming. 

On Jan 25, the Office of Student Involvement held their biannual Involvement Fair. This is an event where students can speak to leaders and members of various organizations.  

“It’s one of our signature events,” Associate Director of the Office of Student Involvement and Leadership Development Eric LaCharity said. 

This event takes place in the Adanti Student Center Ballroom during the spring semester. The room was full of rows of tables, each club got to personalize their table to represent themselves. There was also a table of snacks for students to enjoy as they explored what the event had to offer.  

“This is the majority of our clubs and organizations as well as some academic and student affairs,” LaCharity said. 

Often, clubs are a fun, extracurricular activity for students to enjoy outside of their time working on their academics. Students get to connect with their community on campus. They also get to partake in events and activities they may not have known about otherwise. Not only is it time away from studies, but it benefits students in their academic career. 

“It’s statistically proven that a student who’s involved in at least one thing outside of the classroom is more successful,” Associate Director of Student Involvement and Leadership Development Daphne Alston said.  

Alston is the person who oversees all the clubs and organizations at the university. Her goal is to make sure things are running smoothly and that students can find a place where they fit in. 

Lots of the organizations on campus have been working hard to build their roster. During the COVID-19 pandemic, clubs were struggling to keep their numbers up in their organizations. However, this event was an opportunity for them to recover. 

“We have a large base already, but we want to continue to grow that foundation,” said Co-President of the Black Student Union, BSU, C. Peter Rutherford, a junior.  

The BSU was one of the many cultural organizations on campus that attended this event. Rutherford says that BSU exists as a way for Black students to get together and help each other out in their academic careers. They provide study groups for their members and offer a mentor-mentee dynamic to help students with their education.  

“We do a lot of homework groups and study-helps; kind of like a big brother, big sister type of thing,” Rutherford said.  

There were many other types of organizations that hosted a table at the affair. This included student media, club sports, Greek life and academic-focused groups. Academic groups allow for majors to have a place to connect. 

“Hopefully we can bring students in to see the fun activities we have,” Secretary of Math Club Amanda Hall, a junior, said. 

The Math Club table was full of colorful geometric sculptures. Hall said their goal at the involvement fair was to show students that math isn’t all about numbers. Her hope was to show students all they have to offer.  

“I hope they find something they enjoy and join something to feel involved on campus,” member of Alpha Sigma Alpha Kristin Zack, a junior, said. 

The variety of sororities and fraternities on campus also had an opportunity to let students know what they do on campus. Many of these tables featured a large poster displaying the students in the Greek life atmosphere.  

“We’re looking for amazing women to join us and come help spread awareness for our philanthropies,” Zack said.  

Alpha Sigma Alpha’s table was full of a display of their logo, their members and information on the charity organizations they work with. They run all types of events to raise money for their causes.  

“They come to talk about what they do, what services they provide,” LaCharity said. 

As the spring 2023 semester begins, students have all types of organizations that they are welcome to check out. The Involvement Fair was their opportunity to meet those organizations face-to-face.  

“I hope students will find their people, their home, the reason why they belong at Southern,” Alston said. 

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