The Student Involvement Fair hosted by the Center for Student Involvement on the quad during the first week of class saw the University’s more than 200 clubs table and recruit new students. This was the first time in two years that the Involvement Fair was hosted in-person, after being held online in 2020 and 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
From sports to politics to culture, students had a chance to learn more about the different clubs on campus and join ones that caught their interest.
The turn-out for this year’s fair was better than expected according to Emily Minster, the director of political affairs for Leading Women of Tomorrow AU. This student-run club is dedicated to encouraging female-identifying students seeking jobs in public service and bridging gender gaps. Spread across the world, Leading Women of Tomorrow offers training and resource programs for students to build confidence in considering roles in government positions.
“We’ve had a lot of engagement,” Minster said. “We’re getting a lot more people who seem really interested in getting involved which is exciting.”
AU’s club sports teams were also at the Involvement Fair, including the Women’s Club Lacrosse which had been inactive for a while and had become more and more active in the last two years.
“We’ve definitely had some new players show up,” Celine Lawrence, co-president of the team said. “It’s pretty decent traffic, more than I think we expected.”
Ben Solomon, vice president of AU Gamers, a club dedicated to creating a sense of community through games, was glad that their community was able to reach a larger audience.
“I’m happy that freshmen are coming cause when I came here I was a transfer student and I saw this exact set up and was like, ‘Woah! They do this here?’” Solomon said.
The large freshman class has also made an impact on the membership of clubs. Rude Mechanicals, a classical theater troupe at AU, has had a lot of freshmen and sophomores interested in joining the club this year according to Zoe Tompkins, Rude Mechanicals’ technical director.
“It’s nice to see everybody outside and getting involved,” Sania Parker, the social media liaison for Les Coeurs D’Afrique, AU’s African dance team, said. Parker said she thought the student turn out was good this year compared to last year’s Involvement Fair.
Students that attended were also surprised with the number of clubs that they found tabled this year.
Among those students was Scout Zischke, a freshman in the School of International Service.
“It’s been pretty good learning about the clubs I’m interested in,” Zischke said. “I had heard about the fair, so once my classes ended I decided to come and look around.”
Returning students equally showed their excitement for their first fair in-person.
Maggie Loughran, a sophomore in SIS, said she was not familiar with many of the clubs that were there.
“Most of the clubs that I’ve heard about were here so I feel like it’s a good event,” Carson Ley, a sophomore in the School of Public Affairs, said. “Last year when the fair was online it was hard to be able to see everything.”
Both Ley and Loughran said they were excited the Student Involvement Fair was in person as they both did not attend last year’s virtual fair.
All of the clubs that were present at the fair can be found and joined through Engage.
“There were a lot of students outside so that was really good. I'm glad to see all, if not most, of the clubs out on the quad because it wasn’t like this last year,” Parker said.